The Bellary Fort is located in the historic city of Bellary, Karnataka. It consists of two parts namely upper fort and lower fort. The fort and the town is located around two prominent and large rocky granite hills, the Ballari Gudda and Kumbara Gudda. The upper fort was built by Hanumappa Nayaka and the lower fort was built by hyder ali during the later half of 18th century. It is also known as the ‘Bellary Gudda’. A French engineer was the architect of both the forts, but he was later ordered to be hanged by hyder ali because the king was not satisfied with the lower elevation at which the forts has been constructed. The French engineers grave, dated 1769, also can be found nearby.
Bellary town and the district has a hoary history dating from 300 BC till 1365 AD, the beginning of the Vijayanagar empire. The place was ruled by Mauryas, Satavahanas, Kadambas, Chalukyas of Kalyana, Kalachuryas, Sevunas and Hoysala. The name Bellary is derived from an old kannada name ‘vallari’. As per the mythology, the city is named after God Indra, who destroyed rakshasa (Balla) who resided in the area. In the Hoysala period, the dynasty of “Bellariya Naredu” had sovereignty over the place Bellary and it was known as Kuntala Desha, though it subsequently came to be known by the name ‘Vallari-Vallapuri’. There are two other small hills namely kaate gudda and Eeshwara gudda. There is hardly any vegetation on the barren rocky country side. Bellary is considered to be one of the hottest places in India.
The Upper fort houses the citadel, at the summit of the spur of the Ballar Gudda with a three tier fortification, one below the other. The fort is situated at an elevation of 602 meters. Within the citadel there are several strong buildings. Outside the citadel, there is a small temple. The fort also contains several cisterns, which was excavated to provide water storage. The Lower fort is located at the eastern base of the rock, is about 0.5 miles in diameter. There are numerous bastions surrounded by deep ditches. The fort has two entrances, one on the western end and the other towards the east. There is a hanuman temple outside the eastern entrance. At present the lower fort houses a number of public buildings, offices, educational institutions, temples and churches. The fort is illuminated and decorated during Sundays and holidays of state and national importance.
The fort is well connected by road, rail and air transport facilities from all parts of the country. Bellary is located 300 kms from bangalore, 75 kms from Hampi, 367 kms from Hyderabad and 304 kms from Chennai. There are two railway stations in Bellary, both build during the British rule. The city station and the cantonment station. The civilian airport is located at cantonment area. There is another air strip located at the Jindal Vijayanagar steels complex 40 kms away from Bellary which is operated by private airlines.