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CHITTAURGARH

This magnificent fort is a spectra of romance and chivalry. The ruined Fortier's of Chittaur symbolises all that is brave true and noble in the Rajput era. This glorious fort was attacked 3 times and every attack involved the ritual of Jauhar. This ritual involved mass immolation, where everyone threw themselves into raging fire or a well, to prevent themselves from the humiliation at the hands of the enemy. The first instance occurred in 1303 when the legendary Rajput beauty, Rani Padmini committed Jauhar with thousands of womenfolk to escape dishonour at the hands of the soldiers of Allaudin Khilji, Sultan of Delhi. The second instance occurred in 1533 when Bikramjeet of Chittaur was attacked by sultan of Gujrat, many women and children lost their lives in the Jauhar led by Rani Karnavati.

The pride and glory of Rajasthan, Chittaur echoes with the tales of romance and valour unique to the Rajput tradition. A ruined citadel, where the royal past lives on 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 wearing saffron robes of martyrdom rode out of the fort towards a certain death.

Alauddin Khilji was the first to attack Chittaur in 1303 A.D., overpowered by a passionate desire to possess the regal beauty, queen Padmini. Legend has it, 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 A.D, during the rule of Bikramjeet, came the second attack from Bahadur Shah, the Sultan of Gujarat. Once again Jauhar was led by Rani Karnavati, 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 1567 A.D., 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 performed. Immediately thereafter Akbar razed the fort to a rubble. Chittaur was never inhabited again but it always was a reminder of the the heroic spirit of Rajput warriors.

Places Around Chittaurgarh

The Fort
The indomitable pride of Chitttaur, the fort is a massive structure with many gateways built by the later Maurya rulers in 7th century A. D. Perched at a height of 180 m atop a hill, it sprawls over 700 acres. The tablets and chhatris within are impressive reminders of Rajput heroism.

The main gates are Padal Pol, Bhairon Pol, Hanuman Pol and Ram Pol. The fort has many magnificent monuments – all fine examples of Rajput architecture.

Vijay Sthamb (Victory Tower)
The imposing 37metre high structure with nine storeys, covered with exquisite sculptures of Hindu deities and depicting episodes from the two great epics – Ramayan and Mahabharata was built in 1440 A. D. by Maharana Kumbha, a powerful ruler of Mewar, to commemorate his victory over the Muslim rulers of Malwa and Gujarat.

Kirti Sthamb (Tower of Fame)
This 22 m tall tower is dedicated to Adinathji, the first of the Jain Tirthankaras. It was built by a wealthy Jain merchant in 12th century A.D., with figures from the Jain pantheon decorating the tower.

Rana Kumbha's Palace
This place is of great historical and architectural interest. It is said that in one of the underground cellars the legendary Rajput beauty, Rani Padmini and other women committed Jauhar. This palace is the biggest monument in the Fort of Chittaur.

Padmini’s Palace
Built beside a pool, the palace is quite a magnificent one. It was here that Rana Ratan Singh showed a glimpse of queen Padmini to Alauddin Khilji. Rani Padmini stood in ‘Zanana Mahal’ – a pavilion in the center and her reflection was visible to Alauddin Khilji in a mirror placed in the main hall. After having a glimpse of the legendary beauty, Alauddin went to the extent of ravaging Chittaur in order to possess her.

Kumbha Shyam Temple

Built during the reign of Rana Kumbha in the Indo-Aryan style, the temple is associated with the mystic poetess Meerabai – an ardent Krishna devotee. She was the wife of Prince Bhojraj.

Kalika Mata Temple
Built in the 8th century, as a sun temple it was converted into Kalika Mata Temple in the 14th century A.D. This temple of Goddess Kali symbolises, power and valour.

Government Museum

The magnificent Fateh Prakash Palace converted into a museum, now houses a rich collection of sculptures from the ruins at Chittor. Entry fee Rs. 2.00. Closed on Fridays.

Jaimal and Patta Palaces

The ruins of palaces of Rathore Jaimal and Sisodia Patta are witness to the gallantry of these great warriors.

Gardens and Parks
Pratap Park, Meera Park and Nehru Park are beautifully laid out parks in lush surroundings. Beautiful Khwaja rose garden at Sawa is just 13 km from Chittaur.

Meerabai Temple
The temple where Meerabai worshipped Lord Krishna is built in north Indian style on a raised plinth with a conical roof and beautiful inner sanctum. An open colonnade around the sanctum has four small pavilions in each corner.

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