Legendary site of three mass suicides (johars) of the Rajput females in 1303, 1535 and 1568, Chittorgarh is the Masada of Rajasthan. It is an important place in Rajasthan when it comes to tourism industry and most of the travelers make sure to plan a vacation tour to Chittorgarh while they are in Rajasthan. It is the symbol of the courageous stance and tragic fate of the valiant defenders in the Hindu resistance against the Mughal invaders. In this ritual, known as jauhar, while the men of the fort put on saffron robes and rushed in to the battlefield to fight to the death, while the women collectively immolated themselves on a funeral pyre.
Plan your vacation tour to Chittorgarh, situated at a distance of about 115kms northeast of Udaipur. The massive hilltop fort of Chittorgarh (or Chittor) is the depiction of Rajput chivalry, romance and spirit. History radiates through the desolate ruins of the fort. It is evident as it echoes with the tales sung by the Bards of Rajasthan. The fort stands on a 240-hectares site on an 180m high hill that rises rapidly from the plains below and is a must visit on your travel to Chittorgarh.
The fort was besieged thrice by the invaders. The first invasion was undertaken in 1303 by Ala-ud-din Khilji of the Khilji dynasty of Delhi Sultanate. The reason for this is said to be the matchless beauty of Queen Padmini. Ala-ud-din Khilji was so enamored of her beauty he took resort to the sack of the fort. The second attack occurred in 1535 when Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat besieged the fort causing immense bloodbath. About 32000 men donned the saffron robes of martyrdom and rode out to face a certain death, and the female members committed Jauhar led by Rani Karnawati. As you move on to travel within the city you get to know more and more about its rich past, which is worth mentioning.
The fort was sacked for the third time in 1568 by the Mughal Emperor Akbar who razed the fort to the ground and once again the tragic history repeated itself. Though the next Mughal emperor Jehangir restored the fort to the Rajput in 1616 but it was never inhabited. Today below the hill is spread the modern township.
Chittorgarh is well connected by both bus and rail. If you wish to travel by train, the city has rail links with Delhi, Jaipur, Ajmer, Ahmedabad, Udaipur and Kota. Buses connect Chittorgarh to the different destination in Rajasthan including Udaipur, Bundi, Ajmer and Kota.
Vacation Tour to Chittorgarh and Sightseeing
A massive structure with a 1-kilometer zigzag accent to it, the Chittorgarh Fort is perched on a 180-metre-high hill spread over an area of 280-hectare. It is an important travel attraction for those who are on their vacation tour to Chittorgarh. The fort contains many palaces such as Rana Kumbha Palace, Fateh Prakash Palace, Tower of Victory and Padmini’s Palace. This hilltop fortress of Chittorgarh is the symbol of the romantic and doomed ideal of Rajput chivalry.
Tower of Victory-Vijay Stambh
Vijay Stambh – this 9-storyed ‘tower of Victory’ was built by Maharana Kumbha in 1440.AD to commemorate his victory over Mohammed Khilji of Malwa. The walls of this magnificent soaring sand-colored tower are embellished with sculptures and mythological scenes from Hindu religions including Arabic inscriptions in praise of Allah. You can climb around 157 dark narrow stairs to the very summit to have a beautiful top angle view of the whole town. The tower gets illuminated in the evening, which cast an irresistible spell. It is indeed the focal point of the fort.
Built in the 12th century A.D by a wealthy Jain merchant, this 22 meters high “tower of fame” is dedicated to Adinath, the 1st of the 24 Jain Tirthankars (ford makers). The whole structure is adorned by the unclad figures of the Digambars (Adherents to the Digambar sect of Jainism do not covering their natural body). A narrow stairway goes through seven stories of the tower to the top.
Rana Kumbha Palace
The ruined edifice of fifteenth-century Palace of Rana Kumbha is a classic specimen of Rajput architecture. It was built by Rana Kumbha during whose reign Mewar rose to great heights in power and prosperity.
Kumbha Shyam Temple
Built during the region of Rana Kumbha the temple is a classic example in the Indo-Aryan style. Characterized by a pyramidal roof and lofty tower, the temple has an image of Varaha, the boar incarnation of Vishnu.
Kalika Mata Temple
Originally dedicated to the Sun God Surya, in the eighth century, the temple was later converted into Kalika Mata Temple after renovations in 1568 A.D. Now dedicated to the mother Goddess Kali the temple has beautiful carvings on the outer walls including images of Surya, corresponding to the Greek Helios. In Hindu mythology this god has been described as the guardian of the southwest quadrant of the universe. The carvings also include scenes of the churning of the ocean by the gods and demons, a popular creation myth. An image of Surya guards the main entrance to the temple.
This temple is built in north Indian style with a delicate curved tower. Built on a raised plinth with a conical roof and beautiful inner sanctum. The temple is dedicated to Meerabai, a Jodhpur princess and poet immortalized by her devotion to Krishna. Make sure to visit this temple while on your vacation tour to Chittorgarh.
Situated at the edge of a cliff, the Gaumukh Kund is a deep tank fed by an underground stream that trickles through carved mouths (mukh) of cows (gau). Considered to be a holy place, this quiet spot commands excellent views across the plains.
Padmini’s Palace, now rather dilapidated, is built beside the lotus pool with a historical pavilion that changed the course of history of Chittor. It is said that Ala-ud-din saw the reflection of Queen Padmini on the waters of the pool and so fascinated was he that the quest of possessing her led to a bloody battle which witnessed the end of Maharana Ratan Singh (husband of Maharani Padmini). Padmini committed jauhar to disgrace.