To touch the historical side of Karnataka, visit its one of the many forts, the Kavaledurga Fort. Kavaledurga Fort stands as the silent sentinel of the bygone era about 16 kms from Thirthahalli taluk in Shimoga District of Karnataka State. This magnificent fort is located on a hill at an altitude of 1541 meters. If you really want to get into the nerve of the fort and its history, you better hire a guide. There are about seven levels in the fort, with each level having a gateway leading to the other.
Kavaledurga Fort is now in a ruined state to a large extent except few structures like the two fortresses and some temple like Lakshminarayana Temple, the Mylaareshwara shrine still stand the rampage of time and humans. The two circular bastions that form a gateway to the second level of the fort are called "Nagaari Baagilu". The Lakshminarayana Temple on the top of a huge rock in the fort premises still remains strong. As you move on, you can come across the ruins of Darbar Hall and Queen s private swimming pool. This large fort constructed at Kavaledurga around 9th century AD, boasts of beautiful architecture and great construction plans of those times.
Most of the fort is in a ruined state but once you are on the top, you can have a panoramic view of the entire surrounding at the foot of the hill fort. In the fort premises, there is a monolithic rock on which you have a small temple called as "Shikhareshwara Temple", probably because it is on the top most part and can be seen from the foot of the hill. To reach this temple, one has to climb the sloping smooth rock. In the third level of the fort you have a Kaashi Vishwanatha Temple. This is a special type of the temple where you can see two stone pillars (dwajasthambam) in front of the temple. At the entrance of this temple, there is a mantapam called "Tulabhaara Mantapa" and on one of the walls, there is a sketch of one of the court dancers.
As you keep on exploring the once glorious place, you come across a small cave-like structure in which you can find fresh water throughout the year. This is called as "Gadaa Theertha" because it was supposed to be dug by Bheema s Gadaa (of Mahabharata fame). There are one or two small ponds formed out of rocks in the fort premises. If you are a good explorer, you can also find a statue of "Aadhishesha" (the divine serpent) on the way. There is another place called "Tupaaki Buruju" which probably means that this part of the fort was meant for ammunition and guns, as "Tupaaki" means "cannon" and "Buruju" is a fort. The archaeological department of India have taken the initiative to rebuild the fort and preserve the heritage sites that are now in peril. There are interesting stories and fables tagging this fort many temples of various deities. It is said that many sages have done hard penance on these hills.