Bhongir Fort . Bhuvanagiri, actually. Location : Nalgona District, Telengana.
Built by the Western Chalukya King Tribhuvanamalla Vikramaditya IV in the 10th. Century . It snakes up a 500 -600 Ft high bald monolith , ending in a modest sized citadel ( bala-hisar) at the summit. Since the hill is a lonely outcrop standing in a flat expanse , the view from the summit is amazing , reaching far into the horizon on all sides. Quite a strategic location for an outlook. And the fort is supposed to be impregnable as well, its entrances well hidden by boulders.
The climb up can be strenuous, often inducing vertigo. Thank goodness for those occassional railings.,
Water conservation and rain waterharvesting seem to have been thought of at that early date, for deep natural gashes in the rock are walled and converted into reservoir tanks.
Some doorways and arches in the bala -hisar bear the stamp of Islamic influence ; it transpires that the fort had passed into the possession of the Bahamani Sultans and the Qutb Shahis who had added to and renovated it.
Particularly dramatic are the legends associating the fort with the latter dynasty. There seems to have been a lot of internecine fueds, treachery, scheming among fathers, sons ,brothers .....cuminating , in one instance, of a son getting jailed in this fort , for life , by his own father. Only gusts of wind and birdsong would have kept him company till he died....
Rani Rudramadevi, ( 13th Cent . Kakatiya queen) is said to have used this fort too.
The oldworld charm of the summit is marred by the presence of an ugly microwave responder mounted on a squat government-issue building , right next to the citadel. But then, it is churlish to complain. If kings of old found the height useful and took advantage of it, the government now has the same right to use Nature's gift !
A Robin Hood -like robber-chief named Sardar Papanna Goud , who was seen as a benefactor of the local populace, has been honoured with a modern cement statue near the base of the hill, where the fort begins. The small town which sprawls around the rock it is famous for betel leaves and pottery.
Heard that the place attracts rock climbers and not many other visitors.
And in the same trip, a few more stops :
Warrangal Fort : Open-air Archeological Museum : Finely carved remains of several buildings
A living temple from the 12th. Century. RudreshwaraTemple. or The Thousand Pillared Temple. 1000? huh .. in such a small shrine ? ...well,along with real freestanding pillars, the pilasters and columnar details, big and small, are also counted as pillars ! How many in the picture below ?
Kolanupaka, a fine Jain temple . Modern renovation of ancient shrine. All shiny marble, rich inlays, granite jaalis, teakwood with bronze fittings.....Rich look !