Apr 14, 2012

Sonda Fort

Feb 10, 2012.

After a typical Uttara Kannada wedding meal at Kavdikeri temple, I head to Sonda. Veena and her cousin Mahesh agree to join the trip. We take a interior road connecting Kavdikere to Yellapur-Sirsi road. While the ride on interior road was bumpy, ride on Yellapur-Sirsi road was a breeze. About 6kms before Sirsi, there's a fork, a board lists out several places of historical and religious importance in and around Sonda.

Places listed on the board-
  • Sonda Fort - 1km
  • Sri Sonda Swarnavalli Mahasamsthan - 3km
  • Sri Venkatraman Temple Mattinakere - 3km
  • Sri Jain Math - 5km
  • Sri Sode Vadirajmath - 6km
  • Sri Shankar Narayan Temple Haleyour - 5km
  • Sri Pete Venkatraman Temple Hulase Honda - 6km
  • Sri Gaddige Mane Badalakoppa - 5km
  • Sri Akalankara Nishidhi - 5km
  • Sri Mahantera Math - 5km
  • Birds Sanctuary Mundigekere - 5km

We had time enough to visit Vadiraja Matha and Sonda fort. We miss the path to the fort and reach Sonda Matha. Mahesh was our guide here. This is a Vaishnava Matha, a school for training boys in Vedas. Inside the Matha, we saw several students practicing mantras. Mahesh took us to a large hall in one of the annex buildings. Inside the hall was a collection of wooden tools and implements used in Vedic rituals. Ladle, spoons, trays, toy-chariot, mallet, sword, pickaxe, tumblers, bowls, seating platform, and many more. It is an interesting collection. Then we saw the Goshala, cattle shed. Few deer and rabbits are also reared here. Done with the tour of  the Matha, we decide to head to the fort.

We drive back the way we came, across the bridge right to left and stop. A passerby points out a footpath right where the bridge ends. The fort is about half kilometer from here. Shivu the cab driver chose to stay back with the car. A downward path brought us into Shalmala riverbed.

It was east to locate the path ...we walk along a dirt mound to our left which actually is the remains of the fort walls. Huliya on a raised platform near the fort entrance.

Tiger. Similar but bigger version can be seen at Sri Karikannamma Temple.

That's Kote Hanuman temple, also close top the fort entrance.

Jai Hanuman.

Veena walking into the fort.

Area within the walls is not much but has few interesting things of historical importance- a collection of canons, a stone cot and an ancient temple dedicated to Shivalinga.

Largest of the seven canons here. Mahesh was inspecting the canons closely.

One of the local folks mentioned that thick steel rings used to lift these canons have gone missing.

They seem to be Portuguese make. Letter F on the shaft is the manufacturer's logo?

A simple temple.

Basavanna and Dwarapalas.

Though the temple lacks decoration the architecture is somewhat similar to the nicely decorated Munvalli Fort Hanuman temple. Wonder what the stone object is. Shivalinga base?

The Garbhagudi drain is decorated in floral motif. Another stone object of complex design close to the temple caught my attention.

Mahesh and Veena told that this the base of the deity. Somehow I was not convinced.

Closer look at the lion-faced Grbhagudi drain. Another lion can be seen below the face,

A short video-

Within the fort walls are several massive trees. I'm seeing this type of bean pod for the first time. Mahesh said is this comes in contact with the skin, it can cause severe itching. Locally it is known as Sunganakayi.

One of the pods outer crust remains.

This mound of dirt must be a art of the fort's defence system. Beyond the mound are agricultural plots and the wall on top is a recent construction to keep out intruders.

One the way back we met a group of ladies and kids walking back home. One of the ladies mentioned a secret underwater passage used as a escape route. It would be difficult to locate it because of thorny bushes. It thought it could be easier to locate it from the outside but never really tried it.
Back at Shalmala river, I pitched a few stones on the water surface. Earlier I had noticed long and thin stones which I felt is a specialty here. I found several such stones which I carried home. I'm sharing my thoughts- I felt these are not really natural, many of them looked like Stoneage implements.
Stone A is shaped like a chisel. It could have been used to dig out roots.
Stone B looks like a dagger. It fit in neatly into the contours of my palm offering solid grip.
Stone C looks like a little knife which could have been used to cut open small animals or birds.
All of them were blunt, may be due to action of flowing water.

The outing was short but interesting. We left Sonda by 5PM. After a tea break at Yellapur, we dropped Veena and Mahesh at Idagundi. For me the day wasn't over yet. We head to Raghu's house at Lalguli. A function to welcome the newly wed couple was in progress, I was the late comer. I got introduced to few relatives. I was so happy to see Raghu's grandfather again :) ...the last was when we all went in search of Lalguli falls. Raghu's family asked me to stay back for the night. I found it difficult to say I had to leave. Shivu and I chatted (social problems, youngsters' behavior, their lack of respect for elders in particular) all the way to Dharwad ...it was 10-15PM when I reached home.

Sonda Fort Coordinates: 14°44'13"N   74°48'49"E



Teamgsquare said...

Nice , when we visited Sonda , the way to fort had been cut off due to Heavy rains .. So we missed it .Thanks for sharing

siddeshwar said...

It seems like the riverbed is the only way to the fort. An alternate route to reach Sonda fort is to cut across neighboring fields. Of course, with field owners' permission.

Unknown said...

Nice Post.. :)