Location: North Circuit, Karnataka
Prime Attractions: Fort Of Seven Rounds, Harihar
Excursions: Nayakana Hatti, Jogimatti
Also Known as: Kallina Kote or The Palace of Stones
Chitradurga is surrounded with bold rocky hills and picturesque valleys with huge towering boulders in unimaginable shapes.
A unique haven for tourists, this place is also known as the 'Place of Stones' (Kallina Kote). The landscape resembles a mischievous giant's playground with boulders thrown around forming awesome silhouettes against the sky.
The Legend: According to a story in the Mahabharata, a man-eating giant named Hidimbasura lived here on the Chitradurga hill. He was a source of terror to everyone around.
The Pandavas came here with their mother Kunti in the course of their exile and Bhima had a duel with Hidimba, who was slayed by Bhima and peace returned to the area. These among boulders could well be part of the arsenal used during that duel.
Seriously though, these boulders and a major part of what this city rests on belong to the oldest rock formations in the country. Rich in mineral deposits, Chitradurga has the distinction of having had opencaster copper mines at Ingaldhal too.
Fort of Seven Rounds: This impregnable fortress, with fascinating bastions and battlements, came under the rule of rulers as diverse as the Nayak Paleyagars and Hyder Ali.
HOW TO GET THERE
This strategically placed town, believed to have been named after the Fort of Seven Rounds (of walls) was ideal from the military point of view.
Harihar: Harihar is an ancient town situated on the right bank of the great Tungabhadra River. A dip into the cool waters here are said to absolve one of all the sins, as the town is known for the association that this river has with Lord Vishnu.
Built in the Hoysala style in 1223 AD, the image of Harihara stands 4 feet tall with its left portion representing Lord Vishnu and the right representing lord Shiva.
The high standard of the Hoysala architecture is evident in the microscopic Goddess Lakshmi represented on the lintel of the doorway.
Hidimbeshwara Temple: The Hidimbeshwara temple is the oldest one on the hill. The other temples in the hill fort are those of Ekanathamma, Phalguneshwara, Gopalakrishna, Anjaneya, Subbaraya and the Siddeswara.
A huge kettledrum, in one of the temples, 6 feet in height and 10 feet in circumference is said to be Bhima's.
Goddess Uchchangtamma: There is a shrine dedicated to the patron goddess of the Paleyagars, Goddess Uchchangtamma.
They built this impressive two storeyed building with its unique swing arch and tall lamp-pillar. It also happens to be the largest temple in the town.
Archaeological Museum: The Archaeological Museum has a good collection of the remnants of the historic wars, coins and manuscripts.
Jogimatti: On the way to Jogimatti, which is one of the highest points in this area, there is the spellbinding Himavat Kedaya waterfall. The Murugharajendra Matha and the fascinating Ankli Matha should not be missed.
Muragi Shantaveera Swami an eminent guru of the Lingayats founded the former. The Ankli Matha is on a hillock across the cool Chandravalli valley.
Nayakana Hatti: This place is famous for the celebrated tomb and a temple dedicated to great saint Tippe Rudraswamy who is said to have lived about 250 years ago. He was the spiritual preceptor of the Hatti Paleyagars. It is about 35 kms from Chitradurga and 2 kms from Challakere.
Air: There is no direct air connection.
Rail: Chitradurga is connected to neighbouring areas by rail.
Road: The city has a well-developed network of road transport.