Bangalore Fort also known as Tipu Sultan Fort was initially built as a mud fort by Kampe Gowda, the founder of Bengaluru. Later in 1761, the fort was converted to a stone fort by Hyder Ali, father of Tipu Sultan. The fort was stronghold by Tipu Sultan until it fell to the British in 1791. After coming under the British control, most of the palace was reconstructed into house schools and hospitals.
Bangalore Fort or Tipu Sultan’s Fort
Within the fort is Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace, a great piece of architecture: The Delhi Gate is a brilliant example of Islamic architecture. It has motifs and other carved decorations on the wooden doors. Ganpati Temple located in the fort complex is also a great place to visit. Also there is a city market surrounding the fort.
The fort dates back to the year 1537 when it was started as a mud fort by Kempe Gowda a chieftain of Yelahanka. It was a fort with moat surrounding it and nine large gates. Under the Mysore kings there were some attempts made to modernize the mud fort and its surroundings. It was enlarged converted into a stone fort almost 200 years later in 1761 by Hyder Ali. Bangalore fort was in thick of military actions during the regime of the famous Tipu Sultan.
In 1791 the British army led by Lord Cornwallis captured Bangalore by assault and laid a siege to the Bangalore Fort and after around six weeks of siege the East India Company stormed the fort which marked Tipu Sultan’s fall.
This majestic fort stands for as a witness to the struggle of Mysore Emperor against the British domination.
The Delhi Gate portion is a fine specimen of Islamic military architecture with the characteristic arches, motifs and the lattice work. The exterior of the Arch is beautifully ornate with motifs. As you go through the gateway on either side you can see the lattice windows pierced on stone sheets. There stands a pair of gigantic wooden doors with rows of spikes on it. The spikes are basically a deterrent against the charging elephants, which were used to break the doors.
Through the gateway structure, you will reach an open court surrounded by tall fort walls. Where you will see the shrine of Ganpati which dates back to the 16th century when the original fort was built. The style of the shrine is unusual to the region with sloping pyramid like a roof and whitewashed plane walls.
Inside the fort stands Tipu Sultan’s Summer Palace which has been built entirely of teakwood. This double storeyed palace stands tall adorned with pillars, arches and balconies. The floral motifs embellish the walls as well as the ceilings of the palace. On either side of the palace are beautiful gardens, which lead to its main entrance.
The Later Structures at the Fort
Within the Bangalore Fort were the present Victoria Hospital, the Kote Venkataramana Swami Temple, Tipu Sultan Summer Palace, Makkala Koota Park, the armoury in the Bangalore Medical College Campus, Fort High School, Fort Church, Minto Ophthalmic Hospital and the present KIMS hospital and campus.
The palace is open for the visitors throughout the week from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM.
Whereabouts and How to Reach ?
The Bangalore Fort is located near KR City Market, on the Albert Victor road Chamrajpet in the centre of the old Bangalore near the Kalasipalyam bus stand in Karnataka.
Bangalore is easily accessible from all states and cities of the country. Get down at the City Market Bus Stop and you can walk to the fort. There is a ticket counter at the gate where you will have to pay the entry fee Rs 5 per person for Indian visitors and Rs 100 per person for foreign tourists. If you wish to take a camera inside the fort there is no charge but for a camcorder you will have to pay Rs 25.
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