Historical Shivappa Nayak fort, Nagar, Karnataka - 15th Century fort in ruins,

The 15th century Shivappa Nayak fort, built by one of the greatest rulers of this region  is a tourist spot near Shimoga but unfortunately it is in a dilapidated condition due to poor upkeep. Quite amazing are its size, moat around the fort and bathing water tanks with separate entry.  Visitors  to  the fort will be impressed by the  monsoon or post monsoon  growth of lush greenery  and  serene surrounding places including the sight of small hills.

Shivappa nayaka's fort, Nagar, KA  youtube.com

Once called  Bidarahalli it gained historical importance during the reign of   Hiriya Venkatappa Nayaka (1592-1629 AD) of Ikkeri kingdom. it was elevated to the status of capital from the time of Virabhadra Nayaka (1629-1645 AD) who succeeded Hiriya Venkatappa Nayaka.  

ruler Shivappa Nayaka, Nagar indiathedestiny.com

Above image: Shivappa Nayaka (r.1645–1660),  was a popular  ruler in South India during the 17th century AD.  .Known as Keladi Shivappa Nayaka,  he  ruled the Keladi Nayaka Kingdom from 1645 to 1660 AD diligently. Generally, the Keladi Nayakas belonged to Veerashaiva Lingayath Community,  They  were successors of the Vijayanagara Empire in the coastal and Malnad (hill) districts of Karnataka, India, in the late 16th century. Shivappa  introduced ingenious  tax systems which were called Sist.  According to the tax system, the agriculture lands divided into five types and  tax was levied based on the type. He provided the water irrigation system.   A brave and dashing  warrior, he raided   the Bijapur Sultanate and captured the modern Dharwad District. He also  invaded Srirangapatnam and  became a forve to reckon with in South Karnataka. He captured all Portuguese Coastal territories and  eliminated their dominance in Karnataka and Kerala. A keen observer of   the Hindu Vedic rituals  he  gave preference to the Hindu Advaita theory propounded  by Adi Shankara Charya of Kalady, Kerala. . He gave preference to Vedic sacrifices and orthodox rituals. Being secular, he gave he respected other religions..(https://indiathedestiny.com/indian-kings/shivappa-nayaka)...............................

Shivappa nayaka's fort, Nagar,

The nayak rulers consistently faced threats from near-by Bijapur sultanate.  lkkeri  was reduced to rubble  in 1560 during the unexpected raid by   Islamic forces under Ranadulla Khan of Bijapur Sultanate though   Virabhadra Nayaka’s  fought valiently to repel the invading army. Consequently  Ikkeri  became a hot bed of  political and economic  domination between rulers and finally Virabhadra Nayaka abandoned it.

Giving utmost importance to defense and security to retard further invasion from Muslim rulers  ruler Virabhadra Nayaka  had   built a strong and sturdy  fort  at a strategic place -  Bidnur  with beautiful palaces  and made it his  new capital in 1639 AD.  Sivappa Nayaka (1645-¬1665 AD) who ascended the throne  after his father became an active ruler,  gained administrative skills  and enlarged it his kingdom. His successor ruled from here till it was seized by Hyder Ali in 1763 AD. He  renamed Bidnur as Haider Nagar and now it is called as Nagar only.  During his reign he established the mints here and  Haideri gold pagodas were struck here. During the Angelo-  Mysore War it suffered badly due to burning. Tipu Sultan rebuilt the palace and its surroundings. However, it never regained its lost glory and slowly it was abandoned to its present condition

The stone masonry ifort is in  almost ovoid on plan  with  a series of bastions at regular intervals. Constructed above the  masonry wall is  the thick parapet with a series of musket holes.  Surprisingly, many   guard rooms are provided in the interior wall for the convenience of security guards.  adjacent to  the exterior fort wall is a deep moat with retaining walls running around. Access to the fort is  through a steep ramp leading to the main entrance from the north. There are bastions on either side of the gateway. 

Inside the fort one can see  tank to the west and remnants of the palace to the south-east. The tank is built with many compartments and entrances with a flight of steps.  The palace building in rectangular plan is  at a higher level and has a series of rooms and halls. The large open area to the west seems to have been used to accommodate audience. At the south west corner is a deep octagonal well.  there is an  observatory tower which can be accessed through    a steep ramp at the extreme end of the open courtyard abutting the outer fort wall.

In the SW corner of the fort there is a deep  octagonal well and  the depression further  south of the octagonal  seems to be a storage tank to the south east of which is a huge mound probably enclosing a huge rubble structure. 

Many  structural parts of the fort are in ruins and  scattered here and there, but,  amazing thing  is they represent  careful planning of the  post medieval layout of fort.

Nagar ( earlier  known as Bidnur or Venupura) is  about 16 km from Hosanagara town and is about 85 km from Shimoga town of Karnataka.