Gooty Fort - Andhra Pradesh

Gooty (pronounced 'Gutti') is a census town in Anantapur district in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. The history of Gooty dates back to the 7th century when it was previously known as Gowthamapuri. The region of Gooty was first under the rule of king Ashoka and there is a Minor Rock Edict in Yerraguda (6 km from Gooty). In the subsequent centuries Gooty was under the rule of Sri Krishnadevaraya's Vijayanagara empire. The Pemmasani Nayaks of Gandikota controlled Gooty as subordinates of Vijayanagar kings. Later, it came under the control of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan of the Kingdom of Mysore.

As of 2001 India census,[1] Gooty had a population of 43,387. Males constitute 51% of the population and females 49%. Gooty has an average literacy rate of 65%, higher than the national average of 59.5%: male literacy is 74%, and female literacy is 55%. In Gooty, 12% of the population is under 6 years of age.

The town has one of the oldest hill forts of Andhra Pradesh. The earliest inscriptions are in Kannada and Sanskrit, and are assigned to about the 7th century. An inscription refers to a fort, 'Gadha', while an inscription of Bukka, the Vijayanagar monarch, refers to it as the 'King of Forts'. The Marathas under Murari Rao conquered it. As per District gazetteer of Tiruchinapalli, Gooty Fort was under Subedar of Trichy Fort.
The 'Gooty Kaifiyat' records that this fort was captured by Mir Jumla and was subsequently under the charge of Qutub Shahi chiefs. It was taken over by Hyder Ali in 1773 and eventually fell into the British hands. The British Col. Browser, who attacked and finally took over the fort, found it to be commanded by a Zeruwar Khan, a Brahmin who became Muslim. The fort is situated at a height of 300m above the plains in Gooty.
The citadel of the fort is constructed on the westernmost circle of hillocks. It is a huge precipitous mass of bare rock and towers over the adjacent ones.
The fort is approached by a paved path leading first to an outlying spur strongly fortified and known in former days as 'Mar Gooty'. After passing through the fortifications, the pathway winds upward round steep sides of huge rock and reaches the summit where the citadel or 'qila' is situated.
The fort is built in shape of a shell and having 15 forts with 15 main doors ('Mukhadwaralu'). The fortifications include a series of walls connected by 14 gateways flanked by bastions. None of the buildings in the fort is of any architectural importance. There are two edifices, apparently a gymnasium and a powder magazine, and a small pavilion of polished lime stone called Morari Rao's seat, on the edge of the cliff. This commands excellent view of the town below and is said to have been a favourite resort of Morari Rao. There are also number of wells in the clefts of the rock. One of them is believed to have been connected with a stream at the foot of the hill.