The memories of Rana Kumbha, Rana Ratan Singh, Queen Padmini, Mirabai makes the Chittor Fort a place of wonder. The tourists get amazed to see such a huge Fort built on hilltop so many years ago.
It is a lifetime experience to visit Chittaurgarh. It is situated in Rajasthan on the banks of river Berach.
The Fort was originally built by Chitranga of the local Maurya dynasty. The UNESCO had conferred it World Heritage Site status. The Fort stands on a hill which is 590 feet high.
The most landmark structure of Chitor includes the Victory tower or the Vijay Stambh. It was build by Rana Kumbha for his victory over Mahmud Shah I Khilji in 1440 AD. It is a 122 feet structure with 9 floors.
The Rana Kumbha palace is situated in the vicinity. The palace is also in its ruins. Rana Udai Singh was born here. The legend says that Panna Dai had to save child Udai Singh when Bhanvir attacked the palace. She disguised her son as a prince and saved Udai Singh who later became the ruler of Udaipur. Bhanvir killed Panna Dhai’s son Chandan, thinking him to be Udai Singh.
There is a Kirti Stambh in the vicinity. It is famous for Jain temples having the idol of Lord Adinath.
The other important site which visitors visit include Queen Padmini’s palace. Presently it is in its ruins. In 1303, Sultan Alauddin Khilji was informed by priest Raghav Chetan about the beauty of Queen Padmini who was the wife of King Rana Ratan Singh.
Sultan Alauddin Khilji came from Delhi with his troops to Chittaur to see Queen Padmini. He created a camp near the Fort and waited till the resources of Rana Ratan Singh ended. He informed the other Rajpur Kings in Rajasthan not to unite with Rana Ratan Singh, else they had to face the armed attack of Sultan Alauddin Khilji. In early summer, when it became difficult to maintain the forces, Alauddin Khilji came to Rana Ratan Singh’s palace to see his queen. Rana Ratan Singh showed him the reflection of Queen Padmini from the window and then allowed Alauddin Khilji to return to his camp. Khilji invited Rana Ratan Singh alone but called up his forces to take him to Delhi.
Queen Padmini went to Delhi with the army of Mewar in disguise of her mates. Rana Ratan Singh and Queen Padmini escaped from Delhi and came back to Chittor. Sultan Alauddin Khilji declared war on Rana Ratan Singh, but in the battle it was almost Rana Ratan Singh destroyed the sword Khilji when by treachery Malik Kafur, the eunuch servant of Khilji killed Rana Ratan Singh with arrows. Rajputs fought bravely but lost to the Sultan Army. The Queen Padmini and all the ladies of the Fort burned themselves in funeral pyre and committed Jauhar or Sati. The entire history relating to the war in 1303 is alive in the ruins of Padmini Palace. Rana Ratan Singh Palace is also there in the vicinity. There is a pond both beside Queen Padmini Palace and Rana Ratan Singh palace. Recently Sanjay Leela Bhansali had made a historical feel titled Padmavat with Shahid Kapoor playing the role of Rana Ratan Singh, Deepika Padukone playing the role of Queen Padmini and Ranvir Singh playing the role of Sultan Alauddin Khilji. The film released on 25th January, 2018 had already done business of more than 244 crores. The film had recreated the history and also faced serious controversies from Rajput community and other communities.
Chittor fort is also famous for Mira Bai Temple. Rana Kumbha built the temple. Mira Bai was devotee of Lord Krishna and during her entire life sang bhajans in the name of Lord Krishna. The temple is in the shape of Pyramid.
From Jodhpur, Chittor Fort is around 300 kilometers. It takes around 6 hours to reach Chittaurgarh Fort by road from Jodhpur.
Winter is the best time to visit Chittaurgarh Fort. During the morning the temperature lies around 8 degree Celsius. During afternoon the temperature lies around 20 degree Celsius. There is one more fun. The local community in the Fort, allow the tourists to wear the dresses of Rajput Kings and Queens of Mewar. Even the swords and pitchers are given to have pose of Kings and Queens and take photographs.
Just because Chittor is situated in the southern part of Rajasthan, it is not as dry as Jaisalmer. There are many restaurants where tourists have both Rajasthani dishes like Dal Bati Churma, Sangri Ki Sabzi, Gatte Ki Sabzi, Bajre ki Roti, and at the same time other dishes like postoalu, rice, navaratna korma, dal makhani to name a few. There is more vegetation than the western part of Rajasthan, so the food is fresh and tasty.
There are Kalika temple and other temples in the Chittor Fort. Those who have studied the history of Rana Kumbha, Rana Ratan Singh, Queen Padmini, Rana Udai Singh, they can appreciate the historical monuments in the place. For others also it is a lovely site.
If Rajasthan is famous for the Thar Desert in Jaisalmer, it is also famous for the Chittaurgarh Fort in Chittor. It is a lifetime experience to ride on a camel back and go to the desert sands of Thar desert in Jaisalmer. It is a lifetime experience to watch the sunset from the desert sands. Both Rajasthan and Baluchistan look the same from the desert.
Chittaurgarh has a different beauty with the beautiful hills and the Fort being built on top of the hills. There are ponds and lakes on the hill top. During the reign of Queen Padmini, Rana Ratan Singh, Rana Kumbha, it must have looked much better. During wars at different times of history the Fort had been ruined and presently it is not as beautiful as it originally was. Visitors should spare time and at least visit Chittaurgarh in Rajasthan one time in their life. During the visit, the tourists feel that they are in the heartlands of the Mewar Rajputs and the memories of Rana Kumbha, Rana Ratan Singh, Queen Padmini, Mira Bai haunts them. It is a wonder of wonders to built such a huge Fort on hill top so many years ago.
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Traveling to a historical site such as a medieval fortress represents a great opportunity for me to immerse myself in the history of that place and to try to imagine to live in such a citadel during its glory days..