Mar 30, 2013

Dammur fort

This fort was discovered while scanning the hill on which the fort is situated... I mean Wikimapia. I marked the ruins as a fort and named it after the nearest village- Dammur. On the same hill are two more forts; Gudur and Hanamasagar forts.

November 24, 2012
From Hanamasagar, to reach Dammur we drove along the hill's northern face at varying distances. Finally we arrive at Dammur by 3-30 PM. The fort was visible, sitting at the edge of a plateau. An old woman gave us directions, take this dirt path next to the pond, you'll reach Didigina Basavanna temple, then take the steps leading to the hill top. The dirt path gave way to a cement path which went up the hill. The path got narrower, as though squeezed by the trees on either sides.

This place immediately brought memories of Varavi Siddeshwara near Munvalli. Both had waterfalls and streams gushing over the rocks under the cover of Honge trees.

Sadly, we are looking at a waterlessfall. That's a shrine dedicated to Lord Shiva in the form of a Linga.
That's Didigina Basavanna.
Next to our Basavanna is this man-made cave like chamber. I guess it was a temple, can't remember it clearly. Rough-cut stones placed delicately serve as steps to reach the plateau above.
We are on the plateau now, looking back the way we just came. Hidden below the clump of trees is the  notch and the temple. We found a rock (see inset) with modern inscription in Kannada; Om Namah Sivaaya, Ramachandra Gu and the letters Ka and Da.
The fort came into sight. This place will be a paradise during rainy season. Notice the texture of the stone right in front of us- pebbles embedded in the host rock. A had to cross another notch here which begins near the tree.
Beautiful blue sky with silver clouds.
While Malatesh is lagging behind shooting videos, Ravi finds a way into the fort. The construction is similar to Gudur/Halsiddeshwara forts but this looks slightly advanced.
A closer look and a long look at the walls.
This small fort has 5 bastions. Within the fort are remains of what were once living quarters. I guess wood and mud was used for roofing.
That's the gateway.
Notice the fort entrance is a right angle path. Modern forts such as Shivaji's had curved paths. A rough cut pillar erected at the fort gateway.
More ruins of houses outside the fort.
The fort had additional security from strategically placed watch towers. Malatesh and I were standing at the edge of the slope, one rock bed. I happened to notice a circular pocket- see inset -we agreed its a natural formation.
That's the dirt road leading to Dammur village. Another bastion sits alone at the base of the hill. The presence of the bastion is an indication of a way up to the fort here. The path we took to climb the hill was the back route. In fact I was looking for a way down here but the terrain wasn't friendly.
Turning to the right, Dammur Kere comes into view.
We head back to the fort and catch up with the shepherds who were at higher ground when we entered the fort. That's Shekappa Yamanappa Juttal, his son and a relative.
The boy on the left reminds me of Vishnuvardhan in Nagara Haavu. He's got the look of a honest, brave, stubborn, determined , angry young man.
Our new friend suggested us to take the gully going down right next to the fort. So this is the third route to the fort. However, he cautioned us to be careful while steeping on rocks because they are smooth and slippery. The path was well tread, its a regular cattle route. Perhaps centuries ago, in this gully would be a stream flowing round the year. We reached the pond, I was in a mood to play.. chuck stones.
What started off with pitching stones gave way to long distance throws and finally ended in loud splashes by throwing large stones. It was fun to shoot the splashes.. and call them nuclear explosions!

Here's a video of Dammur Kote:

And you must see Dammur Didagu in full glory:

Dammur fort coordinates: 15°55'35"N   75°57'55"E

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