Khammam fort is a hill fortification occupying an area of 4 sq. km located on Stambhadri hill in the middle of the Khammam town. The fort holds historical significance not only for Khammam town, but also for the state of Telangana. The majestic fort represents the pride of past rulers atop a hill which represents a blend of various architectural styles. Khammam fort was believed to have been built by rulers of various dynasties at different times. The fort was constructed initially during the 12th century by the great Kakatiya rulers. The kings Velama and Musunuri Nayak were believed to have been involved in its construction and in the year 1531, the Qutub Shahi kings started developing the Khammam Fort.
History of Khammam Fort
The inner fortification features cyclopean walls at two levels with bastions. Sitab Khan (Sitapati) made Khammam as his second capital. In 1516 A.D Qutub Shahis captured Khammam fort defeating Sitab Khan. Zafaruddaulah (1716-1803) then became the taluqdar of Khammam and built a Mahal on the fort. This fort was repaired and renovated during the period of Asafjahis with the help of French Engineers. There is an undated inscription in Telugu prose carved on the stonewall to the right side of the main entrance to this fort.
There are several mandapas and temples inside the fort. It also has a Masjid and Mahal including Ashoor Khanas constructed during Nizam period. The fort also houses several cannons that were used in the wars during Kakatiya & Qutb Shahi period.
Nelakondapalli is well known for its Buddhist legacy identity. Buddhist Stupa locally termed as Viratraju Gadde or Erradibba is located in between Nelakondapalli and Mujjigudem villages. Excavations brought to light a Mahastupa, Monastic complex and other objects such as miniature Votive Stupa, a Bronze icon of Avalokitesvara, Idols of Buddha besides Pottery, Beads and Bangles and Coins of Ikshvaku and Vishnukundini periods dating back to 3rd – 4th Century A.D.
The excavations here have unearthed a Vihara complex which is located nearby to the Mahastupa including a Chatusshala type of Vihara complex having hundred cells with a spacious cultural courtyard, wherein the foundations of the Vihara has an entrance way on the eastern side.
The plan of the Stupa consists of a series of concentric circular walls of brick, cut across by radiating spokes starting from the massive central hub of 36 ft in diameter. The main components are lower pradakshina pitha, circular drum (vedica) with ayaka platforms and a dome. The total diameter of the Stupa is 170 ft. and its present height is 46 ft and the conjectural total height is around 54 ft. The size of the bricks used for the Stupa is 50 x 25 x 7.5 cms.