Bangalore Fort Overview

Initially, it was constructed as a mud fort in the year 1537 by Kempe Gowda and then was rebuilt by Hyder Ali into a fascinating stone structure standing that still does not fail to mesmerize the spectators. 

The rampant and the remnants of the fort can be witnessed in the K. R market area. As a large portion of the fort vanishes today, the Tipu Sultan’s summer palace was a part of the fort which now looks as a separate entity. 

Kempe Gowda also made a temple dedicated to his daughter in Koramangala for her act of self-sacrifice to benefit the construction of the fort. As the southern gate of the fort would fall every time it was built so someone suggested a human sacrifice, Gowda did not agree to this act but his daughter self-sacrificed herself. 

Tipu Sultan’s summer palace is a major attraction of the fort which purely based on teak wood framework and decorations.

Location: Krishna Rajendra Rd, New Tharagupet, Bengaluru, Karnataka 560002

Best Time to Visit: Post monsoon as the entire regions turn in hues and tints of Green.

Price: INR 5 for Indian nationals and INR 100 for foreign nationals and for video camera it will be Rs 25.

Timings: 8:30 am to 5 pm on all days of the week.

Average time required to visit the place: 3 to 4 hours.

Distance from Kempe Gowda Bus stand: Approximately 3.5 km

The silicon valley of India, Bangalore adorns the majestic Bangalore Fort, also known as Tipu Sultan’s fort that stands testament to the rich history of the Kingdom of Mysore and is a powerful edifice of Indian history. The fort takes you through the different architecture styles, their influences and evolution and has its own share of history engraved deeply in the fascinating stone structure.

It represents the architectural creativity and brilliance of the Mysore rulers and is one of the most popular monuments in India, that still does not fail to mesmerize the spectators.

The fort is a living testimony of the notorious struggle of the Mysore Empire against the mighty Britishers. A portrayal of bravery and dexterity, this palace is also known as the abode of happiness or the Rash-e-Zannat; meaning the Envy of Heavens and showcases the brilliance of Islamic architecture prevalent in India during that time.

Tipu Sultan’s summer palace now stands as a separate entity and is a prime attraction of the fort which was extensively used by the ruler as a summer retreat. This wonderful piece of architecture was entirely made up of teakwood framework and Islamic interiors.

The fort was open for the general public back in 2005. It's interesting to see that most of the fort is in ruins after witnessing many battles, but once inside it, you can see several artificial ponds, arsenals, rest areas and half a century old Ganpati shrine. The beautiful paintings and murals on the walls narrate the ruler’s bravery and chivalry and his hatred towards the British.

History of Bangalore Fort:

The beautifully constructed Bangalore Fort was initially built as a mud fort in the year 1537 by Kempe Gowda, the chief of the Vijayanagara Empire and the founder of the megacity Bangalore. Gowda had a dream to create a city which would be as beautiful as Hampi and would be a capital city with a fort, temples, tanks or water reservoirs and a cantonment.

So Gowda went on to create a charming city and fortified it with mud. In 1687, the Mughals took possession of the present-day Bangalore city and leased it to Chikka Devaraja Wodeyar, the then King of Mysore in 1689, who further expanded the existing fort.

Almost 100 years later, the fort was renovated and strengthened with stones by Hyder Ali, the father of great warrior Tipu Sultan, also known as the Tiger of Mysore.

The magnificent fort was spread across a mile and was flanked by wide ditches which were commanded by 26 towers encircling its ramparts and protecting the palace from all the sides. The construction of Tipu’s fort was initiated by his father Hyder Ali in 1781 and was completed by him in 1791.

In the year 1791, the fort was attacked by the fierce British East India Company led by Lord Cornwallis, after killing almost 2,000 people. Following the bloody battle, the British Army captured the palace and ruptured through the walls during the Third Mysore War near the Delhi Gate.

At the time the citadel in the siege of Bangalore became a stronghold for Tipu Sultan. A part of it was destroyed largely due to the battle but was later restored under his aegis.

The architecture of Bangalore Fort:

The imposing monument has an unusual oval shape and is protected by thick walls, with visible marks of the damage caused by Lord Cornwallis and his army in the attempt to breach and capture the fort. One of the distinct features of the fort is a tall gate with three massive iron knobs that suggest guarded quarters and is reminiscent of the ancient Karnataka architecture with carvings of lotus, peacocks, elephants, birds and other elaborate motifs. 

The fort is spread across 2 floors with teak wood interiors and stone and comprises 4 royal rooms placed at four corners on the first floor, a large hall, chambers and two balconies from where the sultan used to address the officials and held his raj durbar. Inside the fort complex stands a beautiful Ganapati mandir which was constructed in the 16th century and is currently deserted. 

The two-storied palace of Tipu Sultan stands on a strong stone plinth and features exquisitely carved wooden pillars that rest over the stone base. There are teak wood pillars that act as a support for wooden beams covering the entire circumference of the palace. The walls and ceilings are handsomely painted in vivid colours and intricately carved in beautiful floral patterns and designs that portray Indo-Islamic architecture.

Legend of the Bangalore fort:

History is incomplete without some superstition. According to a famous legend, during the construction of the palace, the Southern entrance gate would collapse no sooner than it was built. The royal priests suggested a human sacrifice as a solution to ward off the evil spirits.

