Monday, August 8, 2011

37) Chitradurga & VaniVilas Sagar Dam(Marikanive):23/6/2011

Place: Chitradurga & VaniVilas Sagar Dam (Marikanive).
Distance: 250 x 2 = 500 kms.
Directions: Bengaluru > Tumkur > Sira > Hiryur (20 km Deviation to VV dam) > Chitradurga.
Participants: Arun > Sp.
Bikes: Unicorn > Pulsar.
Previous Visit: Shanmukha Temple & Manchinbele.
Budget: Rs600/h.

Well this is one of the most informative trips done so far, A visit to one of the most ancient & marvelous forts of India. And Vani Vilas is nothing less than heaven , another very ancient dam built in the earlier 19th century.

It was only 4 days since our visit to the wonderful Shanmukha Temple; we wanted to go on a big long ride. MM hills & Chitradurga were the two options.

Arun was the only one in the the confirmed list, but we decided hit the road anyways. We had our trusted souls accompanying us – Unicorn & Pulsar. Oh yeah, Mommy also said she would be around Chitradurga for court inspection so, if we were at Chitradurga at the same time we would be meeting each other 250 kms away from home. After the plans we crashed.
TIME: 22:00 hrs (22/06/2011)

Morning 03:00hrs I was up did a few push ups & had some coffee. I looked at the clock and knew it would be a long day on the highway, but that is what I love so was eagerly looking forward to it. Arun showed up at 04:30hrs and we departed.

RIDE I: (Bengaluru – Tumkur outskirts)
This first stretch was about 70 kms cruising , initially it was a little dark and I led the way through the outer ring road , after reaching NH-4 , it was a 6 lane road and very comfortable to ride on. All we had to do was stay awake ha-ha!! So in a matter of 60mins we reached Tumkur out skirts for the 1st pit stop to enjoy the view of the magnificent hills surrounding Tumkur.

RIDE II: (Tumkur-Sira-Hiryur)
This second stretch was for about 120 kms non stop riding. I lead the way ( for a change :P) as Arun didn’t have rear view mirrors, and believe me it really helps on this road. Land cruisers cruising at 130+kmphr were something to watch out for. After an hour or so , with no- nonsense riding, we reached Hiryur outskirts and agreed to stop for a coffee/tea break.

As we had some good coffee, we decided that we would visit Chitradurga first and latter VV dam. But as we were just about leave we realized that Arun’s Uni had a nail in its tyre.
Ps:- NH-4 is a brilliant road for riding, but we cant get our bikes off the highway, as there are barriers on either side of the road to prevent cattle entering the highway. And each city is about 50kms from each other, so were a little worried, but luckily for us the puncture shop was only 3km away so we took the bike and got it fixed. Threw the nail away in a safe place were cattle wouldn’t graze. We were set back by an hour.

RIDE III: (Hiruyur – Chitradurga)
This stretch is for about 40-50kms, but we rode slow as we had just recovered for a puncture. As we entered Chitradurga the wind speed increased drastically and the windmills added a lot of beauty to the town of Chitradurga.
As we entered the city it started raining, and we rode carefully asking for the directions to reach the fort. After about 30 mins ride in the rain we were standing in front one of the hugest forts inIndia.

I’m telling you guys, I was standing with my jaws dropped looking at the huge walls of this super fort. Okay il be giving you all a virtual tour of this place, highlighting on the most important places of the fort:

History: It was called Chitaldoorg by the British, then it became Chitrakaldurga , then Chitara Durga, and now Chitradurga the modern name. Madakari Nayaka V was the ruler of Chitradurg, Hyder Ali was his enemy. For more of history click here.

Okay coming back to our tour of this place: (This is our view of the place hope you enjoy it )
Ticket counter: If you don’t have a ticket you wont be allowed to enter the fort: P, so a place of very much importance. If your pay Rs 5, you’ll have an awesome ticket in your hand and now you shall enter the fort.

