Devanahalli Fort
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- Devanahalli Fort
- & Venugopala Swamy Temple
---Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.


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» Forts » Devanahalli Fort & Venugopalaswamy Temple

Devanahalli Fort is located 35 kilometers (22 miles) north of Bangalore city (NH7), at Devanahalli, Bangalore Rural District, Karnataka (Coordinates: 13°14'59?N 77°42'34?E? / ?13.24960°N 77.70939°E).

Stone steps to climb the fort wall - Devanahalli Fort, Karnataka
Stone steps to climb the fort wall - Devanahalli Fort, Karnataka.

A fort must hold out against enemy soldiers, but must also survive constant attack from Nature!

What does this fort have in common with the Krishnaraja Sagar (KRS) dam at Mysore ???

Both use SURKHI, a mixture of lime and soarsely powdered bricks. The KRS dam is built entirely with surkhi. In Devanahalli, this traditional material was used for water-proofing. You can still see traces of it on the floors of the bastions and ramparts.

The small channels that you can see along the inner fort walls allowed water to drain out of the ramparts, thus reducing seepage into the structure.

Do you see how the bricks in the small structures in this bastion have been laid diagonally? Each successive layer underneath will have bricks placed crosswise to the layer above it another simple, traditional method of improving strength and waterproofing capacity.

It was initially constructed in the year 1501 by Mallabaire Gowda. Then it remained in the care of his descendants until the middle of eighteenth century. In the year 1749, the then Dalwai of Mysore, Nanjarajaiah, attacked the fort and occupied the fort.

The lower portion is made of stones - Devanahalli Fort, Karnataka.
The lower portion is made of stones - Devanahalli Fort, Karnataka.

Afterwards, the fort passed into the hands of Hyder Ali and the passed into the hand of Tipu Sultan. In the year 1791, Lord Cornwallis laid siege to the fort and took possession during the Anglo-Mysore War.

Guards room -  Devanahalli Fort & Venugopala Swamy Temple, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.
Guards room - Devanahalli Fort, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.

The birthplace of Tipu Sultan, also known as Tiger of Mysore, is located near to the fort. The fort is situated on the side of National Highway 7 (NH7), near the Bengaluru International Airport.

ASI signboard with construction detals - Devanahalli Fort, Karnataka.
ASI signboard with construction detals - Devanahalli Fort, Karnataka.

An Archeological Survey of India (ASI) board outside the fort and at Tipu Sultan's birthplace declares them to be protected monuments (National Heritage).

Gun holes for firing - Devanahalli Fort, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.
Gun holes for firing - Devanahalli Fort, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.

The history of Devanahalli dates back to 15th century, when a family of fleeing refugees from Conjeevaram (modern day Kanchipuram), camped near the foot of Ramaswami betta, located east of Nandi Hills. Their leader Rana Baire Gowda was apparently directed in a dream to set up a settlement in this region. He and his Morasu Wokkalu family settled in a small village, Ahuti, which was later known as Avati. His son Malla Baire Gowda founded Devanahalli, Chikka-ballapura and Dodda-ballapura. Kempegowda, the founder of Bangalore city is also from Morasu Wokkalu family.

Road over the fort walls - Devanahalli Fort, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.
Road over the fort walls - Devanahalli Fort, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.

Devanahalli was part of Gangawadi and later came under the rule of Rashatrakutas, Nolamba, Pallavas, Cholas, Hoysalas and the Vijayanagara rulers. During the time of Vijayanagra rule, Malla Baire constructed the initial mud fort in 1501 AD with the consent of Devaraya at Devanadoddi, the previous name of Devanahalli. In 1747 AD, the fort passed into the hands of the Wodeyars of Mysore under the command of Nanja Raja. It was conquered many times from the Marathas and later came under the control of Haider Ali and Tipu Sultan.

Devanahalli Fort & Venugopala Swamy Temple, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.
Devanahalli Fort, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.

Tipu also renamed it as Yousafabad (the abode of Yousuf, the finest man) which never got popular. The fort finally fell into the British, under Lord Cornwallis in 1791, during the Mysore War.

Devanahalli Fort & Venugopala Swamy Temple, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.
Devanahalli Fort, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.

The present fort was built of stone by Haidar Ali and Tipu Sultan, is spread over an area of 20 acres (8 ha). The roughly oval east oriented fortification veneered with dressed masonry has as many as 12 semi-circular bastions at regular intervals.

