Chitradurga fort in Karnataka is magnificent, but not the facilities for tourists


Chitradurga fort in Karnataka is known as a stone fort due to its ramparts being made of heavy blocks of granite. It has several concentric walls, approximately 2,000 watch towers, multiple entrances, four unseen passages, and 35 secret paths.
| Photo Credit: Murali Kumar K

With the onset of winter, tourists from various parts of Karnataka and other States have started visiting the magnificent Chitradurga fort, locally known as kallina kote (stone fortress). However, management of the fort, which was built around the 11th century, is not tourist-friendly.

At the very outset, many tourists face problems in securing an entry ticket. The Archaeology Survey of India (ASI), Chitradurga, managing the fort, has displayed at the entrance of the rocky gateway a board asking tourists to scan QR code for securing entry ticket of ₹20. Though the digital mode of payment was introduced to check corruption, securing entry tickets by scanning QR code has disappointed many tourist, particularly those from rural areas. They complain about difficulty in securing tickets simply because they do not own smartphones.

Tourists scan QR code to pay entrance fee at Chitradurga fort.

Tourists scan QR code to pay entrance fee at Chitradurga fort.
| Photo Credit:
Murali Kumar K

It is not easy for those who have smartphones either. Many tourists can be seen seeking support from security guards at the entrance gate. Non-availability of internet and poor net connectivity at the fort and having to seek support of security guards to download the ticket has been delaying the entry of visitors to the fort, said K. Ramesh, a tourist from Kolar.

“Authorities should make use of computers and issue printed tickets for the benefit of tourists,‘‘ said a tourist from Shivamogga.

ASI officials maintained that they use computers to issue tickets only when there is a huge rush of tourists. Number of tourists ranges from 500 to 1,000 on weekdays and more than 1,500 on holidays and weekends, according to ASI officials.

Drinking water and other amenities

Non-availability of drinking water is another major cause of concern for tourists and security guards deployed at different locations at the expansive fort. The fort is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and there are more than two dozen locations to visit within. The authorities have put up water filter cans in several locations inside the fort, but all were empty when this reporter visited the fort.

“After climbing the steps of the fort, tourists ask for water. But we disappoint them by not offering water,” said a security guard.

Tourists at Chitradurga fort. The fort is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and there are more than two dozen locations to visit within. 

Tourists at Chitradurga fort. The fort is open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., and there are more than two dozen locations to visit within. 
| Photo Credit:
Murali Kumar K

A total of 14 security personnel guard the fort round-the-clock in three shifts.

There are several temples within the fort. The most famous among them being the Hidimbeshwara temple, the Ganesha temple, the Venugopala Swamy temple and the local deity of Goddess Ekanatheshwari. “There are no priests at the temples and keeping the temples closed is disappointing,” said a tourist from Mangaluru.

There are 18 guides, who receive a monthly honorarium of ₹2,000. But bargaining for money for providing information about the fort often irks tourists.



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