Chitradurga is a town in the southern part of the state of Karnataka. It is also the headquarters of Chitradurga district. Chitradurga was also known by the names Chitradurg, Chitrakaladurga, Chittaldurg. Chittaldrug was the name officially used by the British Govt. Chitradurga is located at 14.23°N 76.4°E. It has an average elevation of 732 metres (2401 ft). This district which sprawls over 8,388 sq km has as its headquarters the city of Chitradurga which is about 202 km from Bengalooru on the Pune-Bengalooru Road, The 2001 census reports the population of the district as 13,12,717. This city Chitradurga, a historic one, has a massive hill fort built by Madakari Nayaka. He was a great king in paligaras. Then it was fortified by Tipu Sultan. This citadel has magnificent bastions, sturdy doors and seven rounds of ramparts. A spellbinding view of the ravine, 2km away, known as Chandravalli Valley where ancient Roman coins have been discovered, can also be had from the fort.
Chitradurga features bold rock hills and picturesque valleys, huge towering boulders in numerous shapes. It is known as the "stone fortress" (Kallina Kote). According to the epic Mahabharatha, a man-eating Rakshasa named Hidimba and his sister Hidimbi lived on the hill. Hidimba was a source of terror to everyone around while Hidimbi was a peace loving rakshasa . When the Pandavas came with their mother Kunti in the course of their exile, Bhima had a duel with Hidimba in which Hidimba was killed. Thereafter Bhima married Hidimbi and they had a son named Ghatotkacha who was gifted with magical powers. Legend has it the boulders were part of the arsenal used during that duel. In fact, the boulders on which major part of the city rests belong to the oldest rock formation in the country.
Timmana Nayaka, a chieftain under the Vijayanagar Empire, rose to the rank of governor of Chitradurga as a reward from the Vijayanagara ruler, for his excellence in military services,. This was the beginning of the rule of the Nayakas of Chitradurga. His son Obana Nayaka is known by the name Madakari Nayaka (1588 CE). Madakari Nayaka's son Kasturi Rangappa (1602) succeeded him and consolidated the kingdom to rule peacefully. As he had no heirs to succeed him, his adopted son, the apparent heir was enthroned but was killed in few months by the Dalavayis.
Chikkanna Nayaka (1676), the brother of Madakari Nayaka II sat on the throne, and his brother succeeded him with the title Madakari Nayaka III in 1686. The unwillingness of Dalawayis to accept Madakari Nayaka III's rule gave an opportunity to one of their distant relatives, Bharamappa Nayaka to ascend the throne in 1689. He is known as the greatest of the Nayaka rulers. The subjects of Chitradurga did not experience a good reign of the successive rulers as they ruled on the throne for very brief periods. The Hiri Madakari Nayaka IV (1721), Kasturi Rangappa Nayaka II (1748), Madakari Nayaka V (1758) ruled this area but there is not much to mention of their rule.
The important monuments here are the temples of 1) Lord Sampige Siddeswara, 2) Lord Hidimbeswara 3) Lord Gopala Krishna, 4) Goddess Eknathamma, 5) Goddess Obeladevi, 6) Lord Chennakesava, 7) Lord Anjaneya, 8) Lord Venkataramana and 9) Goddess Uchhangiyamma and there are picnic spots such as Obbavva’s cleft and Vanivilas Sagar (reservoir).
It is situated about 267km from Bengalooru on the way to Pune. The city derives its name from the name of a tank around which it developed. The name of the tank, ‘Devanikere’ means ‘Cattle Rope Tank’. ‘Devani’ means ‘teather’. Appaji Ram, one of the officers of Hyder Ali was instrumental in the development of this place as an important commercial centre. Davanagere has recently been recognised as a separate district.
Today the textile industry is a thriving one here. The place has seen some tremendous development over the years. With the establishment of Engineering and a medical College it has also become an important centre of education. The Eswara Temple of Anekonda is famous here.
On the Pune-Bengalore Road about 227 km from the latter, the rivulet Haridra gave the place its former name ‘Kudalur’ by joining it here. However, after the ‘Harihara’ Temple was built here in 1223, the place came to be known as Harihara. This wonderful temple built by Polalva Dandanayaka under the rule of Hoysala Narasimhais dedicated to Lord Hari or Lord Vishu and Lora Hara or Lord Siva. The temple structure is a product of artistic excellence. There are also other ancient temples dedicated to Lord Dattatreya, Lord Iswara and Lord Srirama. Harihara is also a notable place for industries, trade and commerce.