May 17, 2014

Rayan-Palya fort

This fort was discovered while scanning the area flanking Krishna river near Narayanpur dam. The fort is close to Rayan-Palya village in Surpur talur of Yadgir district. The fort is about 5 kms from Rajan-Kollur's megalithic burial site.

November 26, 2014
I arrive at Rayan Palya around 4 PM and stop at the village square. As usual folks gave curious looks.. who are these strangers in our village. I asked directions to the fort and then if there's anyone who could take me there. As we spoke three boys walked into the square and an elderly man asked them to take me to the fort. Yes! The fort was about 1½ kms away, going by foot was the only option. A irrigation canal marks the village boundary, beyond it all wilderness.. rocky terrain dotted with ponds. The path we took was well tread by cattle. The fort, as you see here, having multiple levels is situated on a hillock next to a large pond.

At the fort entrance; my guides.. 16 year old. On the way to the fort Parashuram Devappa showed me a scar on his cheek which he got as a toddler in a road accident. It seems his village folks were travelling in a truck towards Belgaum to work in sugarcane fields. Just few days back i.e. November 2013, about 22 people from a nearby village were killed in a truck crash near Belgaum.

Parashuram Devappa | Parusharam Hanumanthraya | Basavaraj Kashyappa
Close to the fort entrance is a shrine which looks much older than the fort itself. This location characteristics of a prehistoric site.

Like any other fort Rayan-Palya fort has a number of gateways between the main entrance and the core. This particular gateway is concealed between a wall and a bastion.. like the curved entrances of Shivaji's forts.

A badly ruined gateway.

With every passing gateway we are climbing. Beyond the second gateway and the third gateway is a large open space surrounded by four watch tower at the edges.

The fort is not really wide, barely 100m at the widest point.

All watch towers are similar in size and architecture, looks like they are built during the same period.

Next to one of the watch towers was a small pit. The boys said it was a tunnel entrance which went beyond their village.

This is the third gateway. On the lintel are signs of Sun and Moon. It looks like the fort was part was under Nawab's control. The architecture is similar to gateways at Jaladurga fort.

A shrine at the top most level. The door is low and narrow. Only slim people can enter it.

This is the western tip, a very steep face of the hillock. The boys pointed out to a hillock with a cave shrine, quite popular in this area.

These boys are brave. The other side of the wall is also a 10'  drop.

In the foreground is a subterranean chamber with only one opening - this could be have been used to store food grains or weapons.

The pond looks like it could hold water through the year. In fact the surrounding area has lot of smaller ponds and streams. This pond actually sits in the path of a stream.

The short flight of steps leads to the top, probably the highest point of this fort.

The light green patch is paddy, irrigated by canals from Narayanpur dam. Paddy is a main crop in this area.

Yes, this indeed is the highest point. The fort walls are built of stone and mortar.. a recent construction.
Before we left the fort, the boys wanted to show a 'buttermilk churn'. I was wondering what it would be. Inside one of the bastions is a central support column with diverging flutes. Indeed the column looks like a upside down buttermilk churn :)

Our tour of Rayan Palya was done, we walked to the village. I thanked the boys, noted their address and promised to send pictures. Yes, I sent their photos several weeks later.

Rayan Palya fort coordinates: 16°20'47"N   76°26'26"E
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6 comments:

Nirdesh Singh said...

Siddeshwar,

Just like every village in Karnataka has an ancient temple, it seems every hill in Karnataka has a fort.

So how may forts have you seen so far in Karnataka?

Best Wishes

Nirdesh

siddeshwar said...

Hi Nirdesh, that's such a nice quote of yours. If not every hill, almost every group of hill has a fort. So far about 220 forts have been listed and I had the good fortune to visit about 120. 100 more to visit, the list keeps growing..

Cheers!

Aravind GJ said...

Siddeshwar,
A nice place and good narration. Amazing number of forts in Karnataka. Looking for your next escapades.

siddeshwar said...

Thank you Aravind.

Vinutha K R said...

Nice

siddeshwar said...

Thank you, Vinuta.