Apr 21, 2012

Huthridurga: North hill

Suryadeva says good morning near Magadi.

One of the many Kempegowda towers standing alone on a rocky hillock some where between Magadi and Donakuppe handpost.

We drive by villages and hamlets enjoying the fresh morning air. Durga wanted to touch this band of low-hanging mist :)

At Donakuppe, we asked for directions to Huthridurga. Turn right, first you get Yalagalavadi and then at Santepete as for Huthridurga. We turned right before Santepete driving past a hill but no sign of any ruins. Few ladies washing clothes in a pond told we had to drive little further from where we turned.

At Santepete, we found the road winding up Hutribetta. Now the fort is visible.

Suryadeva is blazing his way up the sky driving away mist.

The road went through Huthri village. The village is nestled in the valley formed between the two peaks of Huthribetta. We parked Deepak's Santro near the only school of this village. As usual i tried to find a guide. No such luck, everyone was busy. A young man gave directions pointing at the hill ...any help is welcome rather than no help at all. We stuffed our backpacks with breakfast items and water bottles.

Welcome to Hthridurga.

The outermost wall on this peak. Remains of a watch tower can be seen to the extreme left.

The climb is not very steep here. There's the second ring of fortification.

Looking back towards the way we just came. The white speck is our to be guide- Siddappa. When he caught up with us, he told us that freed himself from some work to show us around. Nice of Siddappa :) Nothing like a local showing us around. Huthri village is like a little baby between two pillows. We are climbing the North peak. The South peak, seen in the background seems wild.

Siddappa lead the way. Deepak and Gulli were lagging behind us. I guess this is the second gateway. Notice the fish motifs over the doorway?

In some ways, Huthridurga is similar to Gudibande fort ...the way rock formations are utilized to create gateways. The third gateway.

The hill has interesting flora. We saw few colorful butterflies too. More bastions and walls. We climb up steadily. Durga starts her raga ...I'm tired, go slow.

Another gateway. With a good rainy season most of this path would be blocked by bushy plants.

We pass by a small temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman. The terrain changes slightly ...it's more rocky and open now. We have climbed quite a bit. Durga was hungry now.

The penultimate gateway.

We decided to wait for Deepak and Gulli to catch up. Siddappa got busy gathering firewood. I noticed stoppers at the base of the walls- wedge-shaped stones driven into dead-holes. I do not remember seeing this anywhere else.

My idea was to breakfast at the summit but Durga refused to move. Siddappa was shy to join us, he kept himself  busy picking dry wood. On the way back he would pick them up ...enterprising character. Bread, cheese slices, better and peanut butter were on the menu. I took a few minutes off to climb up little for this picture.

I found these marks inscribed from where I took the picture. Look like some types of game boards. Perhaps the guards on-duty inscribed these to keep themselves entertained. A good way to stay alert too.

An ancient temple dedicated to Shiva. A user on Wikimapia has marked this temple as Sakareshwara Temple. I do not remember if Siddappa mentioned the name. A small Nandi lies abandoned near the steps leading up the rock on which the temple is situated. Water in the pond about 20' long and 8' wide was not really clean but Siddappa told that this water is used for rituals.

I explored a bit and found few ruins of living quarters for sentries. We go exploring further ...from here we could see two sheer cliffs. If not for Siddappa we would not have found the narrow concealed path between two massive rock  formations.

Back into the open again. More ruins of shelters. I wonder what that circular stone was being made beofre it was abandoned. A grinding stone? A wheel?

Few minutes back I was standing at the tip of the rock. The spot where I shot this picture is also close to another edge and another hidden path ...I located it.

Deepak, Durga and Gulli park themselves while I urge Siddappa to show more of this hill. These rocks form a rhino's nose.

Siddappa stand near the ruins of a rain water tank under construction.

Two rectangles embossed into a rock bed. That is a sign of a planned shelter. A rectangular pillar would stand in that depression.

A slowly crumbling remains of a watch tower.

Siddappa has gathered another load of firewood and I was ready to turn back. We regroup and retrace the path. On the way back  decided to go up that hill, even if it meant going alone. I went ahead alone leaving the group behind to take their own time climbing down.

One last look at the northern peak of Huthribetta. I guess this is pink granite. My wishes that no one ever thinks about carving up this beautiful place.

Google Map screenshot-

A - first gateway
B - second gateway
C - third gateway
D - fourth gateway
E - firth gateway
F - temple & pond
G - sheer cliff faces
H - narrow passage
J - rain water tank

Huthridurga Coordinates: 12°57'41"N   77°7'25"E


R Niranjan Das said...

Interesting place and nice photos.


Anonymous said...

this place was very beautyfull, and this place for my village so very nice.

Girish R said...

It Is My Birth Place also I am like is it Evergrren