Chittorgarh Fort Near Udaipur
About Chittorgarh FortChittorgarh Fort or Chittor is located near the famous Gambheri River in a small town known as Chittaurgarh. Stretched over an area of 700 acres, this fort is spread over a length of 3 kilometers and a peripheral length of 13 kilometers. Because of its significant historical importance, Chittorgarh Fort has always been very popular among tourists. Visitors come to this fort to get a glimpse of the valiant Rajput rulers who sacrificed their life to protect their families instead of just surrendering before their dominant rivals. Chittorgarh Fort is a true incarnation of the pride and gallantry of the Rajputs.
The fort features an eye-catching colossal structure surrounded by many strong gateways. Chittorgarh Fort also consists of several marvelous cenotaphs, beautifully designed palaces and magnificent towers. Inside the fort, a round road gives access to all the gateways, 130 temples, palaces and monuments within the area. Earlier, the fort had 84 water bodies, however, only 22 exist currently. These water bodies, consisting of various ponds and wells, have enough water to fulfill the needs of an army of 50,000 people for four consecutive years.
The fort consists of seven major gates (locally known as ‘Pols’), that is, Padan Pol, Hanuman Pol, Bhairon Pol, Jodla Pol, Ganesh Pol, Laxman Pol and Ram Pol (the main gate named after Lord Ram). All the gates within the fort are built with massive walls for military defense. The doors have pointed arches to protect the fort from cannon shots and big animals like elephants. Moreover, the top of the gates consists of uneven parapets for shooting arrows at the enemy.
Spread over 700 acres, Chittorgarh Fort is a huge place with numerous monuments and temples. While visiting the fort, tourists often get confused about the monuments and palaces they should see first.
Some Important Sights within the Chittorgarh FortVictory Tower
Also known as the Vijay Stambha or the Jay Stambha, this tower represents the symbol of Chittorgarh Fort and was constructed by Rana Khumba, between the period of 1458 and 1468, to celebrate his triumph over Mahmud Shah Khalji in 1440 AD. The tower stands 122 feet tall over a base of 47 square feet and consists of nine levels connected by a narrow staircase of 157 steps. The highest floor of the tower provides beautiful views of the surrounding area and Chittor. It is best to visit the Stambha during evenings when it is beautifully lit up with colorful lights.
Kirti Stambha or the Fame Tower is a 22 feet tower spread over a base of 30 feet and is older and smaller than the Vijay Stambha. The most interesting feature of this tower is the numerous Jain sculptures built on the outside of this tower. Constructed by a famous Jain merchant during the 12th century – Jijaji Rathod, this tower is dedicated to Adinath, one of the most respected Jain teachers. The entire tower consists of six levels connected by a staircase of 54 steps.
Rana Kumbha’s Palace
Located at the entrance of Vijay Stambha, Rana Kumbha Palace is one of the oldest monuments in Chittorgarh Fort. However, the entrance to the courtyard of this palace is through the Suraj Pol. The palace consists of a stable for animals like elephants and horses and a temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. It is believed that the founder of Udaipur city, Maharana Udai Singh was born in this palace. The most incredible features of this palace is the impressive string of canopied balconies built in a sequence. The famous Singa Chowri temple is also located close to the palace. Due to its great historical significance, this palace is the most famous feature of the Chittorgarh Fort.
According to the legend, Rani Padmini resided in this palace and this was the place where Alauddin was allowed to view the mirror image of Padmini in the water. It is believed that as soon as Alauddin saw the image of Rani Padmini, he became so besotted by her beauty that he killed her husband and king - Maharana Rattan Singh and destroyed the entire city in order to possess her. Padmini’s Palace is located at the southern part of Chittorgarh fort with several pavilions and a water moat surrounding the palace. Entry to this palace is free.
Constructed in 1449, this temple was built by Maharana Kumbha and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. The temple has beautiful idols in its chambers, along with many pillars and mandaps. A small temple dedicated to Lord Krishna is also located close to the Meera Temple.
History of Chittorgarh FortChittorgarh Fort represents the courage of Rajput soldiers who fought gallantly to protect their families instead of surrendering in front of their rivals. According to the legend, it is believed that the fort was once the capital of Mewar from 8th century to 16th century and was named after the famous Chittrangad Maurya. It is one of the largest and the oldest forts in the country and was built by the Mauryans in the 7th Century AD.
The fort was the capital of Mewar for approximately 834 years and was founded by Bappa Rawal in 734 AD. Some even say that the fort was gifted to Bappa Rawal as a part of Princess Solanki’s dowry during the 8th Century. Chittorgarh Fort has survived three major battles and each time it was saved by the bravery and heroism of Rajput soldiers. In 1303, Alauddin Khijli attacked the fort to possess Rani Padmini; in 1535, Bahadur Shah, Sultan of Gujrat, attacked the fort for the second time and in 1568, Mughal Emperor Akhbar besieged the fort and thereafter, Chittorgarh fort was never resettled to its former glory, however it was refurbished in 1905.
Get some more scoop into Chittorgarh Fort
How to Reach Chittorgarh FortThe best way to reach Chittorgarh Fort is to either hire a taxi from Udaipur or one can even take the bus that runs regularly between Udaipur and Chittorgarh Fort. The nearest airport to the fort is Maharana Pratap Airport, around 90 kilometers from Chittor.
Once you reach Chittorgarh Fort, the best way to cover maximum area in one day to rent a bike. The climb to the fort is a little steep, however, once you reach the top, the entire effort will be definitely worth it as the fort provides great view of the surrounding areas. Another great way to see the fort is to hire an auto-rickshaw, which will take around Rs. 150 – Rs. 200 including the waiting time. Auto – Rickshaws can be easily booked at the tourist office located at the fort.