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Forgotten Past of Andhra Pradesh’s Adoni Fort

Adoni Fort (1809) Painting by Benjamin Swain Ward/ British Library
(KC Kalkura)
The hillfort is situated on five rocky granite hills near Adoni , Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh. It is thought to have been founded by 1200 AD during the reign of Chalukyas of Kalyani. And later came into the medieval kingdom of Vijayanagar which flourished from the 14th to the 16th centuries. The fort later became the stronghold of the Muslim kings of the Adil Shahi dynasty of Bijapur and Golconda.
 The fort served as a military base and its walls stretch over 50 kilometers in length, making it the largest fort in the country. The Adoni town in the past was known as Yadavagiri and which later became Adavani and Adoni.
After the downfall of the Vijayanagara empire, the fort was possessed by the Bijapur Sultanate and later, after the defeat of Tipu Sultan, came under Nizam, who ceded the region to the British under the subsidiary alliance.
 After the Chalukyas of Kalyani, Adoni passed into the hands of the Yadavas of Devagiri. An inscription at Baswakodu dated 1278 A.D. belonging to the reign of Yadava Ramachandradeva states that a certain Kavitalla Bhimadeva was ruling over Adoni as a feudatory of Ramachandra.  It then passed into the hands of Kakatiya Pratapa Rudradeva when Gonavithala, brother of Gonnareddi commander of Prataparudra, captured Adoni.
It is said that  Adoni became the headquarters of the border province of the Vijayanagara and helped them expand their empire. According to some Sangama inscriptions, Harihara-I ruled from Adoni with Gutti as his Nelavidu.  In 1568 A.D. after the fall of Vijayanagara, in the Tallikota battle, Ali Adilsha of Bijapur invaded it.
Adoni remained under the Muhammadan rulers of the Deccan with varying fortunes. In 1690 the fort was captured by Aurangzeb and in the late 18th century, it came to the Raja of Mysore, Tipu Sultan, and later to Nizams of Hyderabad before it was ceded to the British in 1800.
KC Kalkura
(KC Kalkura is an advocate from Kurnool Ph: 9440292979)