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|• Member of Parliament||Janardhana Swamy|
|• Total||21.57 km2 (8.33 sq mi)|
|Elevation||732 m (2,402 ft)|
|• Density||5,683.54/km2 (14,720.3/sq mi)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
Chitradurga is a town in the southern part of the Indian state of Karnataka. It is also the headquarters of Chitradurga district. Chitradurga was also known by the names Chitradurg, Chitrakaladurga, Chittaldurg. Chittaldrug was the name officially used by the British Govt.
Chitradurga is located at  It has an average elevation of 732 metres (2401 ft)..
As of 2001[update] India census, Chitradurga had a population of 122,594. Males constitute 51% of the population and females 49%. Chitradurga has an average literacy rate of 76%, higher than the national average of 59.5%; with male literacy of 80% and female literacy of 72%. 11% of the population is under 6 years of age.
Chitradurga gets its name from Chitrakaldurga, an umbrella-shaped lofty hill found there.
History and legends
Chitradurga features bold rock hills and picturesque valleys, huge towering boulders in numerous shapes. It is known as the "stone fortress" (Kallina Kote). According to the epic Mahabharatha, a man-eating Rakshasa named Hidimba and his sister Hidimbi lived on the hill. Hidimba was a source of terror to everyone around while Hidimbi was a peace loving rakshasa . When the Pandavas came with their mother Kunti in the course of their exile, Bhima had a duel with Hidimba in which Hidimba was killed. Thereafter Bhima married Hidimbi and they had a son named Ghatotkacha who was gifted with magical powers. Legend has it the boulders were part of the arsenal used during that duel. In fact, the boulders on which major part of the city rests belong to the oldest rock formation in the country.
Timmana Nayaka, a chieftain under the Vijayanagar Empire, rose to the rank of governor of Chitradurga as a reward from the Vijayanagara ruler, for his excellence in military services,. This was the beginning of the rule of the Nayakas of Chitradurga. His son Obana Nayaka is known by the name Madakari Nayaka (1588 CE). Madakari Nayaka's son Kasturi Rangappa (1602) succeeded him and consolidated the kingdom to rule peacefully. As he had no heirs to succeed him, his adopted son, the apparent heir was enthroned but was killed in few months by the Dalavayis.
Chikkanna Nayaka (1676), the brother of Madakari Nayaka II sat on the throne, and his brother succeeded him with the title Madakari Nayaka III in 1686. The unwillingness of Dalawayis to accept Madakari Nayaka III's rule gave an opportunity to one of their distant relatives, Bharamappa Nayaka to ascend the throne in 1689. He is known as the greatest of the Nayaka rulers. The subjects of Chitradurga did not experience a good reign of the successive rulers as they ruled on the throne for very brief periods. The Hiri Madakari Nayaka IV (1721), Kasturi Rangappa Nayaka II (1748), Madakari Nayaka V (1758) ruled this area but there is not much to mention of their rule.
Battle with Hyder Ali, Legend of Onake Obavva
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During the reign of Madakari Nayaka, the city of Chitradurga was besieged by the troops of Hyder Ali. A chance sighting of a woman entering the Chitradurga fort through an opening in the rocks led to a clever plan by Hyder Ali to send his soldiers through the hole. The guard on duty near that hole had gone home for lunch. The wife of that guard, Obavva was passing by the hole to collect water, when she noticed soldiers emerging out of this opening. Obavva was not perturbed. She was carrying with her an Onake (a long wooden club meant for pounding paddy grains). She killed Hyder Ali's soldiers one by one as they attempted to enter the fort through the opening and quietly moved the dead. Over a short period of time hundreds of soldiers entered and fell, without raising any suspicion. Obavva's husband, upon his return from his lunch was shocked to see Obavva standing with a blood stained Onake and hundreds of dead bodies of the enemy around her.Together both wife and husband beat up most of the soldiers.But as both of them were about to finish off all the soldiers of Hyder Ali, somehow Obavva dies. The cause of her death still remains a mystery but most believe that an arrow from another guard hit and killed Obavva. Some others believe that another guard on duty came and mistaking Obavva and her husband to be enemies, hit Obavva and killed her. The opening in the rocks still remains as a historical witness for the story, beside the Tanniru doni a small water source which holds cold water all round the year. The Tanniru doni was the well which Obavva was making her way to, when she found the soldieres of Hyder Ali. Though her sincere and brave attempt saved the fort on that occasion, Madakari Nayaka could not repel Hyder Ali's attack in 1779. In the ensuing battle, the fort of Chitradurga was lost to Hyder Ali. Obavva, like Kittur Rani Chennamma remains a legend, especially to the women of Karnataka.
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Chitradurga Fort is renowned for its Kallina Kote / Ukinna kote / Yelu Suttina kote which was built in parts by the Palegar Veer Madakari Nayaka. It comprises a series of seven enclosure walls in Kannada. Eighteen ancient temples can be found inside the fort. This seemingly impregnable fort has 19 gateways, 38 posterior entrances, a palace, a mosque, granaries, oil pits, four secret entrances and water tanks.
Culture under Palayagara's
Known for their valour, Chitradurga's Nayaka Palyagaras were also patrons of great musicians.
Accessible by road, this fortress lies on the outskirts of what is Chitradurga today. City of Chitradurga is located at the junction of NH-4 (Bangalore-Pune National Highway) and NH-13 (Sollapur-Mangalore National Highway). Chitradurga is also accessible by train. There is a daily service to Bangalore and weekly services to Mumbai.
It is an ancient archaeological site. It is situated near a big lake. Water sports are arranged on occasions. On excavation painted pottery, coins are traced of the Satavahana period. Ankali Matt is situated beside the caves which has big shiva lingas under a giant stone.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Chitradurga.|
- Falling Rain Genomics, Inc - Chitradurga
- "Census of India 2001: Data from the 2001 Census, including cities, villages and towns (Provisional)". Census Commission of India. Archived from the original on 2004-06-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
- Suryanath U. Kamath, A Concise History of Karnataka, Bangalore, 2001