Ride to Chitradurga Fort

I had spent too much time since my last bike trip and last weekend decided to finally do it. This time I wanted it to be a bit different in some way or the other and after much mulling, I went for making this one a longer ride than usual. The destination was around 220Km so that would make a round trip of 440KM, which if done correctly, could be accomplished before lunchtime. A good night sleep was also absolutely necessary to make this possible. So I packed my bagpack the night before, set the alarm for 3.45 AM and dozed off at around 10PM.  Not an ideal time to go to bed on a Friday night but somethings are just worth it.

Woke up right on time and was on the road by 4.05 AM. This time around I showed some sense tanking up a day before and getting the bike serviced a few days back. After a short bumpy stretch of road, i was on the highway which then was a pleasure to ride on. I took frequent breaks near the toll plazas which I was able to hit every hour. The ride on this stretch was mostly done before the sun came up and so there was nothing nothing but the headlight-lit road to observe. The sun rose after about two and half hours by which time I was way clear of all the major towns and the highway looked something like this.

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Empty road for long stretches with an overcast sky, VERY strong crosswinds and hills in the horizon. You can see windmills in the pic on top of the hills if you notice closely.

I reached Chitradurga fort at about 9AM by which time the entry was open and already some families had started to show up. I was hoping to avoid the crowd by reaching early but I guess that’s too much to ask all the time.

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This won’t call this exactly a fort but more of ruins but in terms of area, I think this is one of the biggest fort’s I’ve come across. It used to be a complete city with temples, watchtowers, water tanks, town squares, jails and even a gym. That’s right- a gym. But I’m pretty sure that was reserved exclusively for the elites judging from its location. Its a pleasant stroll in lots of different directions once you enter the fort. A map at the entrance gives an idea of location of various points. Avoid taking a guide. It would be way better to just snap a picture of the map and then figure your way around. As it is, there are signboard everywhere so no need having a guide with you.

My objective, as always, was to find out a spot I can climb up to and relax for a while there. From the initial looks, I was quite sure that I wouldn’t find any place like that here but I decided to move on to at least get a look around the fort.

 

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The place is very well maintained but despite all efforts, people have done quite a job in defacing some of the buildings. After roaming around for 45 minutes or so i found this flight of “stairs” hiding away behind a big boulder. A watchtower was clearly visible at the top of the hill and this was good enough reason to go for the climb.

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Half an hour later I was at the top of the watchtower.

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Took a powernap there for 15 min regained some energy and after spending a good hour there, climbed down and took this pic on the way, which, in a way, summarizes the entire experience for me.

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My plan initially was to take a small detour on the way back to visit a small dam nearby but the weather deteriorated a bit towards the afternoon and I decided to head home directly after climbing down this piece of rock. The ride back, as always, was monotonous. Riding on a straight highway continuously. I would’ve taken a longer, but more scenic, state highway but again, the weather played a spoilsport.

Four hours and 5 breaks later, I was home with an odometer reading of 470KM. This is the longest ride I’ve taken in three years since I brought my bike and it did feel great.  Now the weekend is here again and I’m weighing my options for another trip this time around. lets see 🙂

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