Chitradurga Fort: A masterpiece with a scientific system for harvesting rainwater

The Chitradurga Fort, a near-impregnable fort built on craggy rocks and winding its way across the rocky hill structure in Chitradurga District, Karnataka is known for its superior architecture and has a novel system to harvest rainwater.

Known locally as Kallina Kote or stone fortress, it was built in stages by the local rulers belonging to different kingdoms. The Chalukyas, Hoysalas, and the Nayaks of the Vijaynagar Empire have contributed to developing this structure.

The fort is built in short sharp turns or angles pattern. It sits on a series of seven hills and is built in concentric circles. This superior architectural design ensured that the fort could not be easily attacked. In addition, several large doorways were built within the fort and placed around the concentric circles such that even if one of the doorways was attacked and seized, the other doors could still offer protection.

A scientific approach to rainwater harvesting

One of the brightest spots in the structure is the unique rainwater-harvesting facility in the fort. Built-in a cascade development, the rainwater harvesting structure ensured large storage of water in interconnected reservoirs. It is said that the fort has never faced any water shortages.

Employing a scientific system for harvesting rainwater, the rainwater harvesting structure in the fort has several inter-connected tanks at various levels constructed to catch and store rainwater. It is constructed in such a way that the overflow from one would fill the pond below. Two ponds that were built side by side were called the Akka-Thangi kolas — elder and younger sister ponds!

Other eye-catching attractions

The fort has little holes on the rock walls that were used to hold lit torches. Identification marks sculpted on the rock surface acted as indicators — the face of a fish pointed to a water source. The smooth paths also had small cuts and holes carved out so that horses could tread easily. Several rock structures dot the fort — some were granaries to store grains and an open-air gymnasium for the soldiers.

Provisions for safe drinking water always played a crucial part in Indian architecture. AquaStar is changing the way rainwater is harvested in India. Its uPVC rainwater harvesting system and products help buildings and commercial establishments to harvest rainwater and conserve it for a healthy environment. Know more at