Forts in and around Belagavi

A 1955 map shows all the forts near Belgaum.

Bella Vista Belagavi

 

with inputs from Bramhanand Chipre and Aziz Hafiz

Belgaum Fort

Map Location : http://goo.gl/maps/kr8v

Coordinates: 15°51’29″N   74°31’27″E

The Belgaum Fort is located near NWKRTC Bus stand. At the entrance, there are two shrines, Ganapati and Durga. The fort is encircled by a moat. There are two Jinalayas in later Chalukya style. One of them is Kamal Basti. This Jain Temple was built in 1204 AD by Bichirja, a minister of Kartavirya IV of the Ralta Dynasty. The Sanctum Hill has the seated idol of Neminath. The temple has Kadamba Nagara Shikara. The other Jinalaya is almost a ruined one.

It is hard to believe but there were 108 Jain Temples and 101 Shiva Temples in the premises of the present Belgaum Fort, which were demolished and overthrew by the then Muslim kings (Asta Khan (Asad Khan) came from Bengal) and ultimately with the same stone and pillars the Belgaum Fort as built. Even at the present time we find stones belonging to those in thefort

Inside Belgaum Fort

  • A missing FORT CHURCH – called Christ Church was 112 ft long with a pleasing interior, built in 1833. It was located after the PWD offices on the left side as one enters from Durga Devi gate, before Deshpande’s bungalow, there is a teak plantation there now.

  • A small Mosque ( Jamia Masjid) which was earlier a Jain or Shiva temple. The Jamia Masjid, dated 1585-86, was built by Sher Khan. This mosque is just 50 meters away from the ruined Shiva temple. It has still got many of its inner walls with Jain or Shiva scripts and the king was unable to remove all the art work inside the temple as he did for Safa Masjid, which was also earlier a Shiva temple. No one is allowed entry into this as it is under ASI.

  • An old Shiva Temple in the Fort near the Military Training area. This Shiva temple was built in 12th century.

  • These are some images of the temples as seen in 1860. These have been missing today. No one knows where are these located today and whether they have been demolished because of 21st Century’s Cement Buildings Evolution. 

Safa Masjid : The Mosque is located inside the Fort. It is built in typical Mughal and Deccani styles with minars, domes and arches. Outside the mosque, to the right is an underground passage believed to lead to Yellurgad. This mosque in all has three entrances to the Jamia Hall with arches having floral and calligraphic designs.

  • A Ramakrishna Ashram has been newly built since Swami Vivekananda stayed here for 9 days in 1892, October 19th to October 27th.

 

Rajhansgad or Yellurgad

Map Location : http://goo.gl/maps/SWEq
Coordinates: 15°45’27″N   74°31’34″E

How to reach: One can reach Rajhunsgad village on the foot of this hill via- Desur village or from Yellur & Sulga and then climb the fort on kutcha road. Experienced riders can reach up to the entrance of the fort on top on Motorcycles but this path (kutcha road) is too steep for motorcycles. However, this is an excellent place for Trekking.

Rajhunsgad is surrounded by greenery of farms and fields with rice as a major crop. Yellurgad (Yellur Fort) located within the vicinity of Belgaum Taluka, on hillock with a breathtaking view. It is situated nearly 2,500 ft (762 m) above sea level. According to sources, this Fort dates back to history many centuries ago among different kingdom and its rulers including the Yadavas, Hoysalas, Bahamani, Adilshahi, Peshwas-Marathas.

The fort on top of hill is visible from almost all areas of Belgaum. It is also believed that there existed a secret tunnel from the Belgaum fort (near Durga Devi Temple) up to Rajhunsgad during the ancient period. In this fort, a beautiful Temple of ‘Lord Shiva’ is situated where most of the people staying in and around the villages of this fort visit and pray every Monday. There is Well of sweet water on top of this hill. It is infact an admirable archeology of the past architects and rulers. An awesome view of Belgaum City can be had from this fort. On interacting with Sri. Siddharth Hiremath (Poojari) of this Shiva temple in the fort told us that, This Fort in spite of having a rich historic relevance is always neglected by administration. The temple’s maintenance cost is mainly borne by the people of surrounding villages of Rajhunsgad, Sulga, and Yellur etc.

