Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Gulbarga Fort

Date: 28-12-2010
Today I chose to tour Gulbarga City. Reached there from Yadgir (Karnataka) on train(on Chennai-Mumbai rail route). Called once as Ahsenabad during Bahmani Sultanate period, now as Kalburgi in native language Kannada has its own culture and heritage. I visited Gulbarga Fort and Khwaja Bande Nawaz Durgah.
Gulbarga Fort was known to be built by Raja Gulchand of Warangal. It served as Capital of Bahmani Empire during 1347 to 1424 AD. This fort consists around 75 acres and 2 rounds of fortification. The outer wall is of lesser height and the inner wall is slightly higher and also had a moat around it. It has 15 bastions and 26 cannons. Most of the fortification was in a ruined state and encroachers were living happily in side the fort with full amenities.
I entered in to the fort through east entrance. There was a tallest stone built structure within a close distance from the entrance. A bifurcated path was going beside that structure from the entrance. Another one was leading towards Jumma Masjid. The stone built structure was 50 feet height with raised walls on all 4 sides and having an array of steps that were covering half of it's height at one corner beside the path, were leading inside. At the end of the steps there was a huge open top space still covered with walls on all sides. Up to this it was basement area. Open space area was only 1/5th of the total structure and the rest of it on the left side was further heightened. There were some openings to the left side wall, but they were sealed off with stones. At the other end of the floor there were another series of steps leading to the top. Atop there were 3 cannons placed strategically. So this must be a security post. From its top stared the most of the destroyed fortification, Jumma Masjid and another security post at a distance with a big cannon.
Came out of it and walked towards a bastion. On the way there were houses. People in those houses were not happy as I was inquiring about the path that was leading to the bastion. They were telling there was no way. But at last they agreed to go on. Thorns were lying in large on the path. It looked like officials cleared all the bushes. While I was approaching bastion a guy called me and yelled don't go. I told him to come there. He came and said, don't go up. It's a dangerous place. A wrong foot will make you collapse, like that. But I continued and asked him to come along with me. There was cannon on that bastion. I asked him about the cannons on other bastions. He told some were missing. Came down and marched towards Jumma Masjid.
This was a great mosque that can accommodate about 5000 worshipers at a time. It was built by an architect Rafi from Iran in 1367. Masjid is supported on 140 pillars. It has 250 arches and 5 large domes. The central dome was 80 feet in diameter and its interiors were decorated with flowers and creepers. There were 63 smaller domes also and they look like pots up on the mosque. This mosque was said to be fashioned on the lines of the famous Mosque of Cardova City in Spain. This was a silent place except for some chirps and tweets. Sat there in silence escaping urban chaos for a while.
Came out of Masjid, walked toward another security post in the fortification. This post was round and has 29 foot cannon, longest in this fort's artillery. Both the security posts were on same line. Walked along fortification until I had a all dome view of the Masjid. From the back also it has an attractive appearance. Except in the three structures area, everything was untidy. One can't even walk along the fortification. Path was full of thorns and human excreta. It seemed a few days ago authorities or care takers of the Fort or may be encroachers might have cut all the thorny bushes. So that I could have roamed here and there. Otherwise I wouldn't have made that adventure. At some places there were tiny passages in the inner fort wall to reach outer fort wall. Earth was filled to the wall height all along the inner fort wall, might be because it would be a repellent to enemy artillery.
Impression: The fort before decades was in ruining stage. Because there were no care takers. But nowadays everyone is there and all are allowing the fort to ruin in a rapid pace. Some of the places in the fort are not accessible now, thanks for the people who were residing in peace, happily erasing nearly thousand years of history. Archaeological Survey Of India washed its hands by putting a "trespassers are prosecuted" like thing. It seemed the fortification was being defaced in large in the last two to three decades time. This great fort withstood nearly for a millennium against all odds like wars, conflicts, change over between dynasties, unnoticed during British rule, face lift afterwards and now it is fighting for its existence in this peace time.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Jujjuru-Mulapadu Trek

