Chandravalli, An Archaeological Site in Chitradurga (2024)

Explore the rich history of Chandravalli, an intriguing archaeological site nestled in the heart of Chitradurga. Uncover ancient mysteries and unearth remnants of civilizations past as you wander through this historical treasure trove. With its captivating ruins and scenic vistas, Chandravalli offers a fascinating glimpse into Karnataka’s storied past.

While the Chitradurga Fort often steals the spotlight, a hidden gem in the city deserves recognition: the Chandravalli archaeological site. Tucked away from the bustling city centre, this lesser-known historical landmark boasts breathtaking beauty and rich history. During my recent two-day sojourn in Chitradurga, I seized the chance to explore Chandravalli, leaving me utterly captivated.

PIN for later reference – Chandravalli, An Archaeological Site in Chitradurga

PIN for later reference - Chandravalli archaeological site
PIN for later reference – Chandravalli, An Archaeological Site in Chitradurga

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About Chandravalli

Chandravalli, nestled in the heart of Chitradurga, is an ancient archaeological site steeped in history and mystery. Excavations here have unearthed a treasure trove of artifacts, including coins, earthen pots, and bowls dating back to the eras of renowned Indian dynasties such as the Vijayanagara, Hoysalas, and Shatavahana. Evidence suggests that Chandravalli has been inhabited since the Iron Age, making it a significant archaeological find.

The name “Chandravalli,” meaning moon-shaped, evokes the site’s unique geography. Once known as Chandanavati, it holds a rock inscription dating back to 450 CE, attributed to King Mayurasharma, the founder of the first Kannada dynasty. According to mythological lore in the Ashvamedika Parva of the Mahabharata, Chandravalli was ruled by King Chandrahasa of Kuntala.

Nestled amidst the picturesque valley formed by the Chitradurga, Kirabanakallu, and Jolagudda hills, Chandravalli offers a serene retreat from the bustle of modern life. The best time to explore this historic site is in the tranquil mornings, allowing ample time to immerse oneself in its ancient wonders. Plan for at least two hours to fully appreciate the rich tapestry of history and culture woven within Chandravalli’s storied grounds.

Chandravalli Cave

Popularly referred to as Ankali Mutt, the Chandravalli cave served as a sanctuary for saints from Belgaum seeking solitude for meditation. Nestled between two colossal monolithic rocks, this cave boasts a distinctive semilunar shape. Guided tours of the cave by reputable government-affiliated guides offer visitors a glimpse into its spiritual significance and historical resonance.

Painting in Chandravalli cave
Painting in Chandravalli Cave

It’s essential to note that the cave is underground and enveloped in darkness, necessitating torches for navigation. As such, it may not be suitable for individuals prone to claustrophobia.

Chandravalli Lake

Within the Chandravalli archaeological site lies a tranquil lake, enhancing the natural beauty of the cave and its surroundings. This serene body of water attracts many bird species, delighting birdwatching enthusiasts.

Chandravalli lake
Chandravalli lake

Spending a few hours by the lake offers a peaceful respite, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the soothing ambience and observe the tranquil beauty of nature.

Visitor Information

  • Chandravalli welcomes visitors daily from 9 AM to 5 PM, offering free admission to all. When exploring the site, engaging the services of a government-affiliated guide is imperative for an enriching experience.
  • Remember to pack a torch for navigating the cave’s darkness safely.
  • As numerous monkeys inhabit the area, exercise caution with personal belongings.
  • For added convenience and insights, consider hiring a guide at an additional cost. In case of any issues or emergencies, contact the on-site police officer, Shankar, who is known for his helpful and friendly demeanour. He can be reached at +91 90194 90116.

How to Get to Chandravalli Archaeological Site?

Auto rickshaws offer the most convenient mode of transportation in Chitradurga. Located approximately 3 kilometres from the city, Chandravalli can be easily accessed by hiring an auto rickshaw, typically costing around INR 300 to 350 for a return trip.

  • Negotiating the fare with the auto drivers before embarking on your journey is advisable. We found the auto driver we hired reliable and accommodating during our visit.

We had a positive experience with the auto driver we hired, Nagaraj. Throughout the journey, I felt entirely safe and comfortable under his guidance. Nagaraj can be reached at +91 81972 26554 for those seeking a reliable transport option.

Is Chandravalli Safe for Solo Female Travellers?

Unfortunately, my experience at Chandravalli was marred by feelings of unease and discomfort due to an incident with the person we hired as a guide. We arrived at the site quite late, and out of necessity, we engaged the services of an individual named Kumar, who portrayed himself as a guide. However, it became evident that he was not a legitimate guide but rather an imposter.

Initially, everything seemed fine as we explored the outdoor areas. However, upon entering the cave, Kumar’s behaviour was troubling. He intruded on my personal space, unnecessarily holding my hands and touching my shoulders despite my evident discomfort and verbal warnings. This unwarranted behaviour persisted throughout our visit.

Regrettably, Kumar charged us INR 250 for his services as a guide, adding insult to injury. In light of my experience, I strongly advise visiting the site with a group, particularly when exploring the cave’s dark and potentially risky environment.

Closing Notes

Despite encountering difficulties with the individual posing as a guide, my visit to the Chandravalli archaeological site was truly memorable. The site’s rich history and significance make it a captivating destination worth exploring. Despite the challenges, I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and highly recommend visiting anyone in Chitradurga.

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Chandravalli, An Archaeological Site in Chitradurga (2024)
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    PIN for later reference – Chandravalli, An Archaeological Site in Chitradurga

    PIN for later reference - Chandravalli archaeological site
    PIN for later reference – Chandravalli, An Archaeological Site in Chitradurga