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Bellary fort is one of the prominent structures of the city. It is a testimony of the battles, invasions, victories and destruction of different dynasties. Being built on the fort hill, Ballari Gudda, this structure attracts not only the art lovers but also the nature enthusiasts. The city of Karnataka looks beautiful from this amazing fort.
The fort is constructed in two parts – the Upper Fort and the Lower Fort. The upper part was designed by Hanumappa Nayaka and the lower part was built by Hyder Ali. The lower fort was built and designed by a French engineer. He also renovated the upper fort. The walls of the fort depict the stories of the battles and the conquerors. The upper part of the fort is designed with a citadel and the lower part housed the arsenal.
The upper portion was constructed during the reign of Vijayanagara rulers and the lower portion was built during the rule of Hyder Ali. The upper fort was named as Fort Hill and the lower one was called as Face Hill. The lower fort looks interesting as some rocks resemble human faces. This is the reason for which this part is also called as Face Hill.
The British Administration classified the fort as 1st class. This fort gave the city its historic importance, and British rulers selected it for invasion. The cantonment, which is now one of the posh areas of Bellary, was built by them. The Nawab of Kurnool, Muzzaffar Khan was imprisoned here from 1823 to 1864 for murdering his wife.
The Upper Fort
The fort hill part shelters the citadel. It stands at a height of 602 m (1,976 feet). It has quadrangular shape and its circumferential length is about 2.4 km (1.5 miles). The structure is beautifully designed and the path is rocky and filled with scattered boulders. There is a temple outside the citadel. Apart from this, there are several cells, pools of water on the fort hill. The citadel consists of many well-constructed buildings and reservoirs. The fort does not consist of any garrison. It includes many cisterns, which have been quarried in the rocks to provide water storage. There is a ditch and a covered passage outside the turreted ramparts. Visitors love to visit the main turret that lies in the east portion. It features a big mural of the Indian Flag.
The Lower Fort
The Lower Fort is situated at the eastern base of the structure. It is about 0.80 km in diameter (0.5 miles). The structure consisted of barracks and arsenal in the past. The fort is enriched by ramparts with several bastions surrounded by glacis and deep ditch. The lower part consists of two entrance gates, one on the eastern side and another one on the western side. There is a Hanuman temple outside eastern gate, called the Kote Anjaneya Temple which allures many devotees.
Beautification of the Fort
This beautiful ancient structure is touched with beauty and elegance with lights of different varieties during holidays and Sundays. People from different parts of the country visit this part to view the amazing game of light and shadow. The lights add extra beauty and charm to this structure. It is also illuminated with several varieties of lights during national and state holidays.