The name “Ratnagiri” has an element of enigma attached as the literal translation means “mountain of Jems”. It is no surprise that many mountain forts are named after Ratnagiri. Sometime back, Wido, Santosh and I had visited the Ratnagiri fort (Read about that experience here) in Karnataka Andhra border. This time when they came to India, I suggested to visit another Ratnagiri fort which was near Hosur. Very little information was available about that fort but the recent visit by Dhiraj gave me some confidence.
The drive to Ratnagiri was uneventful. The road generally was decent though the last couple of km was on the dirt track. Once we reached the village, we got the directions from the villagers to reach the base of the hill. The landmark was a temple dedicated to Lord Rama. The shepherds showed us the general direction to climb the hill.
We skirted around the hill for some distance until we found a dilapidated structure that resembled the entrance of the fort. Very soon we were in front of twin rocks with a pathway in between. A short climb and we came to the base of the huge rock. The rest of the ascent was on the rock cut steps. It would have been a simple climb but for a short section which goes around the hill. That was the only stretch that was tricky in the entire route. Being a person scared of heights, I do not like such stretch but that is unavoidable in treks!!
The first stage of steps ended and the final gateway was visible. It looked beautiful. We reached the gateway after climbing another round of rock cut steps. It was a nice place to sit and relax.
The final gateway led us to the top of the fort. We spent some time in exploring the area. Much of the fort was in a bad condition with many buildings in ruins. Though the fort was built during Vijaynagar days, most of the ruins looked relatively new due to the usage of bricks. The entire area looked dry and gave a rustic feeling with the only respite being the flowering trees.
There were carvings of Lord Hanuman and Yaksha on the rocks on top of the temple. The place was worshipped by locals. Every effort was made to store water in the fort.
After spending some time on the fort, we started climbing down. I felt that it was difficult to climb down the rock cut steps with shoes. The ground was bit hot was the climb down was easier on bare foot. We came back to the temple to see the entire area deserted with a lone person resting in the verandah of the temple.