I was lucky enough to visit this place which is just around 3-4 hours away from Bangalore. Maybe it’s because I’m not a well read person but I really underestimated the historic significance and beauty of this place. When a work friend of mine asked me if I’m up for a bike trip over the weekend, I didn’t think or ask much and just said yes. By the way, it has only been 3 months since I moved to Bangalore and I don’t go out much. So this was unusual but interesting at the same time.
My friend told me that we should leave early morning to avoid traffic. He was the one with the bike and the one who invited me so I just obliged. But honestly, the road to Chitradurga is really nice. We left around 6 in the morning from BTM Layout 1. My friend took the Seshadripuram and Malleshwaram road, after we started from Taverkere main road. We didn’t really know the route so we were just following Google Maps.
I was so glad I agreed for the trip. The morning ride was so peaceful and the weather was really cool. We had a proper smooth ride on the highway road which had 3 lanes on either side. Plus there are so many coconut trees and open fields along the way. Man that was amazing! I loved how you come across so many windmills as soon as you reach Chitradurga.
The village roads of Chitradurga were also really fun to ride through. Anyone who has a car or a bike should definitely come here for a road trip. My friend was totally loving the ride.
We had breakfast at this little restaurant called Mane Ruchi. They had a limited menu but the food was really good. I ordered Mysore Masala Dosa and my friend ate Mini Idlis. The restaurant only serves vegetarian food but it’s really good. Then, without wasting any time, we headed towards the fort, which was not even a minute away from the restaurant. By 9:50 am, we had reached the Kamana Bagilu gate of the fort and paid 25 rupees as the entry fee.
Now this is where things got even more exciting. We entered through this huge gate and reached a place which felt like it was set in the stone age. The path was completely made of stone and the place was massive and there were so many people. I didn’t expect huge groups of people touring the fort with a guide. You can see boulders on top of each other forming a hill inside the fort itself. The same kind of boulders which are very common in Hampi.
At the entrance gate itself there is a huge area which used to be the moat. This was made to guard the fortress and the water in the moat apparently had crocodiles too so if the enemies fell inside, they would be killed. Chitradurga Fort used to be a city of its own at one point with 4 secret entry points which would help messengers and soldiers enter the city without coming in the sight of enemies.
There is so much to see and do inside the fort. We walked and trekked a lot. But we got to know that to trek across the entire fort, it would take a person 3 days or even more. The fort is that huge and I learned that it was built over many centuries by 16 different rulers. That’s crazy, right? My friend had done a little research so he knew some of the cool sites inside the fort city that we should visit. I’m glad he did that because there was no way we could cover the entire place. In hindsight, I would’ve preferred doing more research or getting a guide. That’s because we came across so many unexplainable sights which seemed interesting. Would’ve been nice to understand the story behind all that.
You know I had never visited any stepwell in India and it had always been on my bucket list. But I really never thought the first one I ever visit would be inside Chitradurga Fort. It was really tiny compared to some of the others I’ve seen on the internet but cool nonetheless. The more you walk, the more you come across wells, and pits and underground vessels of sorts. It’s so crazy that this was how people would store food, water and oil back in the day.
Also, there’s a Hidimba Temple here too. There’s a legend that Bhima and the demon Hidimb fought in this town and used the huge boulders to throw at each other. I was even more fascinated at the technology of those days. We saw this structure which had huge stones that the kings used to grind gunpowder for cannons and other weapons. They would use buffaloes to move the huge grinding stones.
Trust me when I say this, you can literally get lost inside the fort. I’m not kidding. It’s like a maze with many archways, turns and loops and slopes and hills. But it’s so beautiful here. You can clearly hear the birds chirping and spot a lot of different birds, butterflies and moths, squirrels, lizards and what not. One of the coolest things we saw was traces of cannon shots on the walls from when Hyder Ali’s army had invaded the fort.
After a couple of hours of exploring the fort, we decided to find a spot to just sit and chill. Keep in mind that the fort has many steps, slopes and climbs. After some time you will definitely get tired like us. Luckily I was carrying a bottle of water because there’s nothing you can buy inside. So keep that in mind and carry enough water if you ever visit because you will practically be exploring an abandoned medieval city.
I am so glad that I joined my friend on this trip and even more so that he asked me. Haha. It was definitely good to learn a little bit about Karnataka’s history too. I am definitely going to go home and read up more about this fort and learn about its history. There’s no doubt I’ll come here again sometime because there was this feeling of wanting to explore more.
Neither of us realized how 3 hours passed by. The fort is so peaceful with such a mysterious vibe to it. There were moments I felt like I was in a Game Of Thrones-type place. But we got tired and were hungry so we decided to go have lunch and eventually rode back home. Chitradurga Fort is one place I will recommend everyone to visit at least once and spend a good couple of hours or even more. Just do proper research before coming because I was really unprepared. In any case, trust me, you will love it here!