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Chitradurga Fort, History, Timings, Distance, Entrance fee

by Nomad Saikat faviconNomad Saikat
13 minutes read
Chitradurga Fort

Forts are the ultimate source of learning about the rulers and the specialties of their rules. And if a fort has seen many power changes then it holds even more with itself. One such fort is the Chitradurga Fort. The Chitradurga Fort Karnataka is one of the largest forts in India. It is undoubtedly one of the most visited spots in Karnataka as well. You will find some really intricate details and finest structures in this fort that will give you a really good insight about the days long gone.

For a history buff it can be a treasured memory to visit this fort. Also you will get to know so much about various periods, different rulers and the intricate details of their reign. The architecture and the clever planning of this self-sufficient fort deserve a lot of attention. So if you are interested to know Chitradurga Fort information in Kannada then keep on reading this article. I will mention everything that you probably need to know about this fort to plan a visit there.

Chitradurga Fort

Chitradurga Fort timings: 10 am to 6 pm

Entry fee of Chitradurga Fort: The Chitradurga Fort entrance fee is Rs. 20 for e-ticket and Rs. 25 cash payment for Indians, SAARC and BIMSTEC tourists. For foreigners the entry fee is Rs. 250 for e-ticket and Rs. 300 for cash payment. Children below 15 years of age are free.

How to reach Chitradurga Fort

This fort is one of the popular weekend getaways from Bangalore. Chitradurga Fort from Bangalore is only 200 km away and it takes around 3 hours to reach there. This can even be a perfect day trip for you as well if you are travelling from Bangalore. Other towns in Karnataka like Hubli, Devanagare and Mysore are also well connected with this location.

Chitradurga Fort view

Best time to visit Chitradurga Fort

Weather wise the ideal time to visit the fort is from October to February. Winter months are the most pleasant here with temperatures around 12 degrees. You will be able to enjoy the area well with the comfortable weather. The summers can be a little warm here especially during the day time. However if you are still visiting during the summer season make sure you visit here during the first half of the day when the weather is bearable. So plan your visit accordingly.

About Chitradurga Fort

Chitradurga Fort is one of the most picturesque forts that you can find. Also called the Chitrakala Durg or Chittaldurg, the British called this fort Chitaldoorg. Chitrakaldurga literally translates to picturesque fort in Kannada. Two words of Kannada language came together two form the word Chitradurga. Chitradurga Fort in Kannada breaks down to “Chitra” which means picture and “Durga” means Fort. Also it has another local name Kallina Kote in Kannada where “Kallina” means Stone and “Kote” means Fort one of the many names of this fort is also Ukkina Kote where Ukkina means “Steel” and “Kote” means Fort. This term means that this fort is as strong as steel and is impregnable. The fort is located on the banks of Vedavati River. On a cluster of granite hills this fort spreads across a massive area of 1500 acres.

As the land of chivalry and courage this fort is popular. At different stages this fort was constructed throughout 8 centuries. Bangalore to Chitradurga Fort distance is about 200 km and is a popular getaway from Bangalore. Mostly for the beautiful landscape and all encompassing view this place is a favourite spot among visitors. It can be one of the best places to stay away from the bustling city for some time. The splendid architecture, the breathtaking viewpoints as well as the serene ambience makes it a must visit place near Bangalore.

 At present the Archaeological Survey of India manages this fort. There are guides available at the entrance of the fort as well. You can easily hire them to explore this fort well and they can explain the history along with the special features of this fort. The fort is also not a disabled friendly location. It requires climbing for any visitor to reach the top of the fort. 

Chitradurga Fort History

Who built Chitradurga Fort?

The construction of Chitradurga Fort continued over a span of many years and the fortifications took place between 11th to 13th centuries. Dynasties like Chalukyas, Hoysalas, and Vijayanagar kingdoms took active part in the fortification of this fort. Later during the 15th and 18th centuries the Palegar Nayakas or the Nayakas of Chitradurga expanded this fort to a massive extent. During the reign of Madakari Nayaka V from 1758 to 1779, the fort changed its hands and Hyder Ali took over this fort.

Through many dynasties, rulers and rules the fort has witnessed massive transformation. Each of these rules had contributed in making this structure even bigger and better. Later after Hyder Ali, his son Tipu Sultan took over the fort. But after twenty years the British forces killed Tipu Sultan and they took over this fort. According to the British this fort is a strong foundation behind the building of a powerful defense system of Mysore. The British had their command over this fort. Also the fort was an important part of the northern border of Mysore. In later times this fort came under the control of the Mysore Government.

