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View of Gingee Fort

The Gingee Fort occupies three hillocks connected by walls enclosing a total area of 7 square kilometres. The name Gingee probably came from Sengiri, Tamil for Red Hill. Built by the Cholas, the strategic fort passed into the hands of the Hoysalas, the Vijayanagar emperors and thence to the Gingee Nayaks. The Mughals, the Bijapur Sultans and the Marathas also controlled the fort successively and each one strengthened it with modifications and new structures.

Read the related blog post, Gingee Fort - history's smorgasbord

Gingee Fort - where war sleeps in peace

Gingee (also spelled Chinji or Senji) is a scenic stopover on the Bangalore-Puducherry route best known for the picturesque ruins of the Rajagiri Fort. The three boulder-strewn hillocks over which the fort sprawls are popular with trekkers, many of whom are barely aware that the soil underfoot has been trampled by armies of successive dynasties since the 9th century. The well-maintained fort and its precincts offer an engaging half-day historical tour. It is also popular with artists. For centuries, Gingee has been washed with the blood of conquerors. Today, the ruins sleep in peace, barely disturbed by the footfalls of tourists.

Text and photos by Yahoo! India Travel editor BIJOY VENUGOPAL