Chitradurga

Chitradurga is a town in Chitradurga district in Karnataka.

Chitradurga features bold rock hills and picturesque valleys, huge towering boulders in unimaginable shapes. It is known as the "Stone Fortress" (Kallina Kote). The landscape looks much like a mischievous giant's playground, with boulders thrown around, forming silhouettes against the sky. According to a story in the Epic Mahabharatha, a man-eating giant named Hidimbasura lived on the Chitradurga hill and was a source of terror to everyone around. When the Pandavas came with their mother Kunti in the course of their exile, Bhima had a duel with Hidimba. Hidimba was slain by Bhima and peace returned to the area. Legend has it the boulders were part of the arsenal used during that duel. In fact, the boulders on which major part of the city rests belong to the oldest rock formation in the country.

Timmana Nayaka, a chieftain under the Vijayanagar Empire, rose to the rank of governor of Chitradurga as a reward for his excellence in military achievements, from the Vijayanagara ruler. This was the beginning of the rule of the Nayakas of Chitradurga. His son Obana Nayaka is known by the name Madakari Nayaka 1588 CE. Madakari Nayaka's son Kasturi Rangappa 1602 succeeded him and consolidated the kingdom to rule peacefully. As he had no heirs to succeed him, his adopted son, the apparent heir was enthroned but was killed in few months by the Dalavayis.

Chikkanna Nayaka 1676, the brother of Madakari Nayaka II sat on the throne, and his brother succeeded him with the title Madakari Nayaka III in 1686. The unwillingness of Dalawayis to accept Madakari Nayaka III's rule gave an opportunity to one of their distant relatives, Bharamappa Nayaka to ascend the throne in 1689. He is known as the greatest of the Nayaka rulers. The subjects of Chitradurga did not experience a good reign of the successive rulers as they ruled on the throne for very brief periods. The Hiri Madakari Nayaka IV 1721, Kasturi Rangappa Nayaka II 1748, Madakari Nayaka V 1758 ruled this area but there is not much to mention of their rule.

Battle With Hyder Ali, Legend Of Obavva
During the reign of Madakari Nayaka, the city of Chitradurga was besieged by the troops of Hyder Ali. A chance sighting of a woman entering the Chitradurga fort through an opening in the rocks led to a clever plan by Hyder Ali to send his soldiers through the hole. The guard on duty near that hole had gone home for lunch and asked his wife to be on guard till he was back. The wife of that guard, Obavva while in her temporary seat, noticed soldiers emerging out of this opening. Obavva was not perturbed. She was carrying with her an Onake (a long wooden club meant for pounding paddy grains). She killed Hyder Ali's soldiers one by one as they attempted to enter the fort through the opening and quietly moved the dead. Over a short period of time hundreds of soldiers entered and fell, without raising any suspicion. Obavva's husband, upon his return from his lunch was shocked to see Obavva standing with a blood stained Onake and hundreds of dead bodies of the enemy around her. The opening in the rocks still remains as a historical witness for the story, beside the Tanniru doni a small water source which holds cold water all round the year. Though her sincere and brave attempt saved the fort on that occasion, Madakari Nayaka could not repel Hyder Ali's attack in 1779. In the ensuing battle, the fort of Chitradurga was lost to Hyder Ali. Obavva, like Kittur Rani Chennamma remains a legend, especially to the women of Karnataka.

Chitradurga Fort
Chitradurga Fort is renowned for its Kallina Kote / Ukinna Kote / Yelu Suttina kote and was built in parts by the Palegar Veer "MADAKARI NAYAKA". The fort comprises a series of seven enclosure walls in Kannada. Eighteen ancient temples can be found inside the fort. This seemingly impregnable fort has 19 gateways, 38 posterior entrances, a palace, a mosque, granaries, oil pits, four secret entrances and water tanks.



Chitradurga is also famous for its historical sites such as Ankali Math & Chandravalli.

Ankali Math
The ancient monastery of Ankali Math is also called Paradeshappana Guhe. A number of caves, located underneath the Kallu Mantapa (stone sanctum) of this mutt, might have served as refuges for monks and mendicants indulged in penance and praying.

Chandravalli
A tour of Chitradurga will take you to the scenic valley of Chandravalli located to the north west of Chitradurga. Chandravalli is an ancient archeological site and coins, inscriptions, ruins, stone images belonging to the Hoisala-Kadamb and Sathavahana period have been discovered at Huligondi, Basavanagondi, Baralagondi and other locations of Chandravalli. A rock inscription seen near Bhairaweshvara temple here links Chandravalli to the reign of Kadamba Mayura Verma.

State Protected Monuments in Chitradurga
State Protected Monuments officially reported by Archeological Survey of India in Chitradurga, Karnataka is listed below

State Protected Monuments in Chitradurga
  • Rangayyana Bagilu, Fort Gate
  • Siddeswara Temple
  • Channakeshava Temple
  • Trisankeswara Temple
  • Lakshminarayana Temple
  • Rock cut Temples
  • Jain Basti

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Temples in Chitradurga

Chitradurga Temples is a fort town located in the Chitradurga district of Karnataka. There are 18 temples on the upper fort and a single huge one at the lower level. Of the eighteen temples in the fort, the most prominent is the Hidimbeshwara temple. The Hidimbeshwara temple displays a tooth of the Rakshasa Hidimba. There is also a mosque built by Hyder Ali here. The Sampige Siddheswara temple is located at the foothills. The Gopalakrishna temple has inscriptions which date the main idol to the 14th century.

Vani Vilasa Sagara

Vani Vilasa Sagara, popularly known as Mari Kanive is oldest dam near Hiriyur Taluk, Chitradurga District, Karnataka. The dam was built by the Mysore Maharajas pre-independence across the river Vedavathi. The dam is an exquisite piece of architecture, an engineering marvel for that time, and provides water to lots of surrounding cities, towns and villages, which are largely dry lands of the Deccan area of Central Karnataka. Distance from Holalkere Rural, Karnataka to Vani Vilasapura Dam is 58.7 km and travelling takes around 1 h 25 min via NH369.