Chitradurga is the district town in Karnataka which sites at the junction of Solapur-Mangalore National Highway and Pune – Bangalore National Highway. Known for historical “Chitradurga Fort”, This region is closely associated with Mahabharata. Chitradurga fort witnessed history from the period of Chalukyas empire and famous for the legend of Onake Obawa.
When we reached Chitradurga in the evening. We had not much information about the place when we arrived there. it was on the route of our journey and we only heard about the Chitradurga fort so we decided to stay there and have a look of it. We were bit apprehensive in the beginning but when we reached to Chitradurga bus stand, all our worries vanished. Chitradurga bus stand is relatively big and you can get all the needful things like food and accommodation. Above everything, people were really helpful.
We stayed in a hotel near bus stand. This hotel had a big dormitory where you can stay with other people or you can get a separate room. In Karnataka, I had come across these kind of nasty hotels popular among traveling salesman and good for one night stay especially for solo travelers.
Snake Sculpture at Chitradurga Fort Entrance
Next morning, we went to Chitradurga fort which was just 10-15 minutes by auto. At the entrance of the fort there is big snake sculptured on its entrance wall. It suggests that the way into the fort is spiral like that snake. Chitradurga fort is surrounded by Seven Hills and these hills are encircled by seven layered walls. These seven layers of security make this fort indomitable for enemies.
Chitradurga is an interesting place with umpteen legends associated with it. One of the famous epic legends is of Hidimba. As per mythology of Mahabharata, a man eater Rakshasa (Devil) Hidmiba and his sister Hidimbi was living on the hills of Chitradurga. The Pandavas came here and Bhima killed the Hidimba. Then Bhima married with Hidimbi and they had a son together who was named Gatotkutch.
A View from Chitradurga Fort
Indian history books have inscriptions suggesting linking of Chitradurga area with Maurya Dynasty of 300 B.C and the Chitradurga Fort has its root back from 10th century AD. This fort was built and expanded by different rulers such as Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas and Hoysalas but the golden era of this fort was between 14th to 18th centuries. In this period the fort was under the “Nayakas” or “Paleygars” as a feudatory of the Vijaynagar Empire.
When Vijaynagar Empire ends in 1565, the Nayakas of Chitradurga took independent control of this fort and the region too, In 1779 AD, Hyder Ali (father of Tipu Sultan) has defeated the Nayakas and included this region to Mysore Dynasty.
Hills near Chitradurga Fort
During this war between Hyder Ali and Nayakas, there was a soldier protecting the secret entrance of Chitradurga Fort but he went for the lunch in the afternoon. He left his wife to guard the place on his behalf. When he came back he was stunned to see blood sunken dead bodies of some ten soldiers. He asked his wife about those dead bodies and then he got to know the whole story. After he left for the lunch, soldiers of Hyder Ali's army attacked on that gate and his wife “Onake Obawa” killed those soldiers by a wood. Since then she became a legend and symbol of women’s power in this region. It's a popular legend of Chitradurga town.
Chitradurga is not a world heritage site or a famous tourist place but it is definitely a place to break your journey and to visit the fort. Besides splendid architectures and local legends, enjoy the simplicity of the town and then walk elsewhere...
Reaching Chitradurga: Chitradurga lies on Bangalore-Pune highway and just 198 km away from Bangalore.There are frequent busses from Bangalore.