Vizianagaram Fort

The historic fort of the Maharajah of Vizianagaram dates back to some centuries ago. A thick and high protecting wall encircles the fort. A deep and wide moat was also dug around the fort to keep enemies at bay. The water for the moat was drawn from a big pond which was known as ‘Pedda Cheruvu’. Till the late 1940s, the rulers continued the age-old tradition of ‘Nagaara’ (beating of huge drums and blowing of trumpets) from the top of the fort’s entrance which was otherwise called as ‘Buruju’. The tradition was nothing but a wake up call for all the staff members inside and outside the fort, early in the morning. A big and circular bronze bell was also sounded on an hourly basis with the help of wooden hammer throughout the day to announce the time. The most exhilarating and pleasant sight was the change of guards, which was known as ‘Kavathu’. It was performed by a group of fully uniformed soldiers with arms and it resembled the change of guard ceremony in Buckingham Palace. (Contributed by B.V. Ramamurty) “Veera Bobilli” The first ruler of Bobbili was Pedda Rayudu who was the 15th descendant of the Rajas of Venkatagiri. He came to the area as part of the contingent of the then Golconda Fauzdar Sher (Tiger) Mohammad Khan. He founded the town, built a fort and named it Pedda Puli (Big Tiger) after the name of his patron. With the passage of time, the name was corrupted to Pebbuli, Bebbuli and finally Bobbili.

The town was almost wiped out during the war against Vizianagaram which ended with the tragic massacre of its people. Because of the exhibit of valour by the natives in the war, the name Bobbili conjures up an image of valour, self-respect and sacrifice. Interestingly, in the parlance of railways and telegraph department, Bobbili is still referred to as "Veera Bobbili" (Brave Bobbili).

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