Saturday, September 8, 2012

Chittorgarh Tourist Attractions | Chittorgarh Fort City | Chittorgarh Rani Padmini

Rajasthan is most divergent Indian State. The State climate varies from hot-cold of desert to the cold of hills to moderate in other parts. The state is a heritage to old Forts, lakes, Palaces, Temples etc. The beauty of Rajasthan is unparallel and community is mixed. The state was remained under ruling of Mughal’s for long time and indelible marks are left here.

Chittorgarh, 110 km from Udaipur and 300 km from Jaipur was founded by Bappa Rawal in 8th century. Chittorgarh is a city and a municipality in Rajasthan state of western India and is also known by other names Chittor, Chittaur, or Chittaurgarh. Chittorgah is the administrative headquarters of Chittorgarh District and a former capital of the Sisodia clans of Rajputs 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.

The empire of Rajputs created Chittaur as the capital city of Mewar in ancient period. Fiercely independent, the fort of Chittor was under siege thrice and each time they fought bravely and thrice Jauhar ( also known as Saka refer to the ancient Indian Rajput Hindu tradition of honorary self immolation of women and subsequent march of men to the battlefield) was committed by the ladies and children, first led by Rani Padmini, and later by Rani Karnavati. Some more great fighters got huge popularity in history is Jaimal and Phata. They did the war with the Mugal’s in 1568 AD.The famous warriors Gora and Badal, in the war against Allaudin Khalji (1303 AD), have become legendary. The sacrifice of Jaimal and Phata in the war against the Mughals (1568 AD) was so great that the Mughal Emperor Akbar installed their statues in the fort of Agra. Meera the devotee of Lord Krishna was also from this city. Chittorgarh is home to the Chittorgarh Fort, the largest fort in Asia.

Chittorgarh is the epitome of Chattari Rajput (an warrior caste) pride, romance and spirit, for people of Chittor who always chose death before surrendering against enemy. It reverberates with history of heroism and sacrifice that is evident from the tales that are still sung by the bards of Rajasthan. Though it can now be called a ruined citadel there is much more to this huge fort. It is a symbol of all that was brave, true and noble in the glorious Rajput tradition.

Tourist Attractions:

Chittorgarh Fort

The Chittorgarh Fort is the biggest fort of Asia, seated on a 180 metre high hill from the ground, covers an expanse of 700 acres (2.8 km2). The fort is epitome of Rajput bravery and ultimate sacrifices. The high hard rocky hills of Rajasthan are very difficult to break, but Rajput rulers broke these hills and created historical fort with solid stones. To approach the Chittorgarh Fort travelers have to cross 1 km zigzag road on the hill. There are 7 gates to enter the main entrance Rampol.  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 Rajput warriors such as Gora, Badal,Rana Kumbha, Maharana Pratap, Jaimal, Patta, etc.

Kalika Mata Temple

Kalika Mata Temple is believed was originally built in the 8th century for Sun God 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.

Vijay Stambh

Vijay Stambha (Tower of Success), is a huge nine storey tower which was built by Maharana Kumbha to commemorate his victory over the Muslim rulers, Mahmud Khilji, of Malwa and Gujarat in 1440. The tower is 122 ft (37 m) high and stands on a 10 ft (3.0 m) high base. There are sculptures and carvings on the exterior walls of the tower. The tower is visible from any section of the town below. The travellers have to climb 157 steps for reaching the top, from where one can take paranomic view of the surroundings. The inside walls of the tower are carved with images of Gods, weapons, etc.

Kirti Stambh

Kirti Stambh (Tower of Fame) is tower dedicated to Rishabha, the first Jain Tirthankara Adinath. It was built by a merchant and is decorated with figures form the Jain pantheon. It is a seven storied pillar which was build 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. Each Idol are five feet (about 1.5meters) high. In the other places there are several small idols engraved, consecrated to Jain lineage of deities. This is must visit spot of Chittorgarh is having narrow stairway.

Rana Kumbha's Palace

Rana Kumbha's Palace, a huge monument constructed inside the Fort of Chittorgarh, is near the Vijay Stambh. Rana Kumbha was the very good architect and he loves the creation of various designed buildings. This palace was the best example of Rana’s creation. This is also the birthplace of Maharana Udai Singh, the founder of Udaipur. His life was saved by the heroic act of the maid Panna Dhay, who replaced her son in place of the prince, with the result that her son was killed by Banbir. She carried the prince away to safety in a fruit basket. Rani Meera Bai also lived in this palace. This is the place where Rani Padmini committed jauhar with the other ladies in one of the underground cellars.

Rani Padmini's Palace

Rani Padmini's Palace is constructed next to amazing lotus pool in the Fort. This is the palace from which Alauddin Khilji was allowed to watch a reflection of the Rani by placing the mirror at such an angle that even if he turned back he could not see the room. Khilji had been warned by the Rani's husband Rawal Ratan Singh that if he turned back they would cut his neck. Khilji was so mesmerized by the appearance of Rani that he decided to possess the Rani at any cost.

The other tourist places in Chittorgarh are Kumbha Shyam Temple, Meerabai Temple, Gaumukh Reservoir, and Archeological Museum.

Reaching to Chittorgarh:

The city is well connected through rail and road.

By Air: reaching Chittorgarh is possible through air but travelers have to reach Jaipur first. From Jaipur its just 304 kms away and travelers can hire the taxi or state buses from Jaipur.

By road and Rail: Neemuch is the closest big railway station to reach Chittorgarh. Reaching time from Neemuch to Chittorgarh is only 1 hour 30 mins.