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C   H  I  T  T  O  R  G   A   R   H  

INFORMATION ABOUT CHITTORGARH

The history of Chittor is one of the most stirring chapters in Indian history for it was there that the flower of Rajput chivalry sprang to life and the immense stretch of its sacred walls and ruined palaces relate the saga of innumerable sieges and heroism which has almost become a myth now. Western railways connect Chittorgarh on the metre guage with Ajmer, Delhi, Jaipur, Ratlam, Udaipur. However the convenient railhead is Udaipur. Rajasthan State Roadway Transport Corporation operates regular bus service from Agra 557 kms, Ajmer 182 kms, Delhi 578 kms, Jaipur 320 kms, Jodhpur, Kota 000 kms, Mount Abu 390 kms and Udaipur 115 kms to Chittaurgarh.

CHITTORGARH HISTORY

When the city was built in the 8th century by Bappa Rawal (ruled 734-53A.D.), it was named Chittorgarh. That was a long time ago and just the beginning of one of the bloodiest histories that a town has ever seen. Famous for being besieged by invaders, Chittorgarh traces its origin way back to the Mahabharata, according to one legend. Although the foundation of Chittor is attributed to Bappa Rawal, the fort is considered to be one of the earliest in Rajasthan.

CHITTORGARH TOURISM

    The Places of Interest and Sight Seeing

  • Rani Padmini-The Incognizant Cause : Standing on a rocky plateau on a 500-feet high hill, the 700 acre fort was besieged three times, and each time Chittor ended as the loser. But that did not mean that the fort was less sturdy than any other citadel in Rajasthan. It was just that the Rajputs had a habit of riding out to meet the enemy outside the safety of their walls, instead of allowing the enemy to launch the first assault. The first time the fort was stormed in 1303, it was a woman who was the unwitting cause. Alauddin Khilji fell in love with Rani Padmini the moment he heard of her beauty, and decided to take her and Chittor to boot. He did conquer Chittor but Padmini reduced herself to ashes in a jauhar (mass suicide in fire), in which 30,000 women burnt themselves alive.


  • Conquered by Muhammad Shah of Gujarat :The second siege came 232 years later in 1535, when Muhammad Shah of Gujarat declared war on Chittor. Chittor fell again, and 13,000 women and children committed jauhar – but of a different kind. The fortress was on the verge of being seized by Bahadur Shah and there was no time to arrange for a bonfire. Gunpowder was brought out from the magazines and laid out. The tremendous blast that followed took the lives of women and children.


  • Finally Conquered by Emperor Akbar :The final assault was by Akbar in 1567, and it was fatal for Chittor. The seven gates of Chittor were opened and 8,000 Rajputs rode out in their saffron war robes, once again to die at the hands of the Mughals. Tradition repeated itself within the walls of Chittor, as, in true Rajput style, the women and children chose 'death by fire' instead of disgrace. When Akbar entered the fort, it is said that there was not a living soul left inside. After this final sack, the back of Chittor was broken, and its ruler Rana Udai Singh fled to lay the foundations of Udaipur.


  • Chittor Could Be Definitely On The Tourist Itinerary List :Chittor today is more of an industrial town, but the only reason to come here would certainly have to be the fort. The town is off the main tourist circuit, but is definitely worth a visit. The best way to get to Chittor would be to make Udaipur the base for a one-day excursion to the fort.


  • Chittorgarh Tourism :The pride and glory of Rajasthan,Chittaur echoes with the tales of romance and vlour unique to the Rajput tradition. A ruined citadel, where the royal past lives in its imposing forts, graceful palaces and spectacular chattris. 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 donned in saffron robes of martyrdom rode out of the fort towards a certain death.


  • Alauddin Khilji was the first to sack 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 Karanavati, 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 thefort to a rubble. Chittaur was never inhabited again but it always asserted the heroic spirit of Rajput warriors.


  • Chittorgarh is the epitome of Rajput pride, romance and spirit. It reverberates with history of heroism and sacrifice, which is evident as it echoes with the tales sung by the Bards of Rajasthan. The main reason for visiting Chittorgarh is its massive hilltop fort, which is a depiction of Rajput culture and values. The fort stands on a 240-hectares site on an 180m high hill that rises rapidly from the plains below.


  • Thrice a stronger enemy sacked Chittorgarh. The first sack occurred in 1303 when a Pathan King Ala-ud-din Khilji overwhelmed by the beauty of Queen Padmini besieged the fort in order to capture the regal beauty. In 1535 Bahadur Shah the Sultan of Gujarat besieged the fort causing immense carnage and it is said that 32000 men donned the saffron robes of martyrdom and rode out to face a certain death, and the women folkes committed Jauhar (an act of self immolations by plunging in a large fire) led by Rani Karnawati.


