Rayakottai Hill Fort - Beauty among the ruins

I can bet not many trekking and hiking enthusiast aware of the forgotten, ruined hill fort of Tipu Sultan located in small town of Rayakottai. I stumbled upon this place while looking for trekking spots around Bangalore. Though its one of the protected monument by the Archeological Survey of India, surprisingly not much information available for this place lessor known place, few travelogues, pictures looked great. After checking the routes and other details I decided to explore another unexplored yet beautiful destination. Rayakottai.

This place is 60 km from Bangalore. All you have to do is, straight and smooth drive to Bangalore - Chennai Highway for 40 km and then 20 km narrow but fairly good condition road towards small town of Rayakottai.

After leaving highway, weather pleasantly changed and looking around green farm fields, coconut trees, hills, small lakes made enjoyable drive.

Just before 2 KM of Rayakottai, you can get magnificent view of hill fort and fairly good idea about height and route of trek.

As per some information available on internet, This fort was ruled by Hyder Ali and Tipu sultan in the 18th century. The fort was captured by Major Gowdie during the third Anglo-Mysore War in 1791. According to the Treaty of Srirangapatna, this fort came into the hands of the British. Even after the Mysore wars, for the British it was a strategic place where their troops were stationed till 1861.

Trekking can be done in three level, 1st Shiva template and caves, 2nd fort, 3rd level has big lamp and offer 360 view of town and surrounding.

After finding place for car parking. We started our trek. I was accompanied by Raghav, Gaurav & Umesh. At the entry gate, there is notice board informing its protected monuments under ASI. No other information available, when and who built this fort, history, its significance.

All ASI did there was to install that board, informing that this fort is declared as national importance and whoever destroy, removes, injures, alters, defaces or misuse the monuments shall be punishable with imprisonment up to 2 years or with fine up to Rs 1 Lac. After completing the trek and exploring every nook and corner of fort all I can say is enough damage has been done, fort needs restoration. 

Trek started, initially it was well built path with stairs which was getting narrower amid small plants. There were signs as well for direction.

After some time, we could see small gate and wall.

The well-built stairs disappeared and you have to negotiate with trek like this

On the way found these foot imprints on stone, not sure who's but there were coconuts and flowers offered. Must be some religious place.

 You can see crossroad after that. If you take left, you can reach to first level, Shiva Temple and caves. If you take right, you would be heading to other side of hill and the second level, remains of forts, walls.

We four were all alone in entire trek, No one was around. The temple and cave was narrow but well built. Looking at the condition and cleanness, it was clear that villager offer regular prayer there.

I am sure these caves leads to some other way or other side of hill but it was narrow, you will have to crawl, no lights.

After spending some time there, we were back to trek and headed to second level. Things started changing drastically, as we were trekking to other side of hills, the sight of town started disappearing and we were welcomed by thick forest and hills around.

On the way you can see remains of fort walls, bunkers built for army.



Reached at the top of 2nd level and I could see the remains of forts, walls.

The view from here was magnificent, you can see the entire town.  

Place was deserted, it was windy at that time but importantly peaceful and calm, far away from civilization and shor sharaba. One thing bothered me there, was waste around.

You could see many plastics water bottles, empty cold drink bottles, plastics packets thrown by visitors. Another thing was great Indian graffiti. It was all over on the walls of fort, even in caves, bunker and I started wondering how did they reach there and wrote. Sad!!!

After taking some rest , we were ready for last ascend of hill, the summit.

At the top there is big lamp. I think during festival or special occasion villager light it up. From here you can get 360 degree view of surrounding.

Descend was not that easy. It will take less time but you will have to be careful as most of the trek path is not well-built and it can be slippery.

Overall it was nice trek, fairly easy. One thing I noticed is the many species of butterflies around it. So if you are nature lover and trekking enthusiast, this could be your next destination. Here is route map from electronic city. Either you can take right from Hosur and reach there or drive straight till Shoolagiri, then take right and another 20 km.

Enjoy the video I recorded there.

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