Jul 4, 2012

Jaalmangala Fort

January 2, 2012

...continuing from Huthridurga Fort.

We stop for lunch at Donakuppe junction, rice meal and bajjis. It was my plan to visit the hill fort near Jaalamangala. We took Ramnagar road and drove for 30  minutes and the hill was in sights. We decided to it would help us climb if we got some rest especially after a meal. Also the Sun would have come down a bit.  We found a shady spot wide enough for a car and its occupants. That's how the hill looks from where we were lying.

We passed through Jaalamangala village and took a right turn. After one and half kilometer drive around the hill the profile changes considerably. The lake is home to waterbirds. I saw few of one variety ...a shiny-black slender bird which can fly well. I could see ducks wallowing around.

We found people attending to chores in their farms. We asked a man for directions to go up the hill. He asked us to follow the path along the electrical line going up the hill. Durga and I formed the lead group. Deepi and Gulli were far behind us. We paused after a 15 minute climb to admire this breathtaking view of Ramnagar's rocky hills.

The range stretches for kilometers. No wonder makers of Sholay chose this location.
At one point we got stuck unable to find the path ahead. After a bit of a struggle we found it to our right. Ruins of a fort wall. From here steps were hewn out of the rocks. Thanks to those steps, made climbing easy. At one point we had to be careful because the steps were dangerously close to a very steep rock face.

Finally we made it to the top. One temple, four Frangipani trees and another tree. Sun was still beating down bright and not much of a breeze to cool us :( The temple is dedicated to Lord Ranganatha. Just behind the temple are two small water tanks filled with green colored water and littered with all kind of trash. Space surrounding the temple was also scattered with used paper plates and plastic cups. Wonder when our people will learn some sense of cleanliness.

I knew the gang wouldn't budge now. I went exploring, I wanted to see the fort wall I had located in Google Maps. The surface got steeper but grip wasn't a problem. Clumps of grass were scattered over the hill. This grass has grown where ever it found enough soil to sink their roots. I dare not step on it, God knows what creatures were inside- they were minding their business, leave them alone.

Finally the wall was in sight ...not much of a wall. Perhaps construction was abandoned during the initial stages.

The wall maxed out at 6 feet. Savandurga is visible in the background.

Part of the wall in good condition.

The wall ends at a steep rock face. Perhaps this part of the hill was easier to climb and hence this wall.

A watch point, a platform of stones built on an overhanging rock. This construction looks quite old. From where I shot this picture, a wall ran down the slope behind me. I feel a strong fort was in store but plans changed for some reason.

Broom grass?

Deepi and Durga looking at Kanva reservoir.

New steps and old steps.
The railing though flimsy were quite helpful at places.

I could locate a path to the cave like formation but did not go exploring. We were tired, thirsty and almost out of water. At the mouth of the cave there were beehives of various colors.

Canon Zoom Lens EF 75-300mm USM helped get a closer shot of the cave. Now the beehives are visible.

We could smell avarekayi in the fields as we walked a short stretch while Deepi reversed his Santro. Back at Jaalamangala village, we stopped and filled our bottles, thanked the folks for the water. Water never tasted better! We drove back towards Donakuppe post ...towards Bengaluru.

Jaalamangala Fort coordinates: 12°49'34"N   77°12'28"E



Santosh bs said...

I was here in March and the approach from the village is quite confusing as we found out and and hours trail took double the time. While getting down, we got down the path towards the road that was fairly straight and marked!

Manjula Umesh said...

Had read abt the hill as Narayangiri in a news paper.

siddeshwar said...

Thank you Manjula. During our visit somehow we missed inquiring the hill's name. Jalamangala Fort is the name given by me because I discovered the hill/fort besides Jaalamangala village in Wikimapia/Google Maps :)