Last weekend I planned to go somewhere nearby Bangalore. I was looking at a journey time of around 4 – 5 hours. And Chitradurga was a good match. We planned to leave on Saturday afternoon. However, due to lack of proper resolve, if I may say so and proper planning we slipped till the evening. That evening it even rained like cats and dogs. I was 60% drenched. By the time we reach KSRTC bus stand, Majestic, it was over 7.30 pm. Vellore was there on the radar and I started to look at the option increasingly. I found out that the only bus available for Vellore was Bus # 555 was supposed to leave at 9.30 pm and will reach there at 3 am. Our main concern was, if we will get hotel accommodation late in the night. Any bus going to north Karnataka destination like Hubli, Belgaum, Bijapur etc goes via Chitradurga. We found the latest bus available was at 8.45 pm. Meanwhile, we inquired and found it takes around 5 hours to reach Chitradurga. So by that account we should reach Chitradurga by 2 am. So we decided to go to Chitradurga. Boarded a Rajhamsa for Rs 200/head. Through out the journey I was uncomfortable due the drenched jeans trouser.
Route: Bangalore – Tumkur – Hirayur – Chitradurga
Reached Chitradurga around 2 pm and the first look gave a feeling it is a big town. We unboarded at KSRTC bus stand and hired an auto to look for hotel within a decent range. The auto driver were discussing that in Chitradurga, rooms are not given typically to bachelor couples. We first checked Hotel Megha and we were told no room. Then we went to Shanti Comforts. Here we got a room for Rs 400 for 24 hours. My friend was asked by the auto driver to sit in auto until the room is booked. She was asked not to even peep outside.
Opp: Shanthi Agencies, TVS Show Room
Chitradurga – 577501
PH: 08194 – 651553, 695724
The room looked decent with doublebed, tv, Ac and tiled floor. One may also try hotel Amogha located little away from here at higher price (Around 600 – 1000).
Next day I asked the hotel supervisor if he can arrange an auto to take us around Chitradurga. He also showed us a list of places to go sightseeing. Out of them choosed 5 depending on their distance and the time we had in hand. We planned to leave for Bangalore before 5 pm. The destinations are Chitradurga fort, Chandravalli caves, Jogi Matti and Muruga Rajendra Matha.
The first destination was Chitradurga fort. It is a huge fort, probably one of the best forts in India. From the outset it gives a feeling that it is a clean and well maintained place. Entry fee is Rs 5, still camera is free and there is a Rs 100 fee for video camera. As you go through the walled entrance, you will come out in an open area. From you can choose your way. The fort is so big that it would like atleast a complete to see the fort properly. The auto driver told it would take minimum 2 hours to go around, I retorted that we will be back in an hour. LoL! we were back after 2 and 1/2 hour, that too after he called back and we were tired. However, if you have time constraints or like to see only the prominent area? Then you should try the following:
1. Onake Obaba kindi
2. Hirimbeswara temple
3. Kamana Bagilu
4. Eknatheswara temple
5. Ganesha temple
6. Echo rock
7. Sampige Siddeshwara temple
8. Palace complex
9. Palayegar kacheri
10. If possible climb to the top of a hill, you can get an awesome view
For more info on the fort and Chitradurga, visit my earlier post on Chitradurga district.
Out next stop was Chandravalli caves. Here we had the most unexpected and disappointing experience. As we were entering, the security gaurd told boy and girl are not supposed to go inside. He will let go only group. When we demanded the reason, he shown us a board written in kannada. Which read as – exhibiting unsocial behavior is prohibited. We tried to reason with him that it just says not to exhibit unsocial behavior and do not say that a boy and a girl should not be allowed. He was adamant and moreover rude. Our auto driver also spoke to him but no avail. He told go to the police station and take permission and come. We called the police station and explained them that we came from Bangalore and our intention is just to see the place. We are just tourists. What we are told by the cop was funny. He told to request the gaurd and give him something to go inside. I took a picture of him and had a heated exchange with him. Disappointed we left the place. If this the mindset the Karnataka tourism department keep, do they think they will be able to promote tourism.
Next we went to Jogi Matti. This place is located on top of hills inside the forest. You can see a zoo here. There is nothing much to see apart from few animals caged here. One can easily understand the uncomfortableness by the seeing the bears moving constantly in the tiny cage. As this place is located inside a forest area, the authorities could have easily made it a open park with large space for animals like the Pilikula park in Mangalore. Here, the star attraction are three beautiful spotted tigers. Entry fee is Rs 3/head.
Out last stop was Muruga rajendra matha. This matha was established in the 12th century reformer Basavanna. Inside the temple you can see a picture of Basavanna. The swamis (monk) of this temple had a been patronized by the Madakari Nayakas. The matha is spread across 20 acres of land with lined tress and sitting arrangement. One can see the national bird of Australia, Emu. There are 5 Emu, some deers and a Chinese hen. From here we directly left for lunch at Hotel Amogha (Hotel Kaveri). We had mushroom fried rice and gobi manchurian. The price is almost similar to Bangalore. Following this went to hotel, took some rest and checked out. Took a auto for KSRTC bus stand. The minimum auto fare in Chitradurga is Rs 12.
We hoped onto a regular bus for Bangalore around 5 pm. Ticket cost was Rs 136/head. It started to rain soon and gained momentum. Reached Majestic at 10.15 pm. Luckily got a BMTC bus to ulsoor. It was a night service bus, so I was charged Rs 15 (1 and 1/2 times of normal fare). Reached home around 11 pm. Thats the end of a not properly planned trip.
I would urge all to properly plan a trip when you less time and have office to attend office next day.
Read complete travel info about Chitradurga district.