Mar 2, 2013

Kundana fort

I read about Kundana fort in a travel blog listed in the blog roll. Kundana is a typical agri based village, it is 10 kms west of  Devanahalli. To the north is Nandi Durga and to the west is Dodballapur.

August 14, 2012

After Varlakonda and Nandi Durga, Kundana would be the third and last fort for the day. Even though the place could be found easily on Google Maps, its not simple to reach the place. Once off Nandi Betta-Devanahalli road, we had to stop a dozen times to confirm if we were heading towards Kundana.

 The hill towers over the village. Kundana hill is a narrow an long hill in plan, it measures about 600m x 200m at the widest. The hill has almost vertical faces on the west and southern peripheries.

We drive around the hill trying to find the way to the top as directed by village folks. We followed the dirt path leading to the north side, the place seemed deserted. The path ended, Sudhakar switched of the engine.. that's when I heard a lamb bleat, we can find a shepherd close by :) A man appeared in the scene. I guessed he might agree to guide me up the hill. Yes, Manjunath was ready to take me up. The path we took was steep for a short distance then it leveled out when the fort walls came into view.
Rock shaped like a humanoid- head, neck an body.

Fort walls seemed to be well preserved. Natural rock formations have been integrated into the defence systems.
That's the fort entrance, seems to be the only entry point. To my left is a sheer drop.
Other side of the gateway. Massive boulders provide good security here.

That's a part of Kundana village. A group of boys were playing volleyball in the school grounds.

On the hill top are two temples, one of them being Chennakesava Devastana.

Behind the main temple is a raised platform. Perhaps this was a stage for special events. Not sure if that pillar is a Vijayastambha or a Deepastambha.

Left to right; Channagiri, Brahmagiri and Nandi Betta.

Though the hill is small, rulers of those days made sure the fort had its own water sources. There were   at least 4 tanks to capture rain water, two small and two large. The pit on the right is one of the larger tanks.

This is one of the smaller tanks. The wall which worked like a dam has collapsed. The other small tank is opposite the Chennakesahava temple.

Beyond the stambha the surface slopes down.

Walls have been to improve defense.

We come back to the gateway, I wanted to inspect the surroundings. this seems to be an important part of this fort.

This is one of the larger pits which serves as a water tank.

The cone top of a boulder which is an integral part of the main fort wall besides the fort entrance. A pit dug by a treasure hunter.

Notice the fish embossed on the cross beam. The gateway is situated right besides a sheer drop.

I asked Manjunath if he's seen any inscriptions on this hill. Answer was no. As we descended I happened to notice this grid on a level surface. Perhaps there was some writing here which might have faded.

This fort might have been constructed during Hoysala or Vijayanagara times. And in recent history it might have been under a Palegar.

Descending was little tricky because of the dirt path. Back at the cab, Sudhakar and Manjunath's father were chatting away. The old man asked us we could have taken the easy path up which starts at the eastern tip of the hill. Oh, somehow we missed it. Anyway, Manjunath was a great guide. They are simple folks eking out a living by shepherding. Life can be so difficult for some people.

Devanahalli was on our agenda but time was running out, it would be dark by the time we reached. We decided to head back home..


Kundana fort coordinates: 13°15'28"N   77°37'48"E
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