Gingee Fort (35 km): The fortified town of Gingee is closely connected with the popular tradition of Raja Desingh, its renowned chief, and has a number of buildings and temples of great architectural value. The fortress consists of three strongly fortified hills. Rajagiri fort in the middle is the most important one. It was built by Ananda Konar. The northernmost, Chandrayandurg, is where the execution of criminals is said to have been done. The Venkataramanaswami Temple, Pattabhi Ramanana Swami Temple, the Kalyana Mahal, Gymnasium, Granaries, Annaikulam tank, shrine of Venugopala, etc., are the important monuments in the fort complex. The shrine of Komalakanni Amman on the way up to the Rajagiri hill is considered sacred to the people in the area. She is one of the seven guardian deities of the place and is also known as Senjiamman, from where the place gets its name -- Senji or Gingee. Animal sacrifice is done here on festival days. In the course of history, Gingee fort was occupied by the Vijayanagara Kings, the Bahmini and the Moghuls, the Marathas, the French and the English and, of course, the legendary Raja Desingh.
Visiting Hours: 9 am to 5 pm. Entrance Fee: Re. 0.50 (free on Fridays). Buses are available from Chennai, Tindivanam and Tiruvannamalai at regular frequencies.
Accommodation: Inspection Bungalow, Highways Department, Gingee
Reservation: Assistant Divisional Engineer, Highways Department, Gingee -604 202, Tourist Bungalow, Block Development Office, Gingee.
Reservation: Block Development Officer, Gingee-604 202.
For further Information on Gingee, contact the Conservation Assistant, Archaeological Survey of India, Gingee Fort.
Sathanur Dam (35 km): Located in a forest reserve, the dam is a scenic spot with breathtaking vistas of natural beauty. The dam has been built across two hillocks to impound the waters of Ponnaiyar River. A well laid out garden adjacent to the dam site, a miniature zoo, a crocodile farm, fish ponds and swimming pool make it a beautiful picnic
spot for tourists. The garden and the dam are illuminated on Saturdays and Sundays between 6 and 8 pm. Bus services are available from Tindivanam, Tiruvannamalai, Vellore and Salem. Accommodation: Project House and Quarters.
Reservation: Assistant Engineer, PWD, Sathanur Dam, North Arcot District.
Padaveedu (35 km): This village of temples has the remains of a 13th century palace of the Sambuvarayas, chieftains of the Chola Empire, nearby.
Tirukkoilur (36 km): A large temple dedicated to Ulagalantha Perumal is located here.