Oct 25, 2014

Chitradurga Kote's highest peak

The name Chitradurga is synonymous to the word Kote in Karnataka. It's also known simply as Durga. Its one of the most formidable forts of Karnataka if not India. The fort is built over rocky hills, it occupies around 5 peaks. While one has a watch tower ~ Kavalu Battery at its top, one more is occupied by Venkatasibbaih's rock. Like wise other three peaks have a speciality of their own but I don't the names.

March 16, 2014
Today, my primary destination was Venkatasubbaih's rock. The next in sight was the massive hillock overlooking everything around it, being the southernmost part of the fort. One look at it told its undoubtedly the highest point of Chitradurga. Looking up from the base of the hill, climbing it would be daunting task, especially with summer Sun blazing down fiercely and the rocks radiating heat.

Never mind the difficulties, I decided to reach the highest bastion of this fort. A security guard at Venugopalaswamy temple tried to dissuade me from climbing it. His reasons: 1. climb was too long and 2. its lonely and may not be safe. It seems few days back a small group of boys were robbed on that hill. I said to him "with you watching I'll be safe." As the climb progressed, as I went higher it got better because of the breeze. However, it was a tough climb, the steps were much higher than normal steps found in our houses.

Time for a quick break. Looking back I felt the progress was good. I could see the guard looking in my direction. Ahead was a gateway of sorts, a natural rock formation formed a barrier, I had to find my way through them.

Beyond the barrier of rocks, standing on a paved path.

The view kept expanding. In this view starting from left- Venkatasubbiah's rock, Venugopalaswamy temple, the temple pond and Kavalu Battery hill can be seen.

The highest watch tower is within reach now. Below the sentry point, little to the right a natural shelter can be seen. Reaching it did not seem easy and also time was a constraint.

The path went around the rock formation and a short climb to reach this spot. This is probably the highest structure of this hill. This looks like a sentry station where several men worked in shifts watching over the southern border of Chitradurga.

The spot gave a commanding view of the surrounding hills and the valley in between. The walls of this fort though built by the Nayakas, it seems like Hyder and Tipu had strengthened many of the walls and added new turrets to enhance security.

The bastion as seen from the south. From here the fort's center is out of sight.

A pyramidal rock close to one of the edges.

I was imagining how soldiers watched over the hills and plains below. Probably dressed in dhotis and armed with spears & shields, they would watching for every small movement. Madakari Nayaka's men would have spent the most tense times when Hyder's army had laid siege to this fort, completely surrounding it for more than a year.

Another strategically positioned turret. Notice how rock has been hacked out just below the turret, creating a hurdle. Close to this turret, to the right is another one.

The lower turret sits right of the edge. This was the furthest I could manage to reach.

Turning back, I tread the path I had taken earlier. Ruins of soldier's shelters.

These turrets are similar to turrets of other Hyder-Tipu occupied forts such as Koppal, Basamangi, Madhugiri, etc.

Chitradurga town and fort. Going back in times, probably the plains below was occupied by Hyder's army, scheming how to breach its security.

Descent was non-stop, I was driven by hunger. I still had a long way to walk.. climb down, climb up and again climb down.

The hill on the left is Chola Gudda, one of the important hills. Further to the left, out of sight is another important historical place called Chandravalli - that's would be my next destination.

Having spent half day at Chitradurga, I'd not seen even half of it.


1 comment:

drmanjuortho said...

Hi Siddeshwar,
Thank you for sharing.