Chitradurga Fort, or Chitaldoorg as it was known to the British, is a fortification in the Chitradurga District of Karnataka, India, that straddles multiple hills and a summit overlooking a flat valley. The fort’s name, Chitrakaldurga, is the same as the town and administrative district of Chitradurga, which means ‘picturesque fort’ in Kannada.
Elusuttina Kote (literally “fort of seven circles”) is a local name for Chitradurga Fort, which is one of the country’s most powerful hill forts. The fort had to have had 19 gateways, 38 postern-gates, 35 concealed entrances, and four ‘invisible’ entrances when it was built. Many of these are no longer to be seen. Strong and sturdy hardwood beams were used to construct the doors, which were secured with iron plates. The soaring ramparts, hewn from rock to match the rugged topography, were built such that each line of fortification overlooks the others below. Zigzagging paths slowed opposing forces and prevented battering rams from being used. In addition, the main entrances’ doors were armed with iron spikes to deter elephants.
The dynastic rulers of the region, including the Chalukyas and Hoysalas, later the Nayakas of Chitradurga of the Vijayanagar Empire, built Chitradurga fort in phases between the 11th and 13th centuries. Between the 15th and 18th centuries, the Nayakas of Chitradurga, also known as Palegar Nayakas, were largely responsible for the fort’s expansion. In 1779, Hyder Ali took over the fort at Chitradurga for a short while. Twenty years later, after defeating his son, Tipu Sultan, British soldiers captured the fort. The fort is made up of seven concentric fortress walls with tunnels, a citadel, a masjid, grain and oil storage, water reservoirs, and ancient temples. In the upper fort, there are 18 temples.
How To Reach
Chitradurga fort is 200 km away from Bengaluru.
By Air: The closest airport is Vidyanagar Airport in Bellary (140 km), but Bengaluru Airport (225 km) has more flights.
By Rail: Chitradurga has a railway station
By Road: Bus services are available from Bengaluru and other districts of Karnataka
Image Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/nagarjun/9114488714