Halae Somapur fort ruins

While scanning the hills around Tallur a fort was discovered, it was equidistant from Tallur and Somapur. Also, I had read about a megalithic tomb in the vicinity of Tallur. I had seen Tallur during my visit to Subapur fort.

October 20, 2012

Malatesh and I set off in search of a slab with prehistoric drawings near Navil Theerth dam, Saundatti. The slab was discovered by a well known archaeologist during excavations at the dam site. We searched few probable locations with help from folks living in a village nearby. Sadly the search efforts went in vain but we visited Ramlingeshwar Gudi and explored Navil Theerth gorge. Then we decided to head towards Tallur with a hope of finding the megalithic tomb and Somapur fort.
At Tallur, we stopped near Tallur Desai's fort. We inquired with village folks if they were aware of a megalithic tomb in or around Tallur. No, there's no such thing here :-( When we checked about the fort, they confirmed its existence. It's called as Halae Somapur fort. We wsked if there's anyone who take us there. One of the men asked an old man if he could show us the fort. Yes, and our guide Fakirappa was ready to leave.
The path starts near Tallur Desai's vaadae, in fact exactly behind it. On the village outskirts are two ancient wells. 

Close to the second well is an ancient Muslim tomb. That's Fakirappajja.

The path was a through a wide valley, slightly uphill, very rough because it was littered with stones. Running here is not an easy task. A streambed crisscrossed our path. Also at places there were large beds of rocks with pebbles embedded in them (see inset above).

After a 20 minute walk, ruins of the fort came into view. Fakirappajja was a silent type, spoke only when spoken to. He moved at a constant pace, in fact we were struggling to keep up with him.

Another 10 minutes walk we were at the base of the rocky hillock. The walls were not really high, we felt the fort's construction was abandoned in early stages.

Going up the hill we saw few interesting rock types. Going by the look they seem to be igneous rocks. Pebbles trapped in solidified lava.

The fort wall's height varied from 2' to 8' and width varied between 4' to 6'. Dressed stones are used but the construction seems primitive.

This is the western corner of the fort.

The fort is built on a corner of this hill and from here we can see a T-shaped gorge about 40' deep. On the slope of the neighboring hill is a small temple where rituals are performed on special days.

Perhaps this gap in the wall was a planned doorway.

We walk along the fort perimeter, this is the Southern part.

Part of the wall seems to have collapsed here.

The eastern walls are higher and in slightly advance stage of construction.

This is the inner side of the eastern wall.

Inside the fort are ruins of six or seven small houses.

Nothing much to see here. Malatesh and I felt construction was abandoned because the rulers felt this location was not really strategic. We decided to inspect the temple. We climbed down the same way we climbed up and then took a sharp turn to the left and walked along the base of the hill. To our right is a stream bed. If rains were good this place would be alive with gurgling streams and clear water ponds. Yet, we found a trickle of a stream flowing silently.

From this angle with the Shikhara hidden the structure can be mistaken for a mosque. Fakirappajja goes in and pays respect to the deity and settles down on for a short rest.

A small collection of ancient sculptures belonging to this temple. The fort is on the hill opposite.

We sit here for a while, it was quite warm because of lack of air movement. The place is silent except for birds and a cries of village boys herding cattle on these hills.

Here's a short video of the fort and hills-

Walk back to Tallur was slightly easy because we were going downhill. At the village we refill our water bottles at Fakirappajja's home, thank him and say bye.

This is how the villages and forts are spread out. The area between Tallur and Somapur is hilly.

 We were hungry and we drove back towards Saundatti looking for a good spot to have lunch.

Halae Somapur fort coordinates: 15°53'45"N   75°0'41"E
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