Chittaurgarh, a town in Mewar that also hosts a fort by the same name, is probably the place with the most passionate stories of war and honor ever told in India. The painful and yet glorious past of this place makes it hard to walk away from here without misty eyes. Ruled and attacked by some of the most prominent figures in the history, Chittaurgarh is an epitome of courage and sacrifice and one of the most famous places in Indian history.
Chittaurgarh is essentially a fortified town based on a hilltop rather than a fort. A strong wall with seven gates surrounds the tableland spread across which there are historical temples, palaces and monuments. Though attractive in terms of art and beauty, what puts the soul in these monuments are the stories and personalities associated with them. It is believed that Chittaurgarh Fort was built in the 7th century by a Maurya king. According to the smudgy details in the history, Chittaurgarh was either captured or had in dowry by Bappa Raval, the founder of Mewar kingdom in 734 AD. During the further expansion of the Mewar kingdom, Chittaurgarh played a major role in most of the upheavals.
The first major episode in the bloody history of Chittaurgarh was carved in 1303 by Alauddin Khilji, a famous Mughal emperor, who was besotted by the beauty of Rani Padmini, the queen of Chittor. Rani Padmini, the wife of Raval Ratan Singh was so famous for her beauty that Alauddin Khilji, the possessor of a great army, demanded to have a glimpse of her in return of peace. Outside Padmini Mahal, Padmini’s palace was where this demand of Khilji was satisfied. While Rani Padmini stood in front of a mirror, Alauddin Khilji stood along with Ratan Singh at an opposite structure and looked at her reflection. The Mughal king left, but only to break his promise.
He abducted Ratan Singh, and sent a word that Padmini should exchange herself in return of her husband, or he would be killed. However, Padmini crafted a cunning plan. She made the sultan agree that she would bring 150 of her personal maids in palanquins if she were to go with him. And in place of Padmini’s maids, who rode in the palanquins were the soldiers of Chittaurgarh. As soon as they arrived at the camp where Ratansingh had been held captive, the soldiers burst out of the palanquins and freed their king.
This enraged Khilji and he declared war against Chittaurgarh. His army that could not break into the fort besieged it and waited until Chittaurgarh ran out of supplies. Finally, when the result of the war was clear, the Rajputs of Chittaurgarh, famous for choosing death instead of dishonor stood up to the only option they saw. Rani Padmini, along with all the women of Chittaurgarh, walked in a fire committing Jauhar (self immolation).After the women performed Jauhar, the husbands, fathers and brothers left behind performed Saka. They donned saffron garbs and left for the battlefield to fight until death. The only ones who lived after the battle were the old men left to raise the children.
After the devastation, when there was nothing left to be plundered, the fort soon went back to the rightful possessors. In coming years, Rana Kumbha, a great Mewar King spread the Mewar kingdom long and wide. Along with raising a commendable military strength and a fleet of strategically built forts under his arms, he also promoted art and culture to make Mewar a famous kingdom of India.
In 1535, Bahadur Shah brought upon Chittor another dark incident which would be recorded as the bloodiest in the history of Chittaurgarh. While all the women committed Jauhar, the men committed Saka. The third and final Jauhar of Chittaurgarh was committed in 1567, during the attack of Mughal Emperor, Akbar.
Just as the bloodiest incidents of Chittaurgarh have made it to the history, the legend of Saint Mira Bai, a famous devotee of God Krishna and a great poetess has been eternally associated with this fort. She is considered to be the founder of the Bhakti sect. Mira Bai spent a number of years at Chittaurgarh.
Among the famous monuments of Chittaurgarh is Rani Padmini’s Palace, standing near which one can see the spots where the story of Padmini displaying her reflection to Alauddin Khilji took place. The next famous monument is Rana Kumbha’s Palace; a grand residence, this was where Rani Padmini committed her Jauhar. Kalika Mata temple, built in 8th century, the famous Vijay Stambha, the tower of victory with beautiful carvings on its all sides, Kirti Stambha, the tower dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankar, Adinath are some of the other notable monuments of Chittaurgarh.
Situated on a couple hours’ drive from Udaipur, Chittaurgarh is one of the famous places in India and definitely worth a visit. An early start from Udaipur can take you to Chittaurgarh by 8.0 a.m. when the fort opens. It takes two to three hours to visit all the important places inside the fort.
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Chittaurgarh is a famous Fort in Rajasthan, in a town, which is known by the same name. The land of romance and valor, Chittaurgarh keeps alive the tradition of Mewar, a region of Rajasthan known for bravery and choosing sacrifice of life before honor. Invaded three times, Chittaurgarh has several stories to tell. The splendid Chittaurgarh Fort is surrounded by a strong wall with seven gates. The places worth visiting here are Rana Kumbha's Palace, Zenana Mahal, Gaumukh Kund, and Rani Padmini Palace. Padmini Palace, the famous tourist spot, is set on a pond. You can stroll down the marble gallery here to see your reflection in the crystal clear water of the pond at the palace. Other attractions in Chittaurgarh are Kalika Mata Temple, Government Museum, Meera Temple, Kumbha Shyam Temple, Jaimal and Patta’s Palace, Gaumukh Mohar Magri.
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||Udaipur(Dabok Airport) is 90km away
||Chittaurgarh Railway Station
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||Chittorgarh is well connected by roads to entire India.
|Major Tourist Attraction:
||Chittaurgarh Fort, Vijay Stambha, Kirti Stambha, Rana Kumbha Palace, Padmini Palace, Kalika Mata Temple.
||Fort and Stambha
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