JANGAON: Built in the 17th century, the Zaffargadh Fort in Jangaon district lies in a dilapidated condition. Cracks have begun to appear in the stone structure of the fortification bastions. Residents have asked the State government to start renovation works at the fort and develop it into a tourist spot. The Zaffargadh Fort was built by Zaffarudhaula, a subedar of the Golconda Nawabs, who was planning to become an independent ruler of the area. He constructed the impregnable fort to fortify his stance. However, he was killed before the entire fort could be completed.
Cracks have also appeared on the gateways and a portion of the walls, which connects the fort to another structure, has gaping holes. The Zaffargadh village is situated in the valley between the hills on the eastern and western sides. The villagers call the hills Chinnagutta and Peddagutta. The fort was constructed with stones having massive bastions and gateways at four corners of the fortifications with mounted iron cannons.
Three darwaza (inlets) — Khammam darwaza, Patnam darwaza and Hanamkonda darwaza — were constructed. A Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple is situated on Peddagutta. The State Archaeology Department has declared Zaffargadh Fort as an ancient monument and notified it as a protected structure under Section 30(1) of the State Archaeological and Remain Act, 1960. No efforts have been made to either protect or renovate the monument.
Speaking to Express, Ghanpur MLA Dr Thatikonda Rajaiah stated that the development of the fort and restoration works have begun. He explained that restoration works are being taken up in three phases. In the first phase, the renovation of Khammam darwaza will be carried out at a cost of Rs 44 lakh, while the restoration of Hanamkonda Darwaza will be completed at a cost of Rs 1.40 crore, he added. There are proposals to constructs roads and steps to the top of the hills at a cost of Rs 6 crore, while the road works have already started, Rajaiah added.
Plans for ropeway
MLA Dr Thatikonda Rajaiah said Tourism Department will start activities like trekking and rock climbing at the fort soon. “We have prepared a proposal for ropeway connecting the hills,” he added