The citadel was built in 1501 by Mallebyre Gowda, a chieftain under the king Immadi Narasimha of Saluva dynasty. It remained under the control of Mallebyre Gowda’s descendents till 1749, until the Dalwai of Mysore Nanjarajaiah attacked and occupied the fort.
Later the fort was taken over by Hyder Ali and his successor Tipu Sultan. After the Anglo-Mysore War, control of the fort shifted to the British under Lord Cornwallis in 1791.
The main attraction of the fort is the birth place of Tipu Sultan. One can see a memorial with a small plaque located south-west of the fort.
The fort has 12 bastions. The entrances at the east and west are decorated with plasterwork. The entrances are quite small. The house where Hyder Ali lived and Tipu Sultan lived is also worth a visit.
The fort also has several temples. Among them, the Venugopalaswamy temple, Siddalingeshwara temple and Chandramouleshwara temple are also worth visiting.
Though the buildings inside the fort are in ruins, the fort retains its grandeur and magnificence.