Hac voluptatibus, convallis dis maiores fuga augue ullamcorper? Tempora, odio…
The story of Chittaurgarh is a saga of valor, tenacity and sacrifice. Chittaurgarh (also Chittaurgarh) was sacked three times and its defenders had to make the supreme sacrifice. The Fort of Chittaurgarh is a treasure trove of history and offers to the traveler an insight into the life of the Great Rajput rulers, who laid down their lives fighting a superior enemy instead of leading a life of submission under them.
The origin of chittaurgarh can be traced to the seventh century. Earlier it was known as Chitrakut, after a local Rajput chieftain named Chitrang. It remained the capital of the local sisodia clan of Rajputs from the eighth to the 16th century. The history of this town is written in blood and sacrifice. Muslim rulers sacked it three times in the medieval period. The first was by Ala-ud-din Khilji, the Sultan of Delhi in 1303. Khilji laid siege of this hill fort to capture the beautiful Padmini, the queen of Chittaurgarh. When the situation worsened, Bhim Singh, the ruler of Chittaurgarh, led his men donned with saffron robes of sacrifice, and rode out of the fort to certain death. Inside the fort, women, including Padmini and the children, committed mass suicide or jauhar by immolating themselves on a huge pyre, rather than losing their honor at the hands of the enemy.
In the middle of the 15th century, Chittaurgarh gained eminence when the legendary Rajput ruler, Rana Kumbha, ruled it. He built the Vijay Stambh (Victory Tower) to commemorate his victory over Mahmud Khilji, the ruler of Malwa, in 1440. Chittaurgarh was sacked again in 1535 by Bahadur Shah, the Sultan of Gujarat. The jauhar that followed the siege saw the death of 13,000 women and 32,000 Rajput soldiers. The third and final siege took place in 1568 at the hands of the great Mughal emperor Akbar. Jaimal and Kalla, two Rajput generals, valiantly defended the fort but with their death and deteriorating situation, jauhar was performed. However, Maharana Udai Singh II, the ruler of Chittaurgarh, fled to Udaipur and re-established his rule. The Mughal emperor Jahangir returned Chittaurgarh to its rulers in 1616.
- LOCATION: Approx 300 KMs from Jaipur (South)
- BY ROAD: Well connected to major cities like Jaipur, Ajmer, Kota, Agra, Mt Abu through RTDC (Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation) buses.
- BY TRAIN: Well connected to major cities like Jaipur, Ajmer, Udaipur, Alwar, Delhi, Ahmedabad.
- BY AIR: Nearest airport is Dabok Airport, Udaipur which is 90 Kms.
- AREA : 41 sq km
- BEST TIME TO VISIT : October to March
- LANGUAGES SPOKEN : Rajasthani, Hindi, English
- MAJOR ATTRACTIONS : Chittorgarh Fort, Vijay Stambh, Rana Kumbha’s Palace, Museums
PLACES TO VISIT
The stubborn pride of Chittaur, the fort is a gigantic structure with numerous gateways built by the rulers in 7th century. Crowning a 180 m high hill, it spreads in a area of over 700 acres. The tablets and ‘chhatris’ within the structure are remarkable reminisces of the Rajput gallantry. The most important gates are Padam Pol, Hanuman Pol, Bhairon Pol and Ram Pol. The fort has various outstanding monuments – some of them are the finest examples of the Rajput architectural style. The primeval ruins of the fort are worth beholding.
Kirti Stambh: Also Known as ‘Tower of Fame’. A prosperous Jain merchant built the 22-metre high tower in the 12th century. The tower is adorned with sculptures of the Jain pantheon and is devoted to Adinath ji, the first of the Jain Tirthankaras.
Vijay Stambh: Also Known as ‘Victory Tower’. The daunting 37 metres high structure with nine storeys, covered with delicate figures of Hindu idols and portraying scenes from the two great Hindu epics – Ramayana and Mahabharata. Built in 1440 by Maharana Kumbha, it commemorates his victory over the Muslim rulers of Malawi and Gujarat
Rana Kumbha’s Palace
The remains of the structure are of immense historical and architectural interest, being the biggest monument in the chittaurgarh Fort. It is said that it was in the underground cellars of this palace, where Rani Padmini and other royal ladies committed ‘Jauhar’.
Jaimal and Patta Palaces:- The ruins of the palaces of Rathore Jaimal and Sisodia Patta reverberate with the stories of these two legendary 16-year old boys who defended the fort gallantly from the huge army of the Mughals when Maharana Udai Pratap Singh fled from there to save his life.
Padmini’s Palace:- A magnificent place dedicated to the beautiful and courageous Rani Padmini, it was here that Rana Ratan Singh showed a glimpse of queen Padmini to Alauddin Khilji. The rest that happened is history and turned out into the first-ever incident of ‘Jauhar’ in chittaurgarh Fort.
Government Museum:- The glorious Prakash Mahal that has been turned into a museum these days has on its display some of the superb examples of sculptures from temples and buildings in the fort. It is kept closed on Fridays.
Fateh Prakash Museum: Fateh Prakash Palace of Chittorgarh Fort was converted into a museum in 1968. The main sculptures on its display are Ganpati (dating 8th-9th century) from Pangarh and lndra and Lain Ambica statues from Rashmi village of post-medieval period. There are different sections displaying weapons and armory and the clay models of local tribes with their traditional outfits.