Kavaledurga fort is a hill fort near to Agumbe, which is the wettest place in South India. When I visited Agumbe, the monsoon was at its best in the subcontinent. What else is the best time to visit such a place. We had to cancel our journey initially due to the landslides in the ghat road to Agumbe. Waited for few weeks but there was an uncertainty in our journey till we reach there.It was continuously raining from the time I got down in Agumbe till we boarded our bus back. As a person who loves monsoons, Agumbe made me really happy. The rain is so beautiful here. The best moments of the journey was undoubtedly the Kavaledurga fort trek.
It was my first day at Agumbe. The major attractions here are the waterfalls, all of them closed due to the heavy rain. My friend Alex was also with me. We were staying in Agumbe and the rain had no intention to stop. Made our plans immediatley, wrapped our phones and wallet in a plastic cover, jumped out in to the rain and ran to the bus station to catch a ride to Thirthahalli.
From Thirthahalli, an auto took us to the start of Kavaledurga fort trek. It was a small village, few houses here and there, vast flooded green paddy fields. Few were working in the fields hiding from the rain under their raincoat. The people in the shop at the entry offered us those raincoats when they saw us drenched in the rain. We said no. We are here to be in the rain, to get wet as much as possible, to witness the nature’s most beautiful phenomenon and to walk in the muddy water.
The initial stretch of Kavaledurga fort trek is through the paddy fields. Once you cross the fields, there will be a small wooden gate and you can see the stone paved roads up to the hills. The trek is not that difficult. May be during rains, the rocks will be slippery. That’s the only thing we should keep in mind while walking. The hill is forest covered, all you can hear is sound of water drops. My thoughts went back to the monsoon trek in Kodachadri last year.
Walk for 30 minutes, you reach the first entrance of the fort. You will realise that the fort was not that small. The fort has a layers of such entrances. The construction of Kavaledurga fort is amazing. How those people built such an enormous fort on the top of the hill, a question that is still in my mind. After the entrance, you reach a temple with two long pillars at its front. I was walking around the temple, suddenly my attention went to the pond behind it. The water was emerald in colour. The pond was big, there was stairs down to the pond. Huge trees were lining all the four sides of the pond. It was full of small ripples as the rain drops falls over the leaves to the water.
We can see some more tanks like these as you hike further. These water tanks are the speciality of the Kavaledurga fort. They are built very beautifully. All the tanks were full with water upto the brim. There are narrow underground channels which connects the tanks to maintain the water at a particular level.
Once we walk past the initial structures of the fort, we can see bunch of stone pillars, standing up, widely spread over a large area. Those are the remains of the palace, found out during a recent excavation. We can easily identify the main hall of the palace by the placement of the pillars. From the site, I can imagine the size of palace, it is big enough for a place like this. There is another pond behind the palace, which have a peculiar shape.I guess that might be the king’s swimming pool.
The fort was almost deserted at that time, everyone left since it was raining heavily. The forest cover will get more thick after the palace ruins.There is a trail up to the top but very few only hikes up furthur. We decided to go up. The trail will become more steep as you reach the top. But once you are there, you will realise that, it was worth coming. To see the complete beauty of this fort, I would suggest you to trek till the top.
I felt so happy when reached up there. The rain, the views from the top and the ruins of the fort; all of them together was magical.
We decided to walk back,as it was getting dark. Back at the entrance gate, celebrated our hike with a hot coffee. It was still raining and we were not worried about it anymore. Back to Agumbe.
How to reach Kavaledurga fort
You will be visiting Kavaledurga fort from Agumbe most probably. You need to reach Thirthahalli first, it is about 25 km from Agumbe. During day time, lot of buses are available passing through Thirthahalli. Thirthahalli is a comparatively bigger town. From there, you can reach Kavaledurga fort either by bus or auto. Getting a bus is totally depends on your luck. There are no frequent buses. Ask someone there, they can help you with the bus timings. Or else you can take an auto rickshaw to Kavaledurga fort, it will costs around 300 INR.
For coming back, buses are there but be sure with the timings. Better ask for bus timings at the shops in the entrance and plan your trek according to it.
We hired an auto rickshaw from Thirthahalli and took the driver contact number. On the way back, since we missed the bus,called the same guy to pick us.
Few things to keep in mind before Kavaledurga fort trek
Kavaledurga fort trek is not at all a difficult trek. Everyone can do it, the only thing is that you need to climb up a hill through the stone paved roads.
I would suggest you to visit Kavaledurga during monsoons, it will be an amazing experience.
If you are trekking in monsoon, the rocks will be slippery, so be careful and bring a nice hiking shoes.
The forests of Agumbe is known for snakes and I won’t suggest you to venture more into the forest out of curiosity. The forests are totally strange for us who lives in the cities, so it is good to avoid snake encounters.
There are few shops at the entrance of the trek, you can buy something to eat from there but don’t put the wrappers inside the fort. We should keep this place clean and moreover it is forest. A little conscious about these things can bring a big change, I believe.
The gate to Kavaledurga fort will get closed by 5.30 PM. The people at the gate won’t allow you to enter after that time. So plan your trek accordingly.
If you are trekking in the rain, better don’t take your phones or cameras, it will be a burden for you. All the time, you will be thinking about it, whether it gets wet, and that will definitely spoil the vibe. Else bring plastic covers to keep them safe.
From the ruins of palace, you can further trek up to the top. The trail will be little steeper and you need to walk through dense forest. But the views from the top was stunning. And I would suggest you to definitely hike to the top if it is possible.
That’s all about Kavaledurga fort trek. Do visit this fort when you are in Agumbe. Agumbe is one of the must visit place in Western ghats, the rain here is really amazing.
Read more: my journeys in Western ghats
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