Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Ballari Fort

During the month of September 2017, we had been to Ballari for an Iyengar yoga workshop conducted by our teacher Smt. Zarna Mohan. During a short visit we had been to some prominent places in and around Ballari. 

Many of my friends wonder how would I get time and money for travelling. Today I have decided to clarify most of their doubts. They either think I have plenty of money or I love travelling. To be honest, I have neither of both. All my travels and explorations are co-incidental. I haven't planned any of my travels so far. They just happened coincidentally. Believe it or not, I haven't gone out of Hyderabad till I finished my graduation. I think I was 23 when I first traveled to Tirupati with some of my friends and I remember it was my friend Srinivas Rai who sponsored the travelling expenses.

My movement out from Hyderabad began from the year 2011 when my teacher took us to Pune to meet Guruji BKS Iyengar. Since then Pune has become my second home. In 2013, we went to Allahabad to Mahakumbh Mela for an Iyengar yoga workshop by Manouso. We then went to Bellur, the birth place of Guruji in Karnataka and then our recent trips to Rishikesh and Ballari again for an Iyengar Yoga workshop by our teacher. During these and many other visits I explored some of the beautiful places in and around them. If you have noticed, you will find two things in common for all the trips I made since 2011. They are Iyengar Yoga and my teacher Zarna Mohan. She is been the pioneer of all my travels. It is only after meeting and travelling with her I realized the deep love for nature at par with yoga. I think I am very fortunate to have both of these things coming together. And both these things have come on my way without planning. They just happened.

On 31st of August 2017, Tulsi and I arrived Ballari. Spent the day at Virupaksha's yoga center making arrangements for the workshop and went to Ballari fort for some refreshment in the evening after a hectic day of work. 

This is the famous Moti Circle on the way to the fort in Ballari. This Indian flag flying at a height of 150 feet is the highlight of the place.
Ballari fort is a historical site that has a history of over 3000 years. Hanumappa Nayaka constructed it during Vijayanagara empire. In the year 1769, Hyder Ali captured the fort and revamped it with the help of a French engineer. It is situated at the hill top of Ballari Gudda. The main attraction of the Ballari fort is that it is built on a monolithic rock. It is believed to be the second single rock foundation in the world.
You can see how big and vast is the rock. Unable to capture in a single shot I took a few number of shots to show the view of this huge single rock formation.

Ballari fort is actually built in two parts; the upper fort and the lower fort. This is the image of lower fort which was built by Hyder Ali.
Another highlight of the fort is the beautiful rocks in the premises.
Some of these beautiful giant rocks welcome you at the entrance of the lower fort.

Virupaksha, Praveen, Mahadevi, Tulsi and Madhu chilling out on the rock.
The fort is the house for some of these creatures. You will find plenty of these creatures crawling all over. They are quite harmless.
Do you see the gap in between the two giant rocks and below three little rocks in the image. It is the entrance to the upper fort. Unbelievable! Isn't it?
Let's have a look from another angle. Still not sure about the path yet.
Let's have a close look at it. Here we go! There are few stairs under these giant rocks to go upwards. Uh...Ah! You have to be really careful with your head while walking on these stairs.
This is how it looks after crossing underway. 
Let's have the view of the top. Oh yeah! There are plenty of small rocks on top of it.
After climbing few steps you come across this historic structure. I think the lower fort ends here.
Passing through this, you can see the giant walls of the upper fort. Major part of the upper fort is still intact. 
It was really heartening to see the fort is well maintained by the authorities.
This is the beautiful main entrance of the upper fort.
Praveen tried his hands in photography and I must say he captured a nice picture of our group.

Passing through the gates you come across these giant rocks embracing you into the fort.
Then comes this structure. I am not sure what it is.
Virupaksha having some fun with Madhu while others enjoying it.
You can see the view of some of the ruins of the fort in the image below.
There are quite a few water cisterns on the fort. Some of them dried out but some of them have water even today.

There are some lotus plants in some of the water ponds on the fort.
There were few beautiful young lotuses in the pond.

Virupaksha having fun with his siblings Praveen and Mahadevi.
There are some magnificent rock formations in the fort that attracts the tourists.
I loved the color of these rocks. They are pinkish red in color.
Look how beautifully the rocks got arranged. Amazing!
Ballari fort is at an elevation of 602 meters (1976 feets). You can have a spectacular view of the entire city of Ballari from here.
Praveen showing some view of the city.
The fort has the entire 360 degrees view of the city of Ballari.
Spending few hours at the fort we returned back home.
I did not expect the fort be so beautiful.
So friends, this is it for today. I will be coming up with an update on Hampi in the next few days. Till then keep watching the space for updates. Thank You.