Penukonda as is said earlier, means a Big Hill . Penukonda fort is built on the top of the huge hillock and hence the name. The fort is a huge and imposing one overlooking the Penukonda town situated at its foot. There are seven citadels along the circumference of the fort. The entrance of the fort is marked by a huge gate called Yerramanchi Gate. Here you can see a tall idol of Lord Hanuman which is about 11 feet high.
The architecture of the fort is one of its kinds and was built such that it was most inaccessible to the enemies from every direction. Its location on the hill top with water full of crocodiles on all sides at the foot is worth appreciating the security system of those times. As found from some inscription at Kallodi in Mysore, Bukkaraya, a king of Vijayanagar Empire, had made way for the water to enter from Penna River to this town.
As you enter Penukonda fort and head your way, you will come across number of ruins and fragments of carved stones that speaks volumes about the glory of bygone era. Withstanding the rampage of time and attacks of adversaries are the Sher Khan Mosque (constructed in 1546), a former Hindu temple and Gagana Mahal, a palace built by the Vijayanagarans inside the fort. This Sher Khan Mosque has intricate carvings and resembles Hindu style of architect. This is considered as one of the important mosques of that place. Inside the fort you can see many prominent places still surviving the ravages of time and people. Few of those places are:
Gagana Mahal, the beautiful palace inside the fort was built in the year 1575 AD. Gagana Mahal has both Hindu and Islamic style of architecture. The arch, vaults and plaster decorations depicts the Islamic style while most of the palace resembles the structures at Hampi. This beautiful citadel stands as the existing evidence of royal patronage enjoyed by the kings and queens of by gone era. There are number of destroyed and fragmented carved stones found on the hill, which depicts the glory of the past.
Sri Ghanagiri Lakshmi Narasimha swami Temple:
This temple was built by the great Vijayanagaran king Sri Krishnadevaraya more than 500 years ago. It was a beautifully designed and constructed temple. However, the temple is in ruins now.
Sri Uttaradi Mutt:
The temple (Brindavan) of Sri Veda Vyasa Teertha Swamiji the disciple of Sri Raghottam Teertha Swamiji of Sri Uttaradi Mattham has a lot of prominence in this place. Inscriptions say that the swami was honoured and greatly respected by the King of Penukonda Raja Venkata Nayaka.