House of Rani Chennamma’s palace remnants
Visited - July 2017
Kittur, about 50Kms from Belgaum in Karnataka houses Rani Chennamma’s palace and fort ruins. There are enough sites on the internet providing detailed history of the queen and her involvement in freedom struggle. I will just share the experience of visiting this place and things I heard from the guides there.
Even though the attraction is called Kittur Fort, mostly what remains to be seen is the Palace remnants. The fort complex is maintained well with necessary basic facilities, and lots of areas to settle for a picnic lunch.
As told by the guide, in OCT they hold a 3 day festival, during which they have a sound and light show. Some of the props from that show are around and should not be confused with the original structure, like this cannon and emblem.
The original palace supposedly was 3 floors high. What I could see was just the ground floor and some steps. There were a lot of small rooms, 3 wells, a cool kitchen, a very well designed drainage system, swimming pool and a performance hall. The only thing I was left asking is why the rooms were so small. It was not matching my idea of a palace, but I am sure historians have a better answer to that.
There is also a museum that has artifacts collected from the palace, like the original ornamental teak doors, war equipment, soldiers’ clothing, protection gear etc. The museum also has a large collection of stone sculptures from various locations with rich history behind each. Interest and patience is all you need and there are guides waiting to give you the details behind every exhibit.
Know before you go:
- About 50Kms from Belgaum aka Belagavi, which is the nearest big city.
- Mostly palace remnants within the fort.
- A museum with palace artifacts and other ancient sculptures is a significant part of this site.
- Sound and light show happens once a year in OCT for 3 days.
- Kannada speaking guides available at both the museum and the palace site. Cannot confirm if English speaking guides are also available. Worth checking.
Combine this with Belgaum/Belagavi area visit. Not a standalone attraction to cover if traveling from far off, unless you are a history buff.