The huge windmills across the trail of mountains was enticing enough when we had been on a road trip from Bangalore to Goa early this year. This time when we decided to visit Chitradurga, we felt it was almost a crime we hadn’t been to this amazing destination after having lived so many years in Bangalore.
The meaning of travel has changed since the last two years and right now people are looking for hassle free travel experiences. What this actually translates is no unnecessary RTPCR tests, lesser crowds to be more casual in removing the face mask sometimes through the day, enough distance for rooms or tourist spaces in the city to name a few.
We wanted to travel within Karnataka and finish the trip within the weekend. Though we could have left earlier, we left Bangalore comfortably at 8 am and as this was a biking trip we were a group of riders travelling together. After having a simple breakfast at Khyathsandra with much hyped breakfast venue we were on the road again and deviated to check the Vani Vilas dam. It looked misty, foggy and sunny too. The dam offers some amazing views and one can spend a short while over here.
As we were headed towards Chitradurga and we had been riding for quite some time, it was getting hotter and we decided to head to the hotel at the earliest. Before that as riders would do, we finished a windmill biking ride and it was sheer joy to ride, walk and be amazed at the huge windmills adorning Chitradurga city. This trail is particularly accessible for bikers and cars may not be allowed by the officials managing the space.
We felt we were kids watching humongous windmills that looked like a kid watching in awe a giant wheel.
The windmills indeed give a unique feel to the city and add that value of the town being special. However it is out rightly the fort, the majestic Chitradurga fort that encapsulates the aura of a story or multiple stories that have occurred in the fort. The ‘Kote’ or fort in Kannada language is dedicated to the valour, courage of Onake Obavva who died fighting the troops of Hyder Ali, the then ruler of Mysore kingdom. Chitradurga was then ruled by Madakari Nayaka and Onake Obavva single-handedly dealt with the troops in ‘Yelu Suttina Kote’ , -The Fort of Seven circles.
Also the fort has a few temples and interesting stories around mythology. It is believed that Bhima from the brothers of Pandavas, fought the demon Hidimbheswara here in Chitradurga and later married his sister Hidimba.
Chitra in Kannada means image or picture and Chitradurga fort has also the name of being Chitra kallina kote. It is incredible that many stones and boulders found in the fort take the viewer’s imagination and one can see a fish or a crocodile or a frog as sculpted among the boulders.
The fort that reminds highly of the Hampi ruins looks majestic, spacious and can be covered in an hour. We also spotted a few peacocks, parrots, varieties of birds and of course monkeys who were at a distance.
I have been to the majestic forts of Jodhpur, Chittorgarh and a few others and whilst forts at Rajasthan are indeed majestic and grandeur, one cannot ignore the beauty of Chitradurga Kote.
Situated at around 260 kms from Bangalore, the destination makes for a perfect weekend holiday. One can travel by car, bus or a bike ride without kids.
We stayed at KSRTDC Mayura Durg that is not fancy but surpassed our expectations in terms of cleanliness, spacing, food and ambience. It is again not luxurious stay unlike a few resorts or the ones that are private properties but this hotel has the advantage of being clean and value for money. Also it is peaceful with tons of birds chirping on its trees, at its premises and banks on the location of being right next to the Chitradurga fort.
We visited the fort in the evening and it made for a good decision as the weather was pleasant and the sunset orange hues gave a different vibe to the place. We hired a guide who are among a few guides appointed by the Karnataka Tourism Department and our guide, Janardhan explained the story and the fort route very well to us.
If you have kids who can walk, run around and are excited to climb up a little, do visit the Chitradurga fort as it does make for a memorable outing.
We spent the evening at the hotel and checked out by 11 am to head to Bangalore. There are also other tourist spots like Jogimatti which is a forest reserve and offers some amazing view points and can be covered in the same weekend trip.
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