Chitradurga Fort - Chitradurga District
Forts and Palaces in Karnataka - Grand Walls, Tall Sories
Like in all other places, forts and palaces of Karnataka too, were build by the rulers who once ruled the state. Karnataka has come under the rule of many dynasties and great kings. Some captured the already built forts whereas few rulers built huge and magnificent forts for themselves. Forts and palaces were considered as a show of might and strength of the ruler so no hesitation was shown when it came to spending money for making the structure as formidable, luxurious and extravagant as possible. This show of might of yesteryears, has turned out to be a boon for the tourists today. We now get to have a glimpse into the world of royalty that the great kings once used to live in.
Mysore Palace is not only the grandest palace is Karnataka, it is arguably the best in entire India. The palace was first built by Wodeyars but the palace was rebuilt many times after calamities, one after another struck Mysore Palace. The structure that stands today, was built after the palace caught fire during a wedding ceremony in 1897. Famous architect Henry Irwin was commissioned to build a new and a better palace. He took designs from many architectural styles like Gothic, Indo-sarcenic, Hindu and Muslim and combined them to form a palace that still has no match. The Palace was completed in 1912. Inside the palace, there are plush hallways, ornate doors and extravagant rooms which resonate the royalty of yesteryears. Mysore Palace now is a museum that has put on display paintings, gold artifacts, jewelery and many more items that once belonged to Wodeyar rulers. The best time to visit the palace is on Sundays and national holidays, when the entire Mysore Palace is illuminated with thousands of bulbs. The illuminated palace at night is surely a sight to behold. Mysore Palace is also famous for the magnificent Dussehra celebration that take place here. The timing of the palace is on all days from 10 AM to 5. 30 PM. The illumination on Sundays and is done from 7 PM to 8 PM.
Built in the 15th century, Bidar Fort is one of the most imposing structures in Karnataka. It is situated around 40 Km from Gulbarga and is adjacent to Manjira river Valley. Bidar fort served to the Bahamani Kingdom from 1428-1489. The fort was then captured by Aurangazeb and remained under the Mughal rule till 1724. Different sections of the fort, were constructed by different rulers like the captivating front gate was built by Ahmad Shah Wali whereas the inner fort was built by Mohammad Shah. There are different palaces inside the fort, the most impressive being, the Rang Mahal. The palace has exquisitely carved wooden pillars and magnificent inlay work. Though in ruins, the huge red rock walls still narrate the story of its brilliant and glorious past.
Built by Hanumappa Nayaka of the Nayaka Dynasty, Ballari Gudda or Hill Fort was captured by Hyder Ali in 1769. He carried out extensive renovation work on the fort. The renovations were done by a French engineer. It is said that he was hanged by Hyder Ali just because he ignored that the fact that the neighboring Kumbara Gudda was taller than this fort. His final resting place is believed to be on near the east gate of the fort. Bellary fort is divided into two section, the Upper Fort and the Lower Fort. There are few temples in both sections of the fort. Pay a visit to the Kote Anjaneya Temple which is dedicated to Lord Hanuman. It is best to visit the fort in the evening time as few sections of the fort are illuminated and are a treat to eyes.
What we read in history books is what the great rulers did during their lifetime and how they died. However the forts and palaces of Karnataka show us, how the legendary kings lived their lives. Royalty and grandeur are etched in every stone of these massive structures. Come to witness the history come alive inside the forts and palaces of Karnataka.