Achchaludurga – Sri Kempegowda’s Military Outpost


‘Achchalu Betta’ or ‘Achchaludurga’ is a lesser known fort near Ramanagara, located off the Ramanagara – Kanakapura highway. This hill is believed to have been fortified by Sri Kempegowda II with the purpose of serving as a military outpost for stationing of soldiers and tying of horses. On a holiday during a week day, we decided to visit here and check out this place. Reaching this place was quite easy and upon inquiry about the fort, most people advised us not to venture here with kids. Not many people visit here as it falls under the limits of the forest department. However, later a local gave us directions to the hill.  And hereon we began to explore the hill.
Achchaludurga Fortress
Rock Cut Steps
Achchaludurga Entrance
 On the basis of the received information, we went ahead and reached the forest area from where we had to make a right turn to continue on the trek route.  But we lost our way and failed to track the correct route to the top. There were farms close by and the locals whom we met in the farms for inquiry also advised us not to venture here as they saw we were accompanied by kids. But since we insisted that we were geared up to complete the trek, they finally gave up and directed us to the trek route. We proceeded further with a lot of enthusiasm only to realize that we were not on the right track again! All our efforts in tracking the right route turned futile. Many a times we missed the route and tried different ones but in vain.  Finally a shepherd came to our rescue and showed us the right direction. Here on, there was no looking back! We reached the fort gateway in no time. We spent some time near the gateway looking for the presence of any carving of the guardian of the fort, Lord Anjaneya but found none. However, we were not ready to accept that the fort premises were devoid of any image or carving of Lord Anjaneya.  We decided to move on and explore further. 
Enter The Dragon
Fort-walls
Shri Bommalingeshwara Temple
Achchalu Forest
A little further from the gateway is a water pond and a small cave shrine believed to be dedicated to Sri Bommalingaeshwara. Most of the fortification here remains destroyed. We were able to see the lovely rock cut steps leading to the hill- top. There are footprints of horses belonging to Sri Kempegowda on these rocks cut steps. On the top, there is a big water tank which sadly today is in a state of despair and some recent structures, probably built by the Forest Department. One can get a bird’s eye view of Ramanagara and the famous Sholay hills / Ramagiri hills. We could spot a few Egyptian vultures flying around this place. 
Kite in the Flight
The Climb
At the Peak
 Horseshoe Imprint
While descending, Amrutha spotted an arrow painted on a rock near the gateway directing us to the other side of the gateway. We decided to go ahead and explore it. We reached a small cave and found a beautiful carving of Lord Kote Anjaneya. We were very pleased to see our beloved friend / trek partner! By experience, we have learned that wherever a fort exists, its protector also exists!  Quite satisfied after seeing the Lord, we descended quickly and realized that most of whom we had inquired for directions initially had only misled us, except for the first person and the good shepherd. Thus, another fort exploration concluded with destiny being on our side. The entire setting of the area is magnificent  though it seemed risky to venture alone during the early morning and late evening hours as spotting of leopards, bears, wild boars, porcupines, and monitor lizards is  common here.  
Anjaneya Swamy Cave
Lord Kote Anjaneya
Achalu Betta/ Achchalu Betta

 Related Posts:
1. Forts of Karnataka
2. Huliyurdurga
3. Bhairavadurga

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