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Kalyana Mahal in Gingee Fort

The Kalyana Mahal, presumably the living quarters of the queens, is one of the most recognizable structures in the fort premises and exhibits Indo-Islamic architectural styles. The Maratha king Shivaji hailed Gingee Fort as the most impregnable fortress in India and the British called it the “Troy of the East”. It was declared a national monument in 1921 and is currently maintained by the Archaeological Survey of India.

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