The forts are a link to our pasts and a glorious reminder of the days gone by. Once a symbol of power, the ruins of forts are still intriguing to the history aficionados, and that is also true for the regal forts of Karnataka. Listed below are the most interesting road trips to explore the forts in Karnataka which are a must have in the itinerary of any person who has an interest in the history of this land.
11 Famous Forts to Visit in Karnataka with Pictures
- Chitradurga Fort, Chitradurga
- Bellary Fort, Bellary
- Kittur Chennamma Fort, Belgaum
- Gulbarga Fort, Gulbarga
- Savadatti Fort, Belgaum
- Badami Fort
- Mirjan Fort
- Bangalore Fort
- Bidar Fort
- Jaladurga Fort
- Basavakalyan Fort
1. Chitradurga Fort, Chitradurga
Located in Chitradurga, the Chitradurga Fort was built around the 17th or 18th century. The fort is known for Seven Circular-walled Fortification, out of which three of them are on the ground, while the rest of four are perched on the hill. There are temples, mosque, warehouses and citadels in the fort.
2. Bellary Fort, Bellary
The Bellary fort is built on the hill in Bellary city. There are two sections of forts here. It is believed that the upper section was built by Hanumappa Nayaka of the Vijayanagara Empire and the lower section was built in 18th Century by Hyder Ali. The upper fort is located at a height of 607 m, and consists of a temple and citadel. During the period of Hyder Ali, barracks and arsenal were there in the lower fort.
3. Kittur Chennamma Fort, Belgaum
Kittur Chennamma Fort, Belgaum was built between 1650 and 1681, by the ruler of the Desai dynasty, Allappa Gowda Sardesai. You can also visit Kittur Rani Chennamma memorial government museum Kittur here.
4. Gulbarga Fort, Gulbarga
Gulbarga Fort, Gulbarga was enlarged by Al-ud-din Hasan Bahmani of the Bahmani Dynasty in 1347. Later in 1367, Jama Masjid was built in the fort. The mosque was built in Persian architectural style. The mosque looked different from the other mosques.
5. Savadatti Fort, Belgaum
Built in the 18th century, Savadatti Fort in Belgaum has Kadasiddheshwara temple in it. There are eight bastions fortifying the fort. Each section of the fort was 120 feet in length and the height ranged from 24 feet to 60 feet.
6. Badami Fort
Badami Fort is located beside the cave temples. The fort was built in Chalukyan architectural style and has double fortified walls. It is one of the top tourist attractions in the state of Karnataka. You can still see huge cannons inside the fort. These canons were used during wars to attack enemies. After the enemies captured the fort, a lot of its wealth was robbed.
7. Mirjan Fort
While you are exploring the off-lying places, you must visit Mirjan Fort. Although we do not really know the architect of the fort we do know that it was constructed around the 16th century. The architecture of this fort is yet to be known. Excavations were conducted by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and many artifacts like Islamic inscriptions, Chinese porcelain, gold coins given to the Portuguese Viceroys, to name a few, were discovered. The fort has double walls and there are many wells which are inter-connected.
8. Bangalore Fort,
Located near the KR Market in current Bangalore, this fort was made by Kempegowda I in 1527. Back then it was mud fort. Later Hyder Ali renovated it and made it a stone fort. And then it was taken over by Tipu Sultan and then the Britishers. The summer palace of Tipu Sultan is built inside the fort. The summer palace is built in teak wood and he named it Rash-e-Jannat. There are many nearby places to visit from this fort, since it is situated in the city.
9. Bidar Fort
Bidar Fort is one of the most popular forts in the state of Karnataka. There are 30 monuments inside the fort such as Takht Mahal, Rangeen Mahal, Tarkash Mahal, etc. These mahals were used for several purposes during the period of Mughals and Bahamanis. The fort today witnesses shooting of various Bollywood and Kannada films.
10. Jaladurga Fort
The Adil Shahi Dynsaty of Bijapur built the Jaladurga Fort in Raichur. The fort is located at the hills of an island in River Cauvery. Thus one side of the fort faces the River Cauvery. It is said that there was a time when enemies or wrongdoers were thrown in the river or on the boulders from this fort. There are cellars, gateways and palaces in the palace. However, all of those are in ruins now. However, you can still see some of the tombs at the fort.
11. Basavakalyan Fort
Basavakalyan Fort was formerly called as Kalyani Fort. The fort was built during the 10th century by the King Nalaraja of the Kalyani Chalukya. In the 12th century, the fort was renamed after Basweshwara, the great spiritual scholar. There were a total of seven gates in the fort, out of which five are still in good condition. The main gate of the fort is called Akhand Darwaza, which was built by using four slabs of red stone. The fort is scattered on the hill and was built very strategically. It was made in a way that it camouflages with nature. It was a unique strategy of the Deccan rulers. You can still find the palaces of King and Queen inside the fort, and a temple with a square pond facing it.
While these forts to be visited in Karnataka are definitely a must visit for history buffs, the other activities such as trekking and the scenic beauty that surrounds them is equally appealing to others. Since many of these are outside the city, the visitors can use the car rental services by Revv and have a fully equipped and maintained ride at their disposal anytime they want.