The pride and glory of Rajasthan India. Chittaur echoes with the tales of romance and valour unique to the Rajput tradition. A ruined citadel, where the royal past lives in its imposing forts, graceful palaces and spectacular ‘chhatris’.
This fortified settlement has been ravaged thrice and each time the outcome was ‘Jauhar’ – when women and children immolated themselves on a huge funeral pyre while men donned in saffron robes of martyrdom rode out of the fort towards a certain death.
Alauddin Khilji was the first to sack Chittaur in 1303 AD, overpowered by a passionate desire to possess the regal beauty, queen Padmini. Legend has that he saw her face in the reflection of a mirror and was struck by her mesmerising beauty. But the noble queen preferred death to dishonour and committed ‘Jauhar’.
In 1533 AD during the rule of Sikramjeet, came the second attack from Bahadur Shah, the Sultan of Gujarat. Once again, Jauhar was led by Rani Karnvati, a Bundi princess. Her infant son, Udai Singh was smuggled out of Chittaur to Bundi who survived to inherit the throne of the citadel. He learnt from his traumatic childhood that discretion is preferred to valour so, in 1567AD when the Mughal Emperor invaded Chittaur; Udai Singh fled to establish a new capital, Udaipur – a beautiful lake city, leaving behind Chittaur to be defended by two 16 year old heroes. Jaimal of Bednore and Patta of Kelwa. These young men displayed true Rajput chivalry and died after ‘Jauhar’ was peformed. Immediately thereafter, Akbar razed the Fort to a rubble.
Chittaur was never inhabited again but it always asserted the heroic spirit of Rajput warriors.
Prime Attractions of Chittorgarh
Vijay Stambh : The Victory Tower, 37 metres high, is an imposing structure of nine storeys. With sculptures of a secular nature on the exterior, it was built by Maharaja Kumbha in commemoration of his victory over the Muslim rulers of Malwa and Gujarat in 1440 AD.
Fateh Prakash Palace Museum : Inside the historical Chittaurgarh Fort, one big portion of Fateh Prakash Palace in Chittorgarh was converted into a museum in the year 1968. It has a great collection of sculptures. Among the important ones are Ganpati (8th – 9th century) from Pangarh and lndra and Ambica statues from Rashmi village of post medieval period.
Padmini’s Palace : The Chittorgarh fort perched on a 180 mts. high hill, covering 700 acres, was constructed by Mauryan rulers in the 7th century. In the fort, this palace was built for Queen Padmini whose beauty was responsible for the battle between Allauddin Khilji and Rana Ratan Singh.
Chittorgarh Fort In Rajasthan :
The indomitable pride of Chittaur, the fort is a massive structure with many gateways built by the literary rulers in 7th century AD. Perched on a height of 180 m high hill, it sprawls over 700 acres. The tablets and ‘chhatris’ within are impressive reminders of the Rajput heroism. The main gates are Padam Pol, Bhairon Pol, Hanuman Pol and Ram Pol. The fort has many magnificent monuments – all fine examples of the Rajput architecture. The ancient ruins of the fort are worth spending few moments in solitude.
The22 metres high tower built by a wealthy Jain merchant in the 12th century AD The tower is dedicated to Adinathji, the first of the Jain Tirthankaras and is decorated with figures of the Jain pantheon.
Excursions from Chittorgarh
Enroute Bundi is a marvellous village with historical forts, temples and ‘kunds’. Especially famous are its sculptures and woodcraft. A place of great tourist interest.
Bassi Wildlife Sanctuary
50-sq-kms sanctuary near Bassi, supports a population of panthers, wild boars, antelopes, mongoose and migratory birds. Prior permission has to be obtained from the District Forest Office, Chittaurgarh before visiting the sanctuary.
A 16th century magnificent fort, near Pratapgarh with some beautiful palaces ornate with murals and splendid Jain temples.
How To Get There – Chittorgarh
90-km is the nearest airport, Dabok airport, Udaipur
Chittaurgarh is well connected by rail. Some important train connections are : Chetak Express (Delhi Sarai Rohilla- Chittaurgarh-Udaipur); Pass. (Kota-Chittaurgarh-Nimach); 9769 Express (Khandawa-Chittaurgarh-Ajmer.
Bus services operate to several important destinations. Delhi (583-km), Mount Abu (297-km), Jaipur (325-km), Indore (325-km) and Ajmer (185-km) away from Chittaurgarh
Unmetered auto-rickshaw, cycle-rickshaws and tongas are avilable for commuting within the city.
Places To Stay – Chittorgarh
There are Standard Hotels and also budget hotels available offering excellent accommodation facilities.
Supplementary Accommodation: Circuit House, Railway Retiring Rooms, PWD Dak Bungalow, Irrigation Dak Bungalow