Architecture of Chitradurga Fort

The architecture of this fort is one of the major attractions for sure. However what makes it even more attractive is the entrance Chitradurga Fort. This one is a massive fort and one of the biggest forts in India. In total there are 38 posterior entrances of this fort along with 19 gateways. It also has 4 invisible passages and a total of 35 secret entrances. One of the main purposes of this fort was also to keep an eye on the activities and attacks of the enemies. For that almost 2000 watchtowers are also present here.

This fort is the ultimate example of intellectual engineering and finest craftsmanship. The idea behind the formation was to retain the original rock formation of the mountain and seven hills. It also has the name Yelu Suttina Kote, which means Seven Circles Fort. There were seven walls of this fort. These walls are sleek and have passages so that the enemies are unable to enter here with elephants. There are special designated areas for the archers as well to attack the enemies from the fort. Also this fort is one of the impregnable forts and one of the reasons behind this was the lakes and water channels around this fort. Because of these the fort was like an inaccessible region for the enemies.

Also this fort is really well equipped to deal with an extended seize. From reservoirs to pits and storage warehouses everything in this fort was present to ensure the proper supply of water, food and military provisions. The authorities took a lot of effort to preserve these so that they could sustain themselves inside the fort for a longer period of time.

temples in Chitradurga Fort
Image Source : Wikimedia Commons
What’s more?

One of the special features of this fort is the fact that this fort houses 18 stunning temples in the upper fort and has one temple on the lower fort. One of the most notable temples here is the temple of Goddess Ekanatheswari who was the presiding family deity of the Nayakas of Chitradurga. Goddess Ekanatheswari is the incarnation of Goddess Adi Parashakti. In a block of stones the footprints of the Goddess are present. Other well known temples here are Hidimbeshwara Temple, Phalguneshwara Temple, Sampige Siddeshwara Temple, Ekanathamma Temple etc.

On the lower fort there is a temple of the tutelary deity of the Nayaka Palegars. Their deity is Uthsavamba or Uchchangiamma. This temple is located amidst the natural rock formations of the hill.

Major Attractions inside the Chitradurga Fort

Thus the fort is like a treasure trove for history buffs. The fort houses so many unique structures inside its premises which deserve a lot of attention.

Onake Obavvana Kindi/ Onake Obavva

Chitradurga Fort Onake Obavva is one of the major attractions here. Onake Obavva was a brave woman who lived during the Chitradurga kingdom. She was a brave fighter who fought back many soldiers and also killed them during the attack of Hyder Ali to save this fort.

Hidimbeshwar Temple

This is one of the oldest of the 18 temples in the fort. It is one of the notable temples here that is related to a legend in Mahabharata. Furthermore this is one of the most important sites of pilgrimage for the devotees. Also this is an aesthetically pleasing temple that showcases the Dravidian style of architecture. A massive kettle drum is present here which according to the people is related to one of the Pandavas, Bhima.


This is a tourist spot located 61 km away from the fort. Mostly this site is famous for the much revered Anjaneya Swamy Temple. This location is an ideal spot for people who love nature. You will be able to enjoy a beautiful view of the Western Ghats here.

Ankali Mutt – Chandravalli Caves

Located in Chandanavalli Vana, Ankali Mutt is an important archeological site. Also famous as Chandravalli Caves, this site is a mix of natural formation along with planned architecture. These cave temples are named after a Belgaum saint Ankalagi. It is a picturesque location with huge caves surrounded by boulders and rocky cliffs. There is a huge Shiva Lingam here under a giant boulder that is one of the major attractions here.

Vani Vilas Sagar Dam

The Vani Vilas Sagar Dam is popular for its advanced engineering and is located 32 km away from the fort. You can enjoy a splendid view here amidst nature. It is also one of the oldest dams in Karnataka.

full view of Chitradurga Fort
Image Source : Wikimedia Commons
Other major attractions:

This area houses many other ancient temples, forts, forests, caves etc. Some of the popular locations that you can visit are

  • Gopal Krishna Temple
  • Sampige Siddeshwara Temple
  • Doddahotrangappa Hill
  •  Bheemasamudra Dam
  • Ranganathaswamy Temple
  • Dasaratha Rameshwara

This location is also popular for many outdoor activities like jet skiing, kayaking, boat rides, canoeing etc. So if you are an adventure lover then you can also opt for any such activities as well.

Wrapping Up!

Now that you have all the information about the Chitradurga Fort Karnataka just plan a visit to this location already. You can stay at the KSTDC hotel that is located just near the fort. Or you can also find some other options of hotels here as well. This location is perfect for both a short getaway and even a one day plan. So plan your visit according to your preference and enjoy some time out from the hustling city life. Let me know if this article is helpful for you in planning a visit to the Chitradurga Fort.

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