Beyond the green mounds: Karnataka's fortress city

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Credit: BM Thanvirh

Photo of Beyond the green mounds: Karnataka's fortress city by Ayushee Chaudhary

From Coorg to Mysuru and Ooty to Hampi, the tourist destinations of Karnataka have gained fame enough to attract thousands of tourists through the year. However, these destinations aren't all that this southern state has to offer. Amid amber hills, profound valleys and elongated rivers, Chitradurga is an arch to the yesteryear, standing tall to state the chronicles of celebrated ancient tales and events. Located on the valley of Vedavathi River in Karnataka, Chitradurga gets its name after an umbrella-shaped hill found in the area. Popular for its signature rocky boulders, temples and beauty worth capturing, it is often referred to as "Kallina Kote" or Stone Fortress. A road-trip away from the state capital, Chitradurga is a place to crawl into the live archives and spend a day or two living the stories of the past.

Credit: BM Thanvirh

Photo of Chitradurga, Karnataka, India by Ayushee Chaudhary

Why travel to Chitradurga?

Break away from the in-and-out of the tall concrete structures through the week and ramble through the history surrounded by picturesque views.

Make your way through history at Chitradurga Fort

Credit: Historical Places in India

Photo of Chitradurga Fort, Chitradurga, Karnataka, India by Ayushee Chaudhary

Forts and castles have an undeniable mystic in their air that steers you through a royal terrain. Concentrated in the laps of various hills, the Chitradurga Fort is your drive back to unfolding your history text books. As you glance through a sight as magnificent as in a princely movie, the fort is a walled fortress comprising of passages, citadel, masjid, ancient temples, and reservoirs. Built during the 17th and 18th century, the fort, the fort dwells far-reaching anecdotes of archaic relevance. From the dynasties of Hoysalas and Chalukyas to the rules of Hyder Ali and Tipu Sultan and the association with Mahabharata as being the abode to the demon Hidimb whom Bheem (one of the Pandava brothers) murdered here and married his sister Hidimba. The upper portion of the fort has around 18 ancient temples. With beige boulders escalating around it, the fort offers a beholding sight offering a panaromic view of the city.

Treat your eyes at the beautiful Vani Vilas Sagar Dam

Credit: Niranjan M

Photo of Vani Vilasapura Dam, Karnataka by Ayushee Chaudhary

Constructed during 1897 to 1907 across the Vedavathi River, Vani Vilas Sagar Dam is a favourite among the locals as well as the tourists. Built with the aim to provide irrigation to the drought prone areas of Chitradurga district, Vani Vilas is now a hotspot among bikers and travellers. Also known as Mari Kanive, the dam offers a sight of enriched greenery, astounding valleys embracing sparkling water to form a perfect picturesque scene straight out of a painting.

Cave your way through nature's marvel at Chandravalli

Credit: Hariprasad Bongale

Photo of chandravalli caves, Chitradurga Rd, Shivani, Karnataka, India by Ayushee Chaudhary

Engulfed by the three hills of Chitradurga, Kirbanakallu, and Cholagudda lies the natural marvel Chandravalli Hills. Bordered by Chandravalli Lake and located at a distance of about 4 km, the hills conceal the admiring archaeological site of Chandravalli Caves that are also called as Ankali Mutt. Traversing through the rough terrains and the zig-zag pathways of the beige caves, you reach 80 ft below the ground to the sight of the great ancient wall art adorned by carvings and paintings. The archaeological site presents a treat for all those people interested in pre-historic discoveries.

Engage in the areca-nuts process

Credit: Abilash Mariswamy

Photo of Beyond the green mounds: Karnataka's fortress city by Ayushee Chaudhary

Areca-nut is the major produces of the farming community of Chitradurga. Also referred as the betel nut sometimes, one can see tall areca nut trees arraying the fields in Chitradurga. While you take a stroll down this fortress town, you can get talking with a local to witness the whole process of areca nuts.

Cuisine on offer

Without any surprises, Chitradurga offers all the delicacies that define South Indian cuisine. However, while you are travelling the place, you must start your day with delicious crispy dosas at Laksmi Bhavan Tiffin Room which is one of the oldest spots in Chitradurga and has stood out to be an all time favourite since years.

When to go

October to March are to March are the preferred months to visit Chitradurga

Getting there

By air: The nearest airport to Chitradurga is the Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru which is at a distance of 222 km.

By train: Board a train for Chitradurga Railway Station

By road: Chitradurga is well connected with the major cities through road. It is at a good drive distance of about 200 km from Bengaluru. Regular buses are also available. It is also accessible from the towns of Hubli, Bellary, and Sira.

Getting around

Local buses and autos are available in Chitradurga to travel from one destination to another that should cost you about ₹50 - ₹150 depending on the kilometres you are travelling.

Accommodation

To stay in Chitradurga you can choose from a variety of hotels available. However, there are more of lodges. Hotel Royal Inn and KSTDC Hotel Maurya Durga are among the good options to stay.

Credit: KSTDC Hotel Maruya Durga

Photo of Beyond the green mounds: Karnataka's fortress city by Ayushee Chaudhary

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