the giant mound of rocks,over 275 years saw three tragic sieges by fearsome
invaders, hopeless battles in the shadow of the Aravalli Hills, the gorgeous
Rani Padmini, the bhajans of Meerabai, soldiers dressed in saris, three mass
suicides by thousands of women and children and the unearthly valour of the
Rajputs revolves round the place. Chittaurgarh was the Sisodia capital of
the Mewar from the early 13th century until the Mughal Emperor Akbar's in
1567 at which Rana Udai Singh decamped to the hills.
Chittaurgarh lies by the Gambhiri and Berach rivers in the shadow of the
Aravallis in South Eastern Rajasthan, 38 km from the Madhya Pradesh Border.
The climate of the place is arid, with summers being very hot and winters
being cool. The place experiences scant rainfall between June and August.
The ideal time to visit the place is in the winters between October to
Chittaurgarh Fort -
The battles fought around this
strategic bastion were so incredible that they now sounds like myths rather
than legends. The Mori King Chitrangad Maurya built the fort in 7th century
A.D, and called it Chitrakoot. The road uphill passes through various
gateways, some with Gujrati elements. The Rana Kumbha Palace is one of the
most evocative section of the Rajput architecture.
Within the Zenana Mahal of the Kumbha Palace is an endless arrays of
maidservants quarters, with staircase leading romantically to nowhere.
Eventually, the staircase leads to the long underground passes through which
Padmini and her ladies pass down to the bathing tank, Gaurmukh Kund. The
Chitrangad Lake, and some ruined palaces can be seen today at the southern
end where they lounge over an area of 690 acres.
The Vijay Stambha -
Built by Rana Kumbha to celebrate
his routing of the Sultan of Malwa or Mandu. It rises nine storey high and
is covered head to toe with Hindu deities. Allah's name is inscribed in
Arabic on the third and eight storey. South to the tower is the site of the
The Kalika Mata Temple -
Originally built as a Sun
Temple in the 8th century, the temple was later converted into Kalika Mata
Temple dedicated to the Mother Goddess Kali -the symbol of power and valour.
The Meerabai Temple -
This is a memorial temple where an
old woman is seen sitting playing finger cymbals to recorded bhajans.
Meerabai threw herself into Krishna Bhakti after marriage and soon became a
young widow. After this she declined to stay in purdah.
The Shanti Nath -
The temple represent an astonishing
duality, where in a neat square elaborately carved on all sides, an
incongruous Islamic dome can be seen. One stares at the oddity with a
mixture of laughter and dismay.
Padmini Palace -
Built in the middle of a beautiful
lotus pool, this palace was meant to keep Rani Padmini cool in the summers.
Decorated with a historical pavilion, it is the place where Alauddin Khilji
saw the reflection of Queen Padmini and got so mesmerised with her beauty
that he decided to possess her at any cost. This lead to Jauhar, mass
suicide of women in the fort.
Kirti Stambh -
The Tower of Fame is dedicated to
Adinath, the 1st Jain Teerthankar, Kirti Stambh is a must visit tourist
attraction in Chittaurgarh. The 22 meters high 7- storied tower was build by
a wealthy Jain merchant in 12th century AD. A narrow stairway takes you
through seven stories of the tower to the top.
Bassi Wildlife Sanctuary -
The sanctuary supports a
population of panthers, wild boars, antelopes, mongoose and migratory birds.
Prior permission has to be obtained from the district forest officer,
Chittaurgarh before visiting the place