We have been to Chitradurga Fort many times. We go to the city every year for a festival of our family deity. During that time, we invariably end up exploring the fort!
Two years back when we went for the festival in the month of May, we thought of climbing up Chitradurga Fort at dawn and experience the sunrise.
The sunrise in May is around 6.05 AM which meant we have to be there at the entrance by at-least at 5.45 AM. We were not sure whether we will be allowed as tourists are allowed only at 7 AM. But our local friends said that they allow morning walkers early and will allow us too.
We were there at the entrance at 5.45 and we joined the morning walkers and entered inside!
Let us take you through our morning sojourn in one of the magnificent forts of the country – Chitradurga Fort – to witness sunset surprise!
We enter through the main gate or “Kamanu Bagilu” as it is called. The fort is built with huge rocks which is available aplenty in the hills surrounding it. It has a large moat which is dry now.
At the entrance you can see this map and also the main points of attraction. It will be good to take pictures of both and use them as guide so you don’t miss them.
It is a nice stoned pathway that takes you to the various points through gates or “Bagilu” as it is called in Kannada.
One of the bagilu….
This is a lovely gate. The feel of entering a fort can be experienced here!
A small temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha
The tall holy pillar or “Garuda gamba” of Ekanatheshwari temple
We turn towards “Gali Gopura” or ” Windy Terrace” which is a high-ground to witness the sunrise. It is a nice climb trough the pillared hall or mantapa and has stone carved steps with railing to hold. It is a nice place to be there early morning and the it is truly windy place! The cool breeze in hot May is most welcome!
In the horizon, the sun is yet to appear. We get a nice glimpse of the town
A lovely view of Ekanatheswari temple from Gaali Gopura! Flowering Gulmohars add to the beautiful landscape!
We climb down and look for a vantage point to see the sunrise. We cross the “Tulabhara Stone” – the place kings used to weigh themselves in gold!
We notice a lovely rock formation and sun start creeping from the clouds. It is just brilliant!
Our next stop is at Sampige Siddeshwara temple. We pass through another mantapa and the setting of the temple is beautiful! Amidst huge boulders, you see a small temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is a pity we cant enter as the temple opens only around 8 AM
Coming down from the temple, we walk towards “Akka Thangiyara honda” or ” Twin Sisters Pond”. This is a beautiful setting. It is amazing to see how these forts were self sufficient with water! The fort is best seen immediately after monsoon when this pond is full and surrounding green.
Take a look at this! Seen from the pond above, the setting of temple with these rocks as backdrop is mesmerising indeed !
Now comes the real adventure as we climb up to “Gopalaswamy Honda” or “Gopalaswamy Lake”. We walk trough the boulders bending to almost a crawl!
Fortunately, the lake is full and present a lovely sight! It looks like a swimming pool for locals!
The surrounding sights from the lake is lovely. Rock formations, dilapidated structures of Palace, trees, fort etc makes it a wonderful sight. The highest point you see in the background is Lal Batheri
On the right side of the tank is Goplaswamy temple. In the background is a fascinating array of stones which look like a Swan! Thus, this is called ” Hamsa Geete” stone. Another reason is that the famous Kannada film “Hamsa Geete” was shot in the fort and around this stone formation.
We now start climbing down as we had to be back in temple for the car festival. You need at-least half a day to explore the fort which includes and various guard posts known as Batheris.
Waking up early and going to Chitradurga fort to expereience was worth an effort. The sunrise was surprisingly beautiful. The fort was not crowded. The quietude inside the fort was a bliss!
- Except for monsoon months, one can have a good expereince of sunrise in Chitradurga fort.
- Go early and make sure you are there at the time of sunrise. Since not many people come so early except local walkers, you can get in.
- It would be good to spend few hours exploring the fort and come down and have breakfast around 9.30 AM. You can savour the best Masala Dosa in the town in Mahalakshmi Bhavan which is 10 mins walk from the fort. You can take your vehicle and park near the restaurant.
- We would recommend a good walking shoe as it will be comfortable.
- Carry drinking water and wear a good hat. Sun will sharper as day progress.
- The fort is easy to explore. However, a good guide is worth it. Check out in the hotel if they can help and talk to them and ensure that the person is there in the morning.
- Sculpturally, the fort is not great. But the overall setting of the fort inside a hill is awesome. Especially after monsoon.
- Don’t enter water bodies. It is dangerous.
- Carry a binocular which will help you explore the fort better
Chitradurga has wonderful places to explore and is an easy weekend trip. Here is a detailed weekend road trip guide to Chitradurga and surroundings – http://traveltwosome.com/weekend-breaks-from-bangalore-chitradurga-fort/
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