1. H Krishnamurthy
2. P C Gautam
3. Ashok Rao
Date: 25th September, 2021
Mode of Transport: Tata Tigor
We have spend now multiple weekends planning and cancelling trips at the last moment. But this time, a confirmation was sought from all participating colleagues to join the trek 🙂 to avoid last minute plan drop outs. It was agreed that we trek and conquer Ratnagiri Fort which is located near to the borders of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. A quick Google search of Ratnagiri fort will show the fort which is located in Maharashtra, which is more famous. One needs to write in Karnataka/Andhra Pradesh to get the details. All said and done, we were ready for the trek on the said date and time.
The fort dates back to the days of Pandyan and Chola Dynasties before falling to into the hands of Hyder Ali. It is also believed that after the fall of the Vijayanagara Empire, Allasani Peddana and around 500 Brahmin families settled at Ratnagiri (Courtesy: AP Tourism). A part of the village resides within the fort walls, which spreads to the base.
The fort entrance walls were fortified with additional brick layers. As seen in multiple forts (Madhugiri, Gummanayaka etc.) the fort too has 7 concentric layers of walls around it and spreads across two hillocks.
A temple inside the fort walls at the base, marks the beginning of the trek. You can view the fort entrance just walking a few steps from there. We were not able to spot the entrance, due to thick growth of vegetation and lack of maintenance.
A proper rain water harvesting plan by the rulers, meant that the fort never went dry.
As the trip was post monsoon, there was thick vegetation all across the path. Huge fortified walls, stones nicely balanced against each other, marked the entire trek route.
The last climb to the top of the fort is steep, but it is do-able as proper steps are planned. As you reach the end of these steps, the climb is on loose dry soil. One needs to climb carefully and avoid slip. Post this, one is welcome with open flat plains on the top and again with lots of water harvesting efforts.
A view of the base village along with the fort walls, which spreads across the other hillock as well.
The place is around 113 kms from Yelahanka New Town. We hit the NH9 highway till Tondebhavi, from where one needs to take left towards the ACC Cement Factory and will reach Alipura. Went straight down the road till one reaches the Madhugiri circle. Take a right on this and then left. You will reach the base village. Roads are pretty good till the base of the fort. This can also be reached via the Tumkur road -> Dobbaspet -> Koratgere -> Madhugiri.