FORTIFIED The Mirjan Fort is situated on the banks of the Aghanashini river, and was a coveted one. Standing tall, UK district’s Mirjan Fort

The Uttara Kannada district is dotted with many forts including Mirjan, Banavasi, Sonda, Haliyal, Sadashivagad, Ankola, Chandavar, Medhini, Gerusoppa, Basavaraja Durga and Kurmagad. Most of these match the architectural finesse of the Bekal Fort in Kasargod. Among them, the Mirjan Fort is known for its great beauty. A festival is also held in January every year to celebrate the fort and its beauty. The fort, situated on the banks of the Aghanashini river, was a coveted one because of where it is situated. Many a battle was waged among various rulers to conquer this fort. The region was also an important centre for commerce, and spices were traded from here. The fort, built in laterite stone spreads across 11.5 acres of land, and has four big entrance. There are nine wells inside the fort, apart from a secret passage.
Mirjan Fort is located nine kms from the Kumta-Gokarna route and is about half a km away from NH 17.
S G Hegde Kumta

A low-cost microscope
Generally, a well built microscope costs thousands of rupees. But here is a teacher who has prepared a compound microscope which hardly costs Rs 150! This achievement has brought her much appreciation and several prizes at science fairs.
Nagakumari, a high school teacher, has prepared a compound microscope by using an ordinary torch bulb, a piece of mirror and a wooden stand.
 She did not have a sophisticated microscope to teach her students the microscopic view of organisms. She therefore made use of the tip of an ordinary torch bulb as a magnifying lens! She broke it carefully at its tip and then fixed it to a wooden stand. Above it she fixed yet another lens and a piece of mirror. And then, the microscope was ready to use. When it was put to test, the result was just fine. Now this microscope is being used in her school by students to view the microscopic structure of leaves, layers of plants, fruits and so on. This simple and low-cost microscope has been awarded the best model at various science exhibitions and even at the South India level science fair.
T Srinivas Murthy

Cascades of Shiradi Ghat
Travelling across the Shiradi Ghat on National Highway 48 is a unique experience. Tens of small waterfalls dot the entire region covered in a blanket of lush green vegetation. The stretch near Gundya and Donigal near Sakleshpur can be particularly interesting, as you can spot at least eight to ten waterfalls by the roadside. The months between August and March are when you can catch the cascades at their best. The Tourism Department can run shuttle services with stops at specific points on the route, so more people can enjoy the view here.

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