After walking to quiet streets, there is noticeably more traffic and noise once I come closer to Krishnarajendra Market. More than a market, this area also has Jamia Masjid and serves as a bus station, and after a dash across the street amidst traffic coming from all sides, I walk past some street stalls selling vegetables and fruits before the outer walls of Bangalore Fort appear on my right. I turn the corner, and for a second, think that the fort is closed. But the gate is open, there even is a caretaker who nods that I am welcome to visit, and I read a little about Bangalore Fort on a signboard. Originally a mud fort built by Kempe Gowda I in the 16th century, it was fortified into a study stone structure in the 18th century, and eventually damaged in an Anglo-Mysore war in 1791.
By building Bangalore Fort, Kempe Gowda I also started a city, and is still considered the founder of the city of Bengaluru. According to legend, he was told the South Gate would not hold unless a human sacrifice was made. When he refused to give in, his daughter beheaded herself during the night, after which the fort was completed. Things are more quiet now, and I start by looking at the outside of the enormous South Gate, or Delhi Gate, with decorations carved out in the wall to embellish it. It is a massive gate, with two enormous wooden doors still hanging in their hinges. I reach a courtyard, with a small temple dedicated to Ganesh, a small Mooshak (rat-like creature) statue in front, adorned with yellow flowers. I walk to the corners of the courtyard, and discover several finely carved elephants and deities above the niches in the wall.
Walking through another high gate brings me to another, larger courtyard, with a grassy field in the middle. I walk to a closed fence, and when I turn around, see a massive curved wall, and another, smaller gate on the far side. When I reach it, I see a couple, giggling, coming out of the darkness of the gate. It is closed, like parts of Bangalore Fort are closed (it doubled as the Summer Palace of Tipu Sultan, although I could not see this). I discover several of the large stones that make up the wall are embellished by carvings of animals. With all the closed areas and ramparts, making a walk up the wall for undoubtedly good views over the city impossible, I look for the plaque that is supposed to mark the spot where Lord Cornwallis breached the wall in 1791, I return to Delhi Gate before surrendering to the noise of the 21st century.
Around the World in 80 Clicks
Personal travel impressions both in words and images from Bangalore Fort (India). Clicking on the pictures enlarges them and enables you to send the picture as a free e-card or download it for personal use, for instance, on your weblog. Or click on the map above to visit more places close to Bangalore Fort. Read more about this site.