Chittorgarh Fort

Why To Go

The Chittorgarh Fort is located 175 kilometers from Udaipur in the state of Rajasthan, India. All 700 acres of this area is filled with architectural heritage which started as long back as the 5th century. The fort complex had been developed over the centuries till Akbar’s siege in 1576, after which the fort was abandoned. This complex has seen various clans and generations of rulers, and the remnants reflect the different changes which were made over the years. Today, it stands as a testimony to the brilliant cultural heritage which is found within India.

Being one of the largest forts atop a hill in India, it boasts of as many as 65 structures including  water bodies, memoirs, palaces and temples within its premises. One of the attractions in the fort is Padmini palace, named after the brave queen Padmini.

Chittorgarh Fort is a UNESCO world heritage site. The fort was once the capital of Mewar and is located in the present-day town of Chittorgarh.

Travel Tips

Rajasthan can be visited all year round, but the summers get quite hot. Since Chittorgarh Fort is quite big, and will make for a whole day’s excursion, visiting during the summers is not a good idea. The Winters, though, are a perfect time for this fort. Carry some food with you when you head out for this heritage site, because the fort is massive, and exploring the whole place is time-consuming, so you may want to stop for a snack break to replenish and refresh yourself.

Things To Do

The Chittorgarh Fort complex is located on a hill, which overlooks the plains quenched by the Berach River. The whole complex reflects the generations of Mewar rulers, their culture, and history. The Gulihot planned had ownership of the fort, after which the Sisodias, took over. The place was the capital of Mewar, and it still holds on to most of its former glory despite the ravages of time. It is the most massive fort in India, and there are as many as 65 structures within this complex, comprising of Temples, water bodies, memoirs, and palaces. The Chittorgarh fort was built in two phases. From the 5th to the 15th century, it saw many additions being made to itself, before it was abandoned. The Suraj Pol is the main gate to the complex, but within the complex itself, there are seven more gates called Padan Pol, Bhairon Pol, Hanuman Pol, Rama Pol, Lakshman Pol, Ganesh Pol, and Jorla Pol. There are two beautiful cenotaphs between the third gate and the second, which were made in honour of Jaimull and Kula, two heroes during Akbar’s siege. Inside the fort, you must visit the Vijay Stambha, or the tower of victory. It is also called the Jaya Stambha, and it was erected by Rana Kumbha as a symbol of Chittor, after he won the war against Mahmud Shah I Khalji, sultan of Malwa, in 1940. The tower was made between 1458 and 1468, and it took ten years for completion. 37.2 metres in height, the tower is nine stories high, and one can get to the top with the help of the narrow, spiral staircase inside. It offers a brilliant view of Chittor and the plains. The Kirti Stambha must also be visited. This tower is the tower of fame, and was built by Jijaji Rathod, who was a Jain merchant. It is dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankar, Adinath. The tower is 22 metres, or six stories high. It is a Digambara structure, with Jain sculptures outside, and figures of Jain Tirthakars adorning the ground floor. The Rana Kumbha Palace, too, is one of the most spectacular parts of this fort. It is near the Vijay Stambha, and is the oldest monument within the fort complex. The palace also contains a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. The famous saint and poet Mirabai is said to have been born here, as was Maharana Udai Singh, the founder of Udaipur. The Fateh Prakash Palace, built by Rana Fateh Singh is also here, as is Rani Padmini’s palace. It is said that when Alauddin saw a glimpse of her reflection, he fell madly in love with her and decided to lay siege upon her husband’s palace to kill him and marry her. Although he defeated her husband, the Rani decided to commit Jauhar, that is, self-immolation. Mirabai’s temple is here, as is the Kalika Mata Temple, which was initially dedicated to the Sun God, but was then restructured for Goddess Kali. The Kumbha Shyam temple, the Neelkath Mahadev Temple, the Goddess Tuji Bhawani Temple, and the Bhimal Tank are also quite notable, and gorgeous to look.

Getting Around

Rent a bicycle to explore to the magnificent fort. You can also have a tour by auto-rickshaw. Rental cars is yet another option.

How To Reach

FLIGHT

The closest airport is the one at Udaipur, which is roughly 70 kilometers away. The Jaipur Airport is 300 kilometers away. From the airort hired cars, taxis are available to reach the destination.

TRAIN

Chittorgarh has a railway station named Chittorgarh Junction and many trains come here from various parts of India. From the station the fort is 6km and you can avail hired cars, taxis etc. to reach the fort.

ROAD

The NH 76 and 79 makes Chittorgarh very accessible from most of the major cities. One can drive down from Delhi, Jaipur, and Udaipur, to the town, after which one must walk for about a kilometer from the valley to get to the fort, and you will also have to cross a limestone bridge which goes over the Gambhir River.

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Surrounding Attractions

Vijay Stambha was built by Rana Kumbha, the King of Mewar between the period of 1458 and 1488. The mighty tower was constructed to celebrate the king’s conquest over Mahmud Khilji in 1448. Located around 110 km from Chhitorgarh is the Maha Sati, which is actually a water reservoir and a beautiful structure. Another must visit for the tourists is the elegant and aesthetetic architecture named Rana Kumbha Palace. The place where ythe king used to reside.
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