|Sakleshpura, Karnataka, India|
Entrance view of the Manjarabad fort
A deep well within the Manjarabad fort
|In use||18th century|
The fort is located 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) away from the Sakaleshpura town to its south west, which is on the right bank of the Hemavati River, 23 miles (37 km) from Hassan on the National Highway 75 that runs from Bangalore to Mangalore. Sakaleshpura is the headquarters of Manjiraba taluk and is a municipality.
Since the fort is located on a hill at an elevation of 988 metres (3,241 ft), it gives a clear and commanding view of the surroundings. On a clear day, even Arabian sea can also be seen from the fort.
Tipu Sultan built the fort in 1792 at a time when he was establishing his sovereignty over Mysore, fighting against the British East India Company. At this time even the Marathas and the Nizam of Hyderabad had aligned with the British. The Sultan wanted to make the highway between Mangalore and Coorg secure for his expansion programmes. Because he was allied with the French at that time against the British, he sought the help of French engineers to build a star fort of the european style.
The completed fort was inspected by Tipu Sultan who then found it enveloped in fog and hence named it as Manjarabad fort; the name Manjara is a corrupted version of 'manju' meaning "fog or mist" in Kannada.
The fort, as built and existing, is an eight-pointed star. The external walls of the fort have been built with granite stones and lime mortar while the interior buildings, which accommodate army barracks, armoury, stores and others, have been built with fired bricks. Apart from these, two cellars were built next to a deep well which were underground structures used to store gunpowder, and these rooms remained cool even during summer months. The fort has sloping walls. It is said that the fort is "the most complete Vaubanesque star-shaped fort in India".
Tourism is not well developed in the area. The Tourism Department of Karnataka, pressed by demands from local people of Sakaleshpura, have plans to create basic amenities around the fort and also develop a park.
- DeSouza, Frank S. (November 2013). The Anonymous Birthright. Author House. ISBN 978-1-4918-8469-0.
- Imprint, Amanda. Academic GK Matter-6. Laxmi Publications. ISBN 978-93-80644-70-7.
- Rice, Benjamin Lewis (1876). Mysore and Coorg: Mysore, by districts. Mysore Government Press.
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