The Amazing Vijaynagar Fort in Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu (2023)
The land of Tamil Nadu is rich in history and culture. The state is dotted with many ancient forts that tell the tales of the countless kingdoms and dynasties that have risen and fallen on its soil. If you want to truly get to know the history and culture of Tamil Nadu, a visit to these ancient forts of Tamil Nadu is a must. One such amazing fort that you must not miss is the Vijaynagar Fort.
This beautiful masterpiece in the city of Thanjavur is a famous tourist spot. Vijaynagar fort is located a stone’s throw from the Brihadeeswara Temple, which is one of the most famous destinations in the city. In fact, people from all over India flock to this temple for pilgrimage.
History of the Vijaynagar Fort
The Vijaynagar fort was constructed by the Nayaks Dynasty and then renovated and further expanded by Maratha rulers during the earlier 1550 AD.
What Is There To Do In The Vijayanagar Fort?
There are many things to check out inside the premises of the Vijayanagar Fort. The Vijaynagar fort is home to the Sangeetha Mahal, Tanjore Palace, a huge library, along with an art gallery that houses many exquisite sculptures and paintings. There is also the Shiva Ganga Gardens that you must check out inside the complex.
Even though today the Vijayanagar Fort is mostly in ruins, you can still feel the strength and grandeur emanating from the ruins of a once majestic structure.
Can I Visit The Shiva Ganga Gardens Inside The Vijaynagar Fort?
Yes, the Shiva Ganga Gardens, located inside the Vijaynagar Fort is open to the general public. This garden has been very well maintained by the Architectural Survey of India. A popular tourist spot, there is a square tank located in the garden that was built in the 16th century to provide water to the Tanjore Palace. The tank is still in use today and is famous for its sweet-tasting water. To date, no one has been able to figure out why the water tastes sweet.
How Much Time Do You Need To See The Vijayanagar Fort?
It takes around one to two hours to see the Vijayanagar Fort.
How To Reach The Vijaynagar Fort?
The Vijayanagar Fort is a very famous tourist destination in Thanjavur, and hundreds of people visit it every day. So you won’t have any trouble reaching the fort. The best way to get here is to hire a cab or taxi. You can also take a ride on the local buses to get a real feel of Thanjavur city. The nearest railway station is the Tiruchirapally Junction, and the nearest airport is the Tiruchirapally Airport.
What Are The Timings Of The Vijayanagar Fort?
The Vijayanagar fort complex remains open to visitors throughout the day. There are no specific timings mentioned on the website of the Archaeological Society of India. However, it is best to avoid visiting the Vijayanagar fort in the dark.
Places To Visit Near The Vijaynagar Fort
Once you finish your excursion through the Vijaynagar Fort, there are many other beautiful tourist spots around the Vijayanagar fort that you must check out. Here are some of these interesting places to visit:
- Brihadeeswara Temple: One of the best tourist places in Thanjavur, this temple is located on the Membalam Road in Balaganapathy Nagar. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is a major pilgrimage place in South India. People from all over the country come to this temple to pay obeisance. The temple is sometimes also known as the Rajesvara Peruvudaiyar Temple. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is known as the ‘Great Living Chola Temple.’ This ancient temple was built between 1003 and 1010 AD by Raja Chola I and is an exemplary example of Dravidian architecture.
- Manora Fort: The Manora Fort is located just 20 kilometers from Pattukkottai and 60 kilometers from the center of Thanjavur city. This is a unique fort of its kind in Tamil Nadu as it is built in a hexagonal form. It is an eight storied, hexagonal tower that towers 23 meters and overlooks the Bay of Bengal. The fort has been named after the word Manora, meaning Minaret. With arched windows, a circular winding staircase, and eaves that separate one storey from the other, this unique Manora Fort is a must-visit when you are in Thanjavur. Today, visitors to the fort are only allowed to go up to the second floor as there is a fear that the high towers may collapse. The floors above are closed to the public.
- Gangaikonda Cholapuram: This magnificent structure was the capital city of the ancient Chola Dynasty for over two centuries. This historic structure is today left in ruins and is nothing more than a small village, but it is still a must-visit to see the once glorious past of the Chola Empire. Gangaikonda Cholapuram was built by the Chola King Rajendra as a commemoration of the victory over the Pala Dynasty. The city today exists as a heritage town and is located right next to the Brihadeeswara Temple.
- Thanjai Mamani Koil: Thanjavur is an ancient city that is full of history at every nook and corner. The Thanjai Mamani Koil is a set of three temples dedicated to Lord Vishnu. Together, these three temples are known as the Divyadesam, and it is among the 108 other such temple complexes in the country. This is one of the unique temples in Tamil Nadu as Lord Vishnu is worshipped in his Narasimha avatar. After visiting the Manora Fort, it is a great idea to visit this temple complex to get a unique opportunity to see the three abodes of Lord Vishnu at the same time.
So don’t just stop your exciting journey across Thanjavur after visiting the Vijaynagar fort. Continue on to these magnificent structures that are a testimony to the rich history of Tamil Nadu. As Thanjavur is a small town, all these attractions are located relatively close to one another, and you can easily visit them after you finish exploring the Vijaynagar Fort.