Oct 15, 2013

Bellary fort - part 2

..article continues from Bellary fort - part 1.

While at this bastion on the western wall, I was thinking what route to take- go along the outer wall C or take the shorter path along wall D.


inner wall marked as D in the diagram
This space has the looks of a prehistoric site because of the presence of few shelters. The largest shelter is a shrine marked by white-ocher stripes. I took a long look at the stairway going along the outer wall. Finally I decide to go along the outer wall, let me see as much as possible.

space between outer wall C and inner wall D.
What a sight! I just descended by those flights of steps. It was as good as coming half way down the hill.

I took a short break down here, changed the memory card in my Canon. Wonder in how many years designing, planning and construction took. 5 years? 10 years?

Looking back towards the walls and the bastion where the walls converge. I fell in love with those flights of steps.. looks like a stairway to heaven. This is another major source of water for this fort.

The rock-shelter shrine. Nearby was a boulder with a polished shallow pit (see inset). I guess it has a relation to the shrine, must have been used to grind something.

I move on, ascending towards the next major bastion where the outer and inner walls converge. As I got closer to the bastion there was no sign of any entrance. Hmm.. what if there's no path? No, there will be one. For a fort of this size, not having a gateway here is not realistic. When I reached the bastion and went around it.. yes, there was the standard curved pathway (see inset). The gateway is neatly hidden when seen from a distance.

It was pretty warm now and the comfort of shade was gone. Ravi and Malatesh, my companions were no where in sight. I saw them on one of the bastions at the top 45 minutes back. Anyway, we'll catch up soon.

My walk along the northern wall starts from this point... to the left.
Here are several small temples, all in the state of ruins. Also there are several ponds. I wonder if these temples existed much before the fort came into existence.

I meet Malatesh and Ravi here. Our paths were opposing and I knew Malatesh was tired. He already had finished a pack of glucose and gulped down water. Barely 9 AM the heat was catching on. Also, the hectic schedule of past 3 days had sapped our energies.

Builders had considered various requirements of army personal. This is a sentry nest on the wall at the end of a ramp. Such a shelter is required during rainy season. Just next to this wall is a natural pond, not much of water left in it.

This is one of the many ramps of Bellary fort. This is a sign of usage of cannons. Gudibande is another fort with many ramps and similar bastions.

Bellary Gudda is unique in its own way; while the western side is monolithic rock surface, the eastern side is a pile of rocks. View of the fort area in the plains below.
Sign of Bellary comes into view- the bastion with Indian flag painted on it. That flag is visible clearly from the city.

Finally I make to the inner fort, the core. The sights bring back memories of my earlier visit and i could not wait to see the bastion again, just as I'd seen it more than a decade ago. There it is. That bastion is really large.. the outer diameter is nearly 100 feet.

A delicately balanced rock formations sits just outside the core fort. In the background is the top part of Kumbara Gudda. That hill is definitely taller than Bellary Gudda - a security risk.

The core is packed with this structure which might have been used as a treasury and commander's quarters.

The natural ponds. Back then these ponds would be maintained so that water remained fresh always.

The structure seen from another side. Looks like construction was never completed. View of the

This place must have been bustling with activity... military personal, politicians, royal members and servants.

We had spent two hours exploring this formidable fort. In fact the tour was a hurried one. With the Sun blazing down temperature will shoot up now. We decide to head back now. A temple structure without a deity.

We all regroup at the main entrance, rest for a while before descending.

Bellary fort is surely one of the largest hill forts in Karnataka. I think Bellary fort, Madhugiri fort and Yadgiri fort can be placed in one class. Do read the Wikipedia page on Bellary fort, it seems to have  interesting info.

Coordinates: 15°8'55"N   76°54'37"E
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