Devanahalli Fort & Venugopala Swamy Temple, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.
Devanahalli Fort, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.

A spacious battlement is provided towards the inner side of the fortification. The fort has entrances decorated with cut plasterwork at the east and west. The entrances are quite small, comfortable enough for the horses of yore. The bastions are provided with gun points built with lime and brick.

Devanahalli Fort & Venugopala Swamy Temple, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.
Watch Tower - Devanahalli Fort, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.

The house in which Tipu and Hyder Ali lived also exists till date. The house of Dewan Purnaiah, a high-ranking official in Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan's court, is also located inside the fort.

Devanahalli Fort & Venugopala Swamy Temple, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.
Stes to climb the Watch Tower - Devanahalli Fort, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.

Tipu Sultan was born in Devanahalli in 1750. The birthplace of Tipu Sultan, located very close to the Devanahalli Fort is just a small pillared enclosure with a stone tablet which declares the place to be the birth place of Tipu Sultan. The area around the enclosure is known as Khas Bagh.

Tipu Sultan was born in here in 1750, near Devanahalli Fort, Karnataka.
Tipu Sultan was born in here in 1750, near Devanahalli Fort, Karnataka.

A memorial with a small plaque stands 150 m (160 yd) south-west outside of the fort, stating that Tipu Sultan was born here in 1751. It is about six feet (2 m) tall with a pillared enclosure and square top and bears a stone tablet.

Tipu Sultan was born in here in 1750, near Devanahalli Fort, Karnataka.
Tipu Sultan was born in here in 1750, near Devanahalli Fort, Karnataka.

The area around the enclosure is known as Khas Bagh and has a dried up stone pond, banana, tamarind and mango plantations.

Main entrance of Devanahalli Fort, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.
Main entrance of Devanahalli Fort, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.

Tipu Sultan also tried to change the name of the place to Yousufabad (the abode of Yousuf, the finest man), a name which never became popular. Devanahalli fort is an interesting structure.

View of the fort from Watch Tower - Devanahalli Fort, Karnataka.
View of the fort from Watch Tower - Devanahalli Fort, Karnataka.

Unlike most other forts in Bangalore district, such as Ramanagaram, Savandurga, Makalidurga, etc, built atop rocky hills, Devanahalli fort is built completely on flat ground. The ramparts and bastions of the fort are still preserved fairly well.

Devanahalli Fort & Venugopala Swamy Temple, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.
Devanahalli Fort, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.

The house in which Tipu and Hyder Ali lived also exists till date. The house of Dewan Purnaiah, a high ranking official in Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan's court, is also located here but there is no board or sign to direct the visitor to the dwelling.

Devanahalli Fort & Venugopala Swamy Temple, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.
Main Entrance, view from inside the fort - Devanahalli Fort, Bangalore Rural.

Devanahalli Fort & Venugopala Swamy Temple, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.
Inside the Main Entrance - Devanahalli Fort, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.

The small town inside the strong walls of Devanahalli fort has many temples. The Venugopalaswamy temple, which faces the main town road, is one of the oldest among them. The courtyard, with a Garuda Stamba, is spacious and the walls of the temple depict various scenes from Ramayana and the feats of Lord Krishna as a child, and the pillars have beautiful statues carved on them.

Entrance of Venugopalaswamy temple, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.
Entrance of Venugopalaswamy temple, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.

The sculptures in this temple is said to be comparable to the temples of Belur and Halebid. On the pillars of the main entrance stand two horsemen with swords unsheathed. The Garbhagriha has a standing Venugopala image of Vijayanagara style. There is a Dravidian style Sikhara over the temple. The Navaranga has four black-stoned pillars carved with fine relief sculptures on all sides, such as hayagriva, dancing female figures with attendant musicians, a conch blower, a kinnara with the lower portion of his body in bird form, a huntress removing a thorn from her leg, etc. A teru is the big chariot used to parade the idol of Gopalaswamy around the town once a year.

Entrance of Venugopalaswamy temple, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.
Entrance of Venugopalaswamy temple, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.

Gopala Bhattar told this Sthala Purana . This temple is situated in Bangalore Rural District and the place is known as Devanahalli. Ranabera Gowda was the resident of Kanchi and later on he came and settled in a village named Avathi near Benthakalur (Modern day Bangalore).

Outside of Venugopalaswamy temple, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.
Outside of Venugopalaswamy temple, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.

