As the saying goes in the local language ‘what have you seen yet, if you didn’t saw the Chittorgarh Fort’. It’s worth the saying being the biggest and greatest in India and probably among the top Fort across the globe. It’s majestic, magnificent and Man-Made, I wonder how can a man make such structures in the time’s where the human hand was the only machinery as well as the tool. Respect for the makers, built during the Mauryan time from 3rd to the 5th-century the foundation of Chittorgarh Fort was laid by Bappa Rawal in 734 AD. And since then it is the center of the Mewar until in the 16th century Akbar seized it and destroyed it into present-day ruins, and the capital of Mewar was shifted to Udaipur – City of lakes
Chittor has seen many wars in which it appeared heroic to expect three defeats in its name. Three important battles were fought for control of the fort in 1303, Ala-ud-din Khilji besieged the fort in 1535, The Sultan of Gujarat Bahadur Shah besieged the fort and in 1567, Emperor Akbar attacked the Chittorgarh Fort. Not that there were only defeats at the fort, there were Johar which is the sacrifice of Women’s of the fort the Queen, princess, the wife’s of commanders, ministers, soldiers all set them self in fire when the defeat is near. It shows their prestige such that they accepted death easily rather than watching their other half’s being defeated on the battlefields, Maintaining the prestige of Chittor.
Most of the time the fort was in control of the Rajput clan which again appeared after being defeated at the battle to take over their property. And each time appearing more stronger and powerful than before, and making the Fort at Chittor an extraordinary one among them all. The King who ruled over Chitor were known for their Bravery, Courage as well as chivalry across Rajasthan and all over India.
The region all together under the princely state of Mewar containing more than 6 districts is still accustomed by the name of Mewar.
A VIRTUAL PATHWAY TO CHITTORGARH FORT AND ITS STRUCTURES –
Chittorgarh Fort is situated atop a hill nearly 600ft above the ground and spread over an area of 700Acres with only one way up leading through 7 Gates to check the enemy. The road leads through seven gates namely Padan pol, Bhairon pol, hanuman pol, Jorla pol, Lakshman pol to the main gate, Rampol here pol refers to gates. The main gate of the Chittorgarh Fort is called the Surajpol. In between the second and the third gate there are two chhatris or cenotaphs, built in honor of Jaimal and Patta, the heroes of 1568 AD, siege by Emperor Akbar it is said that the duo saved the fort for many months from the Mughal army while the King was out but the army managed to creep inside the duo with 8000 men fought bravely like warriors with 80.000 Mughals with Jaimals leg being injured Patta lifted him on his soldiers making the scene as scares for the Mughals to see 4 Hands killing the Mughals deliberately but in the End they had to accept defeat against the giant Mughal armies.
On the entrance there are gardens and few temple like structures on the left the temples are square-shaped domes carved out of stones with life-like miniatures of animals and humans inscribed on the stone’s outside and inside a great piece of art indeed. On the rights is the Khumba Palace which was the part of the Fort where the King’s resided along with the home of the servent and workers at the Palace. The seat of the King is made such it still reveals the place where the King used to sit having great work of craftsmanship.
On the backside of the garden is the broken pieces the Archeological Department is trying to fix as well as some old cannons and olden utensils with Hindu Mantras inscribed on their barrels.
Then is the Fateh Prakash Palace made recently in 19th-century structure in quite a good condition, it is aswell a museum of artilleries. It is eye soothing with some coats of yellow still painted over it the rest all structures are colorless
The road verges to right and we move toward the Jain temple in the left maintained by the Jain community with nice gardens and priests inside maintaining it. Photography here is prohibited. It consists of 12 idols of the Jain Gurus and two different temples the temples receive donations which are seen by the Gold and silver plating in the temples.
On the right is Meera Temple the daughter of the King who eventually was a worshipper of Lord Krishna and dedicated her life in Krishna devotion after she was widowed at an early age, she is known for her Bhajan’s or songs dedicated to God. Having great hand made carvings which is symmetrical and neatly done as attractive as was Meera to Lord Krishna.
Next is the Vijay Stambh or the victory tower made of yellow stone with stairs to visit the top made by Rana Hamir in AD1448, the details are as followed in the inscription outside the Vijay Stambh. The whole fort approximately is visible from the top and the ceiling is beautiful appears to be the sun right on above us.
Stair’s depart down to a pond where the water from the different region of fort comes through some secret path, this Pond was also the bathing place for Padmini the most beautiful Queen of the Kingdom, there was a tunnel from the Queen’s palace to the pond so that the queen wasn’t seen by any other man.
On Right is a palace where is the old Kalki Mata Mandir which transforms to the skeleton goddess in English. Situated in the premises of Jaimal & Patta’s Palace, she was diety of the brave warriors of the Chittor Army who gave a struggle to the Mughals for long before laying their life. And a few more meters is another shrine quite crowded and visited by many locals.
Then finally is the Padmini Palace situated in the mid of a water reservoir, and can be seen from a building outside the Reservoir, this building is well maintained with Lavish Gardens newly planted to enhance the beauty of the place as it has the name of the most beautiful Padmini associated with it. It is said that a Room in the compound has mirror’s set on its ceiling such that from there the King once made Allaudin Khilji have a glimpse of Padmini, Khilji was such mesmerized he would have gone to any extent to get queen Padmini and by crook arrested the then King and asked Padmini to join him to which Padmini asked the Mughal to send 700 men lifted chariots for her maids, rather than, maids it was soldiers disguised as women who went to Khilji’s camp and rescued the King. Finally Khilji fought a war against Chittor and unfortunately, Chittor lost. But Padmini performed Johar and sacrificed herself rather than being the wife of a Mughal Emperor. The Padmini Palace was visited only by the King and was well guarded, it was situated in water as the King didn’t want any man to ever reach or see Queen Padmini. The tales of her looks are well spread across the state of Rajasthan and is even determined as a superlative of beauty when someone is compared to Padmini meaning she is extremely beautiful.
Back to the entrance, two Roads diverged one the path I traveled yet and the second was way to Hathi Pol the war gate on the back of the fort from which the army moved out in scenario of the wars Many wars started here.
Behind the Chittorgarh Fort is agricultural land below the hill which were green and plowed by the Farmers. There are mountains running Parallel to the fort. There is a half-built temple-like structure which I wonder why it’s left in mid. A few more temple’s by the no. of temples it appears the people were quite spiritual and had a firm belief in Gods. And each new ruling generation either made a few more temples of the deity they believed in.
Then is the last attraction the Kirti Stambh made by Jain merchants during the reign of Rawal Kumar Singh in the year AD1257, this Stambh (Pillar) symbolizes the Jainism and was a way of glorifying the Jain Religion, adjacent to the stambh is a Jain Temple and the roads lead us near Fateh Prakash Mahal.
The Chittorgarh Fort has a boundary of approx. 13Km and there are people living in the way to the Fort between the Fort and the 1st gate of entrance, these people might be the heirs of those workers and soldiers at the Fort. Its a world Heritage Site and rarest and the best fort in India yet the tickets prices is quite less as it is situated far from big cities, as a result, the footfall is a bit less. If well preserved and looked after it can become a tourists hotspot.
THIS FORT RIGHTLY DEFINES THE CAPTION ‘INCREDIBLE INDIA’ visit Chittorgarh with Tajmahal & Palaces Tour