April 30, 2011, it was around 5-30PM when I entered Bankapur fort.
An elderly gentleman taking a evening walk pointed out the directions to the ancient temple. People generally refer to any ancient temple as temple built by Jakanachari.
Bad luck, the gate was locked and nobody in sight. I went around the temple trying to get glimpses of the inside. No such luck, it was already dark inside.
I went exploring in search of fort wall. The fort wall (which is more of a mound of dirt) and the moat is densely covered by Jaaligida.
I did not bother to venture far. I could hear peacocks were calling each other. Bankapur fort is the second largest peacock sanctuary of India. The fort also houses an animal farm for breeding cattle and rabbits. But I was little disappointed for not getting to see fort walls.
Google Map screenshot of the fort.
A - Fort entrance
B - Tunnel
C - Garden & open-air museum
D - Nagareshwara temple
Back at the point where we met the elderly person, I stopped to check the little structure which is supposed to be the entrance of a tunnel linking Bankapur fort and Hangal. The stench inside was overpowering, I backed off.
These stone slabs have Halegannada inscription on them.
I'd never seen a donkey sculpture until this one. I wonder what the idea is. Normally Shivalinga adorns the position but here a standing donkey! Of course, I've never seen a donkey lying down.
A closer look st the text.
This image would give ideas for a scary video game character to game developers.
A passerby asked us to check out the sculptures in the garden. Couple of elephants.
Lord Ganesha and five female characters.
The garden has a small collection of ancient stone sculptures. Its a mix of both Hindu and Islamic works of arts.
Jain temple of Amminabhavi has similar images.
Incomplete image of a four-armed Devata.
It is said that Bankapur fort was under Kadambas of Banavasi, Gangas, Cholas, Rashtrakutas, Hoysalas, Chalukyas, Vijayanagar empire, Adilshahis, Hyder Ali & Tipu Sultan. The collection of art works of different time periods definitely indicates that.
These are the only structures which are recognizable as parts of a fort. We are are at the fort's only entrance as of now.
A bunch of kids confirmed there's no other structures in Bankapur like the ones in the background. We said bye to the kids and the fort.
We went in search of a restaurant and stumbled on this tomb. It's a beautiful structure but neglected.
Bankapur Fort Coordinates: 14°55'24"N 75°15'3"E