March 17, 2012
Bhadhur Banda fort on the horizon as seen from Koppal fort.
Road distance between Koppal and Bhadhur Banda is about 5 km and air distance is 3.2 km. The hill fort as seen from the village outskirts.
We entered the fort area, Shivu parked his Indica in a corner. There were few men hanging around, we asked if they would show us their fort. No, everyone's busy. No problem. With company like Shivya and Mehboob, my guides from Koppal Fort, we'll surely cover every bit of this fort. This hill is not as high as Koppal fort hill. The construction looks similar. Perhaps Tipu Sultan wanted a garrison here for emergencies.
Google Maps screenshot of the fort.
A -Fort entrance
B - Hanuman temple
C - Penultimate gateway
D - Ruins of bastion at the summit
E - Area protected by cannons
Rough steps going up the hill.
A overhanging rock with a bastion on it's top.
Rocks form a inverted V tunnel. A gateway remains unseen from this angle. This is the only access to the inner fort. That's Shivya about to step into the inner fort.
Beyond the gateway is a passage under a low hanging rock. That was a good lace for guards to remain hidden. A little further is another flight of steps and another gateway. Typical Tipu Sultan's security system.
Narrow path on a ledge leads to another gateway. There's no way to bypass any of these gateways unless you are an expert rock climber at night. No enemy soldier would have dared to scale these rocks during day.
A bastion and rampart walls. notice the stones sticking out of the rock at the base of the wall. those stones are retainers. Hutridurga is the only other fort I've seen retainers like here.
The penultimate gateway.
Rampart walls at different levels.
Gateway with simple decoration.
Looking back the penultimate gateway from the summit.
The summit is an open space with ruins of a structure in the center. We climbed on the walls and got a good view of the surrounding area.
Water tanks to capture rain water.
Thick walls on the Southern side.
Lower rampant walls and bastions as seen from the summit. More water ponds.
I wonder how the engineers decided on the positions of walls, bastions and gateways. Brilliant characters.
Mehboob was comfortable walking narrow walls. He managed to climb on the bastion. Mehboob possessed good knowledge about forts. He pointed out a chamber with a narrow L-shaped entrance in a rampart wall (next to the bastion on which he is standing) and said it was a toilet for ladies. Later he pointed out a rectangular pocket in a wall- that was toilet for men. He was right, both cases we could see openings in the floor.
Slits in the wall for firing bullets at enemy forces. I feel Bhadhur Banda fort was also modified under the supervision of French engineers.
This portion of the fort i well preserved. It looks as though these walls were constructed a year ago. I asked Mehboob if repair works were carried out. He said a confident no. This area was probably defended by heavy fire power- cannons.
We took a different route to Koppal this time. From Koppal we drove to Sri Male Malleshwara Devasthana on Indrakeela hill. Right next to the temple is a path which goes up the hill and there's a board proclaiming the location of Palki Gundu. I was happy to find this but unhappy about the fact that the climb would take an hour. It was almost 1 O clock. I decided not to scale the hill on a empty tummy and under the blazing Sun. Some other day. We head back towards Koppal and stop on the outskirts at a limbu-soda shop. The cool tangy drink was refreshing! Later we drop off Shivu and Mehboob near the bus-stand and head toward Anegundi.
Bhadhur Banda fort coordinates: Coordinates: 15°18'52"N 76°9'41"E