Saturday, April 19, 2008
Madhugiri Fort, moonlight trekking recommended
Madhugiri Fort – Reach for the skies :
There is so little information on Madhugiri Fort on the net, I decided to check out the facts. We drove from B’lore travelling on NH-4 which is tolled 6 lane road after Peenya. The drive upto Jallahalli cross could be testing in view of signals and repairs underway. Once we get past the hurdle, we reach the Belur cross and from thereon the drive is superb delight, the toll booth collects Rs 22/- for a car returning on the same day. We hit the Dobbaspet junction where one has to take the road below the flyover and one comes to the first junction wherein one has to deviate for Shivgange which is 7 kms away. The next main junction under the flyover leads on the left towards Koratagere and Madhugiri, which is 55 kms away on good road, except in portions where road is in various stages of construction. Watch out for nasty potholes.
The origin of the fort dates back to the Ganga period, who were great builders. They began construction and midway the territory was conquered by the Nolamba dynasty for a short period, who too left the fort unfinished, Vijaynagar empire feudal Raja Heera Gowda took up the task of finishing the magnificient fort which literally raises to the sky. After the fall of the Vijaynagar empire in 1565, the fort was under sieze by various feudatories providing protection for the few surviving nobles and royalties from the massacre unleashed by the sultans.
In 1678, the Fort was captured by Devaraja of Dalavoy dynasty, who were the commanders under Wodeyar’s and later turned out to be rulers. Hyder Ali annexed the fort after defeating the dalavoys in 1761. Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan were engrossed in waging war ( 4 Anglo mysore battles ) with the British and had very little time to complete the Fortification with Islamic structures.
After the death of Tipu Sultan in 1799 in the final battle with british @ Srirangapatnam the entire terriorty was leased to the Wodeyar family in 1830. The British manned the fort for a brief period and used the premises to jail the mutineers in 1857. Since the Fort was built in a impregnable manner, it served as barracks and prison. The same is now converted into a civil court.
The steps leading to the peak of the fort is steep in many a places. First one comes across a huge corridor with tanks for storage of rain water. The palace housing the kings and commanders are destroyed. The watch towers surrounding fort is still in pristine condition. The boundary walls are in various stages of collapse, which is being re-constructed by the ASI. The main gate is also being renovated. The enterance to the fort is majestic and there are jain basadi’s on its sides.
The fort has multiple enterance known as Anthara Bagilu, Diddi Bagilu, Mysore Bagilu etc. There are a number mantapas located in various parts of the fort. There are number of springs across the fort. The ideal time to visit the fort is early morning which will be a trekking exercise and easy on the foot. The sunshine can add to the exhaustion. In case one does not have option it is better to carry an umbrella and sunscreen. The view of the madhugiri town is majestic from the watch tower. One can have beautiful view of the moon rise, if one happens to visit during the full moon time. The sunset too can be beautifully photographed.
Currently there are plans to relay the steps leading to peak of the Fort which can be cumbersome for children and elderly people. A ropeway can be considered too. The for needs landscaping and lot of greenery to be developed to preserve its structure, otherwise it is bound crumble in due course. An ideal trekking spot during full days is recommended in groups.
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- Basically i am down to earth, take friendship to its logical end. It is my endeavour to create a wealth of co-operative ventures. Basically being a marketing man i have the acumen to spot winners. I am privileged to travel the length and breadth of the country, courtsey my father, who was with Indianoil, my employers such as Nutrine, Kurl-on, Hindustan Pencils, Prestige, Crystal, Bell Ceramics, Pentel, Sezal, Commander. Currently i am involved in Tourism, Booking Air Tickets, Agent for Jungle Lodges and Resorts Limited and Taj Group of Hotels and a numerous hotels across India. Depending on the needs of a traveller i would recommend the destination and accommodation best suited to their budget. Humour takes me on. Let us have a win win situation for all. I love travelling for sake of adventure, photography and discovering the heritage. Life is a journey and let us enjoy our drive. Come share your travel experience on indiabackpacker.