DRAMATICALLY positioned at Lithe base of a rugged chain of hills, this town rose to prominence as an outpost of the Vijayanagar Empire . Later, in the 17th-18th centuries, it became the headquarters of a line of local chiefs known as Bedas, until it was occupied by Haider Ali in 1799 and then by the British.
The Fort, defined by walls of huge granite blocks, rises above the town. A series of three gates leads into the irregular inner zone, strewn with striking granite boulders. There are several small temples here, as well as a number of ceremonial gateways erected by the Bedas. The platforms and pavilions within the compound of the Sampige Siddheshvara Temple mark the spot where the Bedas were crowned. The remains of rubble and mudbuilt granaries and residences, and a large circular well can be seen nearby.
In the town below, the local Government Museum, housed in a guardroom beside a gateway, displays artifacts from surrounding sites. The 17th-century Ucchalingamma Temple is on the main street.