1) Snake Inscription: This is right behind the ticket counter; the whole fort was built on this simple design.
2) Gates: There are 7 main gates, and many secret passages. Each gate had several gun points to defend the fort.
3) Kamana Bagilu: The path way is at right angles to each other, it helped immensely to counter the enemy attacks as there were gun points on each of the corner. Oh yea it would also not allow the enemies to take a run up if they were planning to break the doors open with huge logs of wood or elephants.
4) Enne Kola (Oil Storage): This is at the entrance only, huge rock storage tank, oil used to be stored here. There is also a small tank next to it along with a cave for the guard.
5) Cannon ball shots: All along the fort wall you can observe the deep grooves due to the cannon balls. Hyder Ali who was the enemy had done some hard work for sure ha-ha!!

6) Bombe Mantapa: Place where they used to bury the animals which died in war , or during construction.
7) Deer Drawing: Early men’s inscription of a deer on a rock.
8) Raja’s Gym: The place where the King used to work out, the door of the gym was very small. This was because in case the enemies attack him at the gym, only one at a time could enter the place.
9) Ancient art of Rock cutting: They used to make holes in the rock with a chisel, stuff wood into it, and allow water into the holes. The wood would expand and cut the rocks.
10) Ganesha Temple: This temple was built for a reason, the huge boulder which is right behind it looks exactly like an elephant.

11) Weird Rock formations: The weird rocks & boulders to watch out for are Fish shaped , Ship shaped , Toad shaped , Alligator Shaped, Turtle Shaped, Shanku Shaped …
12) Hidimba Temple: Hidimba the famous demon in the epic Mahabharata used to terrorize village people, staying on this hill. So a temple in his memories.
13) Huge Swing & Lamp post: The goddess idol was placed on the swing during the festivals. And the king would climb up the lamp post and light the lamp.
14) Ghee Storage: This is one of the main attractions of this place. If you had to be in the Chitradurga army you had to climb this hill, and as you did, they would start pouring ghee from the Ghee storage tank at the top. If you made it to the top well you were appointed in the army: D. ( Place where Ramchari played by Vishnuvardahan in Nagarahavu movie, falls off the cliff & commits suicide)
15) Bank & Safety Locker: Place where they used to mint coins. They used to bury the coins 15-20 feet below the ground; a small temple was constructed on the surface. Cannon ball shots are seen on the temples of this place too.

16) Akka Thangi Kola: Two small water bodies where the king’s wives committed suicide once Hyder Ali won the war.
17) Temples: There are many temples which can be seen from Akka Thangi Kola ( the place where you are standing now :P), Some of them are Gopalswamy, Hanuman,Nandi,.Ganesha temples.
18) Tanniru Doni: Place where cold water flows all through out the year. This is also the place where Obawa (wife of a guard) spots the first of Hyder Ali’s men, so she went back to the Kindi and killed the others.
Ps: There is a fish inscription on a rock near by, which suggested water’s available nearby. Obawa’s grave is also situated opposite to this place.
20) Obbavana kindi: Here is the main attraction of this place for all tourists.ThisPlace is where food & other groceries were brought to the soldiers from the from,But few of the soldiers leaked this info to Hyder Ali’s men as it was the easiest way to invade the fort. Obawa whipped the soldiers at this place as only one could squeeze through.

21) Gali Mantapa: This was the place where the king was worshipped during festivals. There’s a huge swing and a lamp post here.
22) Siddeshwara Temple: Nice ancient temple , where you can get a pooja done.
23) Murugha matha: This was a residential school for young kids of chitradurga, the interior of this place is just brilliant. The cooking place , study halls , dining halls etc..
24) Pataabhisheka : A huge platform where the king was given the pattaabhisheka, they used put gold and silver flowers, this was a common tradition during those days. This was also done if a person would live to see his 4th generation.(Thanks dad for this info)
25) Monkey man: And you guys thought I forgot him eh , ha-ha… Introducing world’s second fastest climber, man with the amazing skills to climb the fort walls, huge lamp posts mentioned earlier, the huge swing, the man who learnt his skills by observing monkeys – The Monkey Man ( Kothi Raja).

