Friday, November 7, 2008
Chitradurga fort is one of the most impregnable fort built in India, by Veera Madakari Nayak during the Vijaynagar empire. Palayagara’s were feudal Lords under the Tuluva dynasty obviously meaning trusted governors of the Emperor. There are numerous films shot in the surroundings of Kallina Kote, which means fort made out of boulders in Kannada. The famous films are Vishnvardhans Nagara Havu ( Cobra ) and Hamse Geete. Currently one more film titled Veera Madakari Nayak is under production.
This massive fort has 4 main enterance gates one gate is called Rangayyana Bagilu, another is known as Sidayyana Bagilu, third one is Ucchangi Bagilu and last is Lalkote Bagilu. Earlier the Fort is alleged to have 19 main gates and 35 smaller gates spread over an area of 1500 acres.
There are 25 landmarks inside this magnificent Fort according the ASI map. The enterance fee into the Fort is mere Rs 2/- and there are plenty of guides available with whom one can bargain and fix the price. The 25 different spots are :
1. Kamina Bagilu 2. Water Tank 3. Madu Bissuva Kallu 4. Karivarthi Temple
5 Jodu Bateri 6. Janada Bateri 7. Ganesha Temple 8. Eknatheswari Temple
9. Hidambeswara Temple 10. Mint and Kacheri 11. Murgan Matha
12. Sampige Siddeswara Temple 13. Tuppada Kola Bateri 14. Echo Rock
15. Lal Bateri 16. Palace Complex 17. Nellikaye Siddappana Bateri
18. Gopalswamy Honda 19. Gopalswamy Temple 20. Akka Tengi Honda
21. Kashivishwanath temple 22. Onnake Obbava Kindi 23. Palguneshwara tem
24. Shinuru Honda 25. Gare Bagilu.
Indian Spiderman Kotiraj : He is a local spiderman who climbs the rock face with dexterity of a spider with a vice like grip. He is training another youngster under his tutelage, who does show his skills only in the absence of crowd. Climbing and performing stunts on the rocks has become a profession for Kotiraj, who seems to be local boy with a pony tailed appearance. The visitors capture the moments on the video and camera. He seems to have had a nasty fall hurting himself, the marks on his face betray the episode. Now he sticks to known path rather than experimenting with unknown.
Gun Powder Grinding : Maddu Bisuvu Kallu ( Kannada ) This is one of the hot spots of the kallina kote. There are four huge grinders with teeth or slots for elephants or bullocks to rotate. Each grinding point has independent collection point for the highly explosive gun powder. The central circular space is provide for the animal to move around. The gun powders were used to fire the cannons stationed on the Fort Watch towers. This proves that the engineers in ancient time had developed engineering skills with maximum safety factor built in.
At this very spot I had a tryst with destiny last time around when I visited with a guide, who was a guard. Suddenly I heard a shutter bug sound of the olden days flash camera’s. I was wondering I had exhausted the camera reel, how come the distinct sound. When I slowly veered around, a Cobra with its hood raised just 5 feet away from my face. This point is almost 5 feet below like a swimming pool tank and the cobra was hissing literally near my face. I just coolly turned in the opposite direction and told the guide and my wife that it is time for lunch, lest I disturb the cobra. I moved them to safety and showed them the cobra still raising its hood. The guard worshipped the cobra and thanked his stars for being alive. The priest in the nearby temple told us that it is the blessing of the Devi.
OBAVVA’S ONKE KINDI :
Hyder Ali’s spies observed that the fort can be attacked through a rocky opening near the Obavva’s window. The villagers used to enter this Fort silent to meet their soldier. The enemies planned to enter through this spot. There was a watchmen strategically located with a club to guard this weak point at the fort. It was lunch time and therefore the watchmen handed over the club to his wife Obavva and asked her to guard the point. Suddenly she head noise of foot movements, when she peered it was enemy soldiers one by one trying to enter the Fort. She coolly waited and clobbered them one by one killing almost 15 of them, but fable has spruced up to 100s of soldiers which is unlikely. Obavva like Kittur Chennamma became a legendary figure in the history of Karnataka for her heroic exploit. She was honoured by Madakari Nayak with small monument. However unfortunately the Fort fell into the hands of Hyder Ali in 1779.
The entire fort circular sight seeing would take around 3 hours in a leisurely manner. There is one more adventurous rock climb to the watch tower for adrenalin pumping adventure. This spot is behind the Murgan Matta. Most of the youngsters love to climb this spot, and even our Kotiraj sometimes performs stunt on this rocky precipice.
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- Basically i am down to earth, take friendship to its logical end. It is my endeavour to create a wealth of co-operative ventures. Basically being a marketing man i have the acumen to spot winners. I am privileged to travel the length and breadth of the country, courtsey my father, who was with Indianoil, my employers such as Nutrine, Kurl-on, Hindustan Pencils, Prestige, Crystal, Bell Ceramics, Pentel, Sezal, Commander. Currently i am involved in Tourism, Booking Air Tickets, Agent for Jungle Lodges and Resorts Limited and Taj Group of Hotels and a numerous hotels across India. Depending on the needs of a traveller i would recommend the destination and accommodation best suited to their budget. Humour takes me on. Let us have a win win situation for all. I love travelling for sake of adventure, photography and discovering the heritage. Life is a journey and let us enjoy our drive. Come share your travel experience on indiabackpacker.