List of Forts & Palaces in Karnataka

Karnataka is nestled in the southern part of India and is famous for being the most visited tourist destination. Similar to all other destinations, this place is popular for various attractions that are worth witnessing here. There are numerous pilgrimage centers, rivers and lakes, fairs and festivals, forts and palaces, and many more. But this region is more renowned for its enduring forts and palaces that were constructed by great rulers who once governed this state. Karnataka state has been ruled under various majestic dynasties and royal kings. Among all of them, there are some of the forts that were already built by the great rulers who captured it, while the rest of them constructed such kind of magnificent and huge palaces by themselves.

Therefore, no hesitations were shown while constructing these majestic palaces, when it comes to spending revenue for building an extravagant, luxurious, and formidable as per their desire.  Through these huge and striking forts and palaces, the imperial dynasty and the great kings used to show their might and power that belonged from the earlier years. But today, all the palaces and forts are turned into blessings not only for India but also for the tourists who hail here. Today, you can have an easy glimpse of the royal residences of royal kings and queens who lived here.

In Indian history, Karnataka state has marked some different records that mainly represent the great Sultans and their enterprises towards increasing their roots stronger in this region. The most significant and the evidence of their endeavor and discord are the forts and palaces that are placed in Karnataka. It is a frequently visited tourist destination and the first choice of visitors when it comes to touring India. Karnataka is also one of the states among others that have registered its name in the history of India. Apart from the pilgrimage centers and archeological sites, this place is well renowned for its wonderful forts and royal palaces.  In Karnataka, there are some of the capital cities that enclose ancient forts like the Mysore, Chitradurga, Keladi, Srirangapatna, Basavakalyan, Badami, Vijayanagara, Bijapur, Gulbarga, Bidar, and many more.

The monuments and forts that are preserved in this region take you to the world of a pre-historic period where various royal dynasties and their empires governed over Karnataka reflect the ancient time during the earlier era. Today, some of the palaces and forts that are positioned here are ruins that turned into archeological sites.  There are a large number of forts and palaces that are valued to have a glance, but among them, only a few of them are famous that are proudly maintained in Karnataka.

Bidar Fort

  • Dwells At: Bidar, Karnataka
  • Constructed By: Sultan Ahmad Shah Wali, well known as Bahamani Sultan
  • Erected In: 1429 AD
  • Rebuilt By: Barid Shahi Sultans

Bidar Fort

Bidar, the most important capital of the Bahmani Empire of Deccan, was earlier the kingdom that collapsed into various smaller states. The small relic of the Bidar state was defeated by Mughal forces mainly under the rule of Aurangzeb in the year 1656. But later, this capital came under the province of the Nizams in the year 1724. Therefore, Bidar Fort was constructed by artisans with various skillful techniques and designs. One of the major attractions of this fort is the impressive huge gates at the entrance, the bulwarks that were used during battle, and the royal Rangin Mahal which is beautifully adorned with rich interior work.


  • Situated At: Gulbarga Fort in Karnataka
  • Constructed By: Raja Gulchand
  • Major Attractions: 25 guns and 15 towers
  • Reconstructed By: Ala – Ud – Din Bahmani

Gulbarga Fort

Gulbarga is the most prominent Capital of the Bahmani kingdom mainly from the period of 1347 to 1428.  It was his capital only till the kingdom was not split up and the town came under the relics of the sultanate in Bidar. Today, among all the sultanate’s forts and palaces, Gulbarga is the only popular fort which at present lies in ruins in Karnataka. But apart from it, there are some striking structures such as the Jama Masjid. This beautiful masjid is the replica of the renowned mosque in Cordoba in Spain and also the tombs of Bahmani kings, which are also worth seeing when visited in this fort.

Tipu Sultan Palace

  • Location: Srirangapatna town, Bangalore, Karnataka
  • Established By: Original founder Kempe Gowda, later completed by Tipu Sultan
  • Construction: Started in 1537 and completed in 1790
  • Material Used: Both mud bricks and teak wood

Tipu Sultan Palace

Originally, this striking palace was built by Kempe Gowda, but due to some conflicts, the construction work came to a halt. But later, Tipu Sultan took the initiative to reconstruct the palace in some modified ways. Initially, the palace was constructed by the mud burnt bricks, but Tipu build the majority of the palaces with teak wood. It is the biggest royal palace which is adorned with various designs and carvings. The wall of the Tipu Sultan Palace was painted with colorful shades, but today the color has vanished from the walls giving an idea of the age of the palace. This enduring palace is also known as the Bangalore Fort which is situated in the Seringapattanam village. The pillars and balconies are made from teak wood that is embellished with amazing wood carvings and structures that please the eyes of visitors with delight and charm. Within the premises of the palace, you can also spot one beautiful sacred temple where the idol of Lord Ganesha is placed inside. Apart from the tourist, devotees also get attracted to this place and come to witness this on their weekend. While on tour to Karnataka state, make sure you visit the valued Tipu Sultan Palace.

