A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Chittorgarh Fort stands as a symbol of royal power, courage, honor, and loyalty amidst the Rajputana City of Chittor in Rajasthan.
The fort relates to the attacks of Mughals and valor of Rani Padmini for the Jauhar for saving the respect of mankind. This is the monument linked with the life of brave ruler Maharana Pratap.
Interestingly, the fort is the largest fort in India as well as in Asia also.
It witnessed three major Muslim invasions from Allauddin Khilji, Bahadur Shah and Akbar, and still stands touching the sky heights.
All this initial introduction pumps me up to explore it. So, let’s have a look at history, architecture, and various places of interest of this mesmerising monument in India.
History of the Glorious fort-
The fort was built by local Maurya ruler Chitrangada Mori and the name was kept related to its creator. The place where the fort is situated was known as Chitrakut in ancient India.
- Atttack by Allaudin khilji and Jauhar of Padmini- In 1303, the Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khilji led an army to conquer Chittorgarh, which was ruled by the Guhila King Rattan Singh. According to the legends, Rani Padmini committed suicide by jauhar, to save her respect from the dreadful invader Khilji. Alllaudin passed the throne to his only child Khizr Khan and the fort was renamed as Khizrabad.
- Khizr khan’s rule lasted till 1311 A.D. and the throne was passed to Rajput ruler Maldeva. The next successor was Hammir Singh who returned prosperity and glory to the kingdom. His son Ketra Singh and grandson Lakha were the further successors of the throne. Grandson of Lakha, Rana Kumbha came to the throne in 1433 A.D. After his death in 1509 A.D., Sangram Singh (also known as Rana Sanga), his youngest son, became the ruler of Mewar.
- Invasion by Bahadur Shah Zafar- Bahadur Shah, who came to the throne in 1526 AD as the Sultan of Gujarat besieged the Chittorgarh fort in 1535. Rana Singh, his brother Udai Singh and his faithful maid Panna Dhai had to escape the fort.
- Attack by Akbar- In 1567, when the throne was in hands of Rana Udai Singh II, Mughal emperor Akbar attacked the fort. Chittor was captured by him in 1568 after a 4-month long siege. In 1616 Chittorgarh was given back to Amar Singh by Jahangir, after a treaty between Jahangir and Amar Singh.
That was the history of the fort due to which the fort has so much importance in today’s world also. Now, lets have a view on other aspects of the fort-
- The fort is situated in the Chittor City lying on the banks of Berach river in southern part of Rajasthan.
- Chittor is the land of worship of Meera and also linked to Panna Dhai.
- It is 233 km from Ajmer and around 120 km from Udaipur city.
- The fort occupies a total area of around 700 acres.
- The fort is roughly in the shape of a fish and has a circumference of 13 km and is located on a hill having a height of 180 meters.
How to reach the fort-
- The fort could be reached by air through Maharana Pratap Airport in Udaipur which is the nearest one to the fort.
- It is also connected through railways and bus services also. He nearest railway station is Chittorgarh Junction railway station which is 6 kms away.
- The nearest bust stand is New Private Bus stand, that is around 4.5 kms away from the fort.
Architectural Marvels there-
- Seven Gates of the Fort-The main attraction of the fort are its seven entrance gates. These would have meant to save the fort from direct enemy attacks. These gates also have majestic designs and art works.
- Vijay Stambha- With a height of 37.2 m and a base area of 4.4m sq, Vijay Stambha or Victory Tower was built in 1458-1468 by Rana Kumbha to celebrate his victory over Mahmu Shah I Khaliji. The Stambha is 9- storeyed and has 157 narrow stairs. Nowadays, it is banned to go inside the Stambha.
- Kirti Stambha– Also known as the Tower of Fame, Kirti Stambha is a 22 m high tower built on a 9.1 m base. The Stambha is dedicated to Adinath, the first Jain Tirthankar and was built by the Bagherwal Jain merchant Jijaji Rathod. It is 6-storeyed and has 54 stairs. It is smaller than the Vijay Stambha.
- Rana Kumbha Palace- Next to the Vijay Stambh is situated the Rana Kumbha’s Palace which is now in ruins. It is the oldest monument of the fort and the birth place of Maharaja Udai Singh, the founder of Udaipur. Panna Dhai and Rani Meera also resided in this palace.The palace also has a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva.
- Padmini’s Palace- It is a three-storeyed white building where Rani Padmini, wife of Rattan Singh resided. It has the place where Allauddin Khilji was shown the mirror image of Rani Padmini. To safeguard the respect she along with other ladies commited suicide in form of Jauhar when Khilji attacked the fort and Rattan Singh was dead.
- Other Architectural marvels- Kalka Mata Temple near the Padmini’s Palace, Tulja Bhawani temple on the western side of the Kalika Mata temple, Meerabai temple close to Vijay Stambha, Gaumukh Reservoir-the pool that was the main source of water, Sathis Deori Jain temple, and Fateh Prakash Palace located next to the palace of Rana Kumbha, was built by Rana Pratap Singh.
Time to visit the Fort-
The timings of the fort are from 9:45 am to 5:15 pm every day. It takes around 6 hours to visit the fort with complete details. The fort should be visited in the months of October-February to escape the dreadful hot summers of Rajasthan. On MONDAYS, and other holidays the fort remains closed.
Fees and Charges-
- The charges of a ticket for an Indian tourist is Rs. 10 and for foreign tourist Rs. 100.
- To watch the sound and light show, the entry fee for an adult is Rs. 50 and for a student Rs. 25.
- In the evening time of 7-8 pm a light and sound show is presented which should not be missed by a traveler.
- Proper food and water supplements should be carried along as it takes a very long duration of 5-6 hours to visit the fort completely.
- A local guide should be hired for getting information about the fort.
- The entry from city to the fort should be done preferably in a taxi as there is a long-distance pathway consisting of 7 gateways to enter the fort. The scene of the city from the top of the fort will rejuvenate you and create a permanent image in your heart and soul.
- One can book online tickets at Yatra.com to avoid the exhausting queues at the fort.
Location on Map-