miscellany.


You can get to the Fort  once you cross Sakleshpur from Hassan.  
The Fort is situated at a height of 3,240 ft above sea level. One gets a panoramic view of the thick jungles, the mountains and a river from atop the Fort. The Fort is set amidst five acres of land and is built in the Islamic style of architecture.
Once you cross the great arches that the adorns the Fort’s entrance, you get to the armouries where the royalty once stored their weapons.
Then, there is a dining hall, a large bedroom, all built in the eighteenth century. At nine points on the Fort are small spaces for the royal spies. There are openings from where soldiers can fire at the enemies. And then, of course are the stories that revolve around any such historic structure. That two tunnels from the Fort connect to Srirangapatna and the coastal region of the state.

The Fort’s sentry Chandre Gowda tells us how  it got its name. He tells us that Tipu Sultan built the Fort in 1792. It is said that when Tipu was returning from Dharmasthala , after collecting the ‘appeasement’ fee that the Dharmadhikari there had to pay him, he was stricken by a stomach ache. Tipu felt that his illness wasbecause he had collected the money from a holy man, and underwent great remorse.  
It was then that he built a Fort here, and named it after Manjunatheshwara, to redeem himself in the eyes of Dharmsthala’s spiritual guru.

That slowly came to be called Manjarabad, explains the sentry. There are other stories that say the Fort was built by Manjappa Naik, leader of Haigur village, 35 kms from the Fort. When the British were looking to apprehend him, he offered the Fort to Tipu Sultan as a gift. It is said that Tipu named it Manjarabad as an acknowledgment of Naik’s gift.
While the Manjarabad Fort is built on a strong foundation,  inside the Fort, there are weeds, and stray grass growing. The Fort suffers from poor maintenance. There are no name boards explaining the Fort’s history either. It is important that the Archaeological Department take steps to ensure that its beauty is not lost.

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