Makalidurga was on my mind for almost 3 years. The fort is situated north of Doddaballapur town, on the southern tip of Makali hills. Its a hill range 8 kilometers in length with multiple peaks.The hill is a mix of dirt and rocks, covered by woods. Bangalore - Hyderabad railway line runs parallel to the range.
October 16, 2013
Vivek and I left Bangalore early morning in a cab. Sky was heavy with dark clouds, between Yelahanka and Doddaballapur it rained, what started as a light shower became a heavy shower and it stopped abruptly. We went around Doddaballpur and took Hindupur road. Country side was green and fresh, it had rained the previous night. At Ghatisubramanya cross we stopped for breakfast, hot thatte idli and tea. As we drove further the sky was still cloudy and Makali hills came into view; it was covered in a thick veil of mist. We went past Makali Railway Station and located the dirt road leading to a Hanuman temple at the base of Makali hills, its situated very close to the railway tracks. For few seconds there was a gap in the misty screen and through it I could see the hill top.. towering high and seemed unreachable. With that glimpse of the hill top I knew the climb would not be an easy one.
We asked our cabby Siddaraju to wait for us, we should be back in 3 or 4 hours. It was barely 7-30 AM when we hit the trial, it was cold and damp. We found the temple and a small house, few dogs started barking. I was hoping to find someone so that we get proper directions but the only other creatures we saw were few chicken. Folks must still be sleeping.. who would want to leave their warm beds in such weather. We saw a path going up behind the temple, we followed it. A minute later we were at a fork.. right or left? We decided to go right, we followed the path which was getting steeper, wilder and wetter.. let's 'keep climbing' was our mantra for the time being.
We took left and followed the path on the wall. That's one of the bastions.
|one of many ponds, water has turned green because of lack of maintenance|
|the eastern wall|
Kote Devastana ~ fort temple dedicated to Shiva. Architecture seems like Vijayanagara. The deities are damaged. Looks like folks from surrounding villages perform rituals during important festivals. Close to the temple is a 6' tall rough cut granite pillar.
|looking towards the temple|
We hoped for some clean water as we walked and lo, we found this boy in his fields. He was a good host; let us rest in his hut's shade and offered water. Our friend Laxman, told us its not 'Makalidurga' as most people say, the correct spelling is 'Maaklidurga'. He then he took us to his fields where his three sisters were harvesting groundnuts. Laxman handed us a bunch each.. that would appease our tummies for time being. Laxman gave us directions, we thanked him and bid bye.
|Maaklidurga perched atop Maakli Gudda|
Maaklidurga coordinates: 13°25'58"N 77°30'5"E