Manjarabad Fort in Hassan district is one of the few remaining star-shaped forts in the country. It is easy to miss it, as no attempts have been made to highlight this rare monument. This is one of fine example of the French influence on our military.
Just 10 km from Sakleshpur in Hassan district while travelling to Mangalore on NH48 is Manjarabad Fort, a small structure that happens to be a very rare example of 17th century French military architecture in India. Unless you keep an eye out for it though, chances are you will drive right past it, for no attempt has been made to highlight this quite singular military monument. As a result, apart from lovers and revellers, visitors to Manjarabad Fort leave in just a few minutes, not knowing that they have seen one of the few remaining star-shaped forts in India.
Manjarabad Fort stands on a little hill, 988 m above sea level. A short path and then a long flight of steps lead into a wide passageway flanked by solid, looming granite walls. One or two sharp turns later, the passageway ends at an arched entrance into the fort.
The roads to the fort are smooth and is to find the place. There are around 250 steps to reach the fort. Once you are the fort, you see numerous sign boards put up that explain how it is a protected monument. But the same government that has put up those sign boards at considerable expense hasn’t bothered to maintain the fort.
Fort is interesting in that it is shaped like a star to enable fighting on multiple fronts, I presume. The views of Western Ghats are as amazing as ever and the environment is serene. Surely, a must-visit place.
How to Reach Manjarabad Fort
BY Road: Distance from Bangalore to Manjarabad Fort is 235 km. Distance from Hassan to Manjarabad Fort is 45 Km. Distance from sakleshpur to Manjarabad Fort is 6 km.
BY Train: The Nearest Railway Station is Sakleshpur.
By Air: The nearest airport is Mangalore International Airport
Best Time to go to Manjarabad Fort
Any time in the year, but nice to see the western ghat view after the Mansoon season (After October)
Picture or Photo gallery of Manjarabad Fort
History of Manjarabad Fort
The Manjarabad Fort was built in 1792 when Tipu Sultan wanted to guard the approaches to Mangalore and Coorg. It is one of the few forts built by Tipu where earlier there had been none. In common with many other forts renovated or built by him, Manjarabad Fort is also constructed of granite and rubble, and is protected by trenches all around. But unlike in Tipu’s other forts, Manjarabad’s bastions are neither semi-circular nor square. Instead, they are all shaped like arrow-heads so that the fort itself is shaped like an eight-pointed star. Not being constrained by earlier structures, perhaps Tipu himself or his French engineers had decided to adopt the then latest designs when building the new fort.