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Saturday, January 22 2022

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Manjarabad Fort: Glorious star-shaped historical evidence

Karnataka is a State where the history is witnessed in its glorious form even to date with innumerable monuments, sculptures and inscriptions. Every single dynasty that ruled the region has left its unique contribution to the State. These contributions are the reasons that has resulted in many tourist places we can see today and also revenue generator for the State Government. Among these tourist places is Manjarabad Fort located in Sakaleshapura of Hassan District.

The interesting thing about the Fort built by Tipu Sultan in 1792 A.D. is that it is star-shaped and situated around 900 metres above ground-level. Also, there is a fascinating story behind the name, Manjarabad Fort. During one of his inspections of the Fort while being constructed, Tipu Sultan observed the beautiful fog cover. Manju is the Kannada term for fog or mist and the Mysuru ruler, observing the beautiful landscape, felt no name would suit the Fort better than Manjarabad. The Fort helped him keep an eye on the British Army as well as the Kodagu Army while they marched towards Mysuru from Sakaleshapura end. According to some historians, it was a Fort to store arms and ammunition.

The place has a history of its own even before Tipu built his Fort. The Palegars who ruled the region, had their capital at Maninagapura (present Aigoor) and from these Palegars (vassals), Sivappa Nayaka of Ikkeri, annexed the region in 1659. Later, it fell into the hands of Tipu who constructed the Fort. Built using large granite blocks and mud, it is surrounded by a deep moat with the fort having a parapet in brick and mortar along with provision for cannon mounts and musket holes at regular intervals. On the inside, one can espy a cross-shaped tank to collect rainwater to meet the drinking water requirements of the guards. All along the north-western and northern sides are arched cells which served as resting places for guards. A tunnel inside the Fort is said to lead to Srirangapattana, and some believe Tipu used to travel through the tunnel back and forth on his horse. The Fort walls are solid enough to last many more years provided the ASI ensures the historic structure is maintained properly.

The places to visit in the surroundings while at Manjarabad Fort are Sakaleshpura, Manjehalli Falls, Bisile Ghat, Sakaleshwara Swamy Temple, Mookana Mane Abbi Falls, Kadamane Tea Estate and many more. The best time to visit the Fort is October to April.

Photo Source: Facebook/Twitter/Wikimedia Commons/ Unsplash

Raksha Deshpande

The author is a postgraduate in Mass Communication and Journalism from Karnataka University, Dharwad. Her interests range from literature, history, travel to politics, and is keenly interested to write human interest stories and articles relating to literature, travel.

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