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Vijayanagar Fort

Vijayanagar Fort is one of the most splendid and famous historical monuments of India. The largest and most powerful of southern kingdoms was Vijayanagar, which is often called a ‘forgotten empire’ as the city has now turned to ruins. This place is worth visiting for photo fanatics and history lovers.


This fort is situated in Vijayanagar city at Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu at a distance of 2 kilometers from the north eastern part of the Brihadeshwar Temple, also called Big Temple or the Boro Mandir.


It was the capital of Vijaynagar, and was once the largest empire in south India. This old city of India rivaled Rome in splendor during the reign of Krishnadevaraya 1509-29. Prince Harihara established the new city of Vijayanagar or City of Victory after his victory over the Hoysala kings and made it his capital in 1343. The ruins of city and fort have been often described as 'virtually a vast open-air museum of Hindu monuments in the Dravidian style of architecture' and it stretches upto 16 km.

This fort was built by Nayakar King Vijaya Raghava in order to safeguard the palace. Later, the fort was renovated by the Maratha Kings when they defeated the Nayakars during the early 1550 A.D. The Tanjavur Palace, Sangeetha Mahal, Tanjavur Art Gallery, Siva Ganga Garden and Saraswathi Mahal Library all lie within the fort. The purpose behind building the fort was to safeguard the palace against the enemies. Most of the fort has turned to ruins now. Only a part of it is open to the tourists.


There are a number of buildings of beautiful stone work on the eastern side of the main street. Then there is a large quadrangular courtyard of Tanjore Palace that ends up into a long corridor with pillars. At the end of this corridor, there is a small courtyard which finally opens up to a bay.

The atelier tower or vimana is 57 meters in its height and has 8 tiers. This tower served as the watchtower of the palace as well as the arsenal of the Thanjavur rulers. The alcazar was refurbished and broadcast by Maharaja Serfoji II forth with the armory. There are two Durbar Halls, one of the Nayaks and the other of the Marathas. The Raja Serfoji Saraswathi Mahal Library has a vast collection of more than 30,000 Indian and European manuscripts on palm leaf and paper.

Other Tourist Attractions

  • Ucchi Pillaiyar Temple
  • Rock Fort Temple
  • Thayumanavar Temple


There are more than 20 hotels near the Vijayanagar Fort.

Things to do around Vijayanagar Fort

Tourists can enjoy shopping as there are a number of shopping malls and good shopping market around the Vijayanagar Fort. There are a number of restaurants also.

How to Reach

By Air

The nearest airport to Vijayanagar Fort is Tiruchirapally Airport, which is 7 km away.

By Train

The nearest railway station to Vijayanagar Fort is Tiruchirapally train station junction which is 3 km away. Thanjavur to Tiruchirapally (Tamil Nadu) distance is 51 km and you can get there by train in just over 50 minutes. There are direct trains but no direct flights for this journey. There are 9 direct trains from Thanjavur to Tiruchirapally.

By Road

There are buses every 5 minutes from the bus stand 500 meters away from the Tiruchirapally JN train station. Regular bus services are available from Tiruchy to Madurai. It is well linked with other cities by private tourist buses as well. It is connected to Trivandrum, Kanyakumari, Madurai, Chennai and Bangalore.

You can take an auto-rickshaw, cycle-rickshaw or a tourist cab from the city center.

Best Time to Visit

October to March

Visit Timings

All days of the week from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM

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