Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Chitra Durga Fort, Jogi Matti Forest, Chandravalli/Ankalagi cave Exploration

“Friends! Interested in Visiting Historic place CHITRADURGA!?”

As soon as my eyes captured the word “HISTORIC”, I cast an eye over “DELETE” option and trashed the email. History was always a boring subject. Remembering monarchs, dynasty, dates, and places were always a problematic one. Neither, I did not had a handsome teacher to fall in love with the subject (SIR?@$) to score good marks or to explore about history.

Second main reason for not registering - At the time of registration, I was down with high temperature. So the possibility of making to the ChitraDurga Exploration was not at all an option. Time Fled way and the Registration was closed.

Just 2 day before the event, I got an email stating there were two drops out and interested folks can make it to ChitraDurga Exploration. Instead of sitting sluggish at home, I thought of making to the trip.

It’s always the people who fight and knock down each other like Tom and Jerry fall in love at the end. Similarly, my aversion towards history had changed after Chitradurga excavation. Now, I am addicted to archaeology.

Enough of my Purana.. Coming to our experience..

Friday Night:

We started our journey by bidding bye to Virander, who was there to give send off. We invited him to join the trip, but he stayed back to watch Dhoom 3 (Oooopps…No comments)

The night ride to ChtiraDurga was an excellent; the road was too good. Of course it has to be, since its a Bangalore – Pune Highways and its a part of Golden Quadrilateral Highway Project. Road Biking to Chitraduraga from Bangalore would be a suggested option.

Drive to ChitraDurga:

We reached ChitraDurga district around 2 AM; Chetan and Shruti were guiding us to the hotel perfectly including Small Street. When we reached Yarti Nivas, I was curious to appreciate their street view knowledge but stepped back when I observed mobiles in their hands and was using google maps for navigation. Thanks to Lars Eilstrup without your google map technology, at those odd hours, it would have been very difficult to find our stay. But a moment later, we realized that we were on wrong Yarti Nivas and drove to the right one finally.


The lodging was simply the best. A Beautiful grass lawn on a balcony exactly opposite to the Fort, 3 puppies playing near the lawn and a hot cup of Coffee as soon as we woke up made the lodging and stay so attractive.

Saturday (Day 1)

We got up well before the sunrise, hired a Guide and started to explore the fort. The Fort welcomed us by treating with a bright Sunrise over the hills, strewn with windmills. The guide started reciting in English, Kanada and Hindi. Apart from him, none understood his English and Hindi narration. So, we requested him to stick to Kanada and appointed Shruthi and Ashwin as translator.

Below are the few attractions from Chitra durga Fort:
  1. Snake Inscription: Snake Sculpture at Chitradurga Fort Entrance. - This is a symbolic representation of the fort. Since the way leading to Fort is spiral like a snake.
  2. Yenne Kola: A huge rock which is used to store oil.
  3. GYM I eagerly gawped into the Gym expecting Treadmills, cycling and Rowing Machines if not at least olden Dumbbell and Kettlebell. But the room was completely empty. Even the door of the Gym was very small, literally just a window. The door was left small purposely for the protection of the king. Just in case, enemies plans to attack him during his work out, only one can enter through the door(window)

  4. Akka Thangiyara Honda: (Elder and younger sister ponds) Folklore - Two sisters who were married to the king Madakari Nayaka(last ruler of Chitra Durga) jumped into the ponds after his death.
  5. Rocks: The rocks in the fort were all of different shapes. Rabbit shape, Frog shape, Ship shape, elephant shape and many more. On seeing the Ship shaped stone, I thought of posing the famous titanic still of Jack and Rose. But climbing on the stone was difficult so dropped the plan (Note – Me being Rose, Jack would be either Shruti/Swathi/Shwetha)  
  6. Onake Obavva: Obavva - Wife of a soldier called Kalanayak was guarding a fort tower, substituting for her husband during a lunch break. She was guarding the Chitradurga Fort at a crack opening, a secret opening (where only one person could barely squeeze through). While fetching water, she heard the muted sounds of enemy soldiers attempting to enter the fort through the crevice. With great presence of mind she immediately hid behind the crevice in the fort and hit at each soldier trying to squeeze through the crevice with Onake, the name given in Kannada to a masse or pestle, a wooden rod used for pounding paddy. In this process, she bravely killed several enemy soldiers. By the time her husband appeared on the scene, she had already dragged several bodies of dead soldiers into the fort wall and was standing around the dead bodies with the blood stained Onake in her hand. Kalanayak blew the bugle when other soldiers also joined him and killed all the enemy soldiers. This brave act saved the fort on that day from further attacks by Hyder Ali’s soldiers. And the Legend Onake Obavva. 
  7. Our professional photographers trying to
    capture t he enemies
    squeezing out from Crevice
    • All adventure lovers squeezed through crevice and Shruthi was standing beside the crevice and hit everyone who popped up their head with Camera Bag. It was little challenging, and few took the other route to come out instead of crevice.
  8. Gali Mantapa: There was a huge swing and a lamp post. Those days king worshipped this during festivals. 
  9. Monkey man: We were not able to meet Kothi Raja, who climbs the fort walls without any harnesses. But observed the chalk powder(magnesium carbonate powder) in fort walls that was used for by his palms for grip. Also, Kothi Raja's performance was substituted with the amazing climbing and jumping performance of Santosh. 
    • Jyothi Raj Alice Kothi Raja – Spider man of Chitradurga
    • Santosh Kumar – Monkey man of BTC
  10. Murugarajendra Matt: A place that was completely quiet and peaceful.
  11. Fish Marks on the Wall
  12. Large gun powder Grinder:
Lakshmi tiffin:

