Chitradurga Fort Karnataka

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1. Section of the fort that leads to the structure at a vantage point on one of the peaks. The Chitradurga fort Karnataka is one of the most interesting ones that I have seen (and that includes the beautiful and mind bogging ones like the forts of Jaisalmer and Chittorgarh). Fort is on the banks of the Vedavati river.

2. A lavish bathing pool with an intricate water system. As with many other forts of India, the Chitradurga fort was a well contained bastion, with living quarters, water bodies, palaces, temples and various other structures that sustain a protected living to withstand a spate of attempted invasions that were so common back in those days.

3. The layered fort has many doors between sections to enhance its security. Built in stages by the Chalukyas, Hoysalas and the Nayakas (started off as chieftains under the Vijayanagara rule), the fort is an adventure site of sorts. The fort covers an area of about 1500 acres over a cluster of granite hills with multiple layers of walls running up & down rocky hill slopes & many interconnected water tanks.

4. Carvings on walls and pillars in the gateways. “This strong fortress with 7 concentric ramparts is classified as “Giridurga” i.e. a Hill fort. This hill fort possessing seven pinnacles is named as “Chinmuladri” which has 7 ranges that surround a central hill called as ‘tuppada kola.” Credit

5. Carvings on walls and pillars in the gateways. The landscape of the region adds to the attraction. The hills are strewn with rounded boulders. Though on a smaller scale, it resembles the region around the ruins of Hampi. “It is a combination of 3 classifications of the fortress mentioned in the Arthashasthra of Kautillya namely “Giridurga, Jaladurga and Vanadurga.” Credit

6. A typical view showing the climb up to the central part of the fort, a big rounded bolder, a temple structure and the distant town of Chitradurga in the plains. “It is one of the biggest forts in India that has 38 posterior entrances, 19 gateways, 4 invisible passages, 35 secret entrances, numerous water tanks, and numerous watchtowers.” Credit

7. One of the inner layers of the fort leading to the central part. A number of inscriptions from the periods of Chalukyas, Hoysalas and Vijayanagara kings have been found in and around the fort. These inscriptions trace the history of the fort back to 3rd century BCE.

8. Probably the most iconic view of the inside of the fort. A popular shooting spot, many may recognize this from scenes of movies in Kannada and other languages.

9. Elaborate watch towers lead to temples and other structures inside the fort. “The 7 walls inside the fort were constructed with sleek passage to prevent enemies from entering the castle to attack with elephants. Also, there were some areas in the fort wall that were used by archers to attack the enemy. The Chitradurga Fort is known to have 18 stunning temples built in the upper fort & one temple in the lower fort.” Credit

10. “One of the oldest among the 18 temples, the Hidimbeshwar Temple is the must-visit place inside the fort. This beautiful temple is said to be related to the Mahabharata. It has a massive kettle drum which is believed to be associated with Bhima.” Credit

11. See water tank in front and boulders behind. “Do see the famous Onake obavvana Kindi in the Chitradurga Fort. This is the place where Onake Obavva, a brave woman in the Chitradurga kingdom, killed many soldiers of Hyder Ali to protect the fort.” Credit

12. Elaborate watch towers lead to temples and other structures inside the fort. The fort is 200 kms from Bengaluru. Covering this sprawling fort is a full day’s work, with some fair amount of trekking involved.

13. The hills around Chitradurga are great places to harness wind power. Windmills dot the various hills around the fort.

14. At the far end of the wall is a structure made of mud on stone foundations. This was the mint.

15. Another view of the fort walls overlooking a part of the Chitradurga town.

16. Grain storage. “Ankali Mutt is a major archaeological site in Chitradurga. Famous as the Chandravali cave temples, the Ankali Matt is a unique blend of well-planned architecture & natural formations. Named after Ankalagi, a saint from Belgaum, the cave is surrounded by massive rocky cliffs and boulders. The temples are famous for huge Shiva Lingas.” Credit

17. Sculptures on the fort wall adjacent to the main entrance.

18. Sculptures on the fort wall adjacent to the main entrance. To know more

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