Emily & Harry

 Episode 1- Gudibande Fort (Karnataka) 

Footloose and fancy-free, we try to travel at the drop of the hat. Already counting down the days of 2018, we decided to explore the road less travelled and ended up in one of the old forts in Karnataka. This gave us our light bulb moment and we decided to write about our visit to the off-lying places of the country in form of episodes.

Episode 1- Gudebande Fort (Karnataka)

Entry point of the Fort

‘The best view comes after the hardest climb’ and that holds true for Gudibande fort as well. Located in the Chikkaballapur district in Karnataka, this small village is away from the hustle and bustle of the city life. The distance between Bengaluru and the fort is 91.5 km and the road is as smooth as silk. A trip to Gudibande Fort requires only a few hours but much energy.

Up there near the sky is the fort!

Gudibande Fort was built in the 17th century by the local group leader, Byre Gowda (this is close to 400 years ago). Wikipedia says that the fort has seven levels or routes that are interconnected and were used back then as escape routes by the soldiers. The rocky mountain that hosts the fort is about 2.5 km ahead of the Bhairasagara Lake. Unlike most other reviews, we can confidently say that Google maps will guide you in the right direction towards the fort.

The climb till the top can prove out to be tedious because of numerous steps that range from wide to steep. They are approximately 1000 in number. Climbing smaller boulders and making way through the clearing in the space occupied by wild plants is quite normal. It takes about 45 minutes to hike and reach the top. But the view from top is worth all the sweat and effort. One can see the entire town of Gudibande and capture it in one frame.

Bhairasagara Lake

We took a car on rent from Drivezy (the best part of their service is no security deposit for the car). We left at 6:30 AM and reached the lake by 8:00 AM. We started the climb by 9:00 AM and aced the test in 45 minutes. Enjoying the cool breeze at the top, we rested for a while and then began the descend. It took us around 20 minutes to come down.

Dos and Don’ts
 Gudibande Fort does not attract many visitors. In fact, while we were there, we didn’t even spot a single person in the vicinity. Hence, the place does not guarantee security. It is advisable to go in a group.
 Carry plenty of water. One bottle per person is mandatory because the flight of stairs is not fancy. It will drain your energy very soon.
 Start early morning in order to avoid the scorching heat of the afternoon sun.
 Wear comfortable clothes like track pants or jeans so that walking is feasible. Avoid skirts and maxis (sarees too).
 This comes without saying that you need to have proper shoes.
 Shades and cap should also find place in your bag
 There is no entry fee for this fort. Parking of the vehicle can be done at the entry point. Since there are hardly any people around, it is better to check the lock and then proceed for exploration.

Overall, it was a good experience- a one-day adventure trip.
Piece of advice: Plan the trek on a Saturday so that you can relax on Sunday.

One liner for the trip: Trip to Gudibande Fort is sure to blow away the cobwebs of mundane life!

The vision must be followed by the venture. It is not enough to stare up the steps – we must step up the stairs.
~Vance Havner

Till the next time, Happy Travelling!

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