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Chitradurga gets its name from Chitrakaldurga, an umbrella-shaped lofty hill found here. Chitradurga is located in the heart of the Deccan Plateau; Chitradurga is recognized as the land of courage and chivalry. Tradition dates the Chitradurga district to the period of the Ramayana and Mahabharatha. Chitradurga lies in the valley of the Vedavati River, with the Tungabhadra River flowing in the northwest.
Chitradurga was under the rule of great dynasties like the Rashtrakutas, Chalukyas and Hoysalas, Vijayanagar and later Hyder Ali. But it experienced a historical importance under the dynastic rule of the Nayakas or "Paleyagars", known for their heroic exploits. The most eminent of the feudatory chieftains, was Madakari Nayaka, who after the fall of the Vijayanagar Empire, declared his suzerainty and consolidated his power.
PLACES OF INTEREST IN CHITRADURGA DISTRICT
The Chitradurga is well-known for its massive Kallina Kote ("the place of the stone fort"), a marvel of military architecture made impregnable by the Nayak Palegars. It has 19 gateways, 38 posterior entrances, a palace, a mosque, granaries, oil pits, four secret entrances and water tanks. Many ancient temples can also be found inside the fort.
Onake Obavvana Kindi (The Crack)
During the rein of Madakari Naayaka, the city was besieged by the troops of Haider Ali. A chance sighting of a woman entering the fort through a crack in the rocks led to a clever plan by Hyder Ali to send his soldiers through the kindi (crack). The guard on duty had just gone home for his lunch break and his wife Obavva was his temporary replacement. Noticing the soldiers emerging out of this crack, Obavva was not perturbed. Using the Onake (wooden stick used for pounding grain) she killed and quietly moved the dead, so that hundreds of them entered and fell, without raising any suspicion. The guard, Obavva's husband was shocked, when he returned from his lunch break. His wife was standing there with a blood stained Onake and strewn around her were the bodies of soldiers. The passage still remains as a historical witness for the story.
Aadumalleshwara is located at a distance of 5 km from Chitradurga. Aadumalleshwara is a Shiva cave temple built by Aadooru Mallapa. The attraction of Aadumalleshwara is perennial stream runs through the bull's (Nandhi) mouth here.
Ankali Mutt also called Paradeshappana Guhe is a famous ancient monastery. Panchalingeshwara cave temple is located beside Ankali Mutt under massive boulders. The inscription at the entrance to the Panchalinga cave, was made in 1286 AD, during the reign of the Hoysala King Narasimha III. It is believed that five Shiva Lingas in the Pancha Lingeshwara cave temple have been consecrated by Pandavas.
Ashoka Siddapura is an important archeological site where emperor Ashoka's edits were found. Nearby is Ramagiri, a hillock that has mythical relations with the epic Ramayana. When Ravana was abducting Sita to Lanka, the legendary eagle, Jatayu fought with Ravana to save Sita, but unfortunately lost his life in the fight. Thereafter, Rama completed Jatayu's last rites and installed Shiva linga on the spot. A temple dedicated to Rameshwara built in 926 AD exists here.
Brahmagiri is located at a distance of 63 km from Chitradurga. Brahmagiri is well-known for Ashoka's earliest rock edicts in the Brahmi script and Prakit language, dating back to the 3rd century BC. Brahmagiri village is the ancient site of Ishila, one of emperor Ashoka's provincial capitals.
Bruhanmutt is about 3 km from Chitradurga. Bruhanmutt is also known as Sri Murugarajendra Mutt. Bruhanmutt was built in honor of a renowned guru of the Veershaiva community, and houses the tomb of Immadi Muruga Swamy. This unique Lingayat Mutt dates back to the period of Shiva-Sharanas of 12 century A.D. The muth is engaged in propagating Basava dharma. The Murugha Vana in the premises of the mutt is a beautiful botanical garden.
