• nagara fort

Nagara Fort / One of the Coolest Forts in Karnataka

Remember ancient Hampi? The place that looked like the set of the Flintstones?

guide to hampiWell, as it’s been explained to me, the people there were rich- like REALLY rich, perhaps the richest in the world in the 15th century.

But as all things go, they lost it all to invaders eventually. The King’s head was chopped off. So, all the dudes around Karnataka were like, “we have no king. I think I’ll be king!” which obviously can’t work… this is where Nagara Fort comes in.

Shivappa Naik’s Fort | Nagara Fort

nagara fortIn the small places around Hampi, new fortresses started popping up with new self-appointed kings. This place was one of them, dated to the 16th century.

nagara fort

nagara fort

nagara fortWhen we arrived, the guard on duty told our goMowgli guides in Kannada:

“I’ve been here three years and haven’t seen a foreigner until now!”

So, needless to say we felt pretty special to be able to see this ruin of a fort that apparently no other travelers come to see (another thing missing from Lonely Planet like Banavasi temple!). I was also surprised there was no fee since everywhere else in Karnataka has a fee and an even higher foreigner fee.

We wandered for a bit. The place was covered in grass but the guides said in the warmer months it’s like a desert. Cows were roaming; the sun was shining… so we just took our time.

nagara fort

nagara fort

nagara fort

If you remember, a couple Canadian girls had joined up to travel with us and they were so much fun to have around. I actually have a post coming up dedicated to their adventures in India.

nagara fortOddly, we could hear a protest in the street. We felt safe behind our fortress walls… kidding, kidding.

The protest was in regards to a young girl who was kidnapped and raped by a political party member. Seems that the townspeople know who did it, but the police won’t arrest the guy due to his political party affiliation.

This was all over the news at our homestay near Jog Falls and actually with new curfews in place due to it, we had to change our journey and do some backup plans to avoid these areas. Not sure what came of this case as I couldn’t find anything when I searched later, but hope justice was served and that the girl is okay now (the news wasn’t in English, so not totally sure what happened).

You do hear horrible things like this in India (more often than you’d think) and I feel it’s worth mentioning because I always want to paint a real picture and not just say, “I love Indian unconditionally and girls should totally travel here alone because it’s 100% safe!”; because it’s not necessarily always how I feel. Although we were having this beautiful day, and us three girls felt safe, we were confused how things like this happen still. We had long conversations about it with our goMowgli tour guides. I don’t think I could have shared about this place with you without letting you know how upsetting the news was.

nagara fort

nagara fort

Practical Information for Nagara Fort:

  • I was on this tour with goMowgli and I slept on the way, so I don’t have that much to share about directions! I did google the location for you ;)
  • Location: Nagara is a historic village in the Shimoga district of the state of KarnatakaIndia. It is 17 km from Hosanagara or 84 km from Shimoga


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About the Author:

Rachel Jones left a career in nursing and lived on the beaches of Goa, India for the five years. Now she lives in Mexico where she gives advice on the 40+ countries she’s visited in the last 10 years. She’s the author of two India travel e-books: Guide to India and Insider’s Guide to Goa. Her blog, Werkenntwen, like its name, is a contradiction combining off-beat adventurous places with glamorous and bespoke travel. Werkenntwen has been featured in ELLE, Marie Claire, Grazia, and Cosmopolitan magazines. She’s a writer for Bravo TV.


  1. Rachel March 30, 2015 at 7:02 pm - Reply

    Gorgeous views from the fort, wow! I love exploring stuff like this: ruins overgrown with nature, no ticket booth and health and safety barriers!
    That’s a terrible story, that poor girl. It’s so sad to hear these horrible stories but you are quite right mentioning it. This is the unfortunate reality, the world isn’t perfect and there is often an unpleasant undercurrent in many places we choose to visit and fall in love with, we shouldn’t ignore it.

  2. christine wilhelm March 31, 2015 at 2:41 am - Reply

    I see amazing similarity between Nagara’s corbelled stone archways and mesoamerican Mayan arches. These ruins are over 8,000 miles apart, but use almost identical building methods. Phenomenal.

    I am saddened to read about the young girl’s rape by an influential rogue. I am encouraged the girl has a community that is seeking justice for her. Rape and murder for that matter, is fairly common all over the world for village girls. India is not unique.

    I do not believe India has any more reported foreign rapes than most other countries. During the year I spent in Israel, three foreign acquaintances were brutally strangled, beaten , raped and left for dead. One friend, Ruby, had studied Arabic and heard her assaulting criminal scream he had just gotten out of prison and needed to a vagina, any vagina.

    To this day, I can close my eyes and recall seeing all three had the same hemorrhaged sclera caused by murderous strangulation. Man’s inhumanity of women is shared. Be aware. Anywhere. Always.

  3. Justine March 31, 2015 at 8:39 am - Reply

    What a beautiful place but such a horrific story about that girl. I’m glad that you brought it up. It’s good to paint a whole, accurate picture of India, not just the flattering parts. Out of curiosity, have you seen the documentary India’s Daughter? My boyfriend has been trying to get me to watch it, but we haven’t actually sat down to watch it yet. It’s supposed to be pretty intense and very eyeopening, and it seems really relevant to what you’re talking about here. It boggles my mind that this stuff goes on all around the world…

    • Rachel Jones April 3, 2015 at 4:24 pm - Reply

      I read the article about it and the stuff the men said made me cry and feel just mentally shitty all day, so I haven’t watched the docu yet – it makes me angry and judgemental which isn’t good since I live here. But , I read the news in India and many terrible things happen, like everywhere else.. but I can’t get too wrapped up in it because honestly, I would have to leave India it’s so upsetting

  4. Nandan Singh March 31, 2015 at 12:48 pm - Reply

    Hi. Rachel

    I read your amazing post.There are many unknown historic and amazing places in India yet to be explored.

    Stay alert and travel in group at unknown places.

    God bless you.

  5. Prasad Np March 31, 2015 at 1:57 pm - Reply

    Interesting find, I have heard about this fort, and it sure looks one to be explored and good to click pictures of

    • Rachel Jones April 3, 2015 at 4:22 pm - Reply

      Yeah it was really cool to wander through but a little out of the way .. guess that’s why it stays so unique

  6. NAVEEN KIRUGULIGE August 3, 2015 at 8:48 pm - Reply

    Ha!.That’s my hometown.Even i’m surprised to see a foreigner exploring those lands.I hope you people had a great time.

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