The historic fort of Belgaum built in 13 century (Originally built by the Ratta dynasty, later fortified by Yakub Ali Khan of the Bijapur Sultanate) was well known for its unique building structure and its huge moat surrounding the fort, which made it inaccessible to the enemies. The Belgaum fort served as a bulwark against the attacks of invading armies. It steadfastly held fort as Belgaum played host to a multitude of dynasties, from the Rattas, the Vijayanagar emperors, Bijapur Sultans, Marathas and finally the British. During the freedom movement of India, Mahatma Gandhi was imprisoned here. The Belgaum fort is also an embodiment of the legacy of religious tolerance in Belgaum.
In October 2010 the district administration had made a plan of Rs.10 crores for giving the fort a new look, but till date the same has not got the approval of the Defence authorities, sources from the DC’s office said.
The facelift plan consists of cleaning the walls of the fort, cleaning the moat and if possible allow boating in it, some repairs at the Kamal Basti, creating garden etc. The plan has been made with inputs from the tourism department but the same has not been approved by the Defense authorities.
The Cantonment board too had planned to allow boating in the moat but for the past five years nothing has moved about this.
Photos by Vijay Lingayat
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