Chandravalli is an ancient historical site located in the western part of the Chinmuladri hills. Chandravalli is the place where painted pottery and coins from the Shatavahana empire and prehistoric times were discovered.
Dasaratha Rameshwara is in the midst of a picturesque forest area of Hosadurga taluk. This place is well-known for peaceful religious centre. In epic Ramayana, the saint Shravana was killed by Dasharatha Maharaj. As a mark of regret, king Dasharatha installed and worshipped a "Shiva Linga" with his son Rama, as a result called as "Dasaratha Rameshwara".
Lord Ranganathaswamy temple is located on top of this hillock. Doddahotterangappa's Hill is also a trekker's paradise.
Gayathri Jalashaya, the reservoir was built by Maharaja of Mysore across the river Suvamamukhi, is a pleasant picnic spot.
Halurameshwara is also called as Udbavagange or Varava Koduva Bhavi. It is believed one's wishes will be fulfilled and one's future predicted by looking into the well.
The main attractions of Heggere are Jain monastery and Kalleshwara temple.
Hiriyur is situated on the bank of the river Vedavati. Hiriyur is well-known for having the oldest dam in Karnataka, built on the Vedavati river, and named Mari Kanive. Hiriyur is also famous for the Terumalleswara Temple, built in the Dravidian style of architecture with lofty gopurams (towers). The ceiling in the main hall is painted with scenes from the Shivpurana and the Ramayana.
Holalkere is located at a distance of 35 km from Chitradurga. The main attraction of Holalkere is an important Jain settlement of 10th century AD. This town is also well-known for its 9 ft high statue of the child god Baal Antipathy.
Hosadurga is located at a distance of 63 km from Chitradurga. Hosadurga has the bits and pieces of a hill fort, which was erected by Chikkanna Nayaka, a Palegar of Chitradurga.
Jankal is the birthplace of Chitradurga's last chieftain, Madakari Nayaka.
Jogimatti is located at a distance of 15 km South of Chitradurga. Jogimatti is a hill restort situated at a height of 3803 ft. This hill resort was named after a yogi (Saint) who was well known for his social service. Himavatkedra, a waterfall that flows through the rocks, has created a natural cave that has a Shiva Linga and idols of Veerabhadra and Basavanna.
Molakalmuru is about 82 km from Chitradurga, is famous for its silk weaving industry. Molakalmuru also has a temple, a large reservoir and a rock, which produces echoes. Kugo Bande, or Shouting Rock, is a huge rock, where you can know-how your voice resounding as an echo.
Nayakanahatti is located at a distance of 35 km from Chitradurga. This place is familiar for a temple dedicated to the sage Thipperudraswamy and his tomb. A fair is held here every year during the month of Phalgun.
Neerthadi is about 38 km from Chitradurga. Neerthadi is popular for Lord Ranganathaswamy temple built in the Vijayanagar style.
Nunke Malae is a small hillock, covered with lush vegetation, the ancient temple of Byraveshwara is located here.
Ramagiri is well-known for the Veerabhadraswamy temple and the Karisiddeshwara Mutt, built on a hillock.
Sirigere is famous for Sri Taralabalu Jagadguru Brihanmath situated on the Poona - Bangalore National Highway. It was founded by saint "Marulasiddha" during 12th century AD. The present pontiff of the math is Dr. Shivamurthy Shivacharya Mahaswamiji. This math also runs educational and religious centers here.
Thamatekallu is about 8 km from Chitradurga. Ancient rock cut inscriptions and the oldest hero stone in Karnataka can be found here.
Vani Vilas Sagar (Mari Kanive)
Vani Vilas Sagar or Mari Kanive is located at a distance of 32 km from Chitradurga. Mari Kanive is a artificial lake built by the Maharaja of Mysore across the river Vedavathi, is considered an architectural masterpiece. Measuring 162 ft. by 1300 ft., this reservoir has two pavilion halls built in the saracenic style.
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