Student Projects/The Swords Well

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The Swords well can be seen as a medieval warfare tactic.In the Telugu Reddi Rajas hill fortress of  Kondaveedu ,located in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh lies this popular yet mysterious site "Katthula bavi" which literally means swords well.This site is a temple as per the locals and is known as Shivalayam,Gopinadha temple, Katthula bavi(Swords well)and Cheekati koneru(Dark pond) among the masses.The site is specially designed to deceive and kill the enemies.

LOCATION[edit | edit source]

The temple is located in Kondaveedu fort which is in Kondaveedu village belonging to Chilakaluripet constituency of Guntur district, Andhra Pradesh. It is 5kms from Phirangipuram village and 30kms from Guntur city towards the west side of the district.[1]

HISTORY[edit | edit source]

As per the local tales and due to lack of accurate written evidence, the temple is assumed to be 700 year old, built-in the time of Vijayanagara Empire and some say it's as old as the Vijayanagara time, dating back to the 14th Century during the reign of Kondaveedu Reddi Rajas.[2]

STRUCTURE AND MECHANISM[edit | edit source]

The entrance of the temple structure is through a narrow gate leading to another dark room which is towards the left of  the entrance gate.And this dark room is a huge well with full of sharp swords and knifes pointing upwards.The well is very significantly structured that any one who falls into the well will not be  alive as their head and body will be instantly separated by the design and their bodies will slide through and get deposited inside a 60 feet underground vaccum.The well is dug and constructed in such a way that no noise will be heard outside the dark room. As per today the well is sealed and made into a room by the authorities and tourists can look through the grills to see this jaw opening strategical place.

TALES ASSOCIATED[edit | edit source]

The local knowledge says that the priest of the temple sided the Muslim rulers and betrayed the Reddy Raja by constructing the swords well.When the Raja came to the temple in order to have darshan of Shiva ,he had to go through the dark room being in an illusion that the way will lead to the sight of the God and fell inside the well and died.

Another popular legend also claims that the Brahmins were against the Reddi Rajas so they invited them for feast and when It was time to wash their hands the King and military commanders were led to this dark room and slowly one by one who ever went there died by falling into it.The well is no less a treacherous warfare strategy.

CONCLUSION[edit | edit source]

Under the same Reddi Rajas the great Gandikota also has a "Kattula koneru" translated as swords pond which is said to  be used for washing weapons after the battle, but due to lack of evidence we cannot determine if this was seriously used for the very same cause.We cannot either conclude if the swords well tactic was throughout the medieval era or not, but it is definitely a notable technique of the era which went unnoticed . Many doubts arise seeing this magnificently planned weapon if this war technique is absolutely a native tactic ,invented by the Brahmins of Reddi kingdom or purely a master sketch of the Sulthans,whose eyes fell on the Kondaveedu fort.

Whatever might be the local tales , the swords well cannot be reduced to a betrayal plan or just a ruins as seen in today's time, but it is worth creditable for it's an intelligently planned war art which is highly deceptive in nature, having a power to calmly kill hundreds.

  1. "Kondaveedu Fort, Amaravati - Timings, History, Best time to visit". Retrieved 2020-04-04.
  2. "Kattula Bavi in Kondaveedu Fort vandalised". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 2020-04-05.