Historical Significance of Chitradurga Fort
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Historical Significance of Chitradurga Fort

Published by: Neha Parikar (2)
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Introduction The Chitradurga Fort was formerly called Chitaldoorg by the British and the fort is believed to overlap quite a few hills along with a peak that dominates the view of an even valley in the district of Chitradurga in Karnataka, India. The name Chitrakaldurga in Kannada language means ‘picturesque fort’ and this is where the name of the town Chitradurga has been derived from. The fort was constructed in various phases between the periods of 17th to 18th centuries by the eminent dynastic monarchs of that particular region. Architectural Significance The Chitradurga Fort is regarded as an exceptional pictorial hill fort with seven lines of solid fortification owing to which it is considered to be invincible. Three lines of walls are found below along with other four rows that run along the inclinations of the pebbly hill. The lowest rampart includes four main gates for entering. The gate on the eastern side is known by the name of Rangayyana Bagilu and an archaeological museum can be observed close to it which directs towards the Ranganatha temple in the Nirtadi village. The eastern gate is also referred to as Sira Darwaza. The Santhebagilu or the Siddayyana Bagilu is the northern gate and is even popular by the name of Fateh Darwaza. The gate to the west is Sihiniruhondada Bagilu or Ucchangi Bagilu and the southern gate is known as Lalkote Bagilu. The walls of the fort are quite high and remarkable enormous boulders have been used while constructing those. The fort has as many as 19 grand doors, 38 doors that are comparatively smaller, 35 special entrances, 2000 watch towers, water reservoirs and four undisclosed entrances in order to protect and keep watch on enemy invasions. There are also pits, ware-houses for stocking up and tanks which were built and fundamentally planned so as to ensure the water, food and military supplies during an extended siege. The total measurement of the fort walls lengthwise is around 8 kilometres and is spread over an area of around 1500 acres and the fort houses 14 temples. Historical Significance Several inscriptions related to the Hoysalas, Chakulyas and Vijayanagar kings can be observed inside as well as around the Chitradurga Fort. These particular inscriptions are known to relate to the fort’s history which is believed to date back to the 3rd Millennium B.C. A few of the rock edicts believed to be from the Ashokan period located close to Brahmagiri even connect Chitradurga with the Mauryan Empire all through the reigning period of the regal dynasties of Chalukyas, Hoysalas and Rashtrakutas. The Chalukyas, Nayakas, Rashtrakutas and Hoysalas of of Vijayanagar Empire were also involved with the process of construction of the fort in few of the phases at some point in time. The Palegar Nayakas or the Chitradurga Nayakas were considered to be the most responsible ones with regard to the extension of the fort during the time of 15th and 18th centuries. However, they were learnt to be overpowered and conquered by Hyder Ali in the year 1779 at Chitradurga. The mentioned fort was afterwards made stronger and bigger by Hyder Ali along with his son Tippu Sultan. Tourism Significance The Chitradurga Fort is quite a popular tourist destination owing to the fact that the fort offers sufficient possibility to the visitors for various activities such as rock climbing, mountaineering to some extent, hiking and trekking.
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