Etymology of Savandurga Fort
There are two main legends surrounding the origin of the name of the fort. First being during the time of Hyder Ali in 1728, the Savandurga Fort came under the rule of Mysore Kingdom. It was then that a prison was built within the fort and escaping from this prison was impossible. Hence the fort acquired the nickname Savina Durga, meaning "the fort of death". As per the second legend, during the 18th century, the Savandurga fort was visible from the city of Bengaluru but was inaccessible as there were no steps leading up to it. The hill was covered by bamboos and other trees which literally formed a barricade adding to the reputation of the "fort of death".
History of Savandurga Fort
As per the Imperial Gazetteer of India, the Savandurga Fort was initially built in 1543 by Samantha Raya, a general under the Vijayanagara Empire. And eventually after almost 30 years in the year 1570, the chief of Bengaluru acquired the fort and the Magadi region. The area thus became the secondary headquarters for the Magadi rulers, especially Kempegowda.
In the year 1791, the fort was captured by Lord Cornwallis and came under the control of the British Empire. And after the Indian Independence, the Savandurga Fort was not properly maintained and thus is currently in ruins.
Design of Savandurga Fort
Within the fort walls, there were two temples for which the place was well known. The Savandi Veerabhadreshwara Swamy Temple and the Narasimha Swamy Temple located at the foothills of the Savandurga were famous and was visited by devotees from all around.
Visiting Information on Savandurga Fort
The Bengaluru railway station is the closest at a distance of 66 km and the Kempegowda International Airport is the nearest at about 90 km from the fort.