Forts around Dharwar-Hospet-Badami Triangle

The Maps

Forts around Dharwad-Hospet-Badami Triangle
Original map courtesy of the University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin.(Click to enlarge)

The Forts

  1. Gajendragarh
  2. Shantagiri
  3. Belur
  4. Wankandrug or Vakkandurg
  5. Chikanal
  6. Gudur
  7. Kelur
  8. Mangalgud
  9. Badami –
    Southern part, Northern
  10. Mudkavi/Mudakavi
  11. Ramdurg
  12. Sirsangi, Govankop
  13. Hooli
  14. Parasgad
  15. Saundatti
  16. Nargund
  17. Anegundi
  18. Hampi
  19. Koppal
  20. Bahadur Banda
  21. Hamgi/Hammagi
  22. HoLalavvana Gudda,Srimantha Ghada Fort
  23. Mundargi
  24. Rangapur
  25. Torgal
  26. Munnavali

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.

More forts around Gajendragarh

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.

Forts around Gudur

Forts around Gudur
Original map courtesy of the University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin.

Co-ordinates of each fortification:

Wankandrug or Vakkandurg: 15.9155656,75.8296537
Chikanal: 15.943354,75.8870852
Gudur: 15.9373267,75.9168631
Kellur/Kelur: 15.9751329,75.9067297
Mangalgud: 15.9755868,75.8774292
Aihole: 16.0171395,75.883998

To view these, just input the two numbers as it is into the Search box on maps.google.com.

Gajendragarh

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.

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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.

Gajendragarh and fortification in vicinity
Courtesy of the University of Texas Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin.

Zoom out and switch to terrain mode to see the ridge spanning the area between the two forts. Information on travel to Gajendragarh is