Kempe Gowda, the brain behind the fort, was totally against it. It was when one night his daughter in law, Lakshamma beheaded herself with a sword near the Southern gate, that the fort was completed without any further mishap.

After the construction of the fort was finally complete, Kempe Gowda got a temple built in the memory of his daughter-in-law in Koramangala. Such superstitions were always prevailing back then also, though Kempe Gowda was a rational ruler, who would never have agreed to this or allow anybody to do such a grave act.

Nevertheless, his daughter-in-law is said to have escaped at night and sacrificed herself listening secretly to her father-in-law’s problems.

How To Reach

From Airport:

The Bangalore Fort is located at a distance of around 38 kms from the Kempegowda International Airport in Bangalore. One can easily avail a cab from the airport to the palace, provided they keep the cab with them as finding a cab for returning can be difficult. It should take an hour from the airport to the fort, which will again depend upon the traffic conditions. You can also take an auto-rickshaw or a taxi or can reach there by local state bus.

Best Time To Visit

Although the pleasant weather of Bangalore allows tourists to visit it any time of the year, it is advisable to plan your trip during the months of September to December. After the monsoon, the entire region turns in hues and vivid shades of green.

Other Essential Information

Krishna Rajendra City Market, (at the intersection of Krishna Rajendra Road and Albert Victoria road) Chamrajpet, Bengaluru, Karnataka

Timing: 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM (open all days of the week)

Fees: INR 5 (Indian), INR 200 (foreigners)
          INR 25 per camera

Visit duration: 2-3 hours

Facts about Bangalore Fort:

1. Kempe Gowda built a mud fort during his reign but it was during the time of Hyder Ali that it was rebuilt. The present-day stone fort was built by Hyder Ali in 1761 and was captured by the British when it was under the rule of Tipu Sultan.

2. A marble plaque honours the spot where the British breached the old fort's wall, leading to its seizure. Inside, one can still see the gun holes where the soldiers used to station themselves.

3. Also known as the abode of happiness, the Bangalore Fort was designed keeping in mind the true sense of beauty.

4. The palace houses a museum from the four rooms on the ground floor displaying many famous historical artefacts and antique collection from the era showcasing the heroics and chivalry of the Mysore rulers and the luxurious lifestyle of the royals.

One can see the crown and clothes of the royal king embedded in gold and silver and the silver vessels that were gifted to Tipu Sultan’s father Hyder Ali by a general, amidst other rare collectables. There is also a display of paintings of people and places of the era created in the recent past.

5. The fort area also boasts a spectacular temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha built in the year 1790 in the vicinity of the palace which depicts the respect for other religions by the brave Sultan.

6. Kempe Gowda built the Ganesha temple in the memory of his daughter-in-law who sacrificed herself for the fort by chopping off her head with a sword as it needed some human sacrifice to ward off the evil spirits.

7. There is an art gallery displaying a number of paintings, pictures, murals, photos and delicate carvings of the past era.

8. The mud fort was constructed over a perimeter of one mile surrounded by a trench and nine gates. But today out of the several gates, only the Delhi Gate and two bastions have stood the test of time and is the only remaining heritage of Bangalore Fort which can be seen.

This in itself bears the imprint of the struggle of the mighty King against British domination. The Delhi gate is identified with giant doors that have elegant stucco carvings and tall spikes embedded to prevent elephants from barging in during wars and battles.

Tips for visiting Bangalore fort: 

1. The roads can be very busy during peak office hours and one might face parking issues if travelling by own vehicles. Apart from this, there might be reluctance from the auto-rickshaw or the cab drivers to go to this area because of the congestion. Therefore plan your trip well in advance.

2. Carry a pair of shades, a bottle of water and hats/caps as the afternoons can sometimes get very hot and uncomfortable.

3. There are some local rules about photography inside the palace. It will be better to know about them beforehand to avoid any inconvenience later.

4. Since the fort is located in a very busy street of Bengaluru, it can get very crowded and hence visitors are cautioned to be careful with their belongings.

5. Visitors are advised not to go on touching every artefact or painting they see in the palace premises, as they may be centuries old and are vulnerable to damage easily.
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Bangalore Fort FAQs

Who built Bangalore fort?

The Bangalore fort was initially built as a mud fort by Kempe Gowda in 1537, the founder of the megacity Bangalore. Later, Hyder Ali restored and converted it into a stone fort, the construction of which was completed by his son Tipu Sultan in the year 1871.

How to get to the Bangalore fort?

Bangalore is a big metropolitan which is very well connected from all parts of the country by flights, both national and international and trains from big cities like Hyderabad, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai etc. The nearest railway station is the Kempe Gowda railway station which is at a distance of 3-4 km from the fort. The nearest bus station is the Kempe Gowda bus station at 3 km, from where you can get autos and taxis that can ferry you back and forth.

What is the other name of the Bangalore fort?

The Bangalore Fort is also known by other names such as Tipu Sultan’s summer palace, as this was used by him as a summer retreat or the abode of happiness. Tipu Sultan himself called it by the title ‘Rash e Zannat’ meaning Envy of Heavens.

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