Nestled in a small village of Karnataka is the Vanadurga Fort that was once used as a station by a unit of a royal force. The fort is located in the village of Vanadurga in Shahapur taluk of Yadgir district in Karnataka. The village of Vanadurga is located to the north of Shorapur and to the west of Shahapur.
The fort was built by Krishnappa Nayaka, the ruler of the Shorapur Nayaka Dynasty. The fort is also known as Wanadurga Fort.
History of the Vanadurga Fort, Shorapur
The Vanadurga Fort was initially constructed as a station for a small unit of the royal army. It served as the outpost for the territory under the rule of the Nayaka dynasty.
The fort was given the name Vanadurga as it was surrounded by dense forest at that time. As vana means forest and durga means fort in the local language, the fort was named thus. But with time the forest surrounding the fort started to diminish. Today the fort is no longer surrounded by a forest. Instead, the fort stands surrounded by agricultural fields.
According to the local legend the Vanadurga Fort was built by the then king of Surpur, Piddanayaka as a tribute to his queen Venkammamba. The Vanadurga Fort is maintained by the Government of India now. It is open to visitors and tourists.
An exciting expedition to the Vanadurga Fort
The Vanadurga Fort stands as an example of superior construction work. The fort has smooth finish walls. A moat of about 30 feet width and 12 feet depth surrounds the fort on three sides. This moat was built to add additional security features to the fort. An interesting feature of the moat is that it is always full of water, even in the worst of summers.
One of the highlights of the fort is its intelligently built entrance. The complex entrance has been built in such a way that it would have been virtually impossible for any enemy force to enter the fort without taking an insider’s help. The entrance is protected by a security complex with a curved path created by crescent shaped walls.
The entrance gate of the fort has Sanskrit inscriptions of five lines in the Devanagari script on either side. The historical structure comprises of an inner court and an outer court. The outer court is rectangular in shape and stands guard against the entrance to the inner court. Actually it was built as a trap to confuse enemy soldiers who dared to enter the fort. The inner court is a fortified area that has many other buildings. There is a well and a temple dedicated to the Hindu deity Hanuman. Remarkably, the fortification walls and the citadels of the fort are still in good condition.
The fort has two half buried stones with rectangular holes in them. It is believed that the stones were used to chain elephants. There are ruined structures inside the fort that were once used as military barracks and quarters of military officers residing inside the fort. Like most forts in India, this fort also has a secret passage that is built in the southern wall of the huge structure. Just outside the fort is an ancient temple of Goddess Lakshmi that stands in a ruined state now.
Though the fort is well preserved except for a few collapsed walls, it needs to be protected against natural forces.
How to reach the Vanadurga Fort
The Vanadurga Fort is located at a distance of around half a kilometre from the village of Vanadurga. The place can be reached through road networks.
Vanadurga or Shorapur has no airport of their own. The nearest airport is located at Begumpet in Hyderabad of Andhra Pradesh. It is at a distance of 210 km from Shorapur. The airport at Hubli in Karnataka is located at a distance of 217 km from Shorapur.
There are no railway stations at Shorapur or Vanadurga. The nearest railway station is at Yadgir at a distance of 47 km from Shorapur.
There is a bus station in Shorapur. Buses are available for Shorapur from Bangalore and a few other cities and towns of the state.