Chitradurga


Chitradurga

Chitradurga, on the highway linking Bangalore with Hospet, is famed for its massive Kallina Kote (Palace of Stone) fort, a marvel of military architecture made impregnable by the Nayak Palegars. It has 19 gateways, 38 posterior entrances, a palace, a mosque, granaries, oil pits, four secret entrances, and water tanks. Amidst rocky surroundings inside the fort complex on the hill are many temples. Ekanatha Temple and Chandravalli Caves are worth visiting. The Hidimbeshwara Temple is the oldest temple on the site. Other places of tourist interest in Chitradurga district are Brahmagiri, Vanivalas Sagar, Nayakanakatte, Jogimatti, Jattinga and Rameswara.

Chitradurga Fort

The old walled Town houses the impressive fort, built on the north eastern base of a cluster of rocky hills, qualifying it to be a Giridurga, or hill fortress. Known as Yelu Suthina Kote, the fort is fortified by seven circular walls, three of which are on the ground and four on the hill. Chitradurga fort is said to have had 19 majestic doors, 38 smaller doors, 35 special entry points and four secret entrances. The fort is entered through four gateways of the outermost wall. The foothills of the fort constitute the main residential area of the town. The Mel Durgas, forts on the hill are embellished with extensive fortifications, ramparts, bastions, batteries, watchtowers and entrances located at strategic points and house fourteen temples. Some of the fort's important landmarks are Thuppada Kola Betta, Hidimbagiri, Zadaa Battery (Flag battery), Kahale Battery (Trumpet battery), Lal Battery (Red battery) and Nellikai Battery (Gooseberry battery). The main entrance to the fort, Kamanbhavi, has carvings of the seven – hooded cobra the legendary twin headed bird, Gandaberunda, the royal swan, Rajhamsa and lotus flowers.

Banashankari Temple, located in a little cave still has worship going on. A little further, in a large stone walled pit, are four massive Grinding stones. These stones, used to crush gunpowder, were turned by buffalo power. At the entrance of the place are Enne Kolas, large cauldrons used for storing oil. On the left of the hillock is the Bombe Chavadi Mantap. (toys pavilion) that has sculptures of elephants and horses with their mahouts. The majestic teak door is one of the finest features of the Chitradurga fort. Sculptures of Kalinga mardhana (Krishna salying the serpent Kalinga), Hanuman, tiger fights and elephant fights adorn the doorway. The Ekanatheshware Temple, built by Matti Thimmana Nayaka in the 15th century, has a deepastambha (lamp pillar) and a swing arch in the forefront. Nearby is the Hidimbeshware Temple, that was previously a Buddhist monastery. The Brihanmatha (monastery) consisting of 300 columns was built on the hillock by "Bichugatti Baramanna Nayaka", the sword wielding chieftain of the 17th century. The Sampige Sidheshwara Cave Temple and the Gopalakrishna Temple are nearby. No account of Chitradurga Fort would be complete without mention of the Vanake Obavva Kindi, a secret entrance associated with the heroic tale of a Beda woman, Obavva. Single handed, she vanquished hundreds of Haider Ali's soldiers, who were stealthily trying to enter the fort.


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