Chittorgarh Fort is a massive fort located in the city of Chittorgarh in Rajasthan, India. It is considered one of the largest forts in India and has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fort covers an area of around 700 acres and is situated on a hilltop, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
The fort was constructed in the 7th century and was the capital of the Sisodia dynasty of Mewar until the 16th century. It was also the site of several battles between the Rajputs and the Mughals. The fort is known for its numerous palaces, temples, towers, and reservoirs. Some of the prominent structures within the fort include the Vijay Stambh (Tower of Victory), Kirti Stambh (Tower of Fame), Rana Kumbha Palace, Padmini Palace, and the Meera Temple.
The fort is also associated with several legends and tales of heroism and sacrifice. It is believed that during the siege of Chittorgarh by the Mughals, the Rajput women performed Jauhar (mass self-immolation) to avoid being captured by the enemy. The fort remains an important historical and cultural site in India and attracts a large number of tourists every year.
Other Names Of Chittorgarh Fort:
Chittorgarh Fort is also known by various other names:
- Chittor Fort
- Chittaurgarh Fort
- Chittorgarh Kila
- Water Fort (Jal Durg)
- The Fort of Victory (Kirti Stambh)
- The Fort of Chittorgarh (Chittorgarh ka Kila)
- The Fortress of Chittor (Chittor ka Qila)
Historical Importance Of The Chittorgarh Fort:
Chittorgarh Fort has significant historical importance in India as it was the capital of Mewar, one of the most powerful Rajput kingdoms. The fort is associated with several tales of bravery, sacrifice, and heroism, making it a symbol of the Rajput resistance against foreign invaders. Some of the major events that took place at the fort are:
The siege of Chittorgarh by Alauddin Khilji in 1303: This was one of the most significant events in the fort’s history. The Rajputs under the leadership of Rana Ratan Singh bravely defended the fort against the massive army of the Delhi Sultanate. However, they were ultimately defeated, and Rani Padmini, along with several other Rajput women, committed Jauhar (mass self-immolation) to protect their honor.
The Battle of Chittorgarh in 1568: This battle took place between the Mughal emperor Akbar and the Rajputs led by Maharana Pratap. Though the Rajputs lost the battle, they continued to resist Mughal rule, and Maharana Pratap became a legendary figure in Rajput folklore.
The British residency at Chittorgarh in 1857: During the Indian Rebellion of 1857, the British took refuge at the fort, and it served as their residency for some time.
Chittorgarh Fort has also witnessed the construction of several palaces, temples, and towers over the centuries. The fort’s architecture is a testament to the Rajput’s skill and craftsmanship, and it is considered a prime example of Rajput military architecture. Today, the fort is a major tourist attraction and a symbol of India’s rich cultural heritage.
How To Reach The Chittorgarh Fort:
Chittorgarh Fort is located in the city of Chittorgarh in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Here are the different modes of transportation to reach the fort:
- By air: Chittorgarh can be reached by air via the Maharana Pratap Airport in Udaipur, which is located approximately 90 km away from the fort. Visitors can opt for taxi or bus services to travel from the airport to Chittorgarh.
- By train: Chittorgarh is well connected by train to major cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur, and Udaipur. The Chittorgarh railway station is located about 7 km from the fort.
- By road: Chittorgarh is well connected by road to major cities in Rajasthan and neighboring states. The Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation (RSRTC) operates regular bus services to Chittorgarh from cities like Udaipur, Jaipur, and Ajmer. You can also hire a taxi or drive your own vehicle to reach Chittorgarh.
Once you reach Chittorgarh, you can take a local bus or hire a taxi to reach the fort. The fort is located around 5 km from the city center, and the journey takes around 20-30 minutes.
Construction Of The Chittorgarh Fort:
The construction of Chittorgarh Fort began in the 7th century and continued over several centuries, with various additions and modifications made by different rulers. The fort was built on a hilltop overlooking the Berach River and covers an area of around 700 acres. The fort’s construction involved a large workforce of skilled craftsmen, engineers, and laborers who were commissioned by the Rajput rulers to build the fortification.
The fort’s architecture is a blend of Rajput and Mughal styles, with a focus on military defense. The fort is divided into several parts, each with its own set of gates, walls, and bastions. The fort has 7 main gates, namely Padan Pol, Bhairon Pol, Hanuman Pol, Ganesh Pol, Jorla Pol, Lakshman Pol, and the main gate, Ram Pol. The fort also has several towers, including the Vijay Stambh (Tower of Victory), Kirti Stambh (Tower of Fame), and Sammidheshwar Temple Tower.
The fort’s interior contains several palaces, temples, and other structures, which were used for various purposes. The Rana Kumbha Palace, for example, was the residence of the Rajput rulers, while the Padmini Palace was used by the royal women. The fort also contains several temples dedicated to various Hindu deities, including the Meera Temple, Kali Temple, and Kalika Mata Temple.
Overall, the construction of Chittorgarh Fort was a massive undertaking that took several centuries to complete. The fort’s architecture and design reflect the Rajput’s military prowess and their dedication to defending their kingdom against foreign invaders. Today, the fort remains a testament to India’s rich cultural heritage and attracts thousands of visitors every year.
Rulers Of The Chittorgarh Fort Year by year:
Chittorgarh Fort was ruled by several dynasties and rulers over the centuries. Here is a timeline of the major rulers of Chittorgarh Fort:
- 7th century: The fort was built by the Mauryan dynasty, according to some historical accounts.
- 8th century: The Bappa Rawal, a legendary Rajput ruler, captured the fort and established the kingdom of Mewar with Chittorgarh as its capital.
