Thursday, May 28, 2009
NARASIMAHA GHADA Forthill –(Gadaikallu)
This was my second visit to this place & this time also this trip was led by one of my trekking partner Ramesh Kamath.
We reached the base of the hill where we have to pay a minimum amount of Rs 30/- to the forest dept who are maintaining the fort. The trek is more of climbing steps than a serious climb.The total number of steps is around 1800, but you won’t realize all the steps you just think its ruins or its just rock and then we slowly start climbing steeper and steeper domains.
We see a rock face after some time; we get a nice view of the Kudremukh mountain range from this open rock face. We took some rest there & moved ahead.
These steps are not difficult to climb,but once you reach the top it's a top of the world feeling offering an excellent view of the beautiful landscape. This may be the reason why Tippu must have built his fort at such a beautiful location where on one side you see the Western Ghats and on the other you see the vast plains of South Canara . It’s a very panoramic view.
The fort is more than 500 meter height, and its circumference at the bottom is about 4 to 5 kilometers. It is one of the most challenging trek in Rainy & Summer season.
Inside the citadel, at the top there are two unclean sweet water tanks (not well maintained). One of the bastions has a dismantled iron canon. Ruins of walls and parapets can be seen. A small construction of Tippu's time is the only shelter. The wall of this construction is about one meter in width that to it is of solid rock. The most surprising thing is that the fort has a plateau of about 4 to 5 acres right at the top.
After spending some time looking around sinking into the breath taking beauty of the surroundings we had our lunch, being peak of summer and the sun beating down mericlessly we started our way back the unhindering enthusiasm of a trek takes us to places being it any season ...though completely exhausted and not a word from the whole team every one trying to face the heat in their own way we finally climbed down and reached our places,it was a a summer experience by itself a nice outing adding to all other ventures of mine.
Fort History :
Narasimaha Ghad fort, located near Beltangady town is 1788 ft above sea level & it is also referred to locally as ‘Jamalagadda’. The fort was built by Tippu Sultan in 1794 and named after his mother, Jamalbee.
The nearly 1876 steps to the fort are cut out of this granite hill (probably with the help of French Engineers) and lead all the way to the top through the fort to the summit.
The fort was captured by the British in 1799 during the 4th Mysore war. Legend has it that those out of favor with Tippu were hurled down this fort to their death.