is one of the most magnificent forts in India and it was built during the 17th
century by the Maurya rulers of Rajasthan. The fort is situated in the city of
Chittorgarh in Rajasthan and in the past it used to be the capital of Mewar.
This fort is a structure of eminence in entire North India and it radiates
several tales of valor and bravery. The fort is also a fusion of Rajput culture
and traditions and it has also been designated as a world heritage site by
UNESCO in 2013.
massive fort expands across an area of about 692 acres and is positioned on a
hill at an elevation of 590 feet. Chittorgarh Fort is connected by a 1 km steep
road that leads to the main entrance of the fort. In the past, the fort has
been the place where many sacrifices have taken place related to war, family,
and love. The fort is also known as the Water Fort because it used to house
around 84 water reservoirs, however, only 24 of them still remain in the
two popular towers in the fort namely, Vijay Stambh and Kirti Stambh. Vijay
Stambh symbolizes victory and Kirti Stambh means towers of fame. These towers
look beautiful in the evening as they are illuminated with vibrant lights.
Apart from the towers, there are many palaces and temples within the premises
of the fort.
More on Chittorgarh
The name Chittorgarh is derived from the
founder of the fort, Chitranga, who was one of the rulers of the Maurya clan of
Rajasthan. Another folktale credits the construction of the fort to Bhima, who
surfaced the Bhimlat Kund by striking the earth.The Chittorgarh Fort resides the
deepest stories of bravery and sacrifice.
In the time span of two centuries, that is
between the 15th and 16th centuries, the fort was annexed thrice. In
the year 1303, Ratan Singh was defeated by the Sultan, Allauddin Khilji.
Bikramjeet lost to Bahadur Shah in 1535, and finally, Udai Singh II was
overthrown by Akbar in 1567. The Rajputs of Chittorgarh displayed their
fearless engagement in the wars fought, yet they lost every time.
In the grief of lost battle, ‘Johar’ or mass self-immolation was committed
by more than 13,000 wives and children of the soldiers who lost their lives in
the war. This act was initiated by the wife of Rana Ratan Singh, Rani Padmini,
wife of Rana Rattan Singh, who was killed in the first battle.
Story behind the First Invasion: Chittorgarh Fort and Rani Padmini
The first invasion of the fort took place in
1303 and it has an interesting story of valor and sacrifice behind it. Rani
Padmini of Chittor, wife of Maharaja Rana Rattan Singh, was the epitome of
beauty, wit, and grace. The Sultan of Delhi, Allauddin Khilji, was very
impressed by stories he had heard of the queen so he decided to meet the queen
in person. He surrounded the Fort with the intent of sparing Rana Rattan Singh
only if he could meet the famous queen.
Suspicious about the intention of the Sultan,
the queen refused to meet him in person, however, allowed him to take a glimpse
at her reflection in a nearby pool only if he visited the fort unarmed. As
planned, the Sultan went up the hill and took a glance at the reflection of the
queen in the water of a lotus pool. Later, he was escorted by the Maharaja
towards the gate where he was taken hostage by Sultan and his army.
To curb the chaotic situation, Rani Padmani
devised a plan to rescue her husband. A messenger was sent to the Sultan to
inform him that the queen would come and meet him soon. In no time, several
wagons made their way into the camp where the Sultan had held Rana Ratan Singh hostage.
But instead of the queen, four Rajput soldiers jumped out of each wagon and
attacked the enemies. They managed to
rescue their king, but the lives of 7,000 soldiers were lost.
Infuriated to the greatest extent, the Sultan
now invaded Chittor with even more force. The Rajput army could not succeed in
defeating the Sultan and incurred heavy losses.
In the process, the Maharaja was killed too. Realizing that loss was
inevitable, the queen, her associates of women and the wives of generals and
soldiers collectively performed Jauhar, accepting death over surrender to the
Chittorgarh Fort Architecture
The fort is one of the largest fort in the
country covering an area of about 692 acres and is positioned on a hill at an
elevation of 590 feet. Reaching the top is a difficult task as the fort is
connected by a steep road of about 1 km long.
