Chitradurga is a small town situated in the southern part of Karnataka and is the headquarters of the Chitradurga District. The various names with which the town is known as are Chitradurg, Chitrakaldurga, and Chittaldurg.

The name of the place is derived from Chitrakaldurga, which is an umbrella-shaped lofty hill in the region. The surroundings of Chitradurga include rock hills, valleys, and towering boulders of numerous shapes. The place is also known as the Stone Fortress or the Kallina Kote.

According to the epic Mahabharata, a man eating Rakshasa named Hidimba and his sister Hidimbi lived on the hill. When Hidamba got killed in a battle with Pandavas, Bhima, one of the Pandavas married Hidimbi, from which they had a son named Ghatotkacha. According to legend, his boulders were split apart. The major part of Chitradurga is believed to rest on these boulders which are also considered to be the oldest rock formations in the country.

The rule of Chitradurga was rewarded to a chieftain named Timmana Nayaka, under the Vijayanagara Empire, due to his excellence in military services. This was the beginning of the rule of the Nayakas of Chitradurga. After him, his son, Obana Nayaka ruled the place in 1602 but as he had no heirs, the rule went to the hands of his adopted son.

During the reign of Madakari Nayaka, the city of Chitradurga was taken over by a group of Hyder Ali. When Madakari could not resist the attack of 1799 by Hyder Ali, Hyder Ali lost the fort of Chitradurga.

The Nayaka Palyagaaras of the city were the patrons of great musicians. The writer T.R. Subba Rao also known as Ta Ra Su has researched extensively in the field and has brought to life many characters of the ancient times that lived in these forts.

Now, the city is known for its Kallina Kote meaning ‘the place of the stone fort’ which comprises the Fort of Seven Rounds. This fort is a representative of the most daring woman of Karnataka namely Obavva. She played a significant role in the battle to restrain the rule of the city from the troops of Hyder Ali. The fort is of historic significance and comprises 19 gateways, 38 posterior entrances, a palace, a mosque, granaries, oil pits, four secret entries and water tanks.

Apart from the fort, Chitradurga is also known for its Chandravalli Caves, which is an ancient archaeological site located near a big lake. It is popular for water sports and painted pottery and coins from the Satavahana period which were excavated here. Close to the caves lies the Ankali Matt, which has huge shiva lingas under a giant stone.

Some other popular tourist attractions in and around the city includes Bruhanmutt, Aadumalleshwara, Ingaladalu, Thamatekallu, Jogimatti, Sirigere, Neerthadi, Nayakanahatti, Halurameshwar, Molakalmuru, etc.
Chitradurga features bold rock hills and picturesque valleys, huge towering boulders in numerous shapes. It is known as the "stone fortress" (Kallina Kote). According to the epic Mahabharatha, a man-eating Rakshasa named Hidimba and his sister Hidimbi lived on the hill. Hidimba was a source of terror to everyone around while Hidimbi was a peace loving rakshasa . When the Pandavas came with their mother Kunti in the course of their exile, Bhima had a duel with Hidimba in which Hidimba was killed. Thereafter Bhima married Hidimbi and they had a son named Ghatotkacha who was gifted with magical powers. Legend has it the boulders were part of the arsenal used during that duel. In fact, the boulders on which major part of the city rests belong to the oldest rock formation in the country.

Timmana Nayaka, a chieftain under the Vijayanagar Empire, rose to the rank of governor of Chitradurga as a reward from the Vijayanagara ruler, for his excellence in military services,. This was the beginning of the rule of the Nayakas of Chitradurga. His son Obana Nayaka is known by the name Madakari Nayaka (1588 CE). Madakari Nayaka's son Kasturi Rangappa (1602) succeeded him and consolidated the kingdom to rule peacefully. As he had no heirs to succeed him, his adopted son, the apparent heir was enthroned but was killed in few months by the Dalavayis.

Chikkanna Nayaka (1676), the brother of Madakari Nayaka II sat on the throne, and his brother succeeded him with the title Madakari Nayaka III in 1686. The unwillingness of Dalawayis to accept Madakari Nayaka III's rule gave an opportunity to one of their distant relatives, Bharamappa Nayaka to ascend the throne in 1689. He is known as the greatest of the Nayaka rulers. The subjects of Chitradurga did not experience a good reign of the successive rulers as they ruled on the throne for very brief periods. The Hiri Madakari Nayaka IV (1721), Kasturi Rangappa Nayaka II (1748), Madakari Nayaka V (1758) ruled this area but there is not much to mention of their rule