  • In 1568 Mughal Emperor Akbar razed the fort to the rubble and once again the history repeated itself. In 1616 Mughal emperor Jehangir restored the fort to the Rajput but it was not resettled. Today a new township sprawls below the hill on the west side. Chittorgarh is connected by both bus and rail. The bus stand and the railway are located in the new township.


  • 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 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.


  • According to often told legend the construction of the fort was started by Bhim a Pandav hero of mythological epic Mahabharata. The fort has many magnificent monuments. Akbar carried away all the distinctive pieces of architecture and sculpture and placed them in his capital. These are still manifested in the fort of Agra. Even though the fort is ruin but it is an overwhelming reminder of past history and its walls resonate with unbelievable legend of extra ordinary men and women and their equally astounding deeds.


  • Chittaurgarh Fort A standing sentinel to the courage and valor of Chittaurgarh, it stands tall over a 180 meter high hillock covering a massive area of 700 acres. The fort is belileved to have been built by the Maurya rulers in 7th century AD.


  • The fort is a treasure house of history and historical monuments the approach to the fort is very difficult, the one mile steep serpentine thoroughfare is exhaustive and the fort is reached through huge seven pols of gates, which are in fact the strong points having a watch tower and massive iron spiked doors.


  • It was ravaged thrice, and each time phoenix-like it rose again Allaudin Khilji was the first to sack Chittaur in 1303, legend and history corroborate that this was because of his passionate desire to abduct Rani Padmini. Yet she preferred death to dishonor, and committed Jauhar (self immolation) along with the other ladies of the court. Chitturgarh was plundered again in 1535 by Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat and finally by the Moghul Emperor Akbar, in 1567, in an attempt to subdue Maharana Udai Singh.


  • The fort is approached through massive pols of gates. Near Bhairon Pol, is a cenotaph or 'chhatra' in honor of the chivalrous Jaimal and his cousin Kala, who laid down their lives whilst defending Chittaur against the Mughals. Jaimal who was seriously wounded, but was not ready to die in his bed , thus he was carried into battle on the shoulders of his cousin Kala , both of them died while showing exemplary courage.


  • At Ram Pol is a memorial to Phatta, who was only 16 years old and had just been married, his father had already died defending Chittaurgarh, and was sent into the battle by his mother, to free her son from any affection towards home she herself pickled up sword along with his bride and jumped into the battle field both of them died in front of Phatta. Next day the women folk of the palace ended their lives by committing Johar. Phatta leading the saffron robed men from the front thundered down like lightening from the mighty fortress to die fighting.


  • The other major gates are Padal pola and Hanuman Pol, with a distinct Rajput style of architecture.


  • THE FORT :A standing sentinel to the courage and valor of Chittaurgarh, it stands tall over a 180 meter high hillock covering a massive area of 700 acres. The fort is belileved to have been built by the Maurya rulers in 7th century AD.


  • VIJAY STAMBH OR 'VICTORY TOWER :Built by Rana Kumbha in 1440 , to commemorate the victory over the combined forces of the kings of neighboring Malwa and Gujarat, this tower is 120ft. (36.5mts) high and has a girth of 30 ft. at the base, the nine storied high limestone structure is richly ornamented from top to bottom.


  • KIRTI STAMBH OR 'TOWER OF FAME :Built iln the 12th century, dedicated to Lord Sri Adinath Rishab deo, the first Jain Tirthankar. The 22 metre high structure ils rdeplete with figures from Jain pantheon. There are several other Jain temples iln Chittaurgarh.


  • RANA KUMBHA'S PALACE :The largest monument of the fort, it is believed that Rani Padmini committed Jauhar, in once of these underground cellars. The palace is in ruins but generates historical as well as architectural interest. The original palace was believed to have been built by Rana Hamir after regaining the fort in the first siege. The Mewar power reached its acme during Rana Kumbha's time, he was a great patron of art and architecture, which is amply reflected in the palace.


  • PADMINI PALACE :The palace of Rani Padmini who preferred death before dishonor, and committed Johar, along with her entire entourage before falling into the hands of Allauddin Khilji. It was here that Rana Ratan Singh allowed a glimpse of the legendary beauty to Allauddin Khilji. The Zanana Mahal overlooks the pond, Padmini stood over here and the reflection of her was shown in the water to Allauddin Khilji.


  • MEERA TEMPLE :The temple is dedicated to the mystic poetess Meera, and a devotee of Lord Krishna. Meera was born in Kurki village near Merta to Ratan Singh Rathors, and was married to Bhojraj son of Rana Sanga of Mewar. Legends say that she consumed poison set by Vikramaditya but nothing happended to her due to the blessings of Lord Krishna. In front of the temple is the cenotaph (chhatri) of Meera Bai's Guru Shri Rai Das of Banaras, inside the cenotaph is carved a figure of five human bodies with one head, depicting that all castes are equal and even outcasts can attain God.


