Chandravalli is a pre-historic site near Chitradurga in Karnataka. The temple here is semi-lunar in shape, and is around 3km from Chitradurga. This area is a valley that is formed by three hills namely Chitradurga, Cholagudda and Kirabanakallu. Excavations reveal that this area was inhabited since Iron Age.
Chandravalli was once known as Chandanavati, which means "in the shape of the moon". The earthen pots, coins, bowls and other items found here cast a light on the place's rich history. The cave temple here is built around 80ft below sea level, and is believed to hold mysteries and secrets.
Chandravalli cave in Chitradurga
Photo Courtesy: Bhat.veeresh
The interiors of the Chandravalli cave temple in Chitradurga is completely dark, thus oine needs a torch to explore the temple. It is believed that this temple was one of the major centres for meditation for the saints and rishis due to the temple's construction and location.
Though there is hardly any light that seeps through the temple, there is always a cool breeze there, which makes the atmosphere cool. This rock structure is ventilated at right places that you will never feel suffocated inside the temple.
The cave temple at Chitradurga
Photo Courtesy: Nikhil0000711
The cave consists of a place where a Shivalinga is placed. There is also a visitors' room, a room for sadhus, paintings and other carvings from pre-historic times, shelves that can hold belongings, a library, pooja room, bedroom and a bathroom.
Today, this cave temple is under the protection of the ASI (Archaeological Survey of India). The name of the cave is said to be set after the name of Chandrahasa, who ruled Kuntala. Some of the inscriptions found here reveals that the area was inhabited since the megalithic and neolithic ages.
Lake outside the cave temple
Photo Courtesy: Nagarjun Kandukuru
Among the inscriptions, there is also a rock inscription of King Mayurasharma, who was the founder of the first Kannada dynasty, the Kadambas.
Other than Chandravalli cave temple, the other places that can be explored in Chitradurga include Hiriyur, Holalkere, Sirigere and Molakalmuru among the rest.
Chitradurga is located around 200km from Bengaluru, and is well connected by rail and road to other major cities in India. The best time to visit Chitradurga is from October to March.
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