Bangalore Fort #makeheritagefun

On 13th march GoUnesco organized ‘make heritage fun‘ event in different cities of India. I participated in the Bangalore event. The idea was to visit state heritage sites. Mansoor Ali took time off his busy schedule to guide us through the sites. He seemed to be a scholarly person, well versed on history of these places. The monuments in the itinerary were The Bangalore Fort, Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace and an Armoury; all these within 500m radius. Of these only Tipu’s palace is well known, the other two are lesser known and less visited by tourists.

Our walk started from Bangalore Fort, a silent witness to forgotten tumultuous history of Bangalore. This tour was enlightening from that point of view.

History of Bangalore Fort

In early 16th century, Kempe Gowda, a local feudatory of Vijayanagara Kingdom, during one of his routine hunting expedition witnessed a strange incident: A hound was chasing a hare, after a while the hare stopped and turned back to face the hound. Stunned, the hound stopped, the hare now started chasing the hound which fled from the scene. Kempe Gowda impressed by this bravery, considered this as a good omen. He decided to build a fort in the same place. Only kings could build forts with stones those days; being a feudatory Kempe Gowda built the fort with mud. Bangalore flourished under Kempe Gowda. But with decline of Vijayanagara Empire, the fort was captured by series of rulers including the British.

f5Designs bangalore Fort

Bangalore Fort changed hands during 17th century. In 1687, Chikka Deva Raja Wodeyar purchased Bangalore from Mughals (who had captured it for few weeks) for a tidy sum of Rupees 3 lakhs! Can you imagine for 3 lakhs!!! In 1761, Haider Ali reconstructed a stone fort after demolishing the mud fort. He secured Bangalore as Jagir in 1758 and expanded and strengthened it by 1761AD. The fort we get to see now is remains of this stone fort. The fort had 26 bastions of which only 2 remains today.

It was a strong hold of Tipu Sultan. A plaque on the outer wall of the fort marks the place from where the attack was made by British soldiers in 1791. Bangalore Fort was intact with all 26 bastions till 1924. They later started dismantling it little by little till 1930s. Had it not stopped the fort would have vanished completely. The British built a protestant church with those stones. This was later brought down and hospitals (Vani Vilas Hospital and Victoria Hospital) were built with them.

Those of you who are interested in detailed history can visit wiki and Tipu Biography.

Tour of Bangalore Fort

Our guide Mansoor Ali had taken special permission that enabled us to tour the upper part of the Bangalore Fort. We walked over the two bastions (circular projections) where a couple of centuries back soldiers positioned themselves to defend the fort. The turrets provided cover to the soldiers after firing the canons. It was a good feeling to imagine being a soldier and take cover in the turret while others clapped hard to prove the sound insulation the turrets provided inside.

turret bangalore fort

Prison of David Baird

It was in this fort where Haider Ali, father of Tipu Sultan, had imprisoned Capt. David Baird and 200 British soldiers in 1786. David spent two years in the prison here. The room is dimly lit with just 3 openings for ventilation. The interior walls scribbled by tourists, no wonder they shut off this part from the public. David had made some graffiti on the walls and had written a poem sitting in this very prison. My blogger friend Ami Bhat reciting his poem in the same place where he had written it once!

As the twist of fate was, in 1799 David Baird stormed the southern Indian city of Mysore with his British troops. During the violent battle, Tipu Sultan, the last independent sultan of Mysore, was killed. Captain Baird recognized Tipu’s body among the heaps of dead bodies after the war. Tipu’s death led to the city’s final surrender and it marked the final consolidation of British rule in India. After listening to this sad part of history we moved on with the tour of other parts of the fort. If only the stones could speak what would have they said I wondered as I wandered on.

Prison Bangalore Fort

The Gates of the Fort

We then moved on to ground level. The Mysore Bagilu (southern gate) is huge and impressive with iron spikes in the upper part. There is a small Ganesha Temple inside the fort, which was closed at the time of our visit. The Kengeri Bagilu in the west is completely blocked.The Delhi Bagilu (named so as it faces north, Delhi is 2000kms from this point) and Myosre Bagilu at the south of the fort are decorated with fine Persian friezes. I have captured some of the details. The stones of the wall too have lightly sculpted forms.

