Chittaurgarh (Chittorgarh) Information
Chittaurgarh is one of the important cities in Rajasthan. It lies on the Berach River, a tributary of the Banas, and is the administrative headquarters of Chittorgharh District and a former capital of the Sisodia Dynasty of Mewar. The city of Chittaurgarh is located on the banks of river Gambhiri and Berach. The district was bifurcated and a new district namely Pratap Garh was created with certain portion taken from Udaipur district in the newly created district of Pratap Garh.
Once known as Chitrakut after Chitrang a chieftain of the Rajputs, Chittaurgarh is the epitome of Rajput pride, romance and spirit. It reverberates with the tales sung by the Bards of Rajasthan.
This massive hilltop fort is a depiction of Rajput culture and values. The fort stands on a 180m high hillock that rises rapidly from the plains below. It was constructed by the Mauryans in the 7th century AD. There is also a belief that it was constructed by Bhima of the Pancha Pandavas. This fort was the citadel of many great Indian warriors such as Gora, Badal,Rana Kumbha, Maharana Pratap, Jaimal, Patta, etc. Roughly fish shaped, the fort covers a huge area of 700 acres and can be approached through seven huge gateways or ‘pol’, which are guarded by watch tower and massive iron spiked doors. Some of the important monuments inside the fort are:
Kirti Stambha or ‘Tower of fame’
A 22 metre high tower dedicated to Lord Adinath Rishabdeo, the first Jain thirthankar. It was built by a merchant and is decorated with figures from the Jain pantheon. It is a seven storied pillar which was built by Biherwal Mahajan Sanaya of Digambar Jain sect during 12th century AD. On its four corners are engraved idols of Shri Adinathji in Digambar style which each are five feet (about 1.5meters) high and elsewhere are engraved several small idols consecrated to Jain lineage of deities.
Kumbha Shyam Temple
The temple of Varah, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu built by Rana Khumbha in 1448, is associated with Meera Bai.
Kalika Mata Temple
A temple of goddess kali, originally built as a sun temple by Bappa Rawal in 8th century and was later converted to a temple for mother Goddess, Kali in the 14th century. During the festival days of Navaratri, fairs are organised and pilgrims from different places come here to pay obeisance at the temple.
Dedicated to Meera Bai, a mystic poetess and a great devotee of Lord Krishna.
Rani Padmini's Palace is from which Alauddin Khilji (one of the rulers of Khilji dynasty during the sultanate rule over India) was allowed to watch a reflection of the Rani by replacing the mirror at such an angle that even if he turned back he could not see the room. It overlooks a small lake and although run down, is an interesting place to explore. The ‘Zanana Mahal’ of the palace overlooks a pond of water, where Allaudin Khilji first saw the reflection of Rani Padmini. Khilji had been warned by the Rani's husband Rawal Ratan Singh that if he turned back they would cut his neck.
Rana Kumbha’s Palace
This place reflects the tastes of Rana Kumbha, one of the greatest Mewar rulers.
Vijaya Stambha or Victory Tower
Its nine-storey tower rises to a height of 120ft and has a girth of 30ft at the base and is ornately carved with splendid sculptures of Hindu deities.
A deep tank filled by a spring, situated at the edge of a cliff.
Ratan Singh Palace
Ratan Singh Palace is located on the north-western for leading to fort’s main entrance Ram Pol, this palace is also called Hinglu Ahada’s Palace.
How to Reach There
The nearest airport is Dabok at Udaipur (98km). Chittaurgarhis well connected by Rail with Ajmer, Delhi, Udaipur, Ahmedabad, Mandsore, Kota, Bundi, Kachigudi, etc. The Rajasthan State Roadways Transport Corporation operates regular bus services from Ajmer, Bundi, Dungarpur, Banswara, Ratlam, Indore, Nathdwara, Mount Abu Jaipur, Jodhpur, Kota and Udaipur to Chittaurgarh.