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Peacocks in the Fort?

Written By: Akshatha Vinayak

Bird watching at a heritage site. Not a bad idea! Well, let us travel to Bankapura Peacock Sanctuary in Haveri to see the grandeur of our National Bird!

Once a chieftain named Bankeyarasa ruled this region and hence it got the name Bankapura. Today, it is a heritage site with ruins of the Bankapura Fort, Nagareshwara Temple and Peacock Sanctuary.

Peacock Sanctuary

Photo Courtesy: Dineshkannambadi

Even though Bankapura fort is ruined, the area looks very beautiful. It is because of the colourful families of peafowls that flock this land. The government declared it as a peacock sanctuary due to the large population of peacocks and peafowls.

Peacock Sanctuary in Bankapura is the second prominent sanctuary for the preservation and breeding of peacocks in India. It is also one among the two peacock sanctuaries in Karnataka. The other one being at Adichunchanagiri.

Bankapur is a nice place for nature lovers and bird watchers. In modern times, we would have seen peacocks in a zoo, but here they look royal and happy in their cosy world. Travellers will never miss out on getting a glimpse of these beauties around the fort.

In fact, the moat around Bankapur Fort has become an ideal habitat for the peafowls and peacocks.

Nagareshwara Temple

Nagareshwara Temple
Photo Courtesy: Dineshkannambadi

Other attractions in Bankapura

Bankapura is an archaeological site; Bankapura Fort and Nagareshwara Temple are the other attractions in Bankapura.

Bankapura Fort

Bankapura Fort is the venue of the Peacock Sanctuary. As per the records, Bankapura Fort was ruled by the kings of major dynasties like Kadambas, Rashtrakutas, Chalukyas, Hoysalas, Adilshahi of Bijapur and so on.

Interestingly, the fort was also once invaded by Bahamani dynasty. Several inscriptions in Old Kannada script have been found in the vicinity of the fort. One inscription indicates that the great Kannada Poet Ranna came to Bankapura in search of his guru.

Nagareshwara Temple

Nagareshwara Temple is a masterpiece in itself. This 12th century Chalukyan architecture is fondly known as 'Aravathu Kambada Gudi' (60 -Pillared Temple). Aravathu in Kannada means 60. Nagareshwara Temple remains in a good state though it was attacked several times in the past. Nagareshwara Temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and it is a characteristic of Western Chalukhya Pillar Art! Today, it is one of the lesser-known monuments listed under ASI.

Nagareshwara Temple

Overview of Nagareshwara Temple
Photo Courtesy: Dineshkannambadi

Another speciality is that Bankapura is near to Badaa which is the birthplace of Kanaka Dasa.

However, the Government has to provide more attention to this reserve. In recent times, peacocks were found dead near to the sanctuary. The conservation of the birds is of utmost importance as they are disappearing at a faster rate.

Note: Please keep a distance from peacocks while you go there. Remember that it is their habitat and you should not disturb or hurt them.

How to Reach Bankapura

Bankapura is located on Bengaluru-Pune Highway about 22km from Haveri.

Nearby Hotels to Bankapura

Haveri is the nearest town to Bankapura. Accommodations are available in the town of Haveri.

Hotels in Haveri: Harsha Comforts, Shiva Shakti Palace, Brindavan Lodge, Hotel Hoysala.

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