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Fortress & Temples on the Hill - Chitradurga

DISTRICT: Chitradurga;
TALUK: Chitradurga
LOCALITY: Chitradurga (Lat. 14° 13' N; Long. 76° 24' E)
BUS STATION: Chitradurga

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This fort is known as the "stone fortress" (KallinaKote) and the first instance of fortification at Chitradurga is by Kamageti Timmanna Nayaka around 1562 AD. His son Obanna Nayaka, also known as Madakari Nayaka, declared his independence from Vijayanagara empire and wrested the fort. From 1620 AD onwards Chitradurga continued to be held by his successors until 1779 AD when it was taken over by Haider Ali. Coming under the class of giridurga, the fort of Chitradurga occupies a granatoid hillock. Popularly known as 'Yelu suttina kote', the fort has seven lines of defence with bastions of various shapes at regular intervals of which three are at the foot of the hill and the remaining four over the hill. The outermost wall has four gateways, one on each side. Zig-zag entrances are provided through these seven lines of fortification with batteries and magazines. The height of the wall of each line varies from 8 to 15 m. At places brick walls of 1.21-1.82 m are also used. The three outer walls of defence are provided with deep broad moats. The fortification once had nineteen gateways, thirty eight postern-gates, thirty five secret entrances. Much of the fort was strengthened by Haider and Tipu in stone. Inside these fortifications, there are shrines dedicated to Sampige Siddeshwara, Hidimbeswara, Phalguneshwara, Gopalakrishna, Ganesa, Anjaneya and Ekanatheshwari. Secular structures Jike Murugharajendra Matha and subsidiary structures like granary, oil tanksand massive grinding stones are also found. The ruins of palaces built in mud are also encountered. To facilitate the collection of rain water, there were many natural and stone built tanks.