** SNAP ** (Thumbs up if you noticed about 19th point)

Now the virtual tour ends, I’v missed out a few places on purpose you can see and read about them on my picasa album, iv given them all captions which really helps as per my knowledge.
After a wonderful knowledge boosting session, we started playing around the fort, and finally were out of the fort.

Once were out of the fort, mom said she was at Chitradurga as well. In a matter of minutes she arrived at the fort and she had also packed two lunch boxes with sweets too. We filled up our bags and without wasting anytime we headed towards Hiryur. On the way we stopped on the highway and sat on the road side besides our bikes to have one of the best lunches till date. Not to forget all those wonderful windmills all around us.

RIDE IV: (Chitradurga – VV dam)
This stretch was relatively easy, after a heavy lunch all we had do was keep our eyes open. We cruised along at a decent pace to reach the diversion near Hiryur outskirts.
Ps: Watch out for a huge Arch about 5 kms before hiryur (from Chitradurga side), taking a right deviation here , followed by a 20kms ride lead us to VV dam.
TIME: 14:00hrs

We climbed the stairs, and the first view we got of the place was simply breadth taking. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call it “Heaven”. There were hardly any tourists, that made the place even better. ( I’m actually out of words to describe the beauty of the place:D)
We spent about an hour at this place & left as we had a long way to go.
TIME:15:15hrs ; 200kms to go.

RIDE V: (VV dam – Sira)
This stretch was for about 60 kms on a 4 lane highway, we rode a pretty decent pace to reach Kamat hotel at Sira. We had some hot Bajji’s and coffee and left.

RIDE VI: (Sira – Tumkur)
This was again about a 60 km stretch, we cruised along at a decent pace and reached Tumkur out skirts , near shivgange for a small 10 mins break.

RIDE VII: (Tumkur – Bengaluru)
Once the sun light got dimmer, the traffic increased the amount of vehicles increased too. So we rode till the NICE road entrance and to avoid traffic we took the NICE road. On the NICE road we witnessed an excellent sunset and as it was drizzling through out we also witnessed a rainbow, after 20-30 mins we reached Home safely.
TIME: 19:00hrs

I would like to conclude this article by saying the following words
This trip was one of the best trips till date; you could call it an immense learning experience. It had a lot of thinking & pondering with it. We had encountered some trouble on the way, but we 4 stuck together as one unit to have these two excellent places under our belt.”


ARUN: Well one of the best riders with whom I maintain a perfect Sync on the highways. And oh yeah thanks for coming at the right time:P. ha-ha!!!
UNICORN: Had a puncture earlier but that couldn’t stop this baby from completing this trip. After the trip I patted Uni on his Dome thanking it for coming along (This really happened no joke ha-ha!!)
PULSAR: Had to bear with all songs I was singing: D
SP: Was very happy about the trip.
Until next time Cia \m/

Wikipedia Link :
Chitradurga click here. And Vani Vilas Dam click here.
I'l make sure you get the best guide at this place, il send his contact number .
Contact me :




  1. Hey Karthik, thanks for sharing this. I didn't know about this place, must check it out.

  2. Glad i could help, go ahead visit it, Heaven on earth :)

  3. lucky seem to be having a blast

  4. The more I see Karnataka posts, I am amazed at number of places for tourists to visit and admire.

    Thanks for the nice pictures and write up.

    1. Your welcome:)
      One hasnt seen the world,if he hasnt seen Karnataka!!:P

  5. You guys seriously rock :)
    very informative :)

  6. Can you please tell me how far is this from Chitadurga ? I want to go there this Saturday.
    Is this place safe ?

    1. VaniVilas Dam is about 60kms from Chitradurga, 40kms before Chitradurga you gotta take a left deviation and continue 20kms further :)

  7. beautiful pictures with a great information. Keep Riding dear. Ride safe.