Chitradurga (citradurga) (ಚಿತ್ರದುರ್ಗ) is now an independent district at a distance of about 126 miles from Bangalore . It has a long and eventful history from the thirteenth century. This town was known as ‘bemmattana kallu’. It became an important place during the regime of Hoysalas. It was also called ‘perumALepura’ and ‘brahmagiripura’ during that period. It was renamed as ‘citrkallu durga’ or ‘citradurga’ by the kings of Vijayanagara and pAeyagArs of Chitradurga. For a while it was called Faroque yaad Hissar by Hyder Ali. Mythology associates this place with the demon hiDimba and his sister hiDimbe. The rocks and rock formations of Chitradurga are very important from a geological point of view also.

Chandravalli, Siddapaura, and jaTinga rAmEShvara in this district are of archaeological interest. Even the town of Chitradurga contains many relics that are of historical significance. Some of excavations made in this region have revealed signs of pre historic human habitats.

Chitradurga is renowned for its famous fort and a number of ancient temples. The history of this place is inevitably linked with that of the ‘Chieftains of Chitradurga’. The fort of Chitradurga is known for its intrinsic strength and the advantages bestowed by its natural surroundings. This was built in parts by the Palegar VIra Madakari nAyaka. It comprises a series of seven enclosure walls.(ELu suttina kOTe) There are moats arround these enclousures. Eighteen ancient temples can be found inside the fort. This strong fort has 19 gateways, 38 posterior entrances, a palace, a mosque, granaries, oil pits, four secret entrances and water tanks. Many huge boulders, no less than 14 temples, strong stone walls and a number of cannons are found within the fort. There are four entrances to the fort called Rangayyana Baagilu, (Sira darvajaa) sante baagilu, (Fateh Darvajaa) uccangi baagilu and laal koTe baagilu. The temples of Sampge Siddeshvara, Ekantheshvari, Hidimbeshvara and Goplakrishna are present within the fort. The fort also contains granaries and small ponds that were allegedly used to store oil and ghee. Some of these temples are built in the Hoysla style of architecture, probably during their period only. Others are obviously built by the the kings of the Nayaka dynasty. Uccangamma temple built in the lower fort is another land mark. The government museum maintained by the department of archaeology contains many interesting relics.


Further Readings and Links:

1.      Chitradurga Fort - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (Many photographs)

2. (Fort)

3.      https:/.../blewis/www/chitradurga.htm (A very good essay on the Nayaka dynasty of Chitradurga and a number of Photographs; Barry Lewis)

4. (Some Very Good Photographs)


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