Chittorgarh is a major city in the state of Rajasthan, which was a former capital of the Sisodia Rajput Dynasty of Mewar. Chittorgarh Fort is a UNESCO world heritage site.
The Chittorgarh fort is a massive fort, spread over 700 acres. Though mostly in ruins, it is still majestic. Chittorgarh resonates with stories of bravery and pride of the Rajputs . Chittorgarh fort is the largest fort in India. It was the site of three major sieges (1303, 1535, and 1567–1568) by Muslim invaders, and its Hindu rulers fought fiercely to maintain their independence.
We had started at Udaipur at 8.30am after having our breakfast. We took a cab to Chittorgarh and reached Chittorgarh at 11am. Started enjoying the view of the fort from the time we reached the city. Normally a modern city is a bit far off from forts. But Chittor city is right next to the hill where the fort is situated.
The top part of the huge gate to enter the fort with designs carved on the wall.
Lower part of the wall beside the gate with lovely carvings.
Beautiful pillars of the asvashala (horse stable) in front of the gate. The horses must sure have been pleased to stay here surrounded by beauty.
One of the entrance to the palace area. It has seven entrances.
One more ashvashala which is plainer without beautification.
Rana Kumbha’s palace.
The Queens palace
Kumbha Shyamji Temple which is the best preserved temple in the fort. It is well carved.
How can we not appreciate such beauty?
MeeraBai temple which has carvings all around.
The Gaumukh reservoir. The fort has 22 water bodies which are in the form of ponds, wells and step wells. These water bodies are fed by natural catchment and rainfall. The biggest of these water bodies is Gaumukh reservoir which supplies water for the gardens of the fort, even today. Beside the reservoir there is a temple where the queen used to pray. We were told that there was a passage from the queens palace to this reservoir, so that the queen could come with her maids to the temple in privacy.
A carved doorway which led to a balcony, which has a view of the present city of Chittorgarh.
Entrance gateway to Shiva temple, Jauhar kund and Vijay Stambh.
The Shiva temple where apparently the women prayed before committing Jauhar. Jauhar was the custom of Rajput women who would self immolate, rather than face capture, rape and slavery by the muslim invaders.
The Vijay Stambh. The Vijay Stambha (Tower of Victory) was erected by Rana Kumbha between 1458 and 1468 to commemorate his victory over Mahmud Shah I Khalji, the Sultan of Malwa, in 1440 AD. It is beautifully carved and a treat to the eyes.
Rani Padmini’s palace
The Kirti Stambh (Tower of Fame)
The Jain temple beside the Kirti Stambh. This Tower of Fame dedicated to Adinathji, the 1st Jain Tirthankara was built by a wealthy Jain merchant in 12th century AD.
Missed seeing a couple of monuments because the guide didn’t take us there. We started back. It was quite late and we were hungry by then. After coming out from the gate of the fort, a little further along we stopped at a hotel to have our food. I regret that I don’t remember the name of the hotel. The food was good and the service was awesome. They truly exemplified the saying ‘Atithi Devo Bhava’ meaning guest is God. We had ordered the Rajasthani Thali and the spread was awesome, with the waiter coaxing us lovingly to eat. He reminded us of our grandmother and how she used to coax us to eat.
With this pleasant experience we left Chittorgarh.