Gingee Fort, Pondicherry

Visitor Information

  • Famous for: Tourism, Experience seekers, Photography and Learning.
  • Entrance Fee: For adults, the entrance fee of the Fort is 5 INR per head. For children below the ages of 15 years is free.
  • For Foreigners fee is 100 INR per head.
  • Visiting Time: Gingee Fort remains open for tourists all through the year. Except that, the timings are from 9 AM to 4:30 PM.
  • Visit Duration: Once the ticket is bought, the visitor can spend the whole day inside.

Gingee Fort is sited at a short distance from State’s Capital and lies in the outskirts of the Union territory of Pondicherry. It near the territory of Pondicherry shares an age-old history. Probably, the fort stands to be the epitome of the grand past of Pondicherry and the state of Tamil Nadu as well. As it is, the connection of the fort is so deep with the local population, they have also alternatively named it as Senji, Chenji, jinji or Senchi Fort.

Gingee Fort
Photo by Praveen Selvam, CC BY 2.0

Traveler Tips

  • Though the Fort is open for visits all through the week but it is advisable to visit it on one of the weekdays to elude heavy crowd.
  • The entire complex of the fort faces direct sun heat, so make sure to apply some sunscreen to avoid sunburn or tan. Also, travelers can carry umbrellas, hats or caps with them for additional protection.
  • There are no food joints in the vicinity, so travelers could always carry little packs of snacks with them.

Things to Do

  • To have an even adventurous tour, one can take a trek to the fort. The Gingee fort complex is on three hillocks and to reach the top one has to take a challenging trek for about an hour.
  • Explore all the exquisite interiors of the fort. There are tanks, granaries, halls, marriage halls and some more exotic spots. One can always spare time to spend some time exploring them.
  • Cameras are allowed to be carried inside, so it makes a good place for some photography. Take pictures of the beautiful antiques of the place.

Availability of Guides

The Place actually does not need to have a guide, it is an open door for all explorers.

Best Time to Visit

All through the year. Still it becomes a little difficult to see it in summers when the temperature is extremely high. So, you can consider to postpone your trip, if it was planned between March to July.

The winter months, November to February are perfect for the visit. The temperature falls sharply but if you enjoy the cold, it will make up for a great vacation.

How to Reach

The nearest airport to the Gingee Fort is Chennai International Airport which is at a distance of about 160 kilometers. From there, you can take a bus or book a cab to reach the district of Tindivanam where the fort is situated. The Fort is merely 65 kilometers from Pondicherry. The transportation facilities are smooth and you will face no problem at all.

If you are planning to travel by train, the closest railway station would be Villupuram.

Interesting Facts and Trivia About the Gingee Fort

  • The ownership of Fort changed many hands from Cholas to Nayakas to Marathas then Mughals, later it annexed to the French kingdom and ultimately, the British Empire put its stamp on it.
  • Its architecture is exceptionally great. It has three great citadels which were purposely placed in three different directions to provide it that envisioned protection.
  • The three citadels which were connected from inside shaped the complex into a triangle.  The parameter as we could say it is, around 13 kms and the protected area of the complex is 11 Perhaps, this makes it the grandest triangle in the world.
  • The grandeur of the fort was difficult to contain within artificial boundaries, so the hills of the terrain bordered its margins. While the blank spaces were linked with the artificial wall which was no less grand with its huge thickness of 20 meters.
  • Shivaji, certainly out of his experience, said that the fort is ‘The most impregnable fortress in India’. The British were no less enthralled with its splendor and proudly titled it, ‘The Troy of the east’.
Gingee Fort Pondicherry
Photo by Vijay rajendran, CC BY-SA 3.0

Nearby Attractions

  • Girivalam
  • Tada Falls
  • Annamalaiyar temple
  • Virupaksha caves
  • Skandashraman
  • Ramana Ashram
  • Seshadri Ashram

Nearby Restaurants

  • Hotel Shivan
  • Geetanjali Rasoi
  • Sri Punjabi’s Dhaba
  • Sri Maruthi Bhawan
  • Hotel Noor
  • Galaxy restaurant

If you are planning to visit Pondicherry or in fact Tamil Nadu, make sure to add this fort to the top of your itinerary. This fort is one of the most pristine historical spots in the region and would let you establish a deeper association with history. Also, it is the only surviving fort of the bygone ages, and hence it surely deserves a visit.

About Rohit

An architect by profession, Rohit Agarwal is a curious traveller, seeking out the minutest detail about the places he travels to, and that’s what one will find in his writings. His writings have appeared in various blogs, he’s currently trying to bring forth as many different places a traveller who shares the same level of curiosity like him would like to visit through his writings.

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