Oct 13, 2012

Irkalghad fort

Irkalghad fort was discovered while exploring Wikimapia for routes from Koppal to Kanakagiri. The fort was unmarked. I marked the fort on Wikimapia and added it to my list of forts.

July 27, 2012
First stop for the day was at Gavimath at Koppal. Next was Irkalghad. The hill fort was in our view as we neared Irkalghad. We entered a small village, parked the car near the government school. A board near the school gate said Yelamageri. Irkalghad must on the other side of this hill. We made our way through the narrow streets of the village with people staring at us. Who are these people? Why have they come here? We found the way to the hill just near Hanuman temple.
A bastion on a boulder. This would have been a sentry post to guard fort's Southern side. The climb was not really steep.
Few minutes uphill trek, we reached the slope gave away to plateau. Rampart walls with gun slots. Boulders are well used as walls.

That's the curved entrance to Irkalghad fort. Of the forts I've visited two other Shivaji's forts featuring this security system are Yellurghad and Sindhudurg fort. The bastion to the left is the flag bastion.

Forts gate faces North. Some parts of the fort are damaged but most arts are well preserved. This monument needs care and protection.

View of the curved rampart wall and flag bastion.

View of the fort entrance from the flag bastion.

Space within the fort walls is another plateau at a slightly higher level. A stone lined tank to store rain water. Malatesh checks out the inside of the tank. It was dry except for some filthy looking water in one corner.

A shelter for sentries or a store room for arms and weapons.

Standing over the ruins of a watch tower at the highest point of the fort. More ruins of what looked like living quarters were scattered all over.

Steps to climb over the wall. The small chamber could be a toilet.

The Southern wall is built mostly between massive boulders with steep faces. A wrong step here can be dangerous here.

That's Neelappa, Malatesh and Mohan Mama check out the wall where I stood. The walls are well constructed, there's hardly any gap between the stones. What stone dressing technology did they possess to achieve this kind of precision?

I wonder how is any lives were lost building this wall. It's sitting right on the edge! Technology of that time made this wall stand intact for centuries. Amazing!

Malatesh engrossed in making videos. Some parts of the forts are crumbling. This could be the handiwork of treasure seekers or somebody who wanted to wreck havoc just for the heck of it.

Back at the water tank, we noticed few beautiful rock formations. The triangular rock at the right has a natural sunlight shelter.

Waterfall stains a rock face. I wonder is this rock was used as a watch tower..

Looking at the main entrance from the inside.

Back at the village, we met few elderly folks discussing some important matter. They did not mind the interruption. We spoke for some time but I could not get any information about the fort.

As we drove out of Irakalagada, we stopped to a take this picture. Imposing structure indeed.

Back home while working on the image I noticed a small cave (marked in a white box). We failed to notice it during the visit. Wonder what is; does it have a secret tunnel to the fort?

Our next destination was Kanakagiri but on the way we had a pleasant surprise :)

Irakalghad fort coordinates: 15°28'2"N   76°13'15"E

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