Kalanadhigad :
Map Location : http://goo.gl/maps/GwSo
How to Reach: Belgaum – Shinoli – Patne Pahata – Kalivade Viallage and then to fort
Coordinates: 15°51’20″N   74°15’6″E

This is a one of the beautiful and wonderful place in Chandgad Taluka, Maharashtra. Kalanandigad fort is nearly about 1100 feet from sea level. This is one amongst the 111 forts established by Shiavaji Maharaj. Noted Marathi writer P L Deshpande’s original surname was Kalanidhidagkar and his ancestors were from the fort. About one hour is required to go to the fort from the village. There are no arrangements for food but yes water is available in the well at the fort.

Gandharvgad

Map Location : http://goo.gl/maps/EQSP

Coordinates: 15°57’16″N 74°14’25″E
How to reach: Shinoli – Naganwadi- Walkuli village. The car can reach the top of the fort.

The fort is about 400 feet above the plain, lies in a spur of the Sahyadris. The hill on which the fort is built has bare sides with an easy ascent on one side and a difficult ascent on the other side. Gandharvgad was built about 1724 by Nag Savant the second son of the great Phond Savant of Savantvadi. In 1778 the Kolhapur chief captured Gandharvagad, but in 1793 it was restored to Savantvadi through Scindia’s influence. About 1787 the Chief of Nesargi rose against his master the chief of Kolhapur and took Gandharvgad among other forts; but soon after, the chief and his confederates were put down, their army was dispersed, and the forts retaken. There were temples of Bhaloba. Shiva, Gajanana and Maruti inside the fort. All of them are now in ruins. The fort has a population of about 100 at present. (1956)

Mahipalgad:

Coordinates: 15°54’6″N 74°23’8″E
Map Location : http://goo.gl/maps/eHNz
The fort was built by a king named Mahipal is what the locals say. Here is one Sundi Water falls near Mahipalgad. The water falls has some crystal clear water falling from about 50 feet and the sight is awesome. The water depth near the falls is not much hence one can play in the water as well.
How to reach – Belgaum – Shinoli cross – Devarwadi

Kakati Fort:
Map Location : http://goo.gl/maps/wEyF
Co-ordinates : 15°55’56″N   74°31’56″E

Owned by Rani Chennamma. This is the fort (killa) which was of Rani Channamma of Kittur because Kakati was the birth place of Rani Channamma.

Honnurgad or Honnur Fort or Hunnurgad or Hunnur Fort near Hidkal Dam :
Map Location : http://goo.gl/maps/cyQb
Co-ordinates : 16°9’33″N   74°36’47″E

This is small but beatuiful fort near Hidakal Dam. One can visit it very easily and have a panoramic view of Dam. Rest house of dam is very close. On top one can visit deep well at center and round buruj used to flag. It can be concluded so as it has two entry doors and the entry in the fort is guided by carved path.

Anantpur Wada or Killa:
Coordinates : 16°55’18″N   75°4’27″E
Map Location : http://goo.gl/AgWIX

Anantpur Village, Taluka: Athani, Dist: Belgaum. Situated 27km from Athani, 187km Belgaum and 28km from Jath Dist: Sangli (Maharashtra). Peda (sweet item) business and agriculture are main jobs in this village. Having more than 10,000 population. The name Anantpur came from king Anandraja who was ruling here. You may see a fort, purely built by strong white mud. Maharashtra border is 3km from here.

Madhalawada or MadhalaKilla or Inamdar Killa or Inamdarwada in Bedkihal :

Coordinates : 16°32’8″N   74°29’9″E
Map Location : http://goo.gl/TWK15


Samangad:

Coordinates : 16° 10′ N; 74° 20′ E
Map Location :
http://goo.gl/maps/iUk9
How to Reach- Gandhinglaj – Bhadgao – Chenkuppi- Samangad

Samangad Fort (Gadhinglaj) an isolated oval-topped hill three and a half miles south of Gadhinglaj (16° 10′ N; 74° 20′ E), has greatest height of 2,600 feet above the sea and greatest breadth of 260 feet. The hill top is surrounded by an eight feet high wall. Formerly it was well supplied with water from several rock-cut cisterns. For want of repairs for many years, the cisterns are not functioning at present (1957). In 1676, Samangad was thoroughly repaired by Sivaji. Though one of the smallest of Sivaji’s forts, Samangad was one of the strongest. In 1844, injudicious changes introduced by the minister Daji Pandit, by bringing their lands under the mamlatdar, enraged the Samangad garrison or Gadkaris who rebelled and shut the gates of the fort. On the 13th of October, 1844 the fort was taken by British troops under General Delamotte and dismantled. Since the disturbances of 1844 the mamlatdar’s head-quarters have been moved from Samangad to Gadhinglaj. [Details of the 1844 disturbance are given above under History.] The fort is now in a dilapidated condition.

