Next morning, I checked out of the hotel at around 8AM. I took an auto rickshaw to the main bus stand at Tiruvannamalai and boarded a Chennai bus. Gingee is a small town, about 39kms from Tiruvannamalai, on the way to Chennai. At Gingee, I took an auto rickshaw ride to the fort entrance, which is about 2 kms away. The drivers charge Rs 50 to take you there. I bought an entry ticket for Rs 15 and began my exploration of this incredible fort.
The fort complex comprises of three hills - Rajagiri, Krishnagiri and Chandrayandurg. I was climbing the Rajagiri hill. There are security guards until midway, so this place is safe to trek alone. At the summit, I met a bunch of youngsters who requested for some water. At first, considering my previous trek experience, earlier this year, I denied having any. Then, I corrected myself and offered them some water. I realised very quickly that I could not let one bad experience turn me bitter. These guys were really in need of water and by refusing to help them, I would have done something inhuman.
At the summit, I listened to Divenire by Ludovico Einaudi, as recommended by a good friend of mine. It was peaceful up there and a perfect place to listen to some soulful music.
Back at the base, I explored the fort a bit. Here are some of the images of what remains of this magnificent palace.
Kalayan Mahal -
Thousand Pillared Venkataramana temple -
I took an auto rickshaw ride back to the town and had lunch before heading back to Tiruvannamalai and then to Bangalore. This two day trip to Tiruvannamalai and Gingee fort was amazing with a good mix of spirituality, nature and history.
Trek Video -