A special mention for the beauty and cleanliness maintained inside Bangalore Fort. We were the first visitors for the day and I saw the staff engaged in cleaning there. For all lovers of history this is a must visit. And for those who take pride in Indian rulers and how they died defending our country’s honor and freedom, this monument is holy!

Tickets and Open Timings

There are no tickets for entry to Bangalore Fort.
Duration of tour can be anywhere between half an hour to one hour.
No refreshments or washroom facilities inside the fort.
Plenty of restaurants just outside the fort.
Camera is allowed, thumbs up for that!
Open on all days 8.30AM to 5.00PM.

Team Bangalore Fort

Flowers Bangalore Fort

Flowers in bloom at Bangalore Fort

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62 Responses

  1. Alexa T. says:

    Very impressive historical place to visit!
    Best regards!

  2. eileen says:

    Hello, what a wonderful tour of the fort. It is great they allowed the cameras for this holy monument. Great series of photos. Happy Monday, enjoy your new week!

  3. Al says:

    That’s an impressive fort with a very interesting history – excellent tour!

  4. Kavita says:

    Great pics.!! While in Bangalore we never got chance to visit this place… Feeling regretful 🙁

  5. Government should charge some entry fees which can be used for maintenance of the fort.

    Beautiful pics 🙂

  6. interesting place. its very good to know about the pace before visiting,it makes the place more interesting. well written,informative post. shots are nice.

  7. Beautiful picture and informative writeup

  8. Ami says:

    Well covered. I forgot about the video :D. Love all your pics. 🙂 The walk was indeed special owing to the fact that we got to go to the restricted sections,

  9. magiceye says:

    Wonderful tour indeed!!

  10. Never heard of this place despite living in Bangalore several years ago! So thank you for sharing this as beautifully as you did. Lovely pictures and many interesting tales…

  11. Arun says:

    Great post detailing the history of Bangalore Fort!

  12. Amazing place. Thanks for sharing .

  13. When architectural grandeur bears testimony to historical essence, we understand the unique variety of our journey across the length of time. A very nice post with lively pirctures.

  14. very interesting account indrani di…i would have loved to join this walk….if in bangalore!!

    http://www.myunfinishedlife.com

  15. s.c. says:

    Nice illustrated reportage of this fort and its history. I like that.

  16. sudhir says:

    Impressive! I would have loved to join, Alas, I am yet to visit though would have passed through countless times

  17. I am yet to visit this in BLR

  18. I grew up near forts for war and prisoners but nothing this elaborate.

  19. Interesting read on Baird and history of Bangalore Fort. Loved those pix of intricate carvings and the jail. Quite a contrast though 😀

  20. Vipin says:

    Great article, well described too. will visit. thanks for sharing.

  21. Chaitali says:

    You put light on something which might be loosing significance. Thanks for that, came to know about it through you.

  22. Priyanka says:

    Despite umpteen visits to Bangalore, I’ve never been here. On my list the next time in Bangalore.

  23. Bushra says:

    WOW! This is in Bangalore and I haven’t even been here!! Looks simply amazing with a stunning history.. will visit it as soon as I can 😀

  24. Even though we are residing in Bangalore for the Past 36 yrs, we missed visiting this place.. Thanks for the good info, Indrani.. Truly interesting!

  25. A beautiful place to visit.

  26. A super post because of historical account and poem recital by Ami. Thanks for sharing, Indrani 🙂

  27. Looks great place to visit in Bangalore. I will update it in my to go list. ty

  28. Meera says:

    Quite an interesting place. Nice photos. Will keep this in mind next time I visit B’lore.
    A Rat’s​ ​Nibble ​​

  29. Joyful says:

    I love the designs and carvings in your first few photos. It was poignant to listen to your friend recite the poem. How difficult the conditions must have been for all prisoners in those days.

  30. Sri Kri says:

    We had been to the Bangalore Fort.We were not allowed to visit the upper part.Glad that you went to tour the upper part of the Bangalore Fort. Missed this time.Nobody was there to tell about the history.Thanks a lot for sharing.

    Cheers,
    Sriram & Krithiga

  31. Mridula says:

    And this is the first time I am haring about the fort! What a fascinating history! It takes so many years in the making and can be narrated in a few paragraphs!

