Chittorgarh : The Land of Warriors
Chittorgarh, is located in the southern part of the state of Rajasthan, midway between Delhi and Mumbai on the National Highway 8 in the road network of Golden Quadrilateral. The Chittor Fort is one of the largest forts in India. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fort was the capital of Mewar and is located in the present-day town of Chittorgarh. It sprawls over a hill 180 m in height above the plains of the valley drained by the Berach River. Beginning in the 7th century, the fort was controlled by the Mewar Kingdom. From the 9th to 13th centuries, the fort was ruled by Paramara dynasty. In 1303, the Turkic ruler of Delhi, Alauddin Khalji defeated Rana Ratan Singh’s forces at the fort. In 1535 Bahadur Shah, the Sultan of Gujarat, defeated Bikramjeet Singh and took the fort. In 1567 Akbar defeated Maharana Udai Singh II’s troops. The fort’s defenders sallied forth to charge the attacking enemy but yet were not able to succeed. Following these defeats, the women are said to have committed Jauhar or mass self-immolation. The rulers, soldiers, noblewomen, and commoners considered death preferable to the dishonor of surrender.
In 2013, at the 37th session of the World Heritage Committee Chittorgarh Fort along with five other forts of Rajasthan, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fort complex comprises 65 historic built structures, among them 4 palace complexes, 19 main temples, 4 memorials and 20 functional water bodies. These can be divided into two major construction phases. The first hill fort with one main entrance was established in the 5th century and successively fortified until the 12th century. Its remains are mostly visible on the western edges of the plateau. The second, more significant defense structure was constructed in the 15th century during the reign of the Sisodia Rajputs, when the royal entrance was relocated and fortified with seven gates, and the medieval fortification wall was built on an earlier wall construction from the 13th century.
Main Attractions of Chittorgarh :
Tower of Victory – (Vijay Stambh)
Chittorgarh is the epitome of Rajput pride, romance, and spirit. It reverberates with history of heroism and sacrifice, which is evident as it echoes with the tales sung by the Bards of Rajasthan. The main reason for visiting Chittorgarh is its massive hilltop fort, which is a depiction of Rajput culture and values. Built in 1440 AD by Maharana Kumbha to commemorate his victory over Mohamed Khilji this 9-storeyed tower is adorned by sculptures of Hindu deities around.
There are around 157 narrow steps leading to the terrace where the balconies give a beautiful top angle view of the whole town. When illuminated in the evening, the tower reflects a mesmerizing effect and the view is worth capturing in the camera.
Tower of Fame – (Kirti Stambh)
Dedicated to Adinathji the 1st Jain Teerthankar adorned by the naked figures of the Digambars A narrow stairway goes through seven stories of the tower to the top. The 22 meters high tower was built by a wealthy Jain merchant in the 12th century A.D.
A deep tank filled by a spring coming from a ‘cow mouth’, situated at the edge of the cliff. It is considered to be sacred where you can feed the fishes.
Rana Kumbha Palace
The ruined edifice of great historical and architectural interest, being the most massive monument in the fort of Chittor is a wonderful palace to watch out for. The palace is believed to have underground cellars where Rani Padmini and other women committed Jauhar.
The palace, once the scene of an incident directly responsible for the battle between Allauddin Khiliji and Rana Ratan Singh, is a distinctly feminine structure that overlooks a pleasant pool.
Meera Temple (Meera Mandir)
Built by Maharana Kumbha in 1449, this lord Vishnu Temple has beautiful idols in its sanctum, mandap, and pillars. In the same premises, there is a small temple of Lord Krishna.
Kalika Mata Temple (Kalikamata Mandir)
This mother goddess temple was built originally in the 8th century as the Surya or Sun temple and converted to its present form in the 14th century.
Seven Gates of the Fort
To enter into 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:
- Padan Pol
- Bhairon Pol
- Hanuman Pol
- Jorla Pol
- Ganesh Pol
- Laxman Pol
- Ram Pol