History of Sidhout
In the olden days, the community of 'Siddhas' used to reside at this portion of the country, and they lived underneath the shade of trees referred to as 'vata' or Indian Banyan Tree. Banyan trees were plenty in number, during that point of time. Therefore, the name 'Sidhavata' due to the amalgamation of the words 'Sidhas' and 'Vata', which is simply referred to as 'Sidhout'. It is present enroute Kadapa-Badvel which can be approached via Bhakarapet, which is about 20 kms from Kadapa. Sidhout served as the district headquarters from the year 1807 till 1812. However due to its presence near Pennar River, Sidhout used to be the victim of floods and be deserted after getting affected by heavy floods. Therefore, Kadapa became the official district headquarters. The Sidhout Fort slipped into the control of the Archaeology Department of India in the year 1956 and attracts innumerable tourists. It is advised that the ideal time for visiting this Fort is during September and October. Several temples and mosques are also situated in this village, besides the Sidhout Fort.
Constructed during 1303 AD, Sidhout Fort occupies an area measuring 30 acres. Embellished pillars and gateways are present at both the ends of Sidhout Fort. The crown of the fort was decorated with carvings of Gajalakshmi. 17 square bastions are also existent in the premises of this ancient fort. One will come across an alternative passage-way which permits visitors to approach the fort even if the main gates of the fort are closed and this passage is believed to be the gateway to 'Dakshina Kashi'. Bala Brahma Temple, Siddheswara Temple, Ranganayaka Swamy Temple and Durga Temple are some temples which are also there inside the grounds of the fort.
Sidhout Fort was erected during the regime of King Varadha Raju, who is said to be the son-in-law of Sri Krishna Deva Raya and was only an ordinary mud fort when the region was ruled by 'Matti Rajulu'. Previously, it was a portion of the Udaigiri kingdom. Historical sources have affirmed that the second Venkatapathi Rayalu was supported by Matti Yellama Raju in numerous battles. It was for his constant cooperation that Sidhout Fort was offered to Matti Yellama Raju as a gift, apart from certain other palaces. Much later the fort was provided with a major facelift by Matti Anantha Raju who transformed this fort into 'Rock Fort'. Sidhout Fort was conquered later by Mir Jumla II, the commander of the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. Sidhout Fort was later captured by Aarkatu Nawabs who had occupied Sidhout village. During 1714, Abdul Nabi Khan, Sidhout was controlled by Kadapa. Eventually, Sidhout Fort passed into the control of the British East India Company in 1799.
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