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Situated in the historic city of Ballari, the Ballari Fort is built on top of Ballari Gudda or the Fort Hill. The fort is believed to have been built during Vijayanagara times by the Palegar chief Hanumappa Nayaka. Hyder Ali took possession of the fort from the Nayakas in 1769 and got it renovated and modified with the help of a French engineer. Legend has it that the engineer was hanged, for overlooking the fact that the neighbouring Kumbara Gudda was taller than Ballari Gudda, thus compromising the secrecy and command of the fort. His grave is believed to be located near the East Gate of the fort, though some locals believe it to be the grave of a Muslim holy man. Visit the illuminated fort in the evenings and watch the past come alive.
Upper Fort: Upper fort of Bellary Hill houses a citadel, a temple, barracks meant for soldiers, deep wells for water storage.
Lower Fort: The lower fort has two entrance gates, one each on the western and eastern side. Lower fort is fortified with several bastions, followed by deep pits (often filled with water and infested with crocodiles, to discourage enemy soldiers from coming any closer). Kote Anjaneya Temple (Hanuman Temple) can be seen in the lower fort. The lower fort had shelters to accommodate refugees or villagers in case of war.
Nearby: Hampi (60 kms), Daroji Bear Sanctuary (43 km) and TB Dam (66 km) can be visited along with Bellary Fort.
How to reach: Bellary Fort is 309 kms from Bengaluru and 35 kms from Jindal Vijayanagara airport. Bellary junction railway station is only 2 kms from Bellary fort. Bellary is well-connected by rail and road from Bengaluru. Auto can be hired to reach Bellary Fort from Bellary city.
Stay: Bellary city has lots of hotel options to suit every budget category.