It's been a long time wish to see this hill fort... since college days. I heard about Gajendragad Fort from my engineering classmate Abdul Wahab.
I was one a day-trip with one of my maternal uncles, places for the day were Nargund fort, Sudi, Gajendragad Fort, Naregal and Annigeri. At Nargund we saw Sri Venkateswara temple, had breakfast but skipped the fort. We stopped at Sudi to check out it's lovely temples. About 4 km to Gajendragad town, we stopped at Kalakalesawara temple for almost an hour. At Gajendragad, we had pass through the busy market street to reach the base of the hill. We parked the cab close to the Gorphade mansion, the only way to climb the hill is by foot. The steps leading up the hill looked daunting to mama, he stayed back in the cab.
It's been a while I'd climbed but I went up slow, almost non-stop.
The bastions. The entrance is hidden from this view.
Well used steps. I could see kids and ladies with baskets climbing. I wonder what's their interest was.
Lord Hanuman's idol in the small whitewashed temple about two-thirds way up.
Almost there. The other side of the hill.
That's the entrance to the fort.
Simple but lovely art decorates the doorway.
A five headed snake.
Two lions facing each other.
Architecture typical to temples and forts of Maharashtra. This fort was built during Chatrapathi Shivaji's reign. The Gorphades were the rulers of Gajendragad.
More art work.
Inscription in Marathi ...that's my guess.
Inside the fort, looking towards the gateway. I went up the steps.
A tank carved out in bed of rock. This would be used to store rain water for soldiers' use.
Elephant head. Gajendragad = Gajendra + gad = elephant + fort. Was it supposed to mean as the fort was as strong as an elephant? But what's the idea of this idol in the tank wall. There was no information available, not board or a guide I could see.
I went walking along the wall.
Stopping to admire the view.
Gorphade mansion which had seen better days. Even though it was sunny, I could not feel the heat much because of the constantly blowing wind.
I wonder how workers moved these heavy stones so close to the edges.
The wall went on and on. I'd had a light breakfast and was getting hungry now. I decided to cut my tour of the wall and headed towards the center which is more or less flat open field. The Durgah caught my attention. I prayed, paid some money to the care-taker and got a spoonful sugar as prasad. Now I know why people come here. Few Muslim ladies were picnicking in the shade of a small tree close by ...visitors to Durgah.
A little mosque.
Close to the Durgah was this Deepastamba. From here I could see Kalakaleswaar temple.
From the Durgah I walked towards some ruins which looked like a small fort within the fort. Probably it housed the commanding officer's residence and office. Another water tank carved out of the rock.
The inside of the fort with a fort.
Looks like work some art work was abandoned. I cannot stop marvelling at skill and talent to shape stones back then. I was getting more hungry with every passing moment. I decided to head back.
Another long time wish was to see wind mills real closely. This visit made that wish come true. I spoke to the shepherd from a village close to Belgaum. I was shooting a video, the shepherds dog happened to get into the view, he was so happy to see his dog in the video when I played it for him :)
I said bye to him and then to the fort. I descended much faster then I had ascended. Back at the car I got a good wash and then gulped down water and headed out of Gajendragad towards Naregal. Two dhabas we passed by were closed because of Deepawali. Great! We had control our hunger for another 30 minutes until we reached Naregal.
Gajendragad Fort videos.
Gajendragad Fort Coordinates: 15°44'28"N 75°57'55"E