Chittaurgarh in South Rajasthan is the symbol of resilience, courage and pride. Certainly, the destination has witnessed a lot in its tragic history. People who generally relate Rajasthan with chivalry, bravery and gallantry must visit Chittaurgarh to actually understand why this location is uniquely different from all other fort cities in India.
Famous more as the land of sacrifices, Chittaurgarh of Mewar region has witnessed a lot in its history. Many gruesome battles have been fought for this fabled kingdom. History has played gruesomely with the kingdom where thousands sacrificed their lives to protect their homeland, including men, women and children. Women accepted mass suicides orJauhars to protect their sanctity and devotion towards their husbands and motherland. It was totally against their morals to survive as widows. Instead they preferred to die than to survive at the disposal of the invaders.
First prominent immolation came into light when Alauddin Khilji attacked Chittaur in 1303 AD. He heard a lot about the beauty of Queen Padmini and attacked the kingdom to make Padmini his wife. After she heard of their army’s defeat, the queen preferred suicide than submitting herself to dishonour and abduction. With this, the royal ladies protected their pride, honour and dignity by sacrificing their lives. The same act of Jauhar was performed when Mughal Emperor Akbar invaded the kingdom in 1568. Queen Karnawati committed mass suicide along with royal ladies to protect their sanctity.
Chittaurgarh fort is a living testimony for all this heroic spirit and a lot more. This largest fort of Rajasthan echoes all such emotions the natives are proud of. Located on a rocky hill top, the fort complex represents a rich monumental heritage. The honey hued fortification here still echoes the heroic defeats and Rajputana chivalry of the region.
Locals here take great pride in this symbol of patriotism and look at