This was our fourth attempt to reach this place and finally we made it. Every time we thought of exploring this place, we would find some other place intriguing. Hence, it would always be the first to be considered during our next trip. This happened thrice because of which we ended up discovering Heggunda , Mahimapura and a few places at Tumkur . Finally, when we arrived at this place, we were shocked to see such a magnificent structure on the hill top.
|The Mighty Fort|
"Channarayanadurga" is a small village situated in Koratagere Taluk , Tumkur. It's major attraction being the hill fort. The height of the hill is around 3700 ft above MSL . This fort was built by Madhugiri chief Channappa Gauda during the 17th century and then captured by the Marathas. Some years later, they were able to recapture this fort . But, it did not last long. It was then captured by Komaraiyya, the general of the King of Mysore. Later, it was captured by Haider Ali and again , the Marathas, under Madhava Rao took in charge of the fort .Later, it was the turn of Tippu Sultan, the "Tiger of Mysore " to capture the fort .Finally, during the third Mysore war, British army surrounded the fort ,captured and then abandoned forever . There is an inscription on the entrance of the fort in Marathi speaking about the capture of this fort by Sri Pant Pradhan and Madhava Rao Ballal Pradhan .All this happened within a duration of 60 years.
The initial climb was slippery because of the heavy rains that poured previous night .As we gained height, it seemed to be an easy walk. It is a four tiered fort. Once we crossed the first tier, we came across a beautiful temple besides a pond. This reminded us about the importance of Rain water harvesting which was one of the main features in most of the other hill forts.
|At the entrance|
|Bird's eye view of Channarayanadurga village|
|Pond and the Temple|
As we proceeded further, we came across a few structures that were probably used as horse stables. We reached another entrance in the same fortification which took us to the outside of the fort. This seemed like the main entrance since it had a big Mantap (Hall) with pillar, for people to rest after the climb and also had steps leading to it from the bottom of the hill.
|Rain , Sun and the Hills|
After investigating the main entrance, we climbed further to reach the next tier. Here, we found a few structures that probably formed a small colony where soldiers and the king's people resided.Finally, we reached the last tier of the fort. The view from above was breath taking. One can spot the mighty Madhugiri hill which also has a fort and is the highest monolith in India.
|View of upper fort|
|The mighty Madhugiri|
|Inside the upper fort|
During our descent, we came across a ruined temple. Behind the temple, were two granaries used for storage. Most of the structures were intact and its surroundings clean even without any kind of maintenance. there were no signs of ASI in this place.
|Inside the Temple|
Directions from Bangalore: Bangalore - Dabspet (NH4)- right turn - Koratagere (SH3) - proceed further - left turn towards Siddara betta - right turn towards Channarayanadurga . Total distance : 95 kms .
Trip date: 26 Sept, 2010
Places to visit near by : Madhugiri , Koratagere , Devarayanadurga , Mahimapura , Heggunda , and so on ...