Though we were aware of the presence of two mighty forts between Kaivara and Chintamani, there was always an uncertainty of the sheer existence of these forts as very little or no information was available on the internet. This made us more curious to explore and one Sunday, it was time to do the same. We headed towards Kaivara in search of these forts.
Our first stop was a small tiffin centre at the entrance of Kaivara. After having a sumptuous breakfast, we inquired the owner of the hotel about the fort. He had absolutely no idea about any fort around. When we later pointed towards the hill on which the fortification was vaguely visible, he smiled sarcastically saying that the route to the fort was no longer accessible and nobody goes there now-a-days and is completely abandoned. Additionally, he mentioned that we would not make it there. On asking him why he said so, he replied that though there is a route to reach the fort, no one including the locals dares to do that. His concern towards us was understandable. But, we would never give up! Once we know there was a route, we were determined to trek up and reach the fort. . He then challenged us saying that we will not be able to climb that hill and suppose we did, then he would offer us free lunch in his hotel! This was a real bonus, an exciting adventure plus free meals. It was a challenge to us now to capture the fort! And so we headed quickly towards the hill following his directions.
|The Path thru Forest|
|The Fort Wall|
|The View from Tippu Drop|
We reached the entrance of a mini-zoo-park maintained by the Karnataka Forest Department. The forest guard there was quite surprised by us when we inquired about the directions to the fort, and advised us not to venture there and if we wished to do so, we could at our own risk. He was not too convinced with our decision to move ahead since the route was not safe and difficult to climb and showed his concern for us. After a brief chat, he agreed and told us to return by 3 pm. We paid the nominal fee for entering the park and proceeded further. From here began our search for the first fort. Fortunately or unfortunately, he gave u no directions while we proceeded as though we knew the route to the fort! We made our own way until we reached a path that looked like a shepherd’s route. The ascent hereon was quite easy and pleasant. Within no time we reached the top of the first hill from where the fort was at a striking distance. We found a way towards the fort and started walking. The rest of the climb was simple and plain.
|Ruined Structure and Water pond|
|Lord Veerabhadra Swamy Temple|
|The Fort Ruins|
|Lone Microwave Station|
The fort was built by Tippu Sultan and later improved by the local Palegars. This conspicuous hill fort rises to a height of 4200 feet above sea level. There is a temple dedicated to Lord Veerabhadra Swamy and a small pond of water besides. A point on the edge of the hill was served as a place to kill the sinner by Tippu, who dropped them from that high point. It reminded me of Tippu drop of Nandi Hills. Not many structures remain on the fort apart from a few ruined ones. The strong and lonely fort walls have many stories buried within them. The different views from atop the hill were mesmerizing but for us, the most striking one was that of a hill higher than this with a fort like structure. After resting a while, we started our descent and reached the park that housed a small zoo having nothing more than rabbits, swans and peacocks. Though the premises have been fairly maintained, we felt a little extra care needs to be put in by the concerned. The guard became friendlier once we returned and spoke to us calmly. Very surprisingly, he was not aware of the exact name the hill carried and quoted names like Kaivara fort, Anegundi fort, Tippu drop, Permachanahalli fort, etc. We headed directly to the shop situated right opposite to the park and quenched our thirst drinking some refreshing mango juice. The lady at the shop was shocked and said most of the people who get in to climb up the hill return after trekking half way. Now the time had come to redeem our reward of a free meal and reached the hotel. The challenger had a broad smile on his face and was not ready to believe we had actually done it. We had to convince him by showing a few clicks of the fort as proof. Very kindly, he offered us lunch while we thanked him and moved on.
The hunt for the second fort begins…..