Madhugiri is a hill fort in Tumkur district of Karnataka. It’s the Asia’s second largest Monolith. The fort is built from the ages of Vijayanagara dynasty in dravidian style.
A quick glance into history
Madhugiri Fort in its initial mud avatar is said to be built by feudal lord named Raja Hire Gowda under the rule of the Vijayanagara dynasty in the 15th century. In 1678 AD, the fort was captured by Devaraja, the Dalavayi of Mysore.
Madhugiri Fort was later reinforced and expanded by Hyder Ali, who is said to have added granaries, arches, and watchtowers. History records that after the conquest of Bidanur or Bednur, Hyder Ali had imprisoned the queen of Bidanur in this fort until its capture by the Marathas in 1767 AD.
The Maratha chief Madhava Rao held possession of Madhugiri for seven years and was forced out by Tipu Sultan in 1774. And that’s the history of Madhugiri.
Most of the travellers look for something like greenaries, lakes and rivers but Madhugiri is absolutely not such a place. It’s a rock fort. It’s almost 120KM away from Bangalore. We have started our journey early in the morning and reached there by 10.30 in the morning. By that time, it was heavy sunshine..anyone planning for a trek to Madhugiri, try to reach there before 9 otherwise it’ll be too hot and will be too tiring if the sun is up. Please take lot of water with you.
Also, don’t forget to take liquid cash with you..the place is very interior so the availability of hotels, ATMs are very less. In Madhugiri, there’s no entry pass and we started our trekking as soon as we reached there.
There’re steps and handrails available on the rocks to make the trek easier. However it’s not that easier..the steps are very steep and if we slip in between means..nothing more to think about :p
We can’t complete the trek at one-stretch. Of-course we need to take breaks in-between. Several circular bastions on the way, provide place for rest, apart from a great view of the town below. At some places we have to walk over big rocks and the steps are built in-between big rocks.
For us, it’s an incompleted destination – yeah, we didn’t reach the top of the fort. But we have covered almost 3/4 th part of it. It’s too difficuilt and risky to climb till the top as we have to carry our little one too. Otherwise, you can..Still the views are awesome from the point we covered. The views, even from halfway up, is breathtaking. Towards the upper part of the fort, most of the people were walking like monkeys (with hands too) as the climb is very steep.
Anyone wish to try an adventurous trek, yeah..Madhugiri is one such place. Always check the climate before you go. It’s not recommended in rainy season. The hill was too slippy while we were heading down so can’t imagine..during rainy season.
As I said earlier, it’s a very interior place..the main occupation of the middle class seems to be farming as most of the houses have cows and bulls laying in front of the houses with paddy fields on both the sides of the road, on the way to Madhugiri. Only small hotels are available in Madhugiri and ATMs at Koratagerre.
Near to the fort, a ruined building can be seen. Few police guards were there. There was a huge gate inside the building and that seems to be a Jail of the prisoners in the ancient time. Sheer hard work and grit of workers to build a fort on a grand scale is worth visiting.