Pargad

Map Location : http://goo.gl/maps/zWQp

Coordinates: 15°49’1″N   74°2’43″E
How to reach: Belgaum – Shinnoli – Patne Cross – Motanwadi – Pargad

Pargad Fort (Chandgad Taluka), is built on a peaked hill in the Sahyadris about 2,000 feet above sea level. The hill sides are wooded, except in places where they have been laid bare by brushwood clearing or Kumri. The ascent to the fort is steep by rock-cut steps. The fort which is about forty acres in area is mostly out of repair. Part of the walls, which only line the crests of ravines and one gateway are fallen. The water-supply is from six reservoirs four of which are in repair. A temple of Bhavani and two broken pieces of cannon are the only other remains in the fort. In 1827 a committee of inspection described Pargad as an extensive hill fort in the Sahyadris 1,900 feet high, about thirty-one miles from Belaganv and two miles north of the Ram pass. It was formed by the basalitic band of rock which crowns so many of the Sahyadri hills. The perpendicular scrap varied from forty to hundred feet and was inaccessible in every part except at the gateway where the masonry was only fourteen feet high. The fort was overlooked and commanded on several sides, especially on the north where a hill approached as near as 1,200 feet. The water-supply was from numerous wells supplied by springs. A reservoir in the fort also held water till February. A stone-built temple, the commandant’s house, an eight-pounder, and three Jamburas were the only other remains in the fort.
The crest of the hill with a natural scrap all round of thirty to sixty feet formed, without any help from art, a strong and almost impregnable position; for though in many places the scarp had a slight slope it was nowhere sufficiently sloped to admit of an assault. The works crowning the crest of the scarp were strong stone wall twelve to twenty feet high, and according to the form of the hill, flanked in various places with bastions fit for ordnance. At the north angle round which the road led to the gate the rock was particularly high, bold and rugged and was crowned by a double line of works of masonry completely commanding the road to the gate which was placed in the north-west front about 600 feet from the western angle of the hill. The only entrance to the fort was up a flight of steps about fifty yards long on the top of which was a small gate facing south-west and much exposed. The passage up the steps was steep and well flanked by the works. The south-east end of the fort was the weakest point forming a sharp acute angle without any defenses. The fort was inhabited, but water was scarce and had to be brought by the people from a village outside the slope of the hill to the north-west not far from the gate. The committee observed that even without defenses the hill would be regarded as a very strong position, but formed into a fort, with the defences as they then (1842) existed, it should be deemed a fort of great strength. In 1749 Pargad fort was ceded to Sadasiv Rao the cousin of the third Peshva Balaji.

 

Somapur Fort or Subapur Fort

Coordinates: 15°54’8″N 74°58’51″E
Map Location :
http://goo.gl/b3p0O

How to reach: Belgaum – Bailhongal – Murgod – Subapur Fort

http://karnatakatravel.blogspot.in/2011/04/subapur-fort.html

Anandgad

Coordinates: 15°33’33″N   74°31’27″E
Map Location :
http://goo.gl/Rt7Oa

How to reach: Belgaum – Khanapur – Nandgad – Anandgad Fort

Anandgad is a place named after a Fort which was built by Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj,
But “A” disappeared after few years and now people say Nandgad. This fort has a very beautiful site, surrounded by lush green trees. Temple of Godess Durgadi is very famous; a ‘Swayambhu’ Image of the goddess is carved on stone. The temple is constructed around it. A Nandi was also found near this temple in May, 2003. A big stone called ‘Phadal-phadi’ is also famous.

 

Hanumatgad

Coordinates: 15°51’7″N   73°58’11″E
Map Location :
http://goo.gl/qs5OO
How to reach – Amboli – Panasvad – Fukeri. From Panasvad it is just 8 Kms. through dense forest.

It is about 1km from Fukeri village. It was built at the time of King Shivaji. It is very risky and without a guide please do not climb this Gad. On the top there is no water source (except rainy season). Here in the Eastern side of the top don’t miss to see the “Soldiers watch tower”. This one is the only main attraction of this fort. From this place you can ascend or descend the hill from Eastern side.

