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Chitradurga Fort

Straddling peak and many hills, Chitradurga Fort overlooks a flat valley in Karnataka in the district of Chitradurga. In Kannada, the name of this fort symbolizes picturesque fort and is assumed to be the administrative district. Built during 17th and 18th century, this fort was constructed by the dynasty rulers like Nayakas of Chitradurga, Hoysalas, Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas and some feudal lords of the Vijayanagara Empire.

This fort encountered history from the era of Onake Obawa, a significant legend and period of Chalukyas. The fort is nestled in a city called Chitradurga which itself is an enticing place that had numerous legends bridged to it. While the origin of this city dates back to 300 BC, the founding of Chitradurga Fort alone roots back to 10th Century.


There are numerous inscriptions like those of kings from Vijayanagara, Hoysalas and Chalukyas that one would find inside and outside this fort. Tracing history of this fort, these inscriptions root back to 3rd millennium BC. Between the periods of 1500 to 1800 AD, this fort encountered a turbulent history that started from the Vijayanagara Empire, which attained regulation of this area from Hoysalas. It was the rulers of this empire that fetched conventional localities and Nayaks under the regulation as their feudatory, until their dynastic rule came to an end in 1565 AD.

Eventually, the Nayakas looked for independent regulation of this region and ruled for approximately 200 years till Hyder Ali conquered Madakari Nayaka V in 1779. This fort is said to have been very close to the Nayakas.

Timmana Nayakas, the initial ruler as per the hierarchy of Nayakas is considered to be the chieftain and he was due to his authoritative command promoted to the governor rank. He has excellently proved his military control and service to Vijayanagar Empire. He ruled over Chitradurga and Davangere regions. But soon he died and the rule went to Obana Nayakas, son of Timmana Nayak. The sequence followed. Bharamappa Nayakas is said to be one of the most influential successors of Nayakas clan who fames for construction of bastions, gateways, temples, tanks, palaces and forts. Infact, he represented his clan in different fights against Mughals.

At times of Madakari Nayakas, Hyder Ali besieged his troops in the fort and conquered after gaining victory on the last representative of the Nayakas Clan. Hyder Ali in fact attacked this fort three times and it was third time that he conquered successfully. It is said that Nayakas ruled this fort for nearly 200 years


Chitradurga Fort has amazing spell binding architecture. The Upper Fort has 18 temples of which Nandi, Subbaraya, Lord Hanuman, Goapala Krishna, Phalhuneshwara, Ekanathamma, Siddeshwara, Sampige and Hidimbeshwara are popular. The Lower Fort has a special temple which is devoted to tutelary, Uthsavamba, goddess of the Nayakas clan. This temple is constructed between the rough and tough rocks that can be found in the premises of the fort.

Some other structures of this fort include a cascade development, which is a rain forest harvesting structure that promises storing large amount of water. It is owing to this that the residents of this fort never encountered any water shortage issues. Further the fort even has archeological inscription rooting back to 1248 AD, administrative office, caves – five lingas, stone steps and an arsenal that has quadruple mill which features teeth, slots or grinders. It is said that mills were rotated by bullocks and elephants.

Best Time to Visit

The best season to visit this fort is forecasted to be in months of February, October, November and December. The weather conditions are calm and pleasant, making it worth for the tourists to visit and sight view the fort and its impeccable architecture.

Timings & Tickets

  • Timings: 2-3 hours – during day.
  • Entry Fees: Rs. 5/Indian and Rs. 100/foreign national.

How to Reach

Chitradurga Fort can be reached by different modes of conveyance. One must reach the city Chitradurga first and then take a taxi or bus for this fort. In order to reach the city, take the following routes –

By Air

Reach Chitradurga by air since the Bangalore International Airport is 200 kms away from Chitradurga.

By Train

The city is well connected to Bangalore with trains. In fact Chitradurga has its own small railway station.

By Bus

The city lies on Pune- Bangalore highway. Board a private or KSRTC bus which operates regularly to Chitradurga. Route is NH4.

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