Revisiting History and Mystery - Channarayana Durga

Year 2016 I have explored many places but couldn't write about all of those. When year started I promised that after exploring any new place, I will write about it in next one or two weeks but somehow it didnt work. I tried hiding my laziness by saying its lazy elegance but my excuse, for not writing travelogs frequently, is not working anymore.

I explored Channarayana Fort in the month of September and I am writing about it now. Week after night trek adventure at Anthargange, my next destination was Channarayana Fort. hardly 80 KM from Bangalore, fort standing at the height of 3700 ft. Its close to well known Madhugiri Fort.

Below is the picture I took when we were returning. The mighty fort at the top of hill. When I took this picture of hill, it looked like it was challenging me as I could not reach at the top (3rd stage), despite of all my effort to find out the possible route to reach there at the top. It has steep slopes making it harder to approach it. No wonder several battle were fought for the possession of  the fort due to its strategic location.

In fact I was trapped on top of the hill (2nd stage) where there was no way to go inside the fort. I was clueless how to proceed, cant go back, as to reach at that spot I somehow climbed and jumped over the walls but getting down was difficult. It took some time to find out another way to return to the temple and lake (1st stage). I think the entire fort was built in such a way that enemies will come this way & get struck.To reach there you will have to clear three stage.

The first stage is the gateway, small temple and beautiful lake. To reach there is the hardest of all because of steep climb. 2nd stage has some ruins, boulders, gateways and the 3rd stage is the top of the fort.

We reached there around 2 AM and the first problem we encountered was, we had no clue from where we can start trekking. Google map will leave you at the entrance of the small village. 2 AM night, no soul around us and the entire village was on dark due to electricity cut. At entrance of village, there is one signboard confirming we are at right place , then we saw one temple nearby and thought that might be starting point as we could see the mighty hill behind that. But the temple was closed and we couldn't find any other way to start the trek. Decided to explore the village and hoping to find someone who can guide us.

Lady luck smiled and in the pitch dark, spooky looking village we saw one man walking wearing head torch. We stopped our car and asked for direction,where we could start the trek. He was such a great help, not only he guided us to trekking route but he even joined us at the first stage of the trek, he told us many stories and myth about the fort.

The trek started from the inside of village and from narrow lanes. We reached at the base of the hill. We had torch with us but moon light was so bright and the entire place was looking so beautiful, silent, serene. Trekking initially was tiring as climb was steep, we had to walk on the rock with any support and dont forget it was night time. Wont suggest night trekking for novice as there were no clear trails direction, steep climb and slippery rocks.

As you can see in this picture below I took while returning in the morning. It was steep and quite dangerous. We had to stop every 5-10 mins just to get some rest, we were gasping for breath but taking small rest worked.

Though it is the toughest part of the trek but once you complete this, rest of the trek is easy.There are no steps or a clear trek trail for the first half of the climb. You will need to go up a slightly steep slope and this is the toughest part of the trek. At the halfway mark, after entering through a large gateway, you will come across a temple in state of disrepair without any idol. Temple is on the bank of a tank containing greenish water.  It was surprising to see so much water on top of a rocky hill (1st stage)


Maratha rulers occupied this fort. After that Mysore Wodeyars took over. During the third Mysore war British army surrounded Channarayana Durga fort and later abandoned. Many stories floating around this fort, mostly related to hidden treasure and thats the reason you will see this place is in such condition. Treasure hunters completely destroyed the temples and other structure here. Later came to know about some strange and unbelievable stories about the place from villagers but I would like to keep it with me and avoid spreading any rumors.

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When I get chance to do night trekking like this I make sure that we stay till sunrise, see the beauty around it from top of the hill and this fort was no exception. Amazing and breathtaking view from the top. The place and view gets better with altitude. I use my mobile phones to take all the pictures so excuse me if some of these are not clear. But I hope seeing all these picture you will think about exploring this place. I will let the pictures talk from here

View from 2nd stage  

Had no clue how to reach at the 3rd stage (top of the fort), see the image below, could not find any route and in spite of all my effort to find the possible way, I had to return to 1st stage (lake & temple) disappointed.

More pics from 2nd stage

Pictures from 1st stage

Early morning scene recorded. Low light condition but view around was great and to add to it was early morning mist, cool breeze, bird chirping around.

If you are interested visiting historical places and to add in to it, Trekking. This place should not be missed.Its surprising that this fort trek is not popular as Madhugiri fort.It was quite evident as there were no other trekker except us, no hiking trails, no signboards.But I will go there again and my sole purpose would be to reach at the top, the 3rd stage.

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