Bangalore Fort began in 1537 as a mud fort. The builder was Kempe Gowda I, a vassal of the Vijaynagar Empire and the founder of Bangalore. Hyder Ali in 1761 replaced the mud fort with a stone fort and it was further improved by his son Tipu Sultan in the late 18th century. It was damaged during an Anglo-Mysore war in 1791. It still remains a good example of 18th-century military fortification.
The army of the British East India Company, led by Lord Cornwallis on 21 March 1791 captured the fort in the siege of Bangalore during the Third Mysore War (1790–1792). At the time the fort was a stronghold for Tipu Sultan. Today, the fort’s Delhi gate, on Krishnarajendra Road, and two bastions are the primary remains of the fort. A marble plaque commemorates the spot where the British breached fort’s wall, leading to its capture. The old fort area also includes Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace and his armory. The fort has provided the setting for the treasure hunt in the book Riddle of the Seventh Stone.
Bangalore does not receive the attention it deserves for its historical sites. This is a shame, because, while they are few in number, their stories are truly captivating. For example, did you know that Kempe Gowda I established Bangalore way back in 1537 with a mud fort that is today called Bangalore Fort? Find out more about all the interesting forts in Bangalore, and around.
The Best Forts Near Bangalore
1. Bangalore Fort
Our first fort is in the heart of the city. Rightly named Bangalore Fort, this former mud fort has a rich history. It was built by Kempe Gowda I and later further developed by Haider Ali. While it was once a vast fort with a huge coverage, what remains of the fort today is only the Delhi Gate as the rest was brought down by the British.
Tourists come to look at the remains, in particular, the marble plaques with interesting historical facts written on them, throughout the year. There is a small garden inside the fort and a closed house that is a good backdrop for a photograph. The fort is known for its huge iron cannons with cannonballs that date back to the times of Tipu Sultan. These canons were excavated in 2012.
2. Devanahalli Fort
Constructed by Mallabaire Gowda, the Devanahalli Fort is famed for being Tipu Sultan’s place of birth. Inside the fort premises, you can find a small dewan’s house and the Nanjundeshwara Temple.
The Devanahalli Fort is a great place for tourists who love history and taking long walks. It is one of the few forts in the city that is still well maintained.
3. Madhugiri Betta
Located about 100 kilometres from Bangalore city, the Medigeshi Fort is rooted deep in Karnataka’s rich history. Perched on a height of 3734 feet, this fort has witnessed numerous battles. Many kingdoms have fought for this hilltop fort. The Medigeshi Fort is also a great trekking spot for locals.
The place is packed to capacity on the weekends when Bangalore natives come to the town of Medigeshi for a trek. The fort is divided into three sections: a lower section with steep rocks, a pond that’s filled with thick vegetation, and the upper portion that holds the structure of the fort. The best time to visit the fort is between the months of October and March.
4. Skandagiri Fort
Sometimes called Kalavara Durga, the Skandagiri fort is one of the many ancient fortresses in and around Bangalore. One can easily get to the fort by taking the NH 7 Hyderabad-Bangalore Highway. From the fort, one can get excellent views of the Nandi Hills and the Kanivenarayanapura.
The fort houses a temple where locals come to perform poojas and rituals on Saturdays. The climb up to the fort is also a good trek and, on your way, you’ll find excellent panoramic views of the hills.
5. Nandi Durga
he Nandi Durga is a fort that is located on the famous Nandi Hills near Bangalore. It was earlier called Anandagiri during the rule of the Cholas.
The fort is believed to have been built by Tipu Sultan and was used as his Summer Palace. Most parts of the fort remain in ruins, but many go here to enjoy scenic views of the hills and for treks.
A visit to a fort can give you a sense of history as well as help you burn some calories (the Madhugiri Betta, in particular). Head over to some of these on your next trip to Bangalore.
Do let us know about your experiences at the forts around Bangalore. We would love to hear from you in the comments below.