Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Impressive Chitradurga

Information about the place

Chitradurga, is a historical town in Karnataka, 200 km away from Bangalore.
It is a 5 hour pleasant comfortable drive on NH4.
Chitradurga name is the appropriate name for this place because some of the rocks here form shapes like elephant, ship, etc. (Chitra in Kannada means picture). The more imaginative you are, the more shapes you can see.

One such example: This stone seems to be an elephant from an angle.
On your way to Chitradurga, you will see a lot of wind mills and sunflower fields by your sides. ( Observe windmill in the backdrop) 
Where to stay

Chitradurga has many Hotels, Resorts and Lodges. You can opt for one depending on your budget.
We had decided on Revati Deluxe Lodge. (It is on
Church Road

Near District Hospital). It was a well maintained lodge. Lodge manager was very hospitable. He gave us a brochure which had listed tourist attractions in and around Chitradurga. He also helped us to plan our itinerary well, being a localite.

We started our day with a visit to the famous “Chitradurga Fort” at 6.15AM. The enormous fort is built over a rocky hill. It was considered to be invincible with seven lines of concentric ramparts. We planned to finish by fort visit by 10 AM, to escape from the scorching heat. To go around the whole of fort you would need at least 3-4 hours.

We hired a guide at the entrance for 200Rs.

The walls are built with stones and are about 50ft. Walls are built to form a maze to confuse the attacking enemy. Since, the entrance is not straight forward; it is difficult for the enemies to attack. 

That’s my husband, stooping through “obavvana kindi”

Story behind obavvana kinDi

Hyder Ali’s army entered Chitradurga fort through one of the secret passages. The watch guard had come home for lunch. His wife Obavva came to fetch some water from a nearby pond and she saw some Hyder Ali’s soldiers entering the fort through the “Kindi” (opening). She didn’t want to disturb her husband; she quietly clobbered the enemies, one by one with “Onake” (a long wooden club meant for pounding paddy grains)
Snapshots of various places in the fort

Bird view of the fort from a batheri (Watch tower)

There is a mythological connection with Hidimba, wife of Bheema in Mahabharata who is said to be hailing from this place. There is a temple dedicated to her father in the fort.

One can find lots of ponds inside the fort to hold rain water.

This is the place where they used to grind gunpowder for cannons. Elephants were used for grinding purpose.

A closer view of a grinding stone

We had breakfast at Lakshmi bhavanTiffin Room (Famously known as LTR). The masale dose of LTR is regarded to be the best. It was exceptionally delicious. It is just few meters away from the main entrance of the fort.

By 10.30AM, we proceeded towards Chandravalli Caves. Nearby are the Chandravalli Caves, also called Ankali Math. It is a pre-historic site, located 2 km away from the town. Excavations have revealed many archeological remains of the Neolithic period.

Chadravalli Lake

The underground caves here get 80ft below the ground level at a few places. Places in the caves where the saints would go down and meditate in absolute silence. There are places where enemies were left in cells with no sound and light, making it impossible for them to escape.

Inside the pitch dark cave:  Photo was taken with the flash
And then on your way back to Bangalore, around 50 km from Chitradurga is the Vaani Vilaas Dam near Hiriyur. It is the first dam to be built in Karnataka. The nature around is fantastic.

Things to be noted

  1. Carry a hat. (Especially, if it is summer. Chitradurga is a rocky terrain.)
  2. Fort visit would take minimum 3 hours. Plan for it.
  3. Avoid afternoon visits. It will drain you out
  4. Carry a water bottle with you.
  5. Engage a guide; else you will not understand the significance of the structures in the fort.
  6. Don’t miss masale dose at LTR ;)
  7. Carry a source of light like torch/candle while exploring the Chandravalli caves. ( The place is completely dark at any time of the day)
  8. It is better to explore Chandravalli caves with a guide. ( You might get lost easily inside the caves)
  9. If you have time on your side, Please do visit Davanagere to eat “benne masale dose”( It is the best of its kind) in any small hotel.
  10. You can also cover Harihara, It has an ancient temple dedicated to Harihareshwara.

This is the entrance of the fort.

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