Bangalore Fort

Only a small section of the fort remains and even less is open to visitors, but you can see how grand it was. The original fort was built by Kempe Gowda, a feudal lord and the “founder ” of Bangalore, in 1537. It was leased to the Mysore King in the 1600s and the King added the Ganesha temple inside the fort walls and expanded the fort.

By the mid 1700s it was in the hands of Tipu Sultan’s father, Hyder Ali, who made further expansion. (Hyder & Tipu were Muslim rulers, but most of their subjects were Hindu, which probably explains why the Ganesh temple survives.) Tipu assumed control of the fort upon his father’s passing and expanded it even further.

Lord Cornwallis captured the fort in1791. Cornwallis had to return it to Tipu almost immediately as part of a peace treaty, do he didn’t have time to expand it (although he left a tablet in the wall commemorating his victory).

Here’s the exterior — as seen from the busy commercial streets that surround the original heart of Bangalore.

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The doorways are topped with elegant stone carving . Then there are the huge gates/ door (big enough for a fully loaded war elephant and then some!), with evil looking spikes pointed outward.

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Even though Hyder Ali & Tipu Sultan were Muslim, the first things you see when you enter us a small Hindu temple to Ganesh (I find it ironic that the ” Remover of Obstacles” greets people once inside the fort… Since presumably the fort wall is a pretty big obstacle).

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I love the graceful curve of the bastions that are the oldest part of the fort.

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Although at first glance the walls seem to be made of smooth stone & unadorned (aside from the doorways), in fact random stones have images carved into them. I tried to spot as many as I could:

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