Monday, January 4, 2010

Kavaledurga, The impregnable Forthill

Bhuvanagiri Durga (Kavaledurga) - The impregnable fort.
Kavaledurga is a beautiful place which i have visited many times, going through my old photos I thought this place needs to be highlighted and an article written on it.

Kavaledurga is a magnificent fort located on a hill at an attitude of 1541meters. Among the many forts of Karnataka, one that cannot be missed is Kavaledurga in Shimoga district.There are interesting stories and fables tagging this fort many temples of various deities. According to Hindu legends, this place is called as Parashuram Kshetra and was famous in Krita Yuga. In Treta yuga sage Agastya and Valmiki had stayed here. In Dvapara Yuga there are legends which tells that the Pandavas had stayed at this place for a while. Bhuvanagiri durga is also mentioned in the Skanda Purana by the name Kavya vana and Kapila durga.
A large fort was constructed at Kavaledurga around 9th century ad, which boasts of beautiful architecture & great construction plans at that time. This fort lying amid the green mountain ranges. This fort is around 8 Km in circumference and had fort walls which were 30 to 40 foot with watch towers at selected spots. This fort had 2 types of defenses with 2 line of fortification surrounding the village beneath the fort and 5 line of fortification surrounding the fort. The village fortification is no more but can be seen at few selected spots.
This Fort is ruined to a large extent and what remain are two fortresses and the Mylaareshwara shrine. There were 15 temples of which only three temples are visible today are Sri Lakshmi Narayana, Kashi Vishwanatha and Shikareshwara  The remains of the ones splendid and magnificent royal palace with Darbar hall takes us back to past. We can also see the remains of the Jail, Ammunition house, swimming pools, Ghalige Battalu (An ancient copper pot used for time measuring before the arrival of modern clocks and watches) and the Royal horse and elephant stable.
From the image of ‘Nagadevathe’ it shows some treasures were hidden still we can see this in one temple wall.
We can see Islamic style doorway in Kashi Vishwanatha Temple. Original doorway may changed into Islamic style during Hyder period.

The uniqueness of Vishwanatha temple is that there we can sight two stone pillars in front of this temple. Normally we cant find such things in other South India temples.
Our Team visiting Lakshminarayana Temple .The Lakshminarayana Temple on the top of a huge rock in the fort premises still remains strong. As you move on, you can come across the ruins of Darbar Hall and Queen's private swimming pool.
One time this empire also very colorfully and wealthy like this photo which captured from one of the beautiful pond on this fort. This fort has 7 lakes and is always full with water till date even in summer. Rain harvesting technology was used by which all the water accumulated used to flow from the top of the fort to the bottom through a specially constructed water channel. Even the natural water flowing from the mountains through the dense forest was made to flow through the water channel into the lakes. Even today the water flows from one lake to another through the underground channel and gets accumulated into the big lake below the fort hill and from here it again flows through a channel through the village and joins another big Manmade lake, Thimmarasa Nayaka na Kere.
Ruined Palace view on the way to hill top.
History- A small fort was constructed at Kavaledurga, near Thirthahalli at around 9th century AD. The king of Belagutti, Cheluvarangappa strengthened this fort in the 14th century. Later on the fort was in possession of Tholaytama and Mundige brothers and was called a Kauledurga as it was situated near Kauli village. This fort was later on acquired by Hiriya Venkatappa Nayaka a Keladi king in the 16th century and he constructed seven battlements to protect this fort and renamed it as Bhuvanagiri Durga. This place was annexed by Hyder Ali in 1763. This place was later called as Kavaledurga and is still know by that name. There is a folklore that as Hyder Ali had left a group of soldiers to take care of the fort and they were called as Kavalu dararu in the native language and thus the name Kavalu Durga gave raise to Kavaledurga. This place was later made a Taluk headquarters and continued to be one till 1882. Later on the taluk HQ was shifted to Thirtharajpur or the present day Thirthahalli in Shimoga District.
As you keep on exploring the once glorious place, you come across a small cave-like structure in which you can find fresh water throughout the year.This is called as "Gadaa Theertha" because it was supposed to be dug by Bheema's Gadaa (of Mahabharata fame). There are one or two small ponds formed out of rocks in the fort premises. If you are a good explorer, you can also find a statue of "Aadhishesha" (the divine serpent) on the way. There is another place called "Tupaaki Buruju" which probably means that this part of the fort was meant for ammunition and guns, as "Tupaaki" means "cannon" and "Buruju" is a fort. 
The view of the Western Ghats and the Varahi and Chakra rivers are mesmerizing, recently our archaeology departments too have taken the initiative and some interest in rebuilding the fort and preserving our heritage sites, there are interesting stories and fables tagging this fort many temples of various deities can also be seen here. Many sages who have done hard penance in these hills have left a great positive energy. 
Varahi back water beautiful view from top.
 For more details about this place kindly refer this link- 'Kavaledurga Histry' in Kannada.


pruthviraj shastry said...

u given a gud pictures of kavaledurga here... and by seeing this i am also became very interesting to visit to this place.. and i wish to know other information about the place before visiting to place.. so plz give me more details lik accommodation or staying, and more..

Rakesh Holla said...

Dear Pruthvi Raj,
Thanks for your interest about this place Really this place is worth to visit,
Really if you want to know more about this place contact me through my E-mail.
Tahnk u...

Unknown said...

very good information sir, i will post my trip photos to you, which may interest to you. these photos are from gundlupet and surroundings.

Deguide said...

That is a beautiful fort.....and it has been covered very well in pics, this fort i should not miss all thanks for info. Pl let me know your blogadda id

Unknown said...

Nice description...please mentioned root details...

ಶ್ರೀಧರ್. ಎಸ್. ಸಿದ್ದಾಪುರ. said...

hai, how much time is required to see kavaledurga fully. as working as a teacher we want to visit with children.

Rakesh Holla said...

Minimum Half Day...
For School trip 2 to 3 hours is enough.

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Sachin said...

Please, never even think of visiting this place during monsoon, the path to the fort is very very slippery, chances of hurting yourself is very high, personal experience, apart from that, nice place, worth visiting once

Unknown said...

good post

Unknown said...

Wow nice also get the various fun places in pench.Pench is a beautiful resort.It is famous for its tracking.For more details visit pench resorts

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...


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