Aug 21, 2013

Arani fort

March 6, 2013
Our four day trip to Davangere and Bellary district started this day, we left home around 5 AM. NH4 was some what calm and Ravi drove consistently at 80 kmph. By 7 AM chimneys of  Harihar Polyfibers factory came into sight. The road to Arani was on the left about a kilometer before the factory. The road was narrow and pot holes every few meters. we passed through several villages, people getting on with their routine. The 12+ km drive lasted almost 30 minutes! The ruins came into sight, situated on a hillock right next to river Tungabhadra.

No sight of any path going up hill to the ruins. So, we'll have to find our way through the maze of Jaali-kanti. We had a tough time negotiating a short steep stretch of loose soil and stones to reach the summit. We had plan our route to reach the structure by checking gaps between these thorny plants. Even the ground was littered with thorny twigs; poke by Jaali-mullu can be really painful and the pain can last for days.

The look of the building says it is a recent construction and built by some Muslim ruler. The structure could be 300 to 350 years old. The high walls are designed to discourage attempts to scale it.

The interior has evidence of two levels and rooms. Perhaps this was a house of a landlord or a jagirdar. The house had to be secure for obvious reasons, hence the high walls.

On the side is the entrance to the stairway, narrow and low, designed for security.

The royal house has a great view of Tungabhadra, flowing North. If you follow this river, you get to see three ancient temples on the left bank- Muktesvaragudi of Choudadhayanapura, Somesvaragudi of Haralahalli and Galagesvara temple of Galaganatha. Of course, it would be easier to reach them from Haveri. Also there are two forts- Havanur fort & Shakhara fort, situated on left and right banks respectively.

Turning our attention back to Arani fort, the structure looks better with Sun behind our backs.

Close by we saw this small conical structure, hollow inside. This might have been used to stored food grains or canon ammunition.

Vandals have turned this into a gambling den; we found playing cards, cigarette packs and liquor bottles inside. In the background are couple of walls, perched at the edge of the hillock.

If this fort had any canons, few would have been placed here to thwart any attacks from the river side.

Looking towards the south. On the right, close to the horizon is a speck sticking out of the greenery. That's the Gopura of a Shaiva Matha.. sorry, cannot recall the name of the Matha.

Panning to the right; Malatesh negotiates the unfriendly slope. Towards the top-right corner of the picture is the round structure, makes me wonder why that location.

Besides the large structure there were two smaller ones, perhaps built for sentries. Done with Arani fort, we decided to continue with our journey.

We travel back to NH4, pass through Harihar and reach Dodda Bathi. It was time for breakfast, we drove up the hillock, right till Revana Siddeshwara temple. The place was peaceful, we settled down on the temple steps and unpacked our breakfast items- upit, pickles and black tea.. We had a long ahead of us, more forts!

Arani fort coordinates: 14°36'16"N   75°48'11"E

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