Bangalore Fort – Majestically witnessing Bangalore from 4 centuries 0 1309

This fort has witnessed the changing heritage of Bangalore for 4 centuries. Being here makes you appreciate the wonderful heritage of Bangalore.

  • Kempe Gowda I, the founder of Bangalore, built the mud fort in 1537.
  • This mud fort was renovated, turning it into a stone fort.
  • The renovation initiated by Hyder Ali was completed during the reign of Tipu Sultan.
  • The fort enclosed the palace and armoury, serving as a stronghold for Tipu.
  • It has been a witness to several military actions in his time.
  • A marble plaque marks the spot where the British had breached its walls.

Kempe Gowda I, the founder of Bangalore, built the mud fort in 1537. Its renovation using granite stones was undertaken by Hyder Ali and later by Tipu Sultan.

With his Summer Palace and armoury enclosed within, the fort served as a stronghold for Tipu. It stood witness to intense military actions during his regime. The marble plaque here is of significance as it marks the spot where the British had breached its walls.

HISTORY:

Kempe Gowda, a chieftain of the Vijayanagara Empire, built the mud fort in 1537. The surrounding area rose up as his capital-the Bangalore Pete. It was turned into a stone fort by Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan, who used it as a summer retreat in the eighteenth century.

The fort was captured in 1791 and was used as a base for the British. Later, it was dismantled with roads taking over its walls and its old buildings being converted into schools, colleges and hospitals. What remains today of the fort is the Delhi Gate and remnants of two bastions.

ARCHITECTURE:

Initially built with mud, Bangalore fort was rebuilt with granite stones. It was surrounded by a wide ditch and had 9 large gates. With a perimeter of about 1 mile, the fort was of solid masonry with 26 tall towers placed at intervals along the ramparts to command. The Delhi Gate portion has impressive latticework and towering arches that are beautifully embellished with motifs. It stands as a fine example of Islamic military architecture.

STORY:

Kempe Gowda once witnessed the rare omen of a hare chasing away a hunter dog. It is believed that this place was where he chose to begin his work. During the construction, it was said that southern gate would collapse, and the only solution for the problem was a human sacrifice.

When Kempe Gowda refused to do it, his daughter-in-law Lakshamma beheaded herself with a sword and the construction continued unhindered. He later built a temple in her name in Koramangala.

KEY POINTS OF INTEREST AT THE PLACE:

This fort has witnessed the changing Bangalore heritage from 4 centuries. Being here makes you wonder how life could wonderful heritage of Bangalore is.

Image Courtesy:By Robert Home (1752-1834) (English: From the National Army Museum: [1]) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The marble plaque commemorating the spot where the British breached the fort walls is of historical significance. There is also a temple of Lord Ganesha here, which indicates the religious tolerance shown by Tipu Sultan.

The Delhi Gate is the only remnant of the fort’s nine marvellous gateways. Adorned with motifs and latticework, it showcases the Islamic military architecture. The pair of gigantic wooden doors with rows of spikes resonates with the military history of the fort. These spikes were the deterrents against the charging elephants of the opponents.

WHAT’S AROUND? :

A visit to the Bangalore fort is incomplete without visiting Tipu’s Summer Palace. Several temples are also located in the vicinity, including the famous Nandi temple. Nature lovers may also visit Cubbon Park and Lalbagh. Places that celebrate the rich heritage like Bangalore Palace and National Gallery of Modern Art are also nearby. A stroll along the City Market is a must, especially for shoppers.

PRO TIP:

The fort stays open to visitors on all days from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm. A visit may be planned accordingly.

 

Cover image courtesy: By Pradhan V. [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], from Wikimedia Commons
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