Kittur Fort and Palace

Saturday morning, I decided to explore Kittur fort again. Probably this was my 5th visit to Kittur fort. Driving towards Kittur from NH4, I turned left towards Choukimatha. I had visited once few years ago. The place has a peaceful ambiance. Choukimatha is connected to Shri Guru Madiwaleshwara of Garag and also Rani Chennamma's family. It seems infant Madiwaleshwara was found in a banana plantation close by to Choukimatha.

Below these stone platforms are the graves of holy men of this Matha. Each of the graves had one Naga-Linga-Pushpa on it, surely placed on it earlier in the morning.

Naga-Linga-Pushpa never fails to fascinate me. It's shape, color and fragrance are unique. It's one of Lord Shiva's favorite flowers.

Close by is a Naga-Linga-Pushpa tree with it's trunk full of buds, flowers and round fruit the size of a shot putt. The air surrounding the tree was saturated with the sweet fragrance.

The place is a typical Matha... ancient temples and tombs, an open well, plenty of coconut & other varieties of trees, and surrounded by fields. This matha houses a students' hostel for college going boys. Except for a couple of them most were gone for the day.

A little Shiva Linga on one of the tombs.

About a kilometer and half from here is Kittur Fort.

A - Western gateway, present main entrance
B - Museum
C - Palace
D - Eastern gateway
E - deepest part of the moat

The fort wall facing the West...

and the wall facing North. A moat runs right around the perimeter of the wall. Probably the moat was fed by water from a lake close to the Eastern wall.

View of the palace ruins from atop the fort wall.

The eastern gateway as seen from outside.

Bastions flanking the gateway are restored... plastered with a thick layer of cement-sand mixture!!

I was suprised to see the palace courtyard dug up, looks like some sort of excavation in progress. Walking through the array of rectangular pits I picked up few pieces of broken pottery as souvenirs.

Palace Durbar- conference hall.

View of the dairy in the foreground.

Kitchen Garden.

Water storage facility.

Secret Well

Swimming pool.

Pole Star viewing shaft.

You can see many interesting parts of the palace such as the pooja room; kitchen & it's stoves and chimney; wash basins; pipelines built into walls, bathrooms, drainage system, etc.

I went around the wall... a portion in the Southern wall has collapsed.

Just opposite the museum is this structure probably used as a watch tower. If I'm not mistaken, I remember seeing a big tree close by, it's missing now.

I went to check out the collection at the museum. The open air part has a couple of cannons and stone sculptures from various villages in the vicinity.

Mahasati, Location: Honnidibba, Belgaum District, Kalyana Chalukya, 13th Century AD

Gajalaxmi, Location: Auradi, Belgaum District, Kalyana Chalukya, 10th Century AD

Basavanna (Nandi), Kittur

On inquiry a local suggested me to check out Gadarmaddi near Kalmath, seat of a local pontiff.

Gadarmaddi, an ancient tower similar to the one inside the fort is atop a hillock. It offers a good view of Kittur and surrounding plains. Unfortunately five cell phone towers stand on this hillock... better to spend as less time as possible.

Done with Kittur sight-seeing. The same person who suggested Gadarmaddi asked me to check out Rayanna's statue at Sangolli. I decided to drive down 15 kilometers to Sangolli, birth place os Krantiveera Rayanna, one of the trusted lieutenants of Rani Chennamma.

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