- 13th century: Rana Hammir Singh, the ruler of Mewar, expanded the fort’s boundaries and constructed several palaces and temples.
- 14th century: Rana Kumbha, the most famous ruler of Mewar, further expanded the fort and built several structures, including the Vijay Stambh and Kirti Stambh.
- 16th century: Chittorgarh Fort was besieged by several Muslim rulers, including Alauddin Khilji, Bahadur Shah of Gujarat, and the Mughal emperor Akbar. Maharana Udai Singh II, the founder of Udaipur, ultimately abandoned the fort and moved the capital to Udaipur.
- 19th century: The British used Chittorgarh Fort as a residency during the Indian Rebellion of 1857.
In the present day, the Chittorgarh Fort is a significant tourist destination and a representation of the Rajputs’ courage and bravery. It is a demonstration of India’s opulent cultural legacy and stands as a remembrance of the nation’s illustrious history.
Interesting Facts About The Chittorgarh Fort:
- The fort is the largest fort in India and one of the largest in the world, covering an area of around 700 acres.
- The fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has been recognized for its historical significance and cultural value.
- The fort has a total of 7 gates, which were strategically designed to defend against invading armies.
- The Vijay Stambh, or Tower of Victory, is a 9-story tower that was built by Rana Kumbha to commemorate his victory over Mahmud Khilji of Malwa.
- The Kirti Stambh, or Tower of Fame, is a 12-story tower that was built by a wealthy Jain merchant in the 12th century.
- The fort has several temples dedicated to Hindu deities, including the Meera Temple, Kali Temple, and Kalika Mata Temple.
- The Padmini Palace, located within the fort, is famous for its beautiful reflection pool and was once the residence of the Rajput queens.
- The fort has a complex water management system, which includes several stepwells and underground water tanks.
- The fort has been the site of several battles and sieges, including attacks by Alauddin Khilji and Akbar.
- The fort has been featured in several films, including the Bollywood blockbuster “Padmaavat,” which tells the story of the Rajput queen Padmini.
Places To Visit In the Chittorgarh Fort:
There are several places to visit within Chittorgarh Fort that are of historical and cultural significance.
- Vijay Stambh: The Rana Kumbha constructed the nine-story Tower of Victory as a memorial of his triumph over Mahmud Khilji of Malwa.
- Kirti Stambh: The 12-story tower of fame was built by a wealthy Jain merchant in the 12th century.
- Rana Kumbha Palace: The palace was the residence of the Rajput rulers and is known for its intricate architecture and beautiful frescoes.
- Padmini Palace: The palace is famous for its reflection pool and was once the residence of the Rajput queens.
- Meera Temple: The temple is dedicated to the Hindu saint Meera Bai and is known for its beautiful carvings and sculptures.
- Kalika Mata Temple: The temple is dedicated to the Hindu goddess Kali and is known for its stunning architecture and intricate carvings.
- Sammidheshwar Temple: The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is known for its ancient architecture and beautiful carvings.
- Gaumukh Reservoir: The reservoir is a natural spring that is believed to have been the source of water for the fort.
- Fateh Prakash Palace: The palace was built in the early 20th century and is now a museum that showcases the history and culture of the Mewar region.
- Jaimal and Patta Palaces: These two palaces were built to honor the bravery of two Rajput warriors who fought against the Mughals.
Visiting these attractions within the Chittorgarh Fort will give visitors a glimpse into the rich history and culture of the Rajputs and the Mewar region.
Places To Visit Near The Chittorgarh Fort:
There are several interesting places to visit near Chittorgarh Fort that are worth exploring.
- Bassi Wildlife Sanctuary: Located about 25 km from Chittorgarh Fort, the sanctuary is home to a wide range of flora and fauna, including leopards, hyenas, and sloth bears.
- Menal Waterfalls: Located about 50 km from Chittorgarh Fort, the waterfalls are surrounded by lush greenery and are a popular spot for picnics and hiking.
- Bijolia: Located about 50 km from Chittorgarh Fort, Bijolia is known for its ancient temples, including the Bijolia Temple and the Harsat Mata Temple.
- Bhainsrorgarh Wildlife Sanctuary: Located about 70 km from Chittorgarh Fort, the sanctuary is home to several species of wildlife, including tigers, leopards, and sloth bears.
- Bundi: Located about 100 km from Chittorgarh Fort, Bundi is known for its ancient stepwells, including the famous Raniji Ki Baori, and its colorful Rajput architecture.
- Ranthambore National Park: Located about 130 km from Chittorgarh Fort, the park is home to tigers, leopards, and a variety of other wildlife species.
- Kumbhalgarh Fort: Located about 140 km from Chittorgarh Fort, the fort is known for its massive walls and beautiful architecture.
- Udaipur: Located about 120 km from Chittorgarh Fort, Udaipur is known for its beautiful palaces, including the City Palace and the Lake Palace, and its stunning lakes.
These attractions near Chittorgarh Fort offer visitors a diverse range of experiences, from wildlife viewing to exploring ancient temples and architecture.
Chittorgarh Fort is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in the history and culture of the Rajputs and the Mewar region. The fort is located in Chittorgarh, Rajasthan, and is known for its stunning architecture, intricate carvings, and beautiful frescoes. Visitors can explore several attractions within the fort, including the Vijay Stambh, Kirti Stambh, Rana Kumbha Palace, Padmini Palace, Meera Temple, and Kalika Mata Temple. There are also several interesting places to visit near Chittorgarh Fort, including wildlife sanctuaries, ancient temples, and stunning lakes. Chittorgarh can be reached by air via the Maharana Pratap Airport in Udaipur, which is located approximately 90 km away from the fort.