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Fort - Udaipur|
Chittorgarh Fort - Udaipur
: 112km from Udaipur, Rajasthan.|
Evolution/ Origin: 7th century
Built By: Various Maurya rulers
Fort has received the credit of being the largest fort of India. The massive
fort is located on a high hill near the Gambheri River in Chittorgarh. Chittorgarh
Fort lies at a distance of 112 kms from the city of Udaipur in Rajasthan. This
fort was built by various Maurya rulers in the 7th century. This huge fort covers
an area of 700 acres, extending to 3 kms in length and 13 kms in peripheral length.
Standing on an elevated hill of 180m, the impregnable fort has witnessed three
Chittaurgarh Fort is truly an embodiment of chivalry and pride of the Rajputs.
The fort has a long story of romance, courage, determination and sacrifice. A
glimpse of the fort still makes one to think the glory of the Rajputs who once
lived here. The imposing Fort boasts of well-designed palaces, magnificent cenotaphs
and huge towers. The Fort of Chittorgarh has a colossal structure that is secured
by its several strong gateways.
Chittorgarh Fort is an acknowledgement
to the courage of the gallant Rajput rulers who sacrificed their life combating
dominant rivals instead of surrendering before them. The history of this majestic
fort can be traced during the time of Khilji's. Chittorgarh Fort is said to have
been the capital of the Gahlot and Sisodia kings who ruled Mewar between the eighth
and the sixteenth century. The Fort was named after Chittrangad Maurya.
The fort was attacked three times and every time it got saved by the daring heroism
of the Rajput warriors. In 1303, for the first time, this fort was attacked by
Allaudin Khilji to fulfill his desire to make off with Rani Padmini. For the second
time, the Fort was sacked by Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat in 1535. In 1567,
it was attacked for the last time by Mughal Emperor Akbar to conquer Maharana
Udai Singh. Every time, a jauhar (mass suicide) was observed and the womenfolk
of the Royalty never submitted themselves.
This colossal fort is accessible
through seven huge gates (Pols) that are comprised of strong iron spikes and served
as a watch tower in earlier times. The way to Chittorgarh Fort will take you through
crisscross paths that would be interrupted at intervals by seven giant pols (gateways).
The foremost gate you will come across is the 'Ram Pol' (the gate of Lord Rama)
that has a temple in its vicinity. While climbing further, you would find two
cenotaphs near Padal Pol. These cenotaphs are dedicated to Jaimal and Kala, who
were killed by Akbar in the battle of 1567.
On your way, you will find
Padal Pol, Bhairon Pol, Ganesh Pol, Jorla Pol, Lakshman Pol and Hanuman Pol. Next
to Padan Pol, there is the memorial which was erected in the memory of Rawat Bagh
Singh. He was the one, who got united with King Vikramaditya to battle against
Sultan Bahadur Shah. The Bhairon Pol was named to memorize Bhairondas Solanki,
who also fought in opposition to Sultan Bahadur Shah in 1534. However, the main
gate to enter the fort is Suraj Pol (the Sun Gate).
Apart from these
massive gates, the Fort has many palaces to boast of including Rana Kumbha Palace
and Padmini's Palace, which are wonders of Rajput architecture. Padimini's Palace
is the same palace that used to serve the beautiful queen of Rattan Singh. Rana
Kumbha Palace is the place that has underground cellars where queen Padmini committed
'Jauhar' along with the children and the other ladies of household.
The Fort also comprises several temples including Sammidheshwara Temple, Jain
Temple, Kalika Mata temple, Neelkanth Mahadev Temple, Meerabai Temple and Kumbha
Shyam Temple. These are the ancient temples that have noteworthy carvings and
intricate work. Gaumukh reservoir and Bhimtal Tank are other places worth visiting.
Gaumukh reservoir is a huge water tank that gets water from Cow's mouth shaped
rock. In the waters of this same reservoir, Allaudin was allowed to see the reflection
of Queen Padmini that led to the whole battle.
Above all, the fort has
towers that depict the glorious history of the Rajput rulers. Vijay Stambh and
Kirti Stambh are the most famous towers celebrating the victory of Rajputs. Kirti
Stambh is the tower that literally means 'the Tower of Fame. Built in the 12th
century, this tower is dedicated to Adinath ji, the first Jain thinker. Kirti
Stambh is a seven-storied structure with the height of 22 m. one can reach the
different floors by climbing through a cramped staircase of 54 steps. The tower
is embellished with sculptures of Jain Pantheon.
Talking about Vijay
Stambh, literally it means 'the tower of victory'. Vijay Stambh is the most impressive
structure of the Chittorgarh Fort. It was constructed by Maharana Kumbha to commemorate
his victory over Mohammed Khilji in the 15th century. This giant tower is nine-storied
and offers a picture-perfect view of the down-town from its balconies. This huge
tower extends to the height of 122 feet and width of 47 sq ft at the base. The
circular stairs of this tower has 157 steps. This imposing tower took 10 complete
years to construct. You can trace sculptures of the Hindu gods on the alcoves
of this tower.
In the evenings, Vijay Stambh is illuminated and looks
all the more mesmerizing. Chittaurgarh Fort welcomes many a tourists around the
world to its complex every year. Moreover, the history of this majestic fort makes
the visit to this place more interesting. The magnificent monuments of this fort
are definitely worth spending some time in seclusion pondering over the heroism
of Mewar rulers. This heritage fort of Rajasthan is definitely a 'must-visit'
place that cannot be afforded to miss.
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