There are many monoliths across the world that has caught the attention of people with its magnanimous structure and appearance. There are many of these residing in India as a geological evolution of our planet Earth.
A monolith by definition is a single massive stone or rock. Sometimes they take the shape of mountains, after years of battle with nature and time. Karnataka too houses one such wonder which is quite famous around the world and especially Asia.
In the small town of Madhugiri, within the Tumkur district of Karnataka, lies one of Asia’s Largest monoliths which is also termed as the second largest in the world. This rock dome stands at 3930 feet and the climb up is quite steep.
Located at a distance of 100 Kms from Bengaluru, people flock to this place specially to see the Madhugiri fort which is located on the top of the hill. There are three gateways on the hill which leads to the top. According to history books, this fort was built in the 17th century by the Raja Hira Gowda who belonged to the Ganga dynasty. He fortified the structure with arches, watch towers and circular granaries around the fort. Later on, the fort was occupied by many rulers and even by the British for a short period of time.
The fort was named Madhugiri after the honeybee colonies that were located in the Northern part of the fort. The hill is also termed as the honey hill of Karnataka. There are numerous temples that are located within and around the fort. There lies a ruined Gopalakrishna temple along with Malleshwara and Venkataramana temples and a Jain temple. The Malleshwara and Venkataramana temples are the most famous out of these for their Dravidian architecture and style.
Apart from the fort, there are many other places to visit on your trip to Madhugiri. Channaraya Durga is also another fort which lies in this region and is quite famous for the many sculptures which have stood the test of time. Jayamangali Blackbuck Conservation Reserve is a sanctuary which is the only notified protected area in the entire district of Tumkur. The entire reserve stretches across a distance of 798 acres and they hold the largest population of blackbucks within it. Apart from blackbucks, the area is rich in an abundance of Acacia and Eucalyptus plantations.
Image courtesy Sangrambiswas, Saurabh Sharan from Wikimedia Commons