Chitaurgarh is a city and a municipality in Rajasthan state of western India. It lies on the Berach River, a tributary of the Banas, and is the administrative headquarters of Chittorgharh District and a former capital of the Sisodia Dynasty of Mewar. The city of Chittaurgarh is located on the banks of river Gambhiri and Berach. The district was bifurcated and a new district namely Pratap Garh was created with certain portion taken from Udaipur district in the newly created district of Pratap Garh.
Fiercely independent, the fort of Chittor was under siege thrice and each time they fought bravely and thrice Jauhar was committed by the ladies and children, first led by Rani Padmini, and later by Rani Karnavati. The famous warriors Gora and Badal, in the war against Allaudin Khalji (1303 AD), have become legendary. The sacrifice of Jaimal and Patta in the war against the Mughals (1568 AD) was so great that the Mughal Emperor Akbar installed their statues in the fort of Agra. It has also been land of worship for Meera. Chittorgarh is home to the Chittorgarh Fort, the largest fort in India.
Chittorgarh Fort – Water Fort
Chittorgarh Fort is the largest fort in India and the grandest in the state of Rajasthan. The fort, plainly known as Chittor, was the capital of Mewar and is today situated several kilometres by road south of Bhilwara. It was ruled initially by Guhilot and later by Sisodias, the Suryavanshi clans of Chattari Rajputs, from the 7th century, until it was finally abandoned in 1568 after the siege by Emperor Akbar in 1567. It sprawls majestically over a hill 180 m (590.6 ft) in height spread over an area of 280 ha (691.9 acres) above the plains of the valley drained by the Beach River. The fort precinct with an evocative history is studded with a series of historical palaces, gates, temples and two prominent commemoration towers. These monumental ruins have inspired the imagination of tourists and writers for centuries.
The fort was sacked three times between the 15th and 16th centuries; in 1303 Allauddin Khilji defeated Rana Ratan Singh, in 1535 Bahadur Shah, the Sultan of Gujarat defeated Bikramjeet Singh and in 1567 Emperor Akbar defeated Maharana Udai Singh II who left the fort and founded Udaipur. Each time the men fought bravely rushing out of the fort walls charging the enemy but lost every time. Following these defeats, Jauhar was committed thrice by more than 13,000 ladies and children of the Rajput heroes who laid their lives in battles at Chittorgarh Fort, first led by Rani Padmini wife of Rana Rattan Singh who was killed in the battle in 1303, and later by Rani Karnavati in 1537 AD.
Thus, the fort represents the quintessence of tribute to the nationalism, courage, medieval chivalry and sacrifice exhibited by the Mewar rulers of Sisodia and their kinsmen and women and children, between the 7th and 16th centuries. The rulers, their soldiers, the women folk of royalty and the commoners considered death as a better option than dishonor in the face of surrender to the foreign invading armies.
Rana Kumbha’s Palace
At the entrance gate near the Vijaya Stamba, Rana Kumbha’s palace (in ruins), the oldest monument, is located. The palace included elephant and horse stables and a temple to Lord Shiva. Maharana Udai Singh, the founder of Udaipur, was born here; the popular folk lore linked to his birth is that his maid Panna DaiPanna Dhai saved him by substituting her son in his place as a decoy, which resulted in her son getting killed by Banbir. The prince was spirited away in a fruit basket. The palace is built with plastered stone. The remarkable feature of the palace is its splendid series of canopied balconies. Entry to the palace is through Suraj Pol that leads into a courtyard. Rani Meera, the famous poetess saint, also lived in this palace. This is also the palace where Rani Padmini, consigned herself to the funeral pyre in one of the underground cellars, as an act of jauhar along with many other women. The Nau Lakha Bandar (literal meaning: nine lakh treasury) building, the royal treasury of Chittor was also located close by. Now, across from the palace is a museum and archeological office. The Singa Chowri temple is also nearby.
Kumbha Shyam Temple – Meerabai Temple (Meera Mandir)
The ruined edifice of great historical and architectural interest, being the most massive monument in the fort of Chittaur. The palace is believed to have underground cellars where Rani Padmini and other women committed Jauhar.
Every day in the evening a light and sound show about the history of Chittaurgarh is organized in English and Hindi within this palace complex.
Kumbha Shyam Temple Built during the reign of Rana Kumbha in the Indo-Aryan style, the temple is associated with the mystic poetess Meerabai – an ardent Krishna devotee. She was the wife of Prince Bhojraj.
