Gingee FortTamil Nadu
Historical | Scenic
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Also known as Senji Fort, this beautiful citadel is in Villupuram District of Tamil Nadu. It’s a must visit site for any traveler exploring Pondicherry as it’s located halfway between Pondicherry and Thiruvannamalai. Try to visit in the early mornings to avoid heat. Beware of monkeys. Clean and well maintained place. Be prepared to climb 1000 steps to reach the top.
A state with four thousand years cultural history, Tamil Nadu is an enthralling destination famed for its scenic hill stations, impressive temples, extensive coastlines, mouthwatering local cuisines and exciting wildlife. Also known for its dance, fine arts and music, Tamil Nadu attracts thousands of travel enthusiasts from every corner of the globe with 4.65 million foreign travelers every year! With a sprawling tourism industry of 16 percent annual growth rate, Tamil Nadu is many vacationers preferred choice!
Chennai is the capital city and surrounded by Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Located in southern India, Tamil Nadu is equally exciting for its carnatic music and movies being the largest center for film production in the country. The charming beaches like Marina and Rameshwaram make the stay in this vivacious land truly memorable for any beach lover!
Pongal, Karthigai Deepam, Mahamaham Festival, and other mosaic celebrations mark the culture and tradition of this vibrant state. Bharatnatyam is the popular dance form that illustrates the rich culture and history of this spectacular region with ecstasy! Take some in your hand while discovering this place with exquisite beauty!
Tamils like non-vegetarian as well as vegetarian cuisines a lot. A typical Tamil breakfast constitutes idli, dosa, Pongal, vada and upama. Some of the famous snack items include paniyaram, santhakai, uthappam etc. These are generally eaten along with sambar. Rice is the staple food of Tamil Nadu. There are different types of rice preparations are available like Lemon Rice, Tamarind Rice, Curd Rice etc.
In lunch, rasam, rice with sambar, spicy side curries and yogurt are a must! Some of the common vegetarian and non vegetarian dishes of Tamil Nadu include aviyal, kootu, thuvayal, kothsu, uppukandam, fish fry etc. Brahmins of Tamil Nadu usually prefer vegetarian delicacies while others love mutton, chicken, and spicy fish.
Filter coffee is the must-drink beverage of Tamil Nadu! Made from locally grown roasted beans, these filter coffee is famed for its exclusive aroma and taste! In addition, sugar cane juice and authentic coconut water are the other must try drinks of this place!
The land of magnificent festivals, Tamil Nadu has course of colorful celebrations all the year round! Some of the main festivals of this region include:
The New Year’s Day: This day is observed on mid April. Locally known as Puthandu, this auspicious day is marked by creating stunning rangolis or kolams at the entrance of houses. Tamils wear new dresses and eat local delicacies like manga pachadi made of mangoes and jaggery.
Thaipusam: This full moon day celebration is observed to rejoice the birth of Lord Subramaniam who is believed to be the youngest brother of Lord Shiva. A festival self-punishment and hardships, Tamils observe this festival with complete faith and devotion.
Pongal: Also known as the harvest festival, Pongal is celebrated for four days. Generally takes place in the month of January; people wear new clothes, decorate their houses, feed the cow and observe other rituals and performances with utmost care!
Karthigai Deepam: Observed to keep away from evils and greeting the good, Karthigai Deepam is commonly referred as the festival of lights. It takes place in November/December and celebrated for ten days.
Natyanjali Dance Festival: An ideal day for the dancers to offer their dances to the ultimate dance guru, the Nataraj! From various dance forms like Bharatnatyam, mohiniyattam etc, more than three to four hundred dancers participate in this spirited festival!
The state with venerable culture, Tamil Nadu music, dance, literature and art and crafts are immensely popular. With more than two thousand year literature, the literary works of Tamil Nadu is truly praiseworthy!
Bharatnatyam, mohiniyattam and Kuchipudi are the traditional dance forms highly praised worldwide. The classical south Indian carnatic music unlike north Indian Hindustani music is different and associated with this culture in an inseparable manner.
With an array of festivals and ritualistic practices, Tamils live and breathe festivals. Besides, the film industry of this state is one of the largest film production units in the country. Silabam is the traditional sport and martial arts and cricket is the popular game of this region like any other Indian state. Snooker, tennis and chess are equally popular among the locals.
Chennai, Kanyakumari, Mahabalipuram, Kodaikanal, Ooty, Tirunelveli, Vellore, Madurai and Coimbatore are the places which are must-visits to understand the actual cultural attributes of this fascinating state! Some of the must see include the Chola temple, monuments in Mahabalipuram and taking a ride in the Nilgiri Mountain Railway.
India’s cultural capital, Tamil Nadu is revered for its traditional handicrafts and art forms! Some of the most well known handiwork includes:
Stone carving: Ancient Tamil history has seen an immense brilliance in stone carving art form. Granite figurines, statues and temple works showcase this handicraft in an excellent manner!
Jewelry designing especially stone-encrusted trinkets and charms like nose ring, anklets, earrings, bracelets etc. is an ancient art form of Tamil Nadu.
Woodcraft is another traditional art form made of cane, bamboo, palm, reeds and fibers. Baskets, ropes, bags, mats etc are made of woodcraft.
Paintings of Tanjore are an art form which holds a significant place in Tamil history. Mica, wood, glass and ivory are used these paintings. Images of Gopal or child Krishna is famous in this artistry!
Manufacturing musical instruments like Veena, flute etc is yet another important handicraft of this mesmeric land!
Tamil Nadu has many emporiums. In addition, Burma Bazaar in Chennai, stores in Madurai, Khadi craft store in Chidambaram and Mamallapuram are the main shopping hub of this region.
Tamil is the most widely spoken and official language of this place. Many understand English as it’s the next official language; their heavily accented English at times creates bit difficulty for outsiders and international travelers in understanding. Other languages like Telegu, Urdu, Kannada, Malayalam and Marathi are spoken in varying ratios.
By Train: Pondicherry and Tindivanam railway stations are the nearest rail heads.
By Air: Pondicherry airport is 11 kms and the closest airport to the destination. One may hire private cabs from the airport and railway station to visit Gingee Fort which takes approximately 1.5 hours.GET DIRECTION
One should carry plenty of water and light snack items.
From October till March are the best times for seeing the sights!
Mostly in ruins, this fort provides an incredible view from the top! Besides, king’s fort, Queens’s fort, lush greenery and Rajagiri and Krishnagiri hills surrounding the region, the huge marriage hall, prison cells, granary, temples and sacred pond inside the fort are the other attractions of the fort!
Goubert Marketplace: It’s one of the busiest market places in Pondicherry!