One day a Hailstorm and rain came and it washed away their settlement. Then they collected all the belongings whatever they could lay hand, and kept them under a tree, then one broom stick got struck in a ant hill and when they tried to pull it but it did not come out, so they left it and slept under a tree. In night they had a dream that in the ant hill there are seven vessels of Gold and jewelry and also idol of Venugopala Swamy and Thimarayana Swami are there and they should do the Prathistai of the same.

Walls of the temple depict various scenes from Ramayana and the feats of Lord Krishna as a child - Venugopalaswamy temple, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.
Walls of the temple depict various scenes from Ramayana and the feats of Lord Krishna as a child - Venugopalaswamy temple, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.

Then next day they dug out the Treasure and also the Idols of both the Perumal and did Prathistai of Thimarayana Swami in Gauthama Giri Beta and They came to Devanahalli as they wanted to build a Fort of their own and also do Prathistai of the Venugopala Swami. At that time one Pallegara named Deve Gowda who had a fort built in mud.

Pillers of Venugopalaswamy temple, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.
Pillers of Venugopalaswamy temple, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.

They requested Deve Gowda that they want to build a Fort of Stone and also want to build temple for Venugopala inside the fort, Deve Gowda told he will give land for building both the Temple and Fort , but they should keep his name to the new place. So they Build the Temple and Fort and named the place as Devana Halli which is 500 years old. This Kote was build by the Pallegara.

Walls of the temple depict various scenes from Ramayana and the feats of Lord Krishna as a child - Venugopalaswamy temple, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.
Walls of the temple depict various scenes from Ramayana and the feats of Lord Krishna as a child - Venugopalaswamy temple, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.

Devanahalli is also famous because Hyder Ali resided here and some people say his son Tipu Sultan ( The Tiger of Mysore ) was born here . Hyder was working for Land Lord named Drona Raya a Madhava Brahmin . Hyder was looking after the cows. every day he used to take the cows for grazing and did all household work. One day Hyder was tired and when he took the cows for grazing, he slept off. Then he did not go to Land Lords House for the Lunch , so his master came in search of him. Behold they were stunned to see a Cobra raised his hood and was protecting him from sun. Then Drona Raya immediately thought that this person is having a big Yoga and he will rule the Country one day. So Master took him and gave him nice lunch with Vade and Payasa ( Vade and Payasa is prepared only on special occasion and festivals) .

Back side of the temple - Venugopalaswamy temple, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.
Back side of the temple - Venugopalaswamy temple, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.

Then Hyder asked his master that what is the special occasion , for that master told that you are going to have a bright future. Then after some time the Army contingent came to Devanahalli and Hyder joined them as the stable hand .Then he slowly became a sepoy then a Commander in chief and then ruler of Mysore.

 Venugopalaswamy temple, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.
Venugopalaswamy temple, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.

Timings
Morning 7.00 AM to 01.00 PM and Evening 6.00 PM to 8.00 PM.

Venugopalaswamy temple, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.
Venugopalaswamy temple, Bangalore Rural, Karnataka.

Contact
Sri. Kannan Bhattar, Archakar, Sri Venugopala SwamyTemple
Fort Devanahalli, Pin 562110, Phone 9886536673.

•  Siddalingeshwara temple
•  Raghavendraswamy Math
•  Chandramouleshwara Temple
•  Sarovaranjaneya temple
•  Nanjundeshwara temple

A few yards away from the Venugopalaswamy temple is Siddalingeshwara temple. Next to this temple is a Raghavendraswamy Math. Across the street is the another age old temple, Chandramouleshwara Temple. It has a spacious inner prakara is built in Vijayanagara style. The Garbhagriha has a shivalinga, and there are two cells on either sides with images of Ganapati and Parvati enshrined respectively. On the left of the main road stands another temple dedicated to Anjaneya known as Sarovaranjaneya temple.

The Nanjundeshwara temple is a small building with two cells in a line and a common navaranga. It is said that this was earlier called Kashi Vishveshwara and is regarded as the oldest temple in the town.

You have to travel (from Mekhri Circle)on the road towards Hydrabad (NH-7), after 9 km from Bangalore you get the Yelahanka Satellite Town. Proceed straight ahead for another 29 km to reach the outskirts of Devanahalli. Then you have to turn left at the entrance of the town and half-a-km from the entrance is Tipu's birth place and fort. If you don't want to go through Yelahanka Satellite Town then keep driving on NH7 Devanahalli Fort will come on your right side (You can see the fort from NH7).

 
 
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