Chittorgarh Fort is not only in India but it is Asia’s largest fort standing in the Chittorgarh region of Rajasthan state. This fort is the finest example of the sacrifices of Rajput kings and queens of the state. When it comes to Rajasthan no one can deny the royal legacies of this princely state displayed in its huge forts and historical monuments. The state is called Rajasthan because this region was mostly ruled by the kings of the Rajput dynasty and the word Rajasthan literally means the Land of Kings (Raja).
The fort of Chittorgarh is spread over an area of 700 acres and 590ft. high from the ground level. This fort has four palaces, nineteen temples, twenty ponds, four memorials, and two victory towers. It is a huge fort with the fine Hindu and Rajput styles of architecture. However, this fort is a symbol of Devotion, Power, and Sacrifice. Many famous historical stories of Rajasthan are part of this fort like the Bhakti tales of Meera Bai, the Sacrifice of Rani Padmini, the Bravery of Maharana Pratap, and many more.
The royal history of Chittor
Rajasthan and its royal history are famous worldwide. The prestigious, as well as glorious forts in the state, are undescribable. However, Chittorgarh fort was founded by the Maurya rulers in the 7th century and later Bappa Rawal a Rajput king got possession of the fort during the 8th century. And made it the capital of the Mewar dynasty. Here is a pond in the fort that dates back to the period of Mahabharata known as Bhimlat Kund. The fort itself is a storybook telling the tales of many renowned kings and queens.
In 1303, the fort was attacked by Alaudin Khilji who was attracted by the beauty of Rani Padamani the wife of Rana Rattan Singh. After losing 7000 most powerful warriors while rescuing Rana Ratan Singh in war the army started to lose. Therefore, the queen with many other women and children of the royal palace performed Jauhar in the fort. A few years later, Alaudin Khilji handed over the throne to his son due to repeated persuasion by the Rajputs. Hence, he left the fort after some years for Maldeva the chief of Sonigra but Hammir Sigh of Mewar won the fort after seven years.
The downfall of the Mewar Dynasty
Then his decedents ruled the region and the most famous ruler of the Mewar dynasty was Rana Khumbha. During his time of rule, the region was the most powerful as well as the flourishing kingdom of Rajasthan. But the sudden death of Rana caused the downfall of the dynasty. However, he was killed by his son Rana Udaysimha for the possession throne. In 1527, the successor of Rana Udaysimha was defeated by Babar. And taking the opportunity of the time Bahadur Shah attacked the fort in 1535, which again lead to Jauhar in the fort.
However, in 1567 Akbar was planning to rule over India. Hence he sent a message to the different powerful rulers to surrender their kingdoms. During that time the Chittorgarh Fort was under the rule of Rana Uday Singh II who denied to accept the orders of Akbar. Therefore, as a result, the Mughals attacked the fort and defeated the Rana. And with this, the rule of the Mawar dynasty came to an end. However, after that, the Mughal dynasty ruled the region for a longer duration.
Why Chittorgarh fort is famous?
There is a phrase in Rajasthan that says “Gadho mai Gadh Chittorgarh, baki sab Gadhaiya”. It means among all the fortresses in the country Chittorgarh Fort is the real metaphor for the fort. This fort is a combination of incredible Rajput, Hindu, and Mughal styles of architecture. It is spread over an area of 700 acres and looks like a huge fish with a circumference of 13km. The fort lies on the edge of the Gambri River which is crossed by a limestone bridge hanging on its main entrance. However, the Chittorgarh fort is the fortress of one of the largest and most flourishing dynasties of Rajasthan, the Mewar dynasty.
This fort has seven gates known as pols such as Ram Pol, Laxman Pol, Hanuman Pol, Ganesh Pol, and others. These gateways were built by the Rana Kumbha during 1433-1468. The fortress has many structures and various palaces found by the different rulers of the fort. Additionally, the temples and victory towers present here are some special features of the fort. However, this fort has numerous stories of its brave rulers and their royal lifestyle. The fort is a spending example of Rajasthan’s history and culture. Hence, it hosts the annual Jauhar mela every year between February – March in which a large number of Rajput families come. The successors of royal families do the traditional possession for celebrating the mela.
Attractions of Fort
- Vijay Stambh :- This is the oldest structure in the fort built by Rana Kumbha in 1448. It is a victory tower built to symbolize the win over Mohamad Khalji who led the Malva army. This tower is devoted to Lord Vishnu and is the highest tower. From here you can have a beautiful view of the fort along with the city.
- Gaumukh Reservoir :- It is a must to visit place in the fort. This reservoir is known as Tirth Raj here because it is believed that after visiting all the religious places completing their holy tour here is a good omen. This reservoir is named Gaumukh as here water falls from a cow face structure and this fall is natural, not man-made.
- Kirti Stambh :- This tower was founded to dignify Jainism in the 12th century by Rawal Kumar Singh. It is a 22meter long tower made in the honour of first Jain Tirthankara Adinath. This tower is a famous religious spot for Jainism followers. Tourist visit here to witness the astonishing carvings of Digambara monks with Adinath on this pillar.
Palaces of the fort
- Rani Padmini Palace :- It is the place where Rani Padmini has committed Jauhar with several other women. This palace is a small but beautiful one here surrounded by lotus ponds. It is said that this palace belongs to the most beautiful Queen of the period Rani Padmini who was the wife of Rana Ratan Singh. Tourists from across the world visit to explore this charming palace.
- Rana Kumbha Palace :- It is the palace of the most powerful ruler of the Mewar dynasty Rana Kumbha who lived here in luxury. The structure of the palace has an astonishing style of architecture and carvings on its walls. Here you can enjoy the light and sound show in the evening reciting the bravery stories of the kings and queens of Chittor.
- Meera Bai Temple :- This is a historical as well as a religious place here. This temple is devoted to Meera Bai a Rajput Princess who left her royal lifestyle to live as a devotee of Lord Krishna. She was a poet and saint who has given her whole life to worshiping Lord Krishna. This pace has a peaceful and happy environment.
Therefore, Chittorgarh Fort is a book of history telling the prestigious stories of Rajput kings and queens. This fortress is a huge place to explore and learn about the culture and traditions of the state. The best time to visit Chittorgarh Fort is October – March when the weather is perfect for wandering in the fort. Being in the state of Rajasthan the climate during the summer season is extremely hot and proves to be difficult for a tourist to visit the palace.
However, it is good to take the time of two days with you to fully explore the location. During this time, you can easily experience the beauty of the fortress and its fantastic architecture. Therefore, visiting Asia’s largest fort and exploring it to its fullest is the perfect decision to make for your holidays in Rajasthan. Here you can experience the royal lifestyle and luxurious palaces of the period.
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