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OLD DUNGEON FORT & GATES, BENGALURU

DISTRICT: Bengaluru;
TALUK: Bengaluru
Urban LOCALITY: Bengaluru
(Lat. 12° 55' N; Long. 77o 39' E)
APPROACH: AIRPORT: Bengaluru:
RAILWAY STATION: Bengaluru;
BUS STATION: Bengaluru

BRIEF HISTORY

After the fall of Vijayanagara Empire, Kempagowda (1510-1570 AD) built a mud fort and laid a firm foundation for building Township which after three centuries developed into the modern city of Bangalore. Thereafter for a short period the city was occupied successively by Shahji, father of Shivaji, the Wodeyars of Mysore alternating with the Marathas and the Mughals. Later, it was sold by the Mughals to Chikka  Devaraja Wodeyar of Mysore for Rs 3 lakhs. He built another fort adjacent to the old fort and also built the famous temple dedicated to Venkaramanaswamy which is even now under worship. Chikka Devaraja was succeeded by weak rulers providing a good opportunity to Haider Ali (1761-1782 AD). During his tenure, Bangalore received utmost attention as a strategic point. He had to fight the British in the first two Mysore Wars. The fort built by Chikka Devaraja was further strengthened by providing cyclopean stone veneering. Haider Ali also laid a beautiful garden known as Lalbagh which to this day survives in all its splendour. During the reign of Tipu Sultan, Lord Cornwallis during the third Mysore War bombarded and damaged the Bangalore fort.  Some portions of the fort were dismantled at the behest of Tipu Sultan to contain the Britishers from occupying it. Although efforts were made to rebuild the damaged fort after the Mysore Wars, nothing remains now except a small round bastion and the facade of the famous Mysore Gate towards south. The gate facing south has an arched opening. Remains of high quality cut plaster work once embellishing the gateway could be seen in patches on its either side. A small temple dedicated to Ganesha abuts the wall. Some of the cyclopean members of the extant fort contain bas reliefs depicting man attacking tiger. The dungeon inside has a memorial tablet mentioning that Sir David Baird with others were confined here prior to March 1785 AD. Another tablet on the fort mentions that Lord Cornwallis affected a breach through which he entered and took possession of the city.