Sep 27, 2014

Channagiri fort

About 20 years back I had had a glimpse of the fort from the state highway passing through the town, while driving towards Chitradurga. Time a constraint that day, so not stop by.

About the fort on Channagiri town website: Channagiri has a hill fort of about 1770 A.D. with a Ranganatha temple inside it, which rises to a height of about 200 feet to the west of the town consists of a single soft dark covered with earth which commands a wide plain. The fort consists of two rubble walls defending by moats, the chief gate being on the north where the gradient is lowest.

On the peak stands a temple  dedicated to Sri Ranganatha. It is called Bete-Ranganatha and depicts Vishnu standing in Samabhanga holding Chakra and Shanka in his back hands and arrow in his front hands with a low Garuda pedestal below him and a consort in relievo on the Prabhavali on each side.

March 16, 2014
I left Dharwad early morning, first stop was at Chitradurga fort, followed by Chandravalli. Next was Channagiri. Reaching the fort was easy, car could a short distance on the hillock until a locked gate. Its a short walk to the summit past low rampart walls.

Past the gateway, on the left hand side is a large pit to store rain water.

I walk along the recently repaired wall towards a smaller gateway and a bastion.

The wall is not really tall however the fort has another line of defence- a moat runs along the base of the hill.

One of the two surviving turrets. This sits at the south-east part of the hill. The other turret is at the hill top.

View from the turret: the wall, a gateway, a platform on the left.

This is the southern wall, moat is visible on the left.

View of the turret as seen from outside.

Highest point of the hill: turret and Ranganatha temple. Rituals are performed daily in the temple.

Another view of the highest point of Channagiri fort: right besides the turret is Ranganatha temple.

Continuing along the wall.. going towards the western side of the fort- the steepest part of the hill.

Afternoon sun lighting up the western wall and slope.

Behind the temple is a deep pit with fresh water. This water is still used for daily rituals at the temple.

This is the south-west part of the fort. This probably is the tallest wall of Channagiri fort.
The pit. The deep dark pit. A steep flight of steps descends into it.

Looking up towards the highest part of the fort. Concealed behind the tiled roof structure is the temple. To my right is the fresh water pit.

Wall design is similar to walls at Uchangidurga.

The temple chariot. Looks ancient, could be made 500 to 800 years.

Signage at Channagiri fort: This place was in possession of the Gangas under Asandinadu, then it became part of Nolambavadi 32000. During the rule of Chalukyas of Kalyana, Subsequently ruled by Pandyas of Uchchangi, later this place passed on into the hands of Keladi rulers in XVII century. The place was named Channagiri after Chennammaji who built the fort here.

The fort is to the west of the present Chennagiri town. The layout comprises of two masonry walls set in mud mortar defended by moats and the main gate is towards north. Roughly ovalish, the fort wall is punctuated with as many as 7 bastions and two circular watch towers. There is a depression at the top for collection of rain water, towards north-east is a rock and pond with stonecut steps. At the top several basement of secular structures. There is a temple having the image of Vishnu as Bete Ranganatha Swamy.

Close to the fort gate, also close to the deep dark pit is this little cave. Perhaps some animal must have occupied it.


Having done with this fort, I went in search of an unknown hill fort south of Channagiri near Mavina Hole. Day was coming to an end, I had no hopes of reaching the unknown fort however, I found the name from few villagers. The hill fort is said to be Hanuma Durga. I'll have to come back some time.

Channagiri fort coordinates: 14°1'19"N   75°55'18"E
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4 comments:

drmanjuortho said...

Hi Siddeshwar,
Thank you for the information. I have spent 8 years of my life in Davanagere and has been to Channagiri couple of times. But never visited this fort.

siddeshwar said...

This little fort situated on a hillock is an ideal spot to spend evenings.. cool breeze and sunset scenes :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Siddeshwar,

As always another find! I have gone till Malebennur several times from Davangere. Next time I will definitely go to Channagiri to visit this fort!

Nirdesh

Anonymous said...

Hi Siddeshwar,

Please hyperlink places you have already blogged about. For instance, here Chitradurga Fort can be hyperlinked, so that i can jump to that blog!

Cheers,

Nirdesh