Chandravalli Thota ( Garden) is a famous place in Chitradurga .Last summer, we had been to Chitradurga to visit our Relatives . As it was summer, we restrained ourselves from going to the fort and decided to go to Chandravalli Thota which is located in the outskirts of the town . Our only idea about the place was a garden with a lake . So we decided to explore . Little did we know what was in store for us .
|The Chandravalli Lake|
The lake is huge and is surrounded by three hills . Swimming is prohibited in the lake . There are crocodiles in the lake . Proceeding further, a sign pointing towards right and reading " Ankali Math" on a bin caught our attention. We decided to go and find out what was there .The first striking thing was the cave temple with five lingas , known as Panchalingeshwar and the lingas are Dharmeshwar , Bhimeshwar , Arjuneshwar , Nakuleshwar and Sahadeshwar, which can be linked to the Pandavas of Mahabharata .
After visiting the temple, towards our right was a structure which had many entrances and kept us wondering what it could be. On further investigation, we found that one of the many entrances had a path leading us downwards. Since it was completely dark, there were no chances of going further without any source of light. Hence we moved on to explore the place from the other entrances. There were all interlinked forming a network of rooms. One of the rooms had a big opening through which we could see other structures similar to these.
|Entrance to the Cave|
|The rear side|
|View from the window|
This place was full of interesting structures.A bed like platform , probably used by the sages as a Peeta for their prayers was found in the innermost room. We spent a lot of time in seeing various elements and were amazed at their brilliance in the field of architecture and construction. Most of the structures were a part of the rock which formed the cave.
On our way back, we were just curious to check about the place we had left unexplored. Luckily, we saw a man sitting in front it with a torch. It was quite obvious he was the guide who would take us around and give us some details of the same only if we payed him his charges of Rs.10 per head.We happily told him to proceed. On inquiring, he told us this place was named 'Ankali Math' or 'Paradesappa Gavi' . Findings inside the Math were rather very interesting .
|Natural light aiding visibility inside the cave|
|Entrance to the main hall|
|The Main Entrance from outside|
|The Main Entrance from inside|
|The Peeta which was used by the sages (opposite to the linga)|
|The bathing place of the sages|
|The Resting Place of the Sages|
|Place to light lamps|
|Another entrance which has carvings of peacock and swan on either sides|
|The guide explaining the significance of the place|
|Gods of the sages|
According to the Department of Tourism (Karnataka government), this place is a Pre-historic site . The excavations at this place has revealed connections with neolithic , megalithic and early historic ages . Coins , ornaments and other artifacts excavated suggest that they maintained trade with Rome.This place can also be linked to various religions .
We were absolutely thrilled after seeing and listening to its history. We found it hard to believe that such a structure was planned and constructed. The lowest point from the entrance is at a depth of about 140 feet. This place had continuous supply of water . The interlinked rooms were designed such that ,a person inside in the main hall could see what's happening in the neighboring rooms . This place is just like a maze , where it is very easy to get lost . This place mainly served the purpose of meditation .It also had various paintings and sculptures on the wall which have stood for so many centuries .
Hopefully this place survives the vandalism of the people .We only wish that people enjoy the place and leave it just as it is.
No entry fees .This place is maintained by the local trust
Timings : 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
Distance from Bangalore : 205 kms
Places to visit nearby : Chitradurga Fort , Jogi Matti , Himavat Kedara , Adu Malleshwara , Vani Vilas Sagar Dam.
Trip Date : 01 May, 2009