Bijapur Fort

Bijapur Fort

Bijapur Fort was one of the headquarters of Adil Shahi reign, who was the emperor after the founder of Adil Shah. The dynasty that belonged to him was considered to be the golden era of the Bijapur city in Karnataka. It is the landmark triumph acquired over the empire of Vijayanagar during the conflict of Talikota. In this battle, the Talikota led to increasing the Bijapur City as one of the most powerful and mighty dynasties in the entire Deccan. After conquering the battle in its honor, the Jama Masjid was built in this region. This masjid was so beautiful that it reflects the time of the earlier period during the great King’s dynasty. The main attraction of this place is the citadel, passages, halls, and gardens that please the eyes of tourists with pleasure. The architecture and the design of this fort are worth watching when visiting this place. The most unique part of the fort is the fusion of various prevalent styles that enhance the place more. The exquisite tomb of the great Ibrahim Adil Shah II from the period 1586 to 1626 is the most renowned attraction of Bijapur fort. This enchanting fort still stands erect and is maintained even today with all its architectural and historical importance which makes this impressive fort the most popular one in the Karnataka state of India.

Jamalabad Fort

  • Situated at: Kudremukh, Karnataka
  • Constructed By: Tipu Sultan
  • Constructed in the Year: 1794 AD
  • Fort is Renamed After: Jamalbee who was Tipu Sultan’s Mother

Jamalabad Fort

British had captured this fort in 1799 AD. Today, there are narrow lanes formed by the ruins of the rock, and is available only in the month of Feb and May.

Gangamoola is easily accessible that is located in the Chikmagalur district which is enclaved with thick forests. The most important three rivers have their origin at this place namely Netravati, Bhandra and Tunga.

Madikeri Fort

  • Situated At: Medikere, Karnataka
  • Constructed In: 19th Century
  • Main Features: Chapel, Houses a temple and many Museums
  • Major Attractions: Raja’s Seat

Madikeri Fort

It is located in the center of Madikeri, the fort was very well known as a fort that has witnessed many battles. Now it is well equipped with many chapels, a beautiful temple, a museum, not very large, and a prison. One can view a picturesque view from the walls of the fort.

Here lies the Raja’s Seat, which is believed to be the place of gathering for all the kings of Kodagu in the evening. This was among the favorite place of all the kings to spend a fabulous time watching the sunsets from the hilltop.

The fort has a very beautiful and wonderfully carved temple, Omkareshwar temple which is solely dedicated to Lord Shiva. This temple was constructed in 1820 AD and is a beautiful combination of the Gothic style and Islamic style of architecture.

Belgaum Fort

  • Situated At: Bangalore
  • Major Attractions: Temples and caves
  • Best Period to Visit: From September up to March

Belgaum Fort

The Historical Beauty

Belgaum Fort belongs to the oldest monuments from Karnataka which is situated in the heart of Belgaum. This fort was built by an ally that belongs to the Ratta Dynasty named Jai Raya during the 13th Century. It was constructed with the help of stone and mud.

Yakub Ali Khan who belonged to Bijapur Sultanate took possession of the fort and constructed the huge wall, battlements, parapets, and the bastions. This is totally surrounded by a very deep moat.

This beautiful monument is decorated with past history with the pride inbuilt in its temple and mosques. The entire construction developed here was under the Vijay Nagar Emperors, Rattas, Marathas, and Bijapur Sultan along with the British.

The British imprisoned Mahatma Gandhi in Belgaum fort. All the monuments erected here were constructed in the period of the 13th century.

The Mosques, The shrines, And the Bastis

There are two shrines in the entrance dedicated to Lord Ganesha and the other to goddess Durga. The fort has two ‘Bastis’ constructed in the old style of Chulukyan. The most famous of all this construction is the Kamala Basti erected in 1204 AD. Jain temple is situated on its right side which is not in a good condition today. Among the two mosques, Safa Masjid which lies inside the fort is a major attraction and is counted among the best mosque in the city.

The fort has minars, arches points, and huge domes blended with the two different styles, one is Indo-Saracenic and the other one is Deccan Style of architecture. The wooden doors and the staircase show the beautiful carvings. There are two pillars in the form of circular pillars situated in the Jamai Halls are believed to be the form of old temples.

You can feel the essence here in this fort. Many of the pillars are designed with Kannada inscription which is written in Nagari Script whereas the other script in the form of Persia forms the amazing calligraphic decoration.

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