Chittorgarh Fort has received the credit of being the largest fort of India. The massive fort is located on a high hill near the Gambheri River in Chittorgarh. Chittorgarh Fort lies at a distance of 112 kms from the city of Udaipur in Rajasthan. This fort was built by various Maurya rulers in the 7th century. This huge fort covers an area of 700 acres, extending to 3 kms in length and 13 kms in peripheral length. Standing on an elevated hill of 180m, the impregnable fort has witnessed three battles.
Chittaurgarh Fort is truly an embodiment of chivalry and pride of the
Rajputs. The fort has a long story of romance, courage, determination
and sacrifice. A glimpse of the fort still makes one to think the glory
of the Rajputs who once lived here. The imposing Fort boasts of
well-designed palaces, magnificent cenotaphs and huge towers. The Fort
of Chittorgarh has a colossal structure that is secured by its several
Chittorgarh Fort is an acknowledgement to the courage of the gallant
Rajput rulers who sacrificed their life combating dominant rivals
instead of surrendering before them. The history of this majestic fort
can be traced during the time of Khilji's. Chittorgarh Fort is said to
have been the capital of the Gahlot and Sisodia kings who ruled Mewar
between the eighth and the sixteenth century. The Fort was named after
The fort was attacked three times and every time it got saved by the
daring heroism of the Rajput warriors. In 1303, for the first time, this
fort was attacked by Allaudin Khilji to fulfill his desire to make off
with Rani Padmini. For the second time, the Fort was sacked by Sultan
Bahadur Shah of Gujarat in 1535. In 1567, it was attacked for the last
time by Mughal Emperor Akbar to conquer Maharana Udai Singh. Every time,
a jauhar (mass suicide) was observed and the womenfolk of the Royalty
never submitted themselves.
This colossal fort is accessible through seven huge gates (Pols) that
are comprised of strong iron spikes and served as a watch tower in
earlier times. The way to Chittorgarh Fort will take you through
crisscross paths that would be interrupted at intervals by seven giant
pols (gateways). The foremost gate you will come across is the 'Ram Pol'
(the gate of Lord Rama) that has a temple in its vicinity. While
climbing further, you would find two cenotaphs near Padal Pol. These
cenotaphs are dedicated to Jaimal and Kala, who were killed by Akbar in
the battle of 1567.
On your way, you will find Padal Pol, Bhairon Pol, Ganesh Pol, Jorla
Pol, Lakshman Pol and Hanuman Pol. Next to Padan Pol, there is the
memorial which was erected in the memory of Rawat Bagh Singh. He was the
one, who got united with King Vikramaditya to battle against Sultan
Bahadur Shah. The Bhairon Pol was named to memorize Bhairondas Solanki,
who also fought in opposition to Sultan Bahadur Shah in 1534. However,
the main gate to enter the fort is Suraj Pol (the Sun Gate).
Apart from these massive gates, the Fort has many palaces to boast of
including Rana Kumbha Palace and Padmini's Palace, which are wonders of
Rajput architecture. Padimini's Palace is the same palace that used to
serve the beautiful queen of Rattan Singh. Rana Kumbha Palace is the
place that has underground cellars where queen Padmini committed
'Jauhar' along with the children and the other ladies of household.
The Fort also comprises several temples including Sammidheshwara
Temple, Jain Temple, Kalika Mata temple, Neelkanth Mahadev Temple,
Meerabai Temple and Kumbha Shyam Temple. These are the ancient temples
that have noteworthy carvings and intricate work. Gaumukh reservoir and
Bhimtal Tank are other places worth visiting. Gaumukh reservoir is a
huge water tank that gets water from Cow's mouth shaped rock. In the
waters of this same reservoir, Allaudin was allowed to see the
reflection of Queen Padmini that led to the whole battle.
Above all, the fort has towers that depict the glorious history of the
Rajput rulers. Vijay Stambh and Kirti Stambh are the most famous towers
celebrating the victory of Rajputs. Kirti Stambh is the tower that
literally means 'the Tower of Fame. Built in the 12th century, this
tower is dedicated to Adinath ji, the first Jain thinker. Kirti Stambh
is a seven-storied structure with the height of 22 m. one can reach the
different floors by climbing through a cramped staircase of 54 steps.
The tower is embellished with sculptures of Jain Pantheon.
Talking about Vijay Stambh, literally it means 'the tower of victory'.
Vijay Stambh is the most impressive structure of the Chittorgarh Fort.
It was constructed by Maharana Kumbha to commemorate his victory over
Mohammed Khilji in the 15th century. This giant tower is nine-storied
and offers a picture-perfect view of the down-town from its balconies.
This huge tower extends to the height of 122 feet and width of 47 sq ft
at the base. The circular stairs of this tower has 157 steps. This
imposing tower took 10 complete years to construct. You can trace
sculptures of the Hindu gods on the alcoves of this tower.
In the evenings, Vijay Stambh is illuminated and looks all the more
mesmerizing. Chittaurgarh Fort welcomes many a tourists around the world
to its complex every year. Moreover, the history of this majestic fort
makes the visit to this place more interesting. The magnificent
monuments of this fort are definitely worth spending some time in
seclusion pondering over the heroism of Mewar rulers. This heritage fort
of Rajasthan is definitely a 'must-visit' place that cannot be afforded