The fortification of the fort is 2 kilometers
long and 155 meters wide and is located on an elevated surface. In order to
reach the fort, you will have to cross seven different gateways, namely the
Bhairon Pol, Laxman PolJorla Pol, Hanuman Pol, Paidal Pol, Ganesh Pol, and Ram
The fort complex constitutes of several
majestic establishments. These include 4 palaces, 19 shrines, 4 memorials and
24 functional water bodies out of 84 water reservoirs. Moreover, ancient
temples and structures such as the Mira Bai Temple, the Shringar Chauri Temple,
the Adi Varah Temple, the Vijay Stambh memorial, and the Kumbha Shyam Temple
are also located in inside the fort. The fort also houses recent structures
built by Maharaja Rana Rattan Singh such as the Fateh Prakash and Ratan Singh
The fort was built in two phases and hence,
its architectural style is a perfect fusion of Rajputana and Sisodian style of
architecture. Octagonal and hexagonal towers coupled with stone gates leave
only a narrow path up to the fort. Details of a few of the most important
structures of the fort are given below:
1.Vijay Stambha: The Vijay Stambha or
Jaya Stambha symbolizes the victory of the Rana Kumbha over Mahmud Shah I
Khalji, the Sultan of Malwa. This tower was constructed over a period of 10
years from 1458 to 1468. The tower constitutes nine towers and is 37.2 meters
tall expanding across an area of about 47 sq. feet. You can climb up the tower
by using the circular steps built inside the structure. The Stambha is now
illuminated during the evenings and gives a beautiful view of Chittor from the
2. Kirti Stambha: Kirti Stambha, also known as the Tower of Fame, is a 22-meter-tall tower constructed by a
Jain merchant named Jijaji Rathod. The tower is devoted to Adinath who is the
first Jain Tirthankara. the insides of the tower is ornamented with images and
carvings of many Tirthankaras and the exterior of the tower contains cravings
of Jain scriptures. A 54 steps stairway leads to the top of the tower and this
was constructed during the 15th century.
3. Rana Kumbha Palace: The Rana Kumbha’s Palace is one
of the establishments in the fort and is positioned near the entrance of the
Vijaya Stambha. Now in ruins, the palace used to be the main center of
attraction for the tourists in the region. However, you can still get
mesmerized beautiful canopied verandahs and the carvings on the walls. The
Suraj Pol gateway leads the way to the enchanting courtyard of the palace.
Meera Bai, the famous poet-saint, also lived in this palace. This is also the
site where Rani Padmini committed mass self-immolation along with many other
4. Padmini’s Palace: Padmini’s Palace is a three-storied mansion
which is situated on the southern end of the Chittorgarh Fort. It is a
spectacular white stone structure with a beautiful lotus pond placed in its
garden. It is the place where Allauddin Khilji was permitted a glimpse of Queen
Padmini. The bronze gates to this pavilion were unearthed and carried to Agra
under the command of Akbar.
Chittorgarh Fort: Hauntings and Incidents
Needless to say, the site of Chittorgarh Fort
is believed to be haunted owing to the many lives that were lost here,
especially to Jauhar. People have reported strange sightings, weird silences
and sometimes even the spine-tingling screams here. The Fort becomes even more
intimidating during the night as few stories of spotting a ghost and spirits
are foretold by the locals. If you are looking for a thrilling and adventurous
experience, you should consider traveling to Chittorgarh Fort for sure.
Sound And Light Show
The Chittorgarh Fort is well-known for its
sound and light show which is usually organized during the evening. The past
stories of Chittor come to life during the vibrant light and sound spectacle.
The timings of the show are from 7:00 p.m. onwards and entry fee for adults is
INR 50 per head while for and for children it is INR 25 per head.
Best Time To Visit Chittorgarh Fort
You will be greeted with pleasant weather
during the winter months. Therefore, the months of October – March is a
suitable time to visit the fort. Mornings and evenings are cooler and less
Stay Near Chittorgarh Fort
You can look for affordable accommodation in
various hotels such as RNB Chittorgarh, Hotel President, Aashiyana Hotel &
Restaurant, Hotel Jadav & Natraj Dining Hall, and Hotel Pratap Palace,
Restaurants Near Chittorgarh Fort
Chokhi Dhani, The Victory Restaurant, Padmini
Haveli and Rooftop Restaurant Fort View are great places to have a traditional
How to Reach Chittorgarh Fort
Chittorgarh is situated at a distance of 112
km from the city of Udaipur, on an elevated slope near the Ganbheri River in
Rajasthan. The most convenient way of reaching the fort is either by taking a
bus or hiring a taxi from Udaipur city.