Manjarabad Fort

Manjarabad fort is a star fort built in 1792 by Tipu Sultan the then Sarvadhakari/ruling on behalf of Mysore King of Mysore [2] following French star-shaped fort designs made popular by Sébastien Le Prestre de Vauban that deflect cannon fire and allow guns to cover all approaches without dead positions. It is in the Hassan district in the Indian state of Karnataka.[3]

Manjarabad fort
Sakleshpura, Karnataka, India
Manjarabad Fort 2.jpg
Entrance view of the Manjarabad fort
In Manjarabad fort.jpg
A deep well within the Manjarabad fort
Manjarabad fort is located in India
Manjarabad fort
Manjarabad fort
Coordinates12°54′36″N 75°45′18″E / 12.91°N 75.755°E / 12.91; 75.755
Site information
Open to
the public
ConditionPartially restored
Site history
Built byTipu Sultan[1]
In use18th century



The fort is located 4 kilometres (2.5 mi) away from the Sakaleshpura town to its south west, which is on the right bank of the Hemavati River, 23 miles (37 km) from Hassan on the National Highway 75 that runs from Bangalore to Mangalore. manjarabad is the headquarters of sakleshpura taluk and is a municipality.[4][5][3]

Since the fort is located on a hill at an elevation of 988 metres (3,241 ft), it gives a clear and commanding view of the surroundings. On a clear day, even Arabian sea can also be seen from the fort.[6][3]


Tipu Sultan built the fort in 1792 at a time when he was establishing his sovereignty over Mysore, fighting against other South Indian dynasties.[3] At this time even the Marathas and the Nizam of Hyderabad had aligned with the British. The Sultan wanted to make the highway between Mangalore and Coorg secure for his expansion programmes. Because he was allied with the French at that time against the British, he sought the help of French engineers to build a star fort of the European style.

The completed fort was inspected by Tipu Sultan who then found it enveloped in fog and hence named it as Manjarabad fort; the name Manjara is a version of 'manju' meaning "fog or mist" in Kannada.[7][6] The fort was built in only one day (24 hrs) by his soldiers.


The fort, as built and existing, is an eight-pointed star. The external walls of the fort have been built with granite stones and lime mortar while the interior buildings, which accommodate army barracks, armoury, stores and others, have been built with fired bricks. Apart from these, two cellars were built next to a deep well which were underground structures used to store gunpowder, and these rooms remained cool even during summer months.[6] The fort has sloping walls. It is said that the fort is "the most complete Vaubanesque star-shaped fort in India".

Tourism is not well developed in the area. The Tourism Department of Karnataka, pressed by demands from local people of Sakaleshpura, have plans to create basic amenities around the fort and also develop a park.[8]


  1. ^ "History of Manjarabad". Hassan District Administration Official website. Retrieved 29 August 2021.
  2. ^ Ltd 2016, p. 391.
  3. ^ a b c d Iyer, Meera (4 June 2013). "A star attraction, this fort". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 12 May 2016.
  4. ^ Rice 1876, pp. 333–34.
  5. ^ Moro 2015, p. 7.
  6. ^ a b c DeSouza 2013, p. 40.
  7. ^ Imprint, p. 57.
  8. ^ "Sakleshpur historical sites fail to attract tourists". The Hindu. 27 August 2014. Retrieved 12 May 2016.


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