The fort was built within a thickly forested area which has a wealth of plant species which includes many medicinal herbs. The forest in the area of the Gandhari Fort is an important source for medicinal plants and has been suggested that the forest of the fort area be declared a Medicinal Plants Conservation Center.
History of Gandhari Fort
Gandhari Fort was built in the 12th century by the Gondu tribals with the help of the Kakatiya Kings of Warangal. Archaeological work suggests that construction of the fort begun as early as the Rashtrakuta era (prior to 1200 A.D.) and continued until 16th century. All the sculptures, gate and pillars were constructed in Kakatiya style. After Kakatiya Kings the fort was ruled by Shree Peddiraju Anantharaju. Later it was controlled by the Qutub Shahi Sultanate (1518–1687) and in 1656, by the ruler of Golconda; Musunuri Nayaks who united all Telugu nobles.
Structure of Gandhari Fort
Gandhari Fort has three main entrances which are carved out of stone. The fort contains idols of Kala Bhairava Swamy, Lord Shiva, Lord Ganesh and Lord Hanuman. There is an 8 foot tall Naga Sesha idol carved out of a single rock. There are three wells, which never dries up even during severe summer. The way to the fort atop the hill was built in such a way that horses and elephants could trek the hill.
Religious Significance of Gandhari Fort
Mahankali Jatara is conducted every year which attracts more than 10,000 people. Gandhari Maisamma Jatara takes place in the temple inside the fort of Gandhari for every 2 years and tribal people from Vindhya region join it.
Visiting Information of Gandhari Fort
It is 270 kilometres (157 mi) north east of the state capital, Hyderabad. The hillocks where the fort is situated are 3 km away from Bokkalagutta. Bokkalagutta is accessible from Mancherial–Bellampally by a road that is suitable for auto vehicles.