A mist-covered star fort
As strange as it may sound but, I like drenching in the rains, facing upwards towards the sky, letting the rain drops fall across and even drink the sweet dews as much .. almost letting my soul be one with the drizzle..!
I had long heard of a fort that was amidst the rainforests and would come to life during the monsoons due to it’s haze covered pathways and the special geometric structure that was built to save armory back on the Maharaja rule.
Just as most unplanned trips – exploring this place stirred up a whole new experience and probably made it a memorable one too.
As the tea cup got colder due to the incessant drizzle, the slippery walkway was looking ever more inviting.
As the climb began (a few 100 steps until you reach the fort ) the pathway was nearly empty – thanks to the plan made for a early morning visit and a large empty fort stood there to welcome travellers like me who love the epic silence and crazy windy rains.
Still a not-so-known fort, amidst coffee plantations and spice gardens – Manjarabad fort at Sakleshpur, was built by the then ruler of Mysore, Tipu Sultan on a hillock connecting Bengaluru with Mangaluru via Hassan which can be reached via road or train.
The fort is iconic for it’s unique designed structure on the pattern of the military forts developed by the French architect Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban and constructed by Tipu in 1792 as a eight-pointed star design
The perpetual rains sometimes make it difficult to reach this area but the beauty one gets to see on the climb is a picturesque view across the ghats and clouds that seem too close to touch.
The fort although is under one of the ASI, it however still needs a lot of restoration work to maintain it from tourists misuse such as plastic and their love for scribbling names on the walls (or companies names too !) and other litter
Back in the times the tale goes that when Tipu consulted one of his ministers for a name – the ruler had himself observed the fog covered hillocks and at the altitude of 3,240 feet above sea level , and keeping in mind the fort would be an excellent cover for his armory – he named the place after ‘manju’ translates to ‘fog’ in kannada as Manjarabad!
P.S. I am presenting here my understanding and perspective in a condensed format to keep the blog short and interesting. You could comment below if you wish to know more in detail about any specific portion of the story/ photographs mentioned.