Tower of Victory – (Vijay Stambh)
Vijay Stambha is an imposing structure located in Chittorgarh fort in Rajasthan, India. This tower is the piece-de-resistance of Chittaurgarh. It was constructed by Mewar king Rana Kumbha between 1442 AD and 1449 AD to commemorate his victory over the combined armies of Malwa and Gujarat led by Mahmud Khilji. Dedicated to Vishnu,this 37.19 m high 9 storied tower is one of the most remarkable in India. It is built partly of red sand stone and partly of white marble and is enriched by numerous images of Hindu gods and goddesses with inscriptions at bottom of each. It is believed that the tower took 10 years to be completed. This exemplary piece of architecture stands on a pedestal 10 feet high. Each of the nine stories are distinctly marked with openings and balconies at every face of each story. The interior staircase winds alternately through the central chamber and surrounding gallery.
Kalika Mata Temple (Kalikamata Mandir)
Kalika Mata Temple is an ancient Hindu temple located within the Chittorgarh Fort in the Chittorgarh municipality of Rajasthan state in India. It predates Maharana Pratap and has thousands of visitors every day. The goddess worshipped at this temple is an aspect of goddess Bhadrakali, clan goddess of Pawar clan.
Tower of Fame – (Kirti Stambh)
Kirti Stambh is a 12th-century tower situated at Chittorgarh fort in Rajasthan, India. The 22 metre high tower was built by a jain merchant Jeeja Bhagerwala during the reign of Rawal Kumar Singh (r: 1179-1191)for the glory of jainism. Chittor in Rajsthan is the most famous of all forts in India. It is famous for the story of Padmini taking part in jauhar when Alauddin Khilji had besieged the fort.
Actually Chittor has a history going back several centuries. It was an ancient centre of Jain tradition. Chittor is adjacent to the ancient city of Madhyamika. The Jain inscriptions at Mathura from the Kushana period (1st to 3rd centuries) mention a “Majjhimilla” branch of the “Kottiya” gana, indicating that it was a major Jain centre. The famous Acharya Haribhadra Suri (6th century) was born in Chittor and wrote “Dhurtopakhyana” there. There was a scholar Elacharya at Chittor from whom Vira-senacharya (9th century) learned the ancient Shat-khandagama and Kashayapahuda. Vira-senacharya later the famous “Dhavala” and “Jayadhavala” on the basis of these books. It was the residence of Jinavallabha who propagated the Vidhimarga in the 12th century. From the 15th to 17th centuries, it was the seat of a Bhattaraka. The tower is built in the Solanki style. It is 30 feet wide at the base and narrows down to 15 feet at the top.
Rani Padmini’s Palace
Padmini’s Palace or Rani Padmini’s Palace is a white building and a three storied structure (a 19th-century reconstruction of the original). It is located in the southern part of the fort. Chhatris (pavilions) crown the palace roofs and a water moat surrounds the palace. This style of palace became the forerunner of other palaces built in the state with the concept of Jal Mahal (palace surrounded by water). It is at this Palace where Alauddin was permitted to glimpse at the mirror image of Rani Padmini, wife of Maharana Rattan Singh. It is widely believed that this glimpse of Padmini’s beauty besotted him and convinced him to destroy Chittor in order to possess her. Maharana Rattan Singh was killed and Rani Padmini committed Jauhar. Rani Padmini’s beauty is compared to that of Cleopatra and her life story is an eternal legend in the history of Chittor, in particular and of the Mewar state in general. The bronze gates to this pavilion were removed and transported to Agra by Akbar.
Chittorgarh Museum – Fateh Prakash Palace – (Government Museum)
Maharaja Fateh Singh Ji built this palace at Chittorgarh in the 19 Cent. A.D. In 1968 Department of Archaeology & Museums converted this beautiful palace in to museum, in order to preserve and highlight the heritage of this region.
The collection includes objects of stone age, 632 sculptures, 2061 coins, 125 paintings and 318 arms & weapons, 2 inscriptions, 55 terracotta figures, 18 metallic objects and 70 objects of art & craft.
Jaimal and Patta Palaces
Jaimal and Patta Palaces are situated on a rocky surface that rises from the southern side of the Gomukh kund. The Jaimal and Patta Palaces have a rich history to tell.
The Palaces of Jaimal and Patta belonged to Rathore Jaimal and Sisodia Patta. These were the two brave men who defended their fort during the time when the Mughals attacked this fort. These palaces were the last to be built within the premises of the Chittorgarh Fort. They were built in a simple style in comparison to other forts and palaces of the area. Efforts are being taken by the tourism department of Chittaurgarh to protect the fort as a large part of it lies in ruins.
Seven Gates of the Fort – on the way
To enter in to the Fort Of Chittorgarh, the person has to go through seven huge gates(Pol). Each gate is different in its name, design and its size. Below is the list of these gates:
1. Padan Pol
2. Bhairon Pol
3. Hanuman Pol
4. Jorla Pol
5. Ganesh Pol
6. Laxman Pol
7. Ram Pol