 

Bhimgad

Map Location : http://goo.gl/maps/OmfD
Co-ordinates : 15°34’34″N   74°17’12″E

How to reach: Belgaum – Khanapur – Asoga Road – Gawali

Bhimgad Fort are historical ruins located within the Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary, on a detached spur of the Western Ghats, in Khanapur Taluk of Belgaum District near Jamboti Village. It is located in the heart of the Mhadei river watershed. It was built and occupied by Shivagi Maharaj in the mid 17th century during his conquest of South India to defend from the Portuguese colonial troops who controlled Goa at that time.
The fort sits on top of a 300 ft (91 m) rock outcropping at the crest of the escarpment overlooking the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary and rising 1,800 ft (550 m) near vertically above the plains to the west. The defenses were almost entirely natural, requiring little additional construction.

Near the end of 1676, Shivaji besieged Belgaum and Vayem Rayim in current day northern Karnataka. From here he launched a wave of conquests in southern India with a massive force of 30,000 cavalry and 20,000 infantry. Bhimgad was one of the forts that Shivaji still held when he died in 1680.

In 1719, the fort was included with the 16 districts given to a grandson of Shivaji, Chattrapati Shahu, at the beginning of his own rule. About 1787, the fort was overtaken by the Nesagari chief but it was soon retaken. In 1820 it was observed by the British and in 1844 it was occupied by them to guard against insurgents who threatened Belgaum.

There is one narrow stone-cut trail leading up to the fort. The ruins are 1,380 ft (420 m) long from north to south and 825 ft (251 m) broad from east to west. The fort has only one gateway and the walls are still mostly intact. The inside is overgrown with brush and there is one fresh-water spring on the west side and a small reservoir in the north, both of which are dry in the two hottest months of the year. The fort had an eight-pound gun and a three-pound gun plus a wall musket. Bhimgad was one of the forts that Shivagi still held when he died in 1680.

 

Haliyal Fort

Map Location : http://goo.gl/oNhQM
Co-ordinates : 15°20’4″N   74°45’14″E

How to reach: Belgaum – Khanapur – Alnawar- Haliyal

It is also known as Shivaji Fort. Kadambas of Goa built this fort. Later the fort was under Shivaji. During the 19th century Sangolli Rayanna had captured the fort from Britishers. Britishers used to conduct court inside the fort. There is a famous Shri Someshwar Temple inside the fort.

Pachchapur Fort

Coordinates: 16°5’40″N   74°41’12″E
Map Location :
http://goo.gl/maps/VnLD

How to reach: Belgaum – Kangrali – Ankalgi – Pachchapur

The place Pachchapur was once called Parashwanathpur. In Pachchapur we have a old Parashwanath Jain Temple, and so the name of this place was coined.

Kittur Fort

Coordinates: 15°36’2″N   74°47’27″E
Map Location :
http://goo.gl/maps/HcjQ

How to reach: Belgaum – Kittur – Kittur Fort

Kittur is the former capital of a minor principality as well as a major archaeological site. It was held by the Desai marathas of Kittur, as well as Rani Chennamma, a lingayat woman warrior of Karnataka who revolted against the British in 1824. Kittur reached its zenith during theMallasarja Desai. The place has a Nathapanthi matha in police line area, and temples of Maruti [in fort], Kalmeshwara, Dyamavva and Basavanna, the last named a later Chalukyan monument now completely renovated.

Kittur presently lies in ruins with the Nathapanthi matha site off limits, and the areas Maruti, Kalmeshwara, Dyamavva, Basavanna and the Chalukyan monument, being completely renovated. The archaeological museum at the location is managed by the state department of archaeology and museums. It has a rich collection of antiquities found in and around Kittur, which include a few of the weapons, swords, mail-coat, shield, engraved wooden doors and windows of the Kittur palace, inscriptions, herostones, Surya, Vishnu both from Kadrolli, Vishnu and Surya from Devarashigehalli, Subrahmanya from Manoli, Durga from Hirebagewadi and many more antiquities, as well as some modern paintings.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. There is a beautiful fort at yaragatti munavalli which was built by peshwas .Kindly can you write and publish some photoes?

  2. Excellent compilation AAB, Bramhanand Chipre and Aziz Hafiz. Looks like there is a lot of interest in the local community for our historical heritage.

  3. haliyal fort is just 30+ Km from Dharwad. There is a tunnel in the fort ,near entrace, Dont know where it leads to… no other constructions of fort remained…

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