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bellary fort overview

#1 of 43 Places To Visit in Bellary
bellary fort
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address
Fort, Devi Nagar, Bellary, Karnataka, India
visit duration
2 to 3 hours

about bellary fort

Perched atop the Ballari Gudda (Fort Hill), the Bellary Fort towers high above the town, dominating the landscape for miles around in the mining heartland of Karnataka. Located 306 km from Bengaluru, it offers stunning views of the plains of Bellary town. Though not as illustrious as other forts in south India, the imposing ramparts here have been a silent spectator to the intrigues of Hanumappa Nayaka, Hyder Ali and the British. 

Records show that Hanumappa Nayaka constructed it during the period of the Vijayanagara Empire and Hyder Ali captured it in 1769. But it was Hyder Ali who renovated and redesigned it with the assistance of a French engineer and added the lower fort. The British later made the fort their cantonment.


Architecture of the Bellary Fort 

The fort is divided into Upper and Lower Fort. The hill is semi-elliptical in shape. The Upper Fort houses the citadel that can be accessed through a winding rocky path amongst scattered boulders. One can discover on the top, outside the citadel, a small temple, some limpid ponds and ruins of some holding cells. Within the citadel, there are several well-constructed buildings and cisterns excavated in the rocks to provide for water storage.  The fort is divided into Upper and Lower Fort. The Upper Fort houses the citadel that can be accessed through a winding rocky path amongst scattered boulders.

The fort structure is encircled by ramparts with numerous bastions surrounded by a deep ditch. The lower fort features two entrance gates; one of the western and the other on the eastern side. Just outside the eastern gate of the lower fort is a temple dedicated to Hanuman, the Kota Anjaneya Temple. The fort is especially magnificent during the evenings when it is illuminated.

Trivia

Legend has it that Hyder Ali had the French engineer who renovated and redesigned the fort, hanged because he had overlooked the fact that the neighbouring Kumbara Gudda was higher than Bellari Gudda, thus compromising the secrecy and command of the fort.

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