Watched Mysore's Jambu Savari on TV on Vijaya Dasami Day . The procession this year was short and quick, but somewhat chaotic, with as many organisers, volunteers and event managers as actual participants crowding the Parade. Though the grand finale of the caprisoned elephants carrying the goddess was magnificent as usual, the Floats that preceded left a lot to be desired. Particularly disappointing was the Float entered by Chitradurga District. They could have stuck with the theme of the windfarms that are doing so well there. Instead they just had to instal the Kallina Kote ( "Stone Fortress") and make it look so insipid.
In reality, this fort is far from insipid or lacklusture. Its splendid.
Magnificent. Wonderful . Evocative. Awesome. I need to look up a thesaurus for a few more superlatives . Chitradurga's Fort deserves them all. No one who has wandered among those historic stones can come away unmoved.
I dont know why this fort does not enjoy wider popularity like say, Hampi or Srirangapatna. It is not promoted as well as those. A pity. For, it is an immensely interesting piece of heritage. A marvel of building design. Also, very picturesque.
The terrain here is rocky with boulders of all sizes strewn around in titanic disarray. The fort that the Nayaka Dynasty built runs all over and around these rocks in seven concentric circles , like a maze, with ingeniously engineered entry and exit points, so as to make it totally, absolutely impregnable. After outwitting several powerful enemy armies for centuries, when the Fort finally fell ( in 1779),it was only due to treachery of one of its own subjects.
Fortunately the Fort is maintained very well. There are 19 main portals, 36 small gateways, 35 secret inlets , 14 temples , courtyards, granaries, watch towers and resting pavilions. The grinding stones used for making gunpowder are interesting items. A small crevice like opening hidden under boulders , named Obavvana Kindi, has a very popular legend/folklore about a brave lady behind it .
Exploring the Fort and some caves nearby needs the services of a guide. Else, its easy to get lost in the maze. Since it is rocky terrain, the best time to climb up is early morning. Thats also the time when the birds and monkeys are at their lively best !
Chitradurga Fort is about 200 kms. from Bangalore on NH-4, via Tumkur. On the way, there are pleasant vistas of sunflower fields and miles of windfarms- battalions of huge, sleek, white windmills.
The Fort is good for a refreshing getaway once in a while.