Kondapalli Fort Kondapalli



Address : Ghat Road, Kondapalli

City/District : Kondapalli

State : Andhra Pradesh

Introduction

Kondapalli Fort, also locally known as Kondapalli Kota, is located in the Krishna district. Kondapalli fort is constructed by Musunuri Nayaks. Kondapalli Fort is located close to Vijayawada, the second largest city of Andhra Pradesh, India. It lies to the west of Kondapalli in the Krishna District, near Vijayawada.

Details

Kondapalli fort is constructed by Musunuri Nayakas. After fall of Musunuri Nayakas in 1370 AD, Reddies of Kondaveedu Reddy dynasty in 1370 AD occupied the fort. In the historic struggle for power for the throne of Orissa, Hamvira had to fight his brother Purushottam, who had succeeded to the throne after their father's death. He sought the help of the Bahmani Sultan in this war. He was successful in defeating his brother and occupied the throne of Orissa kingdom, in 1472. But in the bargain, he gave Kondapalli and Rajahmundry to the Bahmani Sultan. Subsequently, Purushottam defeated Hamvira in 1476 and occupied the throne of Orissa. But it is also said that in 1476, a revolution began at Kondapalli when there was famine in the Bahmani kingdom. The garrison of Kondapalli revolted and gave possession of the fort to "Hamer Oriya" or Hamvira.

Purushottam, once he became the king, tried to get back Kondapalli and Rajahmundry from the Bahmani Sultan III. But when he held siege over Rajamundry, for some unknown reason he signed a peace treaty with the Sultan, which resulted in souring of relations between Bahmani and Vijayanagar rulers, which resulted in minor battles. But in 1481, after the death of Sultan Mahammad, the Bahmani Sultanate was in disarray and taking advantage of this situation Purushottam fought with Mahmad Shah, the Sultan’s son, and took control of Rajahmundry and Kondapalli fort. Gajapati Purushottam Deva died in 1497 and was succeeded by his son Gajapati Prataprudra Deva.

In 1509, Gajapati Prataprudra Deva started a war against Krishnadevaraya of Vijayanagar Empire, but Gajapati had to retreat to the north to defend an attack by Sultan Allauddin Hussan Shah of Bengal. The consequence was that Krishnadevaraya had an easy victory over Kondapalli, which he occupied in June 1515. In the last war fought in 1519, Krishnadevaraya once again defeated the Orissa ruler. Since the Kondaveedu fortress was very strong, after three months siege of the fort, Krishnadevaraya had to personally direct the operations to get control of the fort. Following this war, Krishnadevaraya married Gajapati Prataprudra Deva’s daughter, Kalinga Kumari Jaganmohini. A treaty was also signed for restoring all land up to the southern boundary of the Krishna River to Orissa, which included Kondapalli.

But after the treaty with Vijayanagara emperor, between 1519 and 1525, Gajapati Prataprudra Deva had to defend his territory against invasion by Sultan Quli Qutab, the Sultan of Golkonda. But in the final assault, in 1531, Kondapalli came under the rule of Sultan of Golkonda. The war with Golkonda Sultans was continued by Govinda Bidyadhar, the new ruler of Orissa Kingdom who had succeeded Gajapati Prataprudra Deva (who died in 1533) but ended finally with a treaty with the Sultan.

The area came under Mughal rule in the 17th century. After the disintegration of the Mughal Empire in early 18th century, Nizam ul-Mulk, what later became the Nizam of Hyderabad declared independence and took the area under its control. In the late 18th century, the area was still under the Nizam’s rule, a treaty of alliance was signed between Nizam Ali and the British East India Company recognizing the control of the British over the territory. This treaty was initially signed on 12 November 1766 under which the company in return for the grant of the territory agreed to garrison troops in the fort for Nizam’s aid at an annual cost of 90,000 pounds. It is also stated that in 1766 the British, under General Caillaud, stormed the fort and took control of it.

A second treaty was signed on 1 March 1768, under which the Nizam recognized the grant provided to the British by Mughal ruler Shah Alam. But, as a gesture of friendship, the British (then the East India Company) agreed to pay an allowance of 50,000 pounds to the Nizam. However, in 1823, the East India Company rested total control of the Sarcars under an outright purchase from the Nizam.

In the initial years, the fort was used as a business center but after the British took over the fort in 1766 it was converted into a military training base.