  • KUMBHA SHYAM TEMPLE :Thetemple dedicated to Varah (Boar), the incarnation of Lord Vishnu. It was built in 1448 AD. By Rana Kumbha Mahasati cenotaphs The cremation site of the Ranas and their wives, the sites are marked with Chhatris.


  • KALIKA MATA TEMPLE :The temple is dedicated to Goddess Kali, the symbol of power and valour. Situated towards the southern side of the fort, it was built by Rana Hamir. Originally it was built as a Sun Temple by Bappa Rawal in the 8th century, but ws destroyed during the first sack of Chittaur. Rana Hamir converted it into a Kali temple on regaining the fort in the 14th century. The house of Chunda is situated near the temple. There are several other temples, within the ramparts of the fort like that of the temple of Annapurana, Jain Temples etc.


  • JAIMAL AND PATTA'S PALACE :Theruins of this palace remind once of the story of the gallant Rathores Jaimal and Sisodia Patta the two great warriors, who layed down their lives for the honour of Chittaurgarh.


  • JAIMAL AND PATTA'S PALACE :Theruins of this palace remind once of the story of the gallant Rathores Jaimal and Sisodia Patta the two great warriors, who layed down their lives for the honour of Chittaurgarh.


  • GOVERNMENT MUSEUM :The magnificent Fateh Prakash Mahal has been converted into a museum, which houses a rare and rich collectino of sculptures from the fort and the temples. (Friday Closed)


  • GAUMUKH(COW'S MOUTH RESERVOIR) :Situated near the Mahasati Chowk, the water from a spring flows through a stone structure carved in the form of a cow's mouth into the reservoir.


  • MOHAR MAGRI (HILL OF GOLD COINS) :A small structure which was raised during the invasion of Chittaurgarh by Akbar in 1567, it gets the name Mohar Magri because it is believed that Emperor Akbar paid one mohar (gold coin) for each basketful of earth placed on the mound, as the work was very dangerous, brave soldiers guarding the the ramparts fromabvoe. The mound was raised to such a height that the Mughal cannons could be placed over it and fired inside the fort. The important places inside are, the temple of Tulja Bhawani (the tutelary goddess of the scribes), the Naulakha Bhandar or nine lakh treasury, Singar Chauri, depicting inscriptions dating back to 1448 AD. Sat -bis-Deori, the old Jain temple etc.


  • NAGRI (20km) :One of the most important townships of the Mauryan era in Rajasthan, situated on the banks of river Bairach. It was formerly known as Madhyamika, which flourished from the Mauraya to gupta era. The excavation over here have unearthed many interesting facts and have showed signs of strong Hindu and Buddhist influence.


  • BAROLI (130 KM) :The ruins of the famous temples of Baroli, near Rawatbhata. This town is worth visiting, because of the group of ancient temples situated here.


  • BASSI VILLAGE (25KM) :The historical fort en route to Bundi, is the main attraction. It ahs beautiful temples and Kund (reservoir). The exquisite sculptures and woodcraft of Bassi are also very famous.


  • BASSI WILDLIFE SANCTUARY :The wildlife sanctuary covers an area of 50 Sq. Km. Near the Bassi village. The key fauna of the sanctuary are panther, wild boar, antelopes and mongoose. Migratory birds also visit the sanctuary. For entry into the sanctuary, prior permission is to be obtained from the District Forest Officer, Chittaurgarh.


  • SANWARIAJI TEMPLE (40 KM) :The temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna, situated on the Chittaurgarh - Udaipur highway. This is not a very old structure and is an important Hindu pilgrimage centre.


  • MATRI KUNDIYA TEMPLE (50km) :Also famous as the Haridwar of Mewar' the shrine is dedicated to Lord Shiva.


  • SITAMATA SANCTUARY :The sanctuary is spread over the Aravali and Vindhyachal ranges and is the only forest where teak trees of building value are found. The thickly vegetated sanctuary has about 50% teak trees besides salar, tendu, amla, bamboo and bel etc. Three rivers flow through the forest, Jakham and Karmoj are the major ones. A huge dam has been constructed over the Jakham river for irrigation , and wild animals in the sanctuary.

    The key fauna of the sanctuary are leopard, hyena, jackal, fox jungle cat, porcupine, spotted deer,wild bear, four horned antelope and nilgai etc. The most important and conspicuous animal of the sanctuary is the flying squirrel, which can be observed gliding between the trees during night,this no curanla creature hides in the day light , the best time to watch the squirrel is in the months of February and March at Arampura Guest House, when most trees shed their leaves making it easier to sport the squirrel. The sanctuary is also associated with mythological events, it is believed that Sita wife of Lord Rama stayed here during the period of her exile in the ashram of Saint Valmiki.


ACCOMODATION/STAY OPTIONS IN CHITTORGARH



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