We decide to have breakfast (Khali Dosa) at Lakshmi tiffin – The oldest and famous hotel in Chitradurga. But we postponed to Sunday due to time constrain
Jogi Matti Forest:

We took permission from forest officers and started our ride. All the Kilometre Stone that indicates Jogi Matti forest had a bird picture which gave a hint that it would be a heaven for bird watchers. But we could not watch even a single bird. We explored the district, by climbing into the view point. Definitely the place would be a calm and full of birds in the early hours. But getting permission from forest officer would be a tough one.

Adumalleshwar zoo:

This place was full of school kids playing. Ashutosh tried to talk to the kids, but they addressed back saying uncle. Thats it, We did not talk a word again to the kids just to be in safer side of not getting tagged as aunty and uncle There were quite few animals and it’s a worth place to watch. By the time, one of our Wicket Chetan was down. So we decide to hit our room. Our day ended by playing UNO game for hours and hours.

Day 2:


Doddahotrangappa Hill (Lord Ranganathaswamy temple)

I loved this temple. The villagers requested us to remove the shoes and slippers saying respect and worship. But there were few of us, who were not used to climb without shoes. We had a tough time in explaining them. Finally few of us trekked without shoes and few with shoes. This was an excellent one for trekking. Infact, had a good peace after visiting the temple.

Chandravalli/Ankalagi cave - A maze of secrets:

The thrilling Experience and interesting facts found during the cave exploration was one of the reason to fall in love with Archaeology.

The Chandravalli cave is present 80feet under the ground and it’s a interesting/confusing maze with multiple secret exits. The cave is moon shaped and it is hugged between two giant rocks. This is like a mini-Ship. Yes, you have everything inside the cave. Temples, mediation hall, bedrooms, shelves, bathroom with a well-planned rain -harvesting system and finally the SECRET conference halls. The challenge was to find the secret conference room, luckily we found the room by ourselves. Still we took a guide. Its better to take a guide as he explains the signifance of minute things. Must say, our guide English (vinglish) was good. Though we requested him to explain in Kanada, he was stubborn to explain in Vinglish. On reaching the secret hall, We switched off the light and observed a complete darkness and silence. Don’t miss out the paintings in cave. It was painted purely with natural elements (herbs). It has been ruined almost 99% now. There were no ventilation inside the cave and it was full of dust, few people got dust allegory and felt suffocation.

Ganesha statue
Outside view of Ganesha Temple

Holalkera - A place to reconnoiter the Ganesha statue which is more than 500 years old. We started back to Bangalore with a plan to visit Vanivilas Sagar Dam on the way

Vanivilas Sagar Dam:( Mari Kanive)

It’s the oldest dam in the state. We were on the right time and observed the sunset. The Specular reflection of sunlight with sunset was the best part we enjoyed in Marikanive dam. Myself, Swathi, Swetha almost tortured Santhosh to take snaps. One snap with Sun, One in-between sun, One with hill background, one with monkey, One with sunglass, one with hat… and the list goes on.. finally we kept quite when his battery got dried out.

Finally it was 7 PM and we wanted to reach Bangalore by 10, so that we board BMTC buses to our home. We were stunned when the driver stopped the cab and started washing the vehicle. Chaitanya decided to give a hint to him and said we need to be in Bangalore by 9.30 (Almost 150 Kms in 3 hours)

The reply gave him a jerk. “We can reach by 8.30 Sir”.

Immdeitaly he said, “No issues.. Take your time and reach by 9.30”

After his Zig-Zag ride, just like Fort symbolic representation spiral like a snake, we reached Yeswanthpur at 10.00. We took loads of histoieees with and bid bye to them

Highlights of the trip:
  • Cave exploration
  • Sunrise among the Windmills at Chitradurga and Sunset in Marikanave Dam.
  • Endless hours of playing UNO game just to make Saravanan score 6 Points.
Final TouchA weekend with Archeological Exploration + climbing + Zoo + UNO + Photography


  1. Replies
    1. lol :P sorry for the typo.. will correct it

  2. Nicely written :) I am one of the two drop-outs :(
    I would have given Santosh company for monkeyness :P UNO and caves and trek and sunset.. :)
    Missed meeting an author too...

    1. Thanks for the drop out :P without your help.. I must have not made to the trip

  3. Hi Deepika, Thanks for the info about Mari Kanive dam sunset view point, will put on my list.
    Good write up of your trekking experience, good info for ppl like us.