Ranjankudi Fort

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Ranjankudi Fort
Part of Tamil Nadu
Perambalur District, Tamil Nadu, India
Ranjankudi Fort-Perambalur district-Tamil Nadu.jpg
Image of the fort
Ranjankudi Fort is located in Tamil Nadu
Ranjankudi Fort
Ranjankudi Fort
Type Forts
Site information
Controlled by Government of Tamil Nadu
Condition Ruins

Ranjankudi Fort is a 17th-century fortress located about 22 km (14 mi) north of the town of Perambalur in Tamil Nadu, India. The fort is located 22 km (14 mi) north of Perambalur in NH 45 in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is located 253 km (157 mi) away from the state capital Chennai and 70 km (43 mi) from Trichy.The fort was constructed by a feudatory of the Nawab of the Carnatic.

Ranjakudi fort was the focus point during the Battle of Valikondah during 1751, when the British troops supported by Mohammed Ali won over the French supported by Chanda Sahib. The fort is oblong in shape with semicircular bastions, a moat encircling it and three fortifications at different levels, built with cut stone blocks. The fort has a palace, residence buildings, underground chamber and an underground passage that links Pettai (the top level) with Kottai Medu (lower level). The fort, in modern times, is maintained and administered by the Archaeological Survey of India.The fort is one of the prominent tourist destinations in Perambalur.

History[edit]

A view of the fort from the top showing fort walls and a moat
A view of the fort from the top

The fort is called Ranjankudikottai and also referred as Nanjankudikottai. The old premises is believed to have been housing Hindu temples dedicated to Shiva and Hanuman.[1][2] The fort is believed to have been constructed by Jagridar of the Nawab of Carnatic during the 17th century. The fort was the scene of the Battle of Valikondah during 1751. The British troops were supported by Mohammed Ali while the French were supported by Chanda Sahib. Though the battle is called by the nearby village Valikondah, it was fought in the fort. While the French won the initial battle, the British ended up winning the final battle with the help of local Muslims.[3]

In May of 1752, the fort was also the scene of surrender of French troops under D'Auteuil, which was sent to relieve the garrison at Srirangam. D'Auteuil was posted in Uttatur and was fended off by the British troops lead by Dalton on May 9th. He retreated to Ranjankudi, where the Jagirthar took the side of the British and denied entry to the French troops to the upper level of the fort. D'Auteuil surrendered in the fort.[4]

The fort was located in a strategic position during the colonial times, away from the Tiruchirappalli Rockfort. The fort, in modern times, is maintained and administered by the Archaeological Survey of India.[1][5][6]

Architecture[edit]

The fort is located 22 km (14 mi) north of Perambalur in NH 45 in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is located 253 km (157 mi) away from the state capital Chennai and 70 km (43 mi) from Trichy. The fort is oblong in shape with semicircular bastions and a moat encircling it. There are three fortifications at different levels, built with cut stone blocks. The lower bastion is the main rampart surrounded by mud wall. The open ground known as Pettai is approached through a flight of steps, which was once a battlefield. The top-tier is called Kottai Medu, used as guarding towers by soldiers and housing cannons. The small water body in the fort is believed to have been used by the Nawab as swimming pool. The fort has a palace, residence buildings, underground chamber and an underground passage that links Pettai with Kottai Medu. The pit in the centre of the fort was used as a prison for male prisoners while female prisoners were jailed in small blocks inside the fort. As per J. Raja Mohamed, an epigraphist and former curator of Government Museum, the fort culminated Mughal Architecture in the region as it was built by Sher Khan Lodi. It is also believed that he introduced cotton cultivation in the region, which is continued in modern times.[3][7] The fort is one of the prominent tourist destinations in Perambalur.[8][9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Basu, Soma; M., Balaganessin (31 November 2005). "Once the French and British fought for this fort". The Hindu. Retrieved 2013-09-09. 
  2. ^ Sewell, Robert (1882). Lists of the Antiquarian Remains in the Presidency of Madras, Volume 1. Madras, India : Presidency: E. Keys, at the Government Press. p. 263. 
  3. ^ a b M., Balaganessin (10 April 2012). "Once the French and British fought for this fort". The Hindu. Retrieved 2013-09-09. 
  4. ^ Madras district gazetteers 1. Madras (India : State): Superintendent, Government Press. 1907. pp. 303–305. 
  5. ^ "Alphabetical List of Monuments – Tamil Nadu". Archaeological Survey of India. 2011. 
  6. ^ Archaeological Survey of India; G. R. Thursby (1902–03). Annual report of the Archaeological Department, Southern Circle, Madras. Madras: Government Press. p. 26. 
  7. ^ "Ranjankudi Fort". Perambalur District Administration. Retrieved 2013-09-09. 
  8. ^ "Places of interest in Perambalur". Perambalur municipality. 2011. Retrieved 2013-09-09. 
  9. ^ Panikker, Rohit (25 October 2013). "4 Must-visit forts in Tamil Nadu". The Times of India. Retrieved 2013-09-09. 

External[edit]