Clustering of Forts
There are clearly three different clusters of forts in this map. The top half of the map contains two clusters, one to the west of the hill range and the other to the east. A thin ridge connects the two clusters and a bulge of plains that also extends southwards with Gadag at the center of this plain region.
The third southern cluster is obviously meant to protect access to the Tungabhadra river south of the cluster.
Thanks to Siddeshwar for pointing out some of the forts listed in this post and for putting up pictures from his travels to those forts at his blog.
While looking for more information on the fort at Gajendragarh, I chanced upon a blog post that referred to two more forts around Gajendragarh.
One has to take the Gudlur route from Aihole, which is approx 30 kms and further onwards it is 22 kms one comes into Gajendragarh one of the massive forts. There two more fortifications enroute to this fort along with a Kalkakaleswar temple.
The area turned out have six more fortifications. Looking at the size and shape of the fortifications, I am inclined towards these being sarais or caravan stations than forts.
The fortifications between Aihole and Gajendragarh
The northernmost fortification overlooks Aihole. The remaining five are concentrated around Gudur.
Todays map of fort’une is of Gajendragarh. Once belonging to Shivaji, it lies pretty much in ruins today.
Easiest way to locate the town of Gajendragarh is look right of the center of the Bijapur-Dharwad-Hospet triangle.
The fort is on the hill north of the town. The hill is actually the southern end of a ridge that starts around Gajendragarh and extends north-westwards towards Belur.
The detail shows atleast one fortification that forms an enclosure and another that seems to extend to the west of the hill. Google doesn’t have very good imagery of this area.
I was a bit surprised that the AMS map, which I generally take as definitive when it comes to forts, did not show the fort at Gajendragarh. That is a lesson learned. On the other hand, it does show a smaller fort at the extreme end of the ridge. The green patch in the image is the ridge, with Gajendragarh at the SE corner and the smaller fort at the NW corner. Almost as if the ridge was to be protected or the towns East of the ridge were to be observed from these.
Zoom out and switch to terrain mode to see the ridge spanning the area between the two forts. Information on travel to Gajendragarh is