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Explore the forts of Karnataka – Road trip from Bangalore
To understand the history of what people now know as Karnataka state, one needs to learn more about the old forts and kingdoms that shaped its culture, traditions, and languages. Bangalore is a well-connected city that makes road tripping a convenient affair.

With a self driven car service (car rental), trips can be planned anytime. Here are some of the famous forts of the state, offering intrepid travellers a glimpse into Karnataka's layered heritage.

Anegundi Fort

Bangalore to Anegundi Fort is a 360-km trip to the north. It is close to the famous ruins of Hampi. The fort features many gates and visitors can explore the ramparts which mostly lay in ruins now. Two temples stand out as major attractions of the Anegundi Fort – the Durga temple, where the Vijayanagar monarchs prayed before a battle, and the Ganesha cave temple. The main entrance of the fort flanked by towers is a very iconic sight, a favourite of photographers.

Bidar Fort

Adjacent to Bidar city in north Karnataka, the red-hued ramparts of the Bidar Fort stand out of the landscape. The present structure is more than 500 years old and there are many smaller buildings and mosques inside the fort, along with sprawling gardens. The fort has 7 gates and 37 bastions, many had housed some of the largest canons of their time. One can see the influence of Persian building design in the mosques of Bidar Fort.

Mirjan Fort

Close to the coastal retreat of Gokarna is the Mirjan Fort. Majestic views of the Western Ghats can be seen from the top ramparts of this architectural wonder of coastal Karnataka. The fort is being slowly restored using traditional methods. Apart from its striking bastions, highlights include stone carvings and images of Hindu mythology, the watchtower, and wells.

Bellary Fort

Approximately a 5-hour drive from Bangalore, Bellary Fort is a combination of fortifications built by the Vijayanagar dynasties and later additions by Hyder Ali. Legend says that the lower fort's French engineer was hanged on Hyder Ali's command because the king was not happy with the strategic location of the final ramparts.  Highlights include turreted ramparts and many old temples within the fort complex. Sunday would be a good time to view the Bellary fort, as it is illuminated as part of local tourism efforts.

The best way to enjoy road trips is on one's own terms. Privacy, space, and security are some of the perks of renting a car. For those looking for a car rental Bangalore provides great options. App-based platforms like Zoomcar offer the latest hatchbacks, sedans, and SUVs at very affordable rates. The 24/7 on-road support assurance also makes this a great choice for long trips.

The forts of Karnataka remind the visitor of the older times when war and conflict was a reality that had to be lived through. Today, these behemoths loom over modern townscapes like quiet sentinels. Make some plans - get behind the wheel and drive back into the pages of history.

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