The construction of the fort at Mudgal, advantage was taken of a hillock on the top of which were built houses of the royalty and a wall with bastions. The outer fortifications of Mudgal cover an area of half a square mile. The outer fort has a wide moat, which is filled with water. The width of the moat varies, being as much as 50 yards at several places. Behind the moat, there is a scarp with a row of bastions and after that, a narrow covered passage and adjoining it the counter scarp with very massive bastions. From the arrangement of the existing fort, it is apparent that the fort was rebuilt after the invention of guns. The courses of masonry at several places are of Hindu style, but the arch-shaped parapet is of Muslim design. The moat and the row of bastions together offer a pleasing view.
In front of the Fateh Darwaza, which faces north, there is a very massive bastion, with a curtain on each side, thus making a barbican for the defence of the fort. Near this barbican is a guard’s room with three arched openings towards the north. The barbican has a narrow court with entrances towards the west and north-east, the gates of which are built in the pillar-and-lintel style. In the covered passage of this gateway, there are guards’ rooms on both sides. The massive bastion above referred to has a gun with a Kannada inscription near the muzzle. The gun has long iron pieces in its interior, which have been bound outwardly by hoops.
There is another gateway on the western side, behind the narrow passage of which there is a second gateway with an arch. The walls at this point are cyclopean in construction. There are guards’ rooms on either side of the passage of this gateway also. There is a third gateway to the left of the second, also arched, but the apex, as in the case of the previous one, is filled up with masonry. This gateway is more massive in construction than the other two, the guard’s room attached to its passage also being more commodious. There is a mosque near this gateway, which consists of a double-pillared hall, the pillars being of Hindu design. On the opposite side of the road are the remains of the Naubat Khana. On the way to the Bala Hisar is the gunpowder magazine, where, at one end, two compartments have been built for the storage of gunpowder.
Citadel The Bala Hisar or citadel is built at the top of the hillock and commands a good view of the interior of the fort as well as of the surround country. The view gives a good idea of the extent of the fort and of the large garrison, which could be accommodated therein. There are several natural depressions in the rock above, which were utilized for storing water. Bastions and walls are built at different points for the defence of the buildings of the Bala Hisar. In the middle also, there is a large bastion, round in form. The hill near this bastion rises in the form of a spur and is detached from the lower parts of the hill by a ravine. There are some natural caverns below the Nauras Burj. The fort is defended towards the south-west by a range of hills. In the western part of the fort is a large cistern called the Hikrani Baoli – about 140 yards in length and 40 to 50 yards in breadth. When coming out from the fort, we see that the first (innermost) gateway is arch-shaped, lofty and massive. The second gateway is built in rather a hybrid style – the openings of the main entrance being in the pillar-and-lintel style and those of the guards’ rooms being arch-shaped. The plinth, the columns and ceiling of the guards’ rooms are lavishly decorated with sculpture. The outermost gate is built in the pillar-and-lintel style and the door is studded with iron spikes. It is called Kati Darwaza on account of the thorny appearance of the spikes. The panels of this door are decorated with figures of animals and gods carved in relief. A figure of a god holding a serpent is carved on the outer wall of the fort. There is another sculpture representing Hanuman. A bridge is built on the moat; but the approach is rather narrow. There are, in this fort, at least seven inscriptions belonging to the Adil Shahi dynasty of Bijapur, 15 old Kannada inscriptions and two later inscriptions in Devanagari script. There is an old Roman Catholic Church at this place. It is said that it stands on the foundation of one, which had been built by Jesuits before 1557 during the reign of Ibrahim Adil Shah who had granted inam land for its support. The original very old church was pulled down and another was built in its place later.
Korva, in Raichur taluk, is a beautiful island surrounded by the Krishna river, about 18 miles north-east of Raichur. It is looked upon as a holy place and is popularly known as Naradagadde, where sage Narada is said to have performed penance. A fine road has been laid from Raichur to this place, which has been also electrified. It has a temple dedicated to Narada, a famous Veerashaiva Matha, the samadhi of Vairagya Channabasavaswami who lived about four centuries ago and was well known for his mystic wisdom, a Shivayoga Peetha and a Basavanna temple. The annual jatra at this place attracts a large number of people and a cattle fair is also held at the time, when there is a brisk trade especially in blankets, brass vessels, bullocks and carts. Just near Naradagadde, there is Koormagadde (Kurumakshetra or Kuravakala) which has a Dattatreya Peetha and the samadhi of Sripadavallabha Swami. It is said to be the original place of Dattatreya. It has a temple dedicated to him, which is visited by devotees from far and near.