Date: 21-11-2010
Today started our trek an hour behind the schedule at 10.00 at Jujjuru. As we reached the destination our guide and one helper were waiting at designated location. Started walking toward hills through our co-trekker Mr.Nagabhushana Rao's Subabul plantation. Nagarjuna Sagar Project Canal was flowing beside his field. Crossed it to enter in to reserve forest. Within 10 minutes we reached foot of the hill and began ascending. At 100 meters of ascend we heard noise of water flow. After another 100 meters there was a path leading to the stream.We deviated our path to have a look at that. Spent some time here and moved further in the path to reach another deviation toward the stream again. After a brief interval moved to cross the stream.Started again and met 2 persons who left their cattle in the forest. The cattle remain there for the next 3 months. Up to here path was boulder studded and steep uphill. From this point trail was flat. Here we contemplated what our next course of action would be with the guide for a while, about various options like what are the destinations we can reach from that place. He told the team can reach Kondapalli. We were happy to hear that. This was what we were looking for since long. Entire Vijayawada trekker's team was looking for this moment. This trail Jujjuru to Kondapalli is an end to end trail upon the hills in Kondapalli Reserve Forest Area.
Entire team was now on a brisk pace to reach the destination. Eventually we came through some beautiful locations en route. At 2.00 we stopped for our lunch beside a stream.
After a brief walk from lunch point we reached Mulapadu Hanuman temple. En route we spotted spiders of robust size. Are they dangerous? Guide said no. Right from the beginning up to the temple we walked under the shade of trees. Rains were abundant this year, so greenery was plentiful. Today is Kartika Punnami. An auspicious day, on this day annual temple mahotsavam was organised at Hanuman Temple. A large number of devotees were present. After hectic conversations Ramdas decided to cut short the trek to reach Mulapadu village. We came to know Mulapadu village on N.H 9 is 11 km from the Temple. Reached N.H 9, crossing Mulapadu village at 7.00 in the evening. Ramdas noticed a stone that read the distance between the Temple and the village as 16 km.
Today we came another time to Jujjuru with same guide and helper and tried another hill which is directly in front of the path we came. It seemed like a steep one. This time we started at 9 a.m sharp. Initially we took more than an hour to clear the first uphill to stop for a short break. it was not that much steep in the second leg, which we tried to summit from the side of the hill and reached the point where tree line ended. Up to here we were moving under the shade of trees. Now we have to clear the rocky part of the summit which it appeared to a small one but a straight one pointing into the sky. It looked as if a large boulder placed on the summit of the hill. Searched for suitable route for an ascend and went through. During this stretch we were exposed to intense heat radiation emitted by rocks.
An awesome 180 degree view was awaiting us on the summit. There was a bastion type structure on one side of the summit. The top was 50 meter long and some of the villagers posted two flags on either sides. Villages like Narasimharao Palem, Jujjuru and factories around those villages were visible. You will have Krishna River view on a clear day, guide said. Spent half an hour on the summit. During Gulbarga Fort visit my Camera has gone for a sixer, so I wasn't able to picturise this magnificent trip.
Descended to cross two stone walled structures, may be part of fortification. Another time after coming down the boulder we were in intense shade of trees. We passed between two hill tops, to join the way toward our first trek's route and at the place where we finally crossed the stream to go uphill. Journey was very delightful with some steep ascents and panoramic views. Had sumptuous lunch beside the stream, thanks to Mr.Nagabhushana Rao for providing us generously.
Today's trek was a great one. Every one was extremely pleased.
This was the 3rd time we were venturing into this hills in another route. This time our endeavour was in Gottumukkala village vicinity. Our guide and helper came to the designated point. We stopped our vehicles after crossing NSP canal. A pleasant hike brought us to the foot of the hill after crossing a check dam. Guide was searching for the path. Mean while we ascended a small rocky elevated area and saw a waterfall in far of a distance. Reached the place with excitement. There was a very thin flow from top of that 20 foot fall and ascended from the side way. Water was flowing on rocky path. At some distance there was a temple.

Blogger Templates by Isnaini Dot Com. Powered by Blogger and Supported by Home Interiors