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Travel to Chittorgarh

Chittorgarh - The Destination

Chittorgarh is the epitome of Rajput pride, romance and spirit. It resounds with history of heroism and sacrifice, with the tales sung by the Bards of Rajasthan. The main reason for visiting Chittorgarh is its massive hilltop fort, which depicts Rajput culture and values. The fort stands on a 240-hectares site on an 180m high hill that rises rapidly from the plains below.
Chittorgarh Fort is a massive structure with a 1 kilometre zigzag accent to it. The road leads through seven gates to the main gate Rampol (meaning Gate of Ram). On the climb between the second and third gate you see two Chattris or cenotaphs built to honour Jaimull and Kulla heroes of 1568 siege by Emperor Akbar. The main gate of the fort itself is Surajpol (meaning Sun Gate). Within the fort a circular runs around the ruins of the fort. Even though the fort is in ruins, it is an overwhelming reminder of past history and its walls resonate with unbelievable legend of extraordinary men and women
Chittorgarh Fort
and their equally astounding deeds.

The name Chittorgarh always brings to mind the image of its 14th century queen Padmini, an embodiment of beauty, grace and courage. According to popular folk, it was her fame that lured the Sultan of Delhi, Ala-ud-Din Khilji to Chittorgarh. Struck by her beauty simply by looking at her reflection in water, Khilji laid siege on the fort for months followed by a bloody battle. The Rajputs were conquered. As the men rode out for the final battle, Padmini, decked in bridal finery, led the women of her kingdom to a huge pyre. In those times, women thought it better to immolate themselves than to be dishonored by the enemy. Called the jauhar, this ritual was to repeat itself once more here. As you visit Jai Stambh, a victory tower, you will see a long square at its foot. Called Maha Sati, this is where jauhar must have taken place.


Chittorgarh was home to another woman who was a legend in her times, but for completely different reasons. Meera Bai, the daughter-in-law of the great warrior king Rana Sangha, was a passionate devotee of Lord Krishna and composed many poems and songs in his honor. It was unimaginable, in the 16th century Rajasthan, that a princess should express sentiments for any man other than her husband, even if it is a mythical god. A victim of many a court intrigues, Meera Bai was persecuted by her family. She finally left all material comforts and became a hymn-singing, wandering devotee of Krishna. The legend of Meera continues to haunt the city and her compositions are still part of every prayer. A temple, dedicated to Krishna, is named after her.

As you walk along the ramparts near a water tank called Gaumukh (cow's mouth) you will have an excellent view of the fort's tank, the temples and the victory tower. On the other side, stretch the plains and you can easily picture the battles fought here long ago. As you leave Chittorgarh behind, its lingering tales will remain on your mind.

Chittorgarh - Facts at a Glance

State : Rajasthan
Area : 6.5 sq kms
Temperature : 23.8 C – 43.8 C (Summer)
11.6 C – 28.37 C (Winter)
Altitude : 408 mts
Rainfall 60 – 85 cms
Language : Rajasthani, Hindi, English
Best Season : September – March

History of Chittorgarh


The origin of Chittorgarh can be traced to the seventh century. Earlier it was known as Chitrakut after a local Rajput chieftain named Chitrang. It remained the capital of the local Sisodia clan of Rajputs from the eighth to the 16th century. It was sacked three times in the medieval period. The first was by Ala-ud-din Khilji, the Sultan of Delhi in 1303. Khilji laid siege of this hill fort to capture the beautiful Padmini, the queen of Chittorgarh. When the situation worsened, Bhim Singh, the ruler of Chittorgarh, led his men donned with saffron robes of sacrifice, and rode out of the fort to certain death. Inside the fort, women, including Padmini and the children, committed mass suicide or jauhar by immolating themselves on a huge pyre, rather than losing their honor at the hands of the enemy. In the middle of the 15th century, Chittorgarh gained eminence when the legendary Rajput ruler, Rana Kumbha, ruled it. He built the Vijay Stambh (Victory Tower) to commemorate his victory over Mahmud Khilji, the ruler of Malwa, in 1440. Chittorgarh was sacked again in 1535 by Bahadur Shah, the Sultan of Gujarat. The jauhar that followed the siege saw the death of 13,000 women and 32,000 Rajput soldiers. The third and final siege took place in 1568 at the hands of the great Mughal emperor Akbar. Jaimal and Kalla, two Rajput generals, valiantly defended the fort but with their death and deteriorating situation, jauhar was performed. However, Maharana Udai Singh II, the ruler of Chittorgarh, fled to Udaipur and re-established his rule. The Mughal emperor Jahangir returned Chittorgarh to its rulers in 1616.
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