Devanahalli Fort is an imposing structure that draws attention due to its illustrious history and remarkable architecture. Located on the outskirts of Bangalore, about 37 km north of the city center, the 500-year-old fort assumes importance as the birthplace of Tipu Sultan. The formidable walls of the fortress have remained witness to many attacks and events that helped shape the region’s history and rich heritage. Whether you are a tourist, history buff or holidaymaker, the magnificent Devanahalli Fort and the temples in and around it will keep you fascinated for hours.

How about including this historical citadel in your Bangalore itinerary? Read on to know more about Devanahalli Fort, including its history, architecture, timings, entry fee, and other interesting and lesser-known facts.

Devanahalli Fort, Bangalore Information

Location Devanahalli
Also Known as Yousafabad
Type Fort
Timings 7:00 am to 8:30 pm; every day
Entry Fee Free
Photography and Videography Allowed
Distance from Major Transportation Hubs Kempegowda International Airport (13 km); Cantonment Railway Station (33 km); Yeshwantpur Junction (35 km); KSR Bangalore City Railway Station (38 km)
Constructed in 1501
Constructed by Malla Byre Gowda
Reconstructed in Late 18th century
Reconstructed by Hyder Ali
Material Used Stone and masonry
Area 20 acres
Nearest Bus Station Devanahalli New Bus Station (950 m)

Devanahalli Fort, Bangalore: History

Did you know that the Devanahalli Fort was originally built as a mud structure? Malla Byre Gowda, a chieftain and a vassal of the Vijayanagara Empire constructed it in 1501 at Devanadoddi (the former name of Devanahalli). He belonged to the Morasu Wokkalu family who came from Kanchipuram as fleeing refugees and settled around the area in the 15th century. It is believed that Rana Baire Gowda, who was the leader of the family and father of Malla Byre Gowda, formed a village settlement near Devanahalli as he was directed to do so in his dream. Till the mid-18th century, the fort remained under the control of the descendants of Malla Byre Gowda.

In 1747, Devanahalli Fort was captured by Nanga Raja, who brought it under the control of the Wodeyars of Mysore. While the Marathas seized the fort multiple times in the course of history, each time it was recaptured. Later, it came under the possession of Hyder Ali, who made the fort his residence. It was at his command that the fort was reconstructed into a stone and masonry structure in 1760. His eldest son Tipu Sultan was born while Hyder Ali was residing at Devanahalli. The fort was subsequently passed into the hands of Tipu Sultan who renamed it Yousafabad, but the name never got popular.

In 1791, during the Anglo-Mysore War, Lord Cornwallis brought the fort under his control. For the next 156 years, untill the country gained independence in 1947, it remained under the British rulers.

Devanahalli Fort, Bangalore: Architecture

Though Devanahalli Fort was built over 500 years ago, nothing much remains of the original structure. The fortification you see here today was built during the times of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan. The fort, which has a roughly oval structure, is spread across 20 acres of land. It features 12 semi-circular bastions set up at regular intervals, each of which is equipped with a gunpoint.

The fort complex boasts of a spacious battlement. While the entrances of the fort on the east and the west are not very big, they feature elaborate cut-plasterwork. In addition to the erstwhile residence of Hyder Ali, several Hindu temples can be seen within the fort complex.

Devanahalli Fort, Bangalore: Today

Today, Devanahalli Fort counts among the major tourist places and historical attractions in Bangalore. Though the centuries-old stone structure has lost much of its earlier grandeur, it is still a sight to behold. The semi-circular bastions provide beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. As the fort lies in close proximity to the international airport in Bangalore, it is one of the best places to visit near during flight delays.

Things to See in the Devanahalli Fort Complex, Bangalore

Devanahalli Fort boasts of several attractions and structures which make it one of the must-visit forts in Bangalore. These include:

  • Venugopalaswamy Temple, one of the oldest temples located in the fort complex. It features a Dravidian style shikhara and an idol of Venugopala (Lord Krishna) that displays elements of the Vijayanagara style of architecture. A Garuda Stamba installed in the courtyard, carved pillars, and walls depicting scenes from the Ramayana and Lord Krishna’s childhood are the other attractions here.
  • Siddalingeshwara Temple, another age-old temple within the fort, dedicated to Lord Shiva.
  • Chandramouleshwara Temple, a shrine featuring an inner prakara constructed in the Vijayanagara style and a Shiva Linga in the sanctum sanctorum.
  • Sarovaranjaneya Temple, a shrine is dedicated to Anjaneya, who is also known as Hanuman in Hindu mythology.
  • Nanjundeshwara Temple, the oldest temple inside the fort. It was once called Kashi Vishveshwara.
  • Raghavendraswamy Math, one of the several religious structures housed within the fort complex.
  • A memorial located just 150 meters outside the fort that marks the place where Tipu Sultan was born. It is a pillared square enclosure with a height of six feet.

Lesser-known Facts about Devanahalli Fort, Bangalore

  • While the fort is famous for being the birthplace of Tipu Sultan, he was born outside the fort.
  • The fort complex also has the house of Dewan Purnaiah, who was a high-ranking official under Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan.
  • The magnificent ramparts of the fort have been used to shoot many Kannada period movies.

Attractions near Devanahalli Fort, Bangalore

Devanahalli Fort may not be one of the largest or best-preserved forts in India, but it still holds great historical significance. Do take out some time during your Bangalore trip to visit this impressive structure. We suggest you book your accommodation in the city so that you can cover the fort as well as the major tourist attractions in Bangalore.