Jan 12, 2013

Mulbagilu Fort

When I told Amma about our plan to visit Mulbagal fort, she made a face; Mulbagal!? Say Mulbagilu! The name comes from the word Mundinabagilu. An online source says that Mulbagilu was known as Shathaka Vatipuri.

August 17, 2012

I'm stepping into Kolar after many years. On the itinerary for the day were several forts of Kolar district; Mulbagilu Kote, Virupaksha-Guttahalli Kote, Avani Kote, Mandikal, Kote, Kaki Bise Gowda Kote, Kurudumale Kote and Budi Kote. My plan was to start the day with Mulbagal fort because it involved some climbing. After breakfast at Mulbagilu town, we started our climb at the trodden path starting near Subramanya Swamy temple. The hill as it is looks tough to climb, luckily a young man visiting a temple near by asked us to start at Subramanya temple, he said there are steps going up to the fort.
This is the South face of Mulbagilu Betta. A long way up. A bastion can be seen at the top.
This rock looks like Kiwi bird. Notice the base of the rock, it looks as though its been welded to the rock below. From here we could see rough cut slabs fixed into the ground. It was easy to follow these stones rather than find the way on our own. The stones were really smooth, which indicates regular traffic in this path.
We climbed gradually, with Deepak and Gulli trailing behind. Here we have more developed steps made of granite slabs.
Made it, there's the fort entrance. The walls are well built, dressed stones are used here are tightly packed, there are no gaps between the stones.
I went exploring the sides, a careless step here can be quite dangerous.
Deepak and Gulli had reached the fort entrance, we regroup and enter the fort. We realized there was more climbing ahead of us but not much. You see the slop on the right? That's where i was minutes ago.
We had do a bit of exploring to find the way through the shrubs and then we reached the top. A pleasant surprise; a natural rock shelter. This was a kind of temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman. The climate in here was cool, Gulli collapses on the rock...
This shelter is something different; tall boulder have converged to form a nest under them. this shelter is multi-level; we could see another floor below the surface we were on. A very complex structure this is. See Gulli, he's enjoying the break on the rock.. lying down there he was ecstatic :)
I climbed out through an exit behind Gulli, to explore the surroundings. Deepak got busy with his camera.. he must have found some insects. A pair of massive boulders on my left caught my attention. Boulder on the left had steps carved into it and the one on right had a brick and mortar structure on the top. So that's the highest point of this fort. But how do I climb up?
The gap between the rocks was actually the path to the top of the right boulder.This gap was barely 2' wide. Perhaps these two rocks were one single rock ages ago.if you see the gap it's uniform, right from the base almost to the top. Behind me is a stack of boulders positioned like rough steps.The first step was about 4' high, we climbed up one at a time helping each other with our bags.
The top most was a narrow gap which opened to the sky. Wow, what an adventurous climb that was. In the photo below, notice the area within the circle. You see the narrow opening? That's where we climbed out from.
A small mantapa, its actually a shrine.
Deity missing :(
That's the Northern face.Mulbagirlu town is to our right. We must have sat here fifteen minutes, it was nice feeling sitting high up. We could see and hear traffic on the highway. Sun was up and glaring down fiercely. We decided to descend, still have to explore the other half the fort.
Again I was the first to go down. Deepak and Gulli waiting for me clear the space. Landings were just enough for one person.
Deepak and Gulli coming out the gully :)

This half of the hill has lot of ruins, difficult to say if these are were damaged or incomplete structures. The spot I'm on is a good sentry point. the place has a small flat surface with a rock shelter.
This is the northern wall with a bastion at the corner. The wall extends an equal distance behind me. Every man-made structure.here is in ruins; a small shrine, two water tanks, walls, bastions.. We could have climbed down here but again the walk back to the car  will be a long one.
Gulli inspects the green colored water in the tank.
That's the rock we climbed some time back. Notice the crack is through. We went to the base of those rocks. To the left, at the base of the rock is a natural shelter. We sat in the shade and gulped water. Few minutes later I went through the gap between the rocks, i wanted to see if there's a way up from this side too. But the gap was too narrow, in fact I had to go side ways and I was touching both walls! That's it, I can't go any further.
A water tank.
This fort could have history dating back to Hoysala period. That's my guess because Hoysala capital Kurudumale is just 4.5 km to the north. Deepak and Gulli in the fort entrance.
We had to be extra careful placing our steps, rocks are more slippery when warm, yet we descended pretty fast. At Subramanya Swamy temple we could see people and hear chanting from the temple, a ritual was in progress. We washed at the temple tap and cooled off.. aaaahh!

We conquered another fort hill :) Next on the list were Virupaksha and Avani, 2 kms & 10 kms south of Mulbagilu.

Mulbagirlu Fort Coordinates: 13°10'12"N   78°22'49"E

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1 comment:

Team G Square said...

lovely fort.Should explore it in sometime.