Thursday, November 26, 2009

Up to Rajagiri Temple, Gingee Fort

The steps began leading us around the hill and slightly down, only to rebound and move upward once again. Nearing the top, I had a great view of the surrounding countryside. In the rice paddies below the colorful saris of women bent over in the fields created a curved line. In another, a farmer herded his yoked pair of cattle through the brown earth.

After walking over a wooden bridge through a natural moat and then through a mandapa (pillared hall), I was now at the top of the hill. Here one could find the main citadel, a Hindu temple and several related structures, granary, and several smaller buildings. Compared to the buildings on Gingee Fort’s Krishnagiri Hill, these were very plain. Hanging from a tree were some colorful rags as well as some rocks tied to the tree. Some bangles were also attached. Our conjecture was that these were fertility-related. Just down a small path from the citadel was another canon. From here, I had a panormaic view of the Kalyana Mahal and other structures at the foot of the hill, Krishnagiri Hill and the wall snaking up the rocky hill, Chandrayandurg Hill with its smaller structure on top, the modern town in the distance, and of course lots of paddy fields. I could hear the Call to Prayer, a reminder that some of its citizens are descendants of the Mughals who once dominated the region. 

Overhead, the dark clouds began to form. Occasionally a few sprinkles cooled us. After a quick look inside a granary at the base of the hill, we drove over to the Venkataramana Temple and then proceeded towards Chennai. Our day trip had drawn to a close.

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