At a distance of 6 km from Belthangady, 61 km from Mangalore, 87 km from Kudremukh and 111 km from Chikmagalur, Jamalabad Fort is an old hilltop fortification in Jamalabad Village near Belthangady in Dakshina Kannada District of Karnataka. It is located in the Kudremukh range of hills. The fort lies at an altitude of 1700 ft.
The fort was formerly called Narasimha Ghada, which refers to the granite hill on which the fort is built. It is also referred locally as Jamalagadda or Gadaikallu. Originally a mud fort existed on the hilltop. The fort was reconstructed over the ruins of an older structure by Tipu Sultan in 1794 and named after his mother, Jamal Bee. The fort was captured by the British in 1799 during the 4th Mysore War. As per legend, those who are not favorable to Tipu were hurled down this fort to their death.
The fort is accessible via a narrow path with about 1800 steps cut out of the granite hill. Inside the fort, there is a tank to store rain water. Remains of a single cannon lie at the top. Nothing much of the fortifications remain but hints of the fort wall with parapets are visible. This hillock fort has one room at the top. There is also an unmanned microwave repeater station on top of the hill.
Jamalabad is a popular trekking destination and has been classified as a medium difficulty trekking site. The top of fort offers good views of the surrounding landscape and the Kudremukh range. The trek usually takes around 90 mins one way; the steps are very steep for most of the climb.
At the base of the hill is a forest check post where visitors have to pay a nominal entry fee. Visitors should carry plenty of water since there is no potable fresh water available on hilltop. The nearest town with any communication and medical facilities is Belthangady. Overnight stay at the fort is not allowed.