  32. Never heard of it, but very detailed post.

  33. Jyothi D'mello says:

    A piece of history revisited through your lovely post. The Fort images are beautiful.

  34. shweta says:

    Saw Ami’s post and then this….girls please take me along…I missed all the fun 🙁 miss ya 🙂 Make more such trips and awesome post 🙂

  35. Bibi says:

    Very informative post. I was in Bangalore once, but didn’t make it here…. Next time I visit the South! BTW, I am leaving for India on April 4th, but will remain in places in the North I haven’t been. I do plan on going south next trip.

  36. Arun says:

    Very interesting story about the fort. Thanks for the details.

  37. Yogi Saraswat says:

    A piece of history revisited through your lovely post. The Fort images are beautiful.Thnx for sharing lovely posts with us Indrani ji .

  38. vatsala mallya says:

    Nice informative read since the time Kempe Gowda’s rule in 16th century till the time Hyder Ali and then son Tipu Sultan’s rule who perished fighting British Army. !! Lovely images !

  39. The rich history of India, there is so much to visit and explore. The best part is the research done on the place to give readers so much knowledge.

  40. dNambiar says:

    Nice to know you got to see the fort. And nice to know it’s open all days. I’d like to see it sometime. I made an attempt once and it didn’t work. 🙁

    I hope what’s left of the fort will have a long life.

    Thank you Indrani.

  41. Divsi says:

    I missed the Bombay edition of this. Maybe next time! Your post is proof of the fact that indian history has so many rich chapters waiting to be explored and be proud of! Great pics!

  42. Oh, I had never known about such a day. That fort sounds so interesting – so much hstory behind.

  43. Eloise says:

    That’s a great initiative from GoUnesco! I had never heard of it. The history of this fort is impressive! Thank you for sharing your experience and nice photos!

  44. Vicki Louise says:

    What an interesting place – so much history! Thank you for sharing in so much detail!

  45. Thanks for the introduction, I visit Bangalore from time to time so is it easy to get to the Fort from the city center?
    @ knycx.journeying

  46. Natasha says:

    Sounds like you had a wonderful tour with lots of sights and history to learn about!

  47. Katy says:

    The stone work and carvings are really beautiful. Loved learning about the heritage and history of the fort too. My kind of travel.

  48. This seems like it was a really great event they put on and your visit to the fort looks so interesting. The building itself is beautiful and then when you layer in a unique historical story it makes it come alive. Love that your friend recited that poem in the same place it was written!

  49. Carmy says:

    I appreciate that there is no fee! That gives the lack of bathrooms/refreshment a pass since I am not paying for entry. I’d love to be able to visit one day – it looks so interesting!

  50. Frankly, I had no idea that the Bangalore Fort had so much impressive history attached to it. Great read!

  51. Chantal says:

    I love visiting forts and castles! They’re always bursting with history! I love the stonework at the entrance to this fort, such incredible detail… And how generous that they let you visit for free!

  52. I had no idea of this place! Very interesting post Indrani 😀 Surely visiting the next time I get to Bangalore.

  53. Karolina says:

    I have never been to Bangalore but your post was very interesting to read. I love your photos! Visiting old places is something I always do when I am traveling.

  54. It’s quite interesting how over centuries how the culture changes by war or rulings. I also find it fascinating how they can dismantle a building of stone and use the stone for a new building. I’m glad they were able to save some of the old fort.

  55. blair villanueva says:

    I could imagine how progressive the place surrounds the fort many years ago. Such a beautiful and still great looking fort!

  56. This must be a very interesting place with great history! Thank you for sharing because I had absolutely no idea of this place

  57. Joanna says:

    I am impressed that there is no ticket to visit the Bangalore fort and that is free. That is great news, especially that it has such an amazing and sad history behind it and that you can find it out with a guided tour.

  58. Wow some really interesting history here. Prisons are always eery places

  59. Anju says:

    Wow interesting to read about the rich history at this place! I lived in Bangalore for 6 years, sadly never visited this place! Will definitely go check it out when I’m in the city next.

  60. Ana Ojha says:

    What a bummer that I worked in a Banglore for a few months a long time ago but never got a chance to visit this fort! Looks like an incredible piece of history!

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