History of Tiruchirapalli Fort
The Tiruchirapalli Fort and the town were erected during the rule of King Viswanatha Nayaka of Madurai in 1559. Choka Nayaka, the grandson of Viswanatha, made Tiruchirapalli as the capital of the kingdom. During the middle of 18th century, the region served as the centre for the conflicts between the army of the French East India Company and the forces of the British East India Company. The fort and the town also played a significant role during the Anglo Mysore Wars. During this period, the fort was damaged to a great extent.
Tiruchirapalli Fort served as the capital of the Madurai Nayak Dynasty. The fort was strategically utilized during the Battle of Toppur between the Madurai Nayaks and the Aravidu Dynasty of Vijayanagar Empire. The Madurai Nayaks also fought against attacks from the Maratha forces, the Adil Shahi dynasty and the rulers of Mysore.
Chanda Sahib, the Nawab of the Carnatic from 1749 to 1752, captured the fort with support from the French forces. Later he was defeated by the army of the British East India Company and was compelled to surrender the territory to the British administration. The region was established as a Cantonment town by the late 18th century. The primary entrance of the fort was named as the Main Guard Gate.
Architecture of Tiruchirapalli Fort
The Tiruchirapalli Fort depicts Dravidian architectural style. The fort was renovated by the Nayaks of Madurai. The structure includes several monuments in the premises. The Main Guard Gate was one of the primary gateways of the fortress. The fort included several temples, a palace, a lake and markets. There are many temples in the vicinity, such as, Manikka Vinayakar temple which is devoted to Lord Ganesha; Ucchi Pillayar Temple atop the hill, also devoted to Lord Ganesha; Rock Fort Temple and the Taayumaanavar Koyil Shivastalam temple.
There is also a pavilion and a tank which were built by Viswanatha Nayaka of Madurai. These were mainly used to conduct religious ceremonies. Near the tank, a mosque is situated which was founded by a Nawab of Arcot. Apart from these, a palace is located in the area that was constructed by Chokkanatha Nayak in mid-17th-century.
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