A prelude to Chitradurga Fort

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Prelude to Chitradurga Fort

Some 45 kilometers north of the Hiriyur taluk, is the Fortress City of Chitradurga. Chitradurga's name comes from Kannada language chitra (picture) and durga (fort). It was built in several phases from the 10th to 18th century by several feuding dynasties that include Rastrakuta, Chalukya, Hoysala ang Nayaka until it landed on the hands of Hyder Ali who defeated the Nayakas in 1779.

The fort has a total land area of 607.5 hectares and located on rocky hills with huge towering granite boulders, rivers, and valleys. It is so expansive that one cannot complete exploring the area in less than a day. To defeat the reigning king, the enemies needed to pass through seven gates before they can penetrate its walls and fortress (more of these in the succeeding post). In the passing of time and neglect, however, the fort has lost its 2 gates due to the encroachment of people and development. Now, only 5 gates are remaining and are being preserved by the government to prevent further illegal encroachment by the people.

Prelude to Chitradurga Fort
The narrow entrance to the walled city. This is the first of the 7 gates inside the complex.
I was just glad that we were scheduled to do a project visit inside the fort, that would allow me to take a peak of what is inside before I could explore the more interesting and preserved parts of this sprawling complex.

Prelude to Chitradurga Fort
Gate of the Uchhangi Yallamma Temple

Prelude to Chitradurga Fort
Uchhangi Yallamma Temple

Prelude to Chitradurga Fort
A typical street scene inside the fort.
Once inside the populated part of the fort, it is a regretful fact that there is neglect in of the physical surroundings. While the architecture and people can make interesting photography subjects and travel stories, I noticed that the surroundings and streets are waiting for a cleanup. This populated area would have been a perfect tourist attraction if it were only more organized.

Prelude to Chitradurga Fort
Revered but sickly cow feeding on trash.

Prelude to Chitradurga Fort
One of the many interesting architectural gems inside the populated part of the fort.

Be that as it may, I still find this quaint community very rich in heritage and culture. I wished I had more time to spare to roam around its narrow and dusty streets to mingle with people and observe their way of life, but I had none. I came as a learner (not of touristy sites) so I can live with the fact that what I had was a borrowed time from our official itinerary.

I am just glad that through my photographs, I was able to freeze a slice of Chitradurga's daily life.

See more photos at: Prelude to Chitradurga Fort
Up next: Exploring the formidable Chitradurga Fort

This is the first leg of my
Please come back for more stories while exploring and learning about the State of Karnataka in India.

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Aside from my day job, I love photography and storytelling. Going places--be it a cliche destination or the far side of the road--stoke and free my soul. I dig deeper into the people’s psyche, culture and ethnicity, and heritage. I love to observe how they thrive and build social institutions, preserve their culture and traditions.


Pinay Travel Junkie said...

607 HECTARES?! Wow. It is indeed sad to see its present state. I've only seen the better-preserved tourist attractions of India that I actually thought the government is doing an awesome job in taking care of their heritage buildings.

Admin/Author said...

Gay, indeed it is so big! I wish I could explore more but we had limited time. They have already fenced the fort proper and they are taking care of it already. thanks!

Claire | Traveling Light said...

"I am just glad that through my photographs, I was able to freeze a slice of Chitradurga's daily life." --> Indeed you did! I love the way you compose your shots. =)

Admin/Author said...

Thanks, Claire!