A Bit of History: Even though the city has engulfed two of the outer walls now, the remaing walls of this mammoth fort live on to tell the tale. The approach to each entrance is curvy with twist and turns, thus making impossible for even an army of elephants to break its defenses. The fort was desinged and built to sustain itself, it has several temples, palace, several tanks, a royal mint yard and places for storing grains. The tanks inside the fort store the rain water and were interconnected as well. The fort also has a few secret entrances, the discovery of one such entrance lead to defeat of Madakari Nayaka from the invading Hyder Ali's Army and the well known heroics of Onake Obavva.
Early morning and late evenings are a real treat! A morning visit along with morning walkers proved real good, especially with a lot of birding opportunities as well. The sun lit rocks were real treat to watch and it won’t be tiresome to climb up the rocks during morning.
Marikanive -Vani Vilasa Sagara built during the period of Mysore Maharajas is a reservoir. It was considered as an engineering marvel at that point of time. We found mornings are best to hang around the lake. The landscape in and around Marikanive is dotted with Wind mills.
Sulekere or Shantisagara termed as second largest tank in Asia near Channagiri is also another worthy place to visit. Chandravalli Caves is another archeologically important place; this has a cave which dates back to prehistoric days. This has a beautiful lake too, but surroundings of the lake are spoiled with lot of public visiting for PICNIC. Jogimatti is another place which we had missed. To visit Jogimatti one needs prior permission from Forest department.
The evenings and Mornings in Chitradurga are best spent just by sitting on a hillock nearby and watching the drama of light unfolding on the rocks. Watched a mangoose or a family rather :-) coming out from its den in search of food. Low light conditions prevented me from taking a good shot :(
Mangooses near their den
Food and Stay: There are quite a few decent hotels around. Our Stay was at Naveen Residency which was pretty decent. Breakfast at small hotels near market was also great.
Route: On NH4 Bangalore - Tumkur - Sira - Chitradurga ~ 200 Kms
For an account of birding in and around Chitradurga, check out this - http://pakshi-loka.blogspot.com/2011/01/birding-around-chitradurga-fort-vani.html