Bellary Fort

Some time 1999 or 2000

Prasanna of Epoch Instruments, Praveen and I were on a business trip to Bellary. We were here to gather technical information for a ladle weighing system at Bellary Steels and Alloys Limited. We reached the plant by 8 30 am, checked the ladle (which contains molten steel), had a round of discussion with General Manager, Purchase Officer and the production department head. We got the required information and our work was done by noon. We headed to the city, to the Railway Station, booked our tickets to Bangalore. From the station we saw the hill and the fort and decided to explore it.

We walked from the station towards the hill, at the base, we could see ruins of the base fort occupied by people. The entire path to the fort is paved with stone steps and the climb was easy. Now we entered the main fort... in through the main gateway. Most of the ruins are vandalized by treasure hunters, we could see stones displaced and pits dug all over the place. Otherwise the fort is mostly deserted.

The constructions- royal quarters, soldiers quarters, the fort wall, turrets -give an indication of the intelligence of the engineers of those times. We noticed a unique construction... discussed it for quite some time trying to figure out the purpose of it. Our guess was that it's a kind of system to train soldiers. That's the moment I regretted for not carrying the camera. Anyway... we went exploring. Ponds, small to large ones, have been created abundantly to harvest rain water. The fort was designed to be self sufficient for months during a war. As we counted the ponds, Praveen observed a water snake in one of the smaller ponds. Then we saw snakes in almost every pond, in fact one of the larger ones had five of them. Prasanna and Praveen chucked stones in the water to scare them and they enjoyed it!

It was lunch time... our stomachs growling... we decided o head back. Still inside the main fort, we were climbing down the steps... I noticed something interesting and decided to check it out while Praveen and Prasanna continued. Few minutes later I joined them back way down the steps... both had scared looks on their faces... they had seen a huge Cobra just feet away in their path with it's hood open. It was Naga_Panchami that day! Both regretted throwing stones into the pond. We were kind of jumpy for the rest of the way till we got out of the fort.

I was glad to have visited another fort but sad for not bringing the camera. One day, I want to visit the fort again and take lots of pictures and add them to my collection.

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