In the course of my journey along Sharavathi, there are times when I have looked at things that are far removed from the physical flow, and Mirjan Fort is one of them. So what’s the connection? Sharavathi – Gersoppa – Rani Chennabhairadevi – Pepper Queen – Mirjan Fort… that’s the connection. This is located some 30 km north of Honnavara, past Kumta town en route Gokarna, half a kilometer off the Highway on to your left.
The fort is roughly octagonal in shape, and is built on a high point, with a little stream leading to Aghanashini river flowing beside it. The walls of this elaborate fortification have been built with laterite stone blocks.
Picture shows the stairway of one of the wells located inside the fort. The well is visible as a ring on the top left corner. Stairs descend down to the water level below.
The highest point in the fort, this structure serves as a watch tower and a flag hoisting tower. It commands a clear view across vast distances, so that intruders and others approaching the fort could be spotted.
Mirjan fort could be entered from 4 sides, with wide stairs leading the visitor inside the double-walled structure. It also had secret passages and a U-shaped moat filled with water fed by the channel as features of defence. Some of the bigger turrets on the bastions could be restored around 2000 AD. The rest is still in ruins and is believed to comprise more entrances, royal and other living quarters, a darbar hall and storage-cum-trading points for spices.