History of Rayadurga Fort
Rayadurga Fort was a strongly fortified defensive structure of Rayadurg Palegar, the native king who ruled over the fort and the region during the Vijayanagar rule. After the battle of ‘Rakshasa Tangadi’, the Bedars regained the place, but were again driven out after some time by ‘Koneti Nayaka’. His son ‘Venkatapati Nayaka’ who had differences with the ‘Palegar’ of Chittaldurg greatly strengthened the fortifications. Eventually Tipu Sultan, the ruler of the Kingdom of Mysore occupied Rayadurga Fort. He included the fortress as a part of the Gooty province. The Rayadurga town was developed at the foot of hill on which the fortress was built.
Structure of Rayadurga Fort
The Rayadurga Fort has four caves located on the slope of the hill which contains stone doors and carvings of "Siddhas". The fort of Rayadurga includes a number of Hindu temples that are devoted to Elamma, Lord Hanuman and Narashimhaswamy. There are some other temples in the vicinity, such as "Kanyakaparameswari", "Veerabhadra", "Jambukeswara", "Venugopala" and "Prasanna Venkateswara". "Dasabhuja Ganapati", a statue of Lord Ganesha with ten shoulders is also found in this fort. It was carved out from a 4 m high monolithic stone. ‘Dasabhuja Ganapati’ statue is witness to the beautiful "Shilpakala" of olden days.
Present Scenario of Rayadurga Fort
At present, most of Rayadurga Fort is in ruins and is being maintained by the Government of India. The region has been developed as a tourist destination. Some other tourist attractions are Kothi Konda, Akkamma Konda and Kalyandurg fort.
How to Reach Rayadurga Fort
The magnificent Rayadurga fort is 90 km from the district headquarters of Anantapur and is very well connected by road. The nearest airport is at Bengaluru which is at a distance of 262 km. There is a railway station at Rayadurga. The best time to visit Rayadurga Fort will be September to February.
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