Belgaum fort, one of the oldest forts of Karnataka was originally built in 1204 CE by Jaya Raya (also called Bichi Raja) an ally of the Ratta Dynasty. The fort is strategically located on the edge of Western Ghats. The fort has high and thick walls surounded completely by a large moat. Close to the fort is a large pond called Kote Kere ~ fort's lake, perhaps it was an important source of water for residents of the fort. Within the fort are Hindu and Jain temples dating back to Hoysala period and also a mosque and dargah dating to Adil Shahi time. Also within the fort is Ramakrishna Ashram. Belgaum fort is associated with two great leaders of India; Swami Vivekananda had stayed at Ramakrishna Ashram in the year 1892 and Mahatma Gandhi was imprisoned here during the freedom struggle. Currently the fort houses civilian dwellings, a school, government offices, military offices, a monastery and places of worship.
October 5, 2013
It was 6 AM when we reached Belgaum, the city was wet after a overnight rain. By 6-15 we entered the fort through the western entrance.
Distant view of the gateway complex. The arched gateway is a long passage, on the left is a temple dedicated to Durga Devi. The temple is maintained by military men, hence it is named as Military Durga Devi Mandir. Photography is banned in there. All that decoration is due to Dasara celebration.
On the side is a small stairway to the fort wall and the gateway complex. This wall on the right is the front most part of the gateway complex. Two sets of solid wooden doors reinforced with steel strips and studs can still be seen. The enclosure between the two gateways would have been used to trap enemy forces.
|Polished pillars of Kamala Basadi|
Belaum fort coordinates: 15°51'29"N 74°31'27"E