Raichur, the headquarters town of the district, is an important commercial, industrial and educational center. The place is of considerable antiquity. Malik Kafur captured it in 1312 and subsequently it was in the hands of Vijayanagara, Bahmani, Bijapur, Mughal and Asaf Jahi kings. The hill fort of Raichur, which was of great importance in the past, is surrounded on three sides by a double row of massive but low circuit walls. The inner wall, which is constructed of huge blocks of well-dressed and nicely fitted stones without the aid of any cementing material, is the work of the Hindus, according to a long Kannada inscription dated A.D. 1294 on a slab in the western inner wall. The outer wall, which is built of comparatively rough stone masonry, is, on the other hand, the work of the Muslims. The outer fortifications contain five gateways : the Mecca Darwaza on the west, the Naurangi Darwaza on the north, the Kati Darwaza on the east, the Khandak Darwaza on the south and the Doddi Darwaza on the south-east. The inner wall has two gateways : the Sailani Darwaza on the west and the Sikandari Darwaza on the east. The area inside the fort-walls abounds in the remains of ancient objects, of which a few important ones have been described here. The Mecca Darwaza and the adjoining walls were, according to the Persian inscriptions on the arches of the gateway, built by the command of one Mallu Khan in 1470 during the reign of the Bahmani king Muhammad Shah III. The modern road starting from the railway station and leading into the town passes through this way. The road proceeding from this entrance passes through a gap in the inner wall, just by the side of the long Kannada inscription referred to above. At a little distance to the right of this epigraph, there are some marvelous drawings. Some distance to the south of these drawings, near the ancient quarry, is a large depression locally known as Banda Baoli. Further to the south, near the fort of the hill, is the Doddi Darwaza, a double-arched entrance, in the Muslim wall. Near this gateway is a beautiful circular well constructed of fine stone masonry with a long staircase leading right to the bottom; but the well is now dry.
The road next passes by the side of the Fort Jami Masjid situated to the north of the road. It is a handsome structure having two entrances, one in the south and the other in the east. The southern entrance, which is supported on six massive stone pillars of the Chalukyan style with square bases, cruciform capitals and circular and decorated middle portions, seems to have originally been the mantapa of some temple. Just opposite the entrance in the courtyard of the mosque is a cemetery, which is said to contain the graves of some members of the Adil Shahi dynasty. The eastern entrance of the mosque is crowned with three small domes, the middle one of which is circular and the other two pyramidal. To the left of this entrance, outside the mosque proper, is a deep well of considerable dimensions with masonry walls of stone all around. Opposite the Jami Masjid are the remains of an ancient Hindu palace. Of the original palace, there is very little remaining now, except the old walled enclosure and the big entrance by the side of the present jail. The jail also is said to have originally formed part of this building. But the alterations and modifications of the present day, suiting the requirements of the jail, have completely deprived the building of all its antiquarian grandeur and interest. Opposite the ruins of the palace and near the Sikandari Darwaza is a small mosque called Daftarki-Masjid. The material used for the construction of this also has been taken from some ruined Hindu temples. The mosque is entered through a domed structure, the lintel and brackets of which are supported on the pillars of that temple. The pillars in the prayer-hall are also of typically of Chalukyan workmanship. The mosque has in front a deep, oblong well, built with stone masonry. At this point, the road gets into the Sikandari Darwaza, which formed the eastern entrance of the Hindu fortifications. The gateway has two arched entrances, one facing the west and the other south. The former, which is crowned with a battlemented parapet, is in a ruined condition. On the faces of the two walls immediately adjoining are traces of old Kannada inscriptions, which are almost completely obliterated by the conquerors, as is clear from the various geometrical designs purposely made to chisel out the original writings.
Last Modified : 6/22/2021