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Kavaledurga, Shimoga (Shivamogga) Overview

Kavaledurga is ancient hill fort situated near Shimoga in Karnataka that is perched at a height of 1541 metres. Although in ruins right now, the hill fort is still considered to be one of the most scenic and enchanting places in the state. Engulfed in greenery, the fort is surrounded by the majestic Western Ghats. The heritage spot is a hidden secret in the region and therefore is devoid of the typical tourist crowd. The fort can be reached through a trek uphill that might be a little tiring but the view at the top will make it all worthwhile.

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Architecture of the Kavaledurga Fort

The sturdy walls of the mighty fort are 30 to 40 ft in height and have been made out of granite blocks. Boasting of an 8 km long circumference, the fort also has watchtowers and two types of defence. Besides, there are several water channels that gather natural flowing water from the mountain and provide it to the fort.

Kavaledurga Fort
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Recently, there were several excavations carried on in the fort because of which several structures have been unearthed. These include swimming pools, ammunition house, jail, horse and elephant stables, veranda, kitchen, pooja room and a Durbar Hall etc. The highlight of the fort, however, is a cave called Gadaa Theertha, which also has a small pool next to it.

Temples of Kavaledurga Fort

Initially, there were a total of 15 temples in the fort but now only 3 of them remains- Lakshmi Narayan Temple, Kashi Vishwanatha Temple and Shikareshwara Temple-
  1. Lakshmi Narayan Temple is situated at the top of the hillock and can be reached through a flight of stairs.
    Lakshmi Narayan Temple
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  2. Shikareshwara Temple is situated in the centre of the fort and offers a panoramic view of the fort as well as the valley.
    Shikareshwara Temple
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  3. Kashi Vishwanatha Temple is situated a little downwards and is known for its Islamic style doorway and the two pillars flanking the entrance.

Trek to the Kavaledurga Fort

You can reach the base or the starting point of the trek i.e. Kavaledurga. It is not a very difficult trek and can be undertaken by both amateurs and professionals. You can also hire a guide for the same. There are stairs on the way to make the hiking easier. Besides, the ever-changing topography on the way is remarkable.

Kavaledurga Fort
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From scintillating views of the jungle to the mighty mountains, the trek offers some of the most stunning vistas. It takes a total of around 3 hours to reach the top. At the entrance of the fort, there are ruins of a gate. Further, you can see carvings, remains of ancient temples and dilapidated bastions and idle gun slits. Then there is a second, third and fourth gate, after which you can reach the top of the fort.

How to Reach

Kavaledurga is situated near Shimoga district. You can reach Thirthahalli from the neighbouring villages and cities through public transport like state buses. From Thirthahalli, Kavaledurga village is only 16 km from here which you can reach in a public rickshaw or shared rickshaw. In the village, any local can guide you to the trail leading to the trek for the fort.

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