Palace Area information
Chandragiri Fort, 15km west of Tirupati, probably dates back 1000 years but its heyday came in the late 16th century when the rulers of the declining Vijayanagar Empire, having fled from Hampi, made it their capital. At the heart of a 1.5km-long stout-walled enclosure at the foot of a rocky hill, the palace area contains nice gardens and the Raja Mahal, a heavily restored Vijayanagar palace, reminiscent of Hampi buildings, with a reasonably interesting museum of bronze and stone sculptures from southern and western Andhra Pradesh.
Also in the gardens, the Rani Mahal (Queen's Palace), despite its name, may have been elephant and horse stables. Frustratingly for the energetic, the upper fort on the hillside is out of bounds. Buses for Chandragiri (₹10) leave Tirupati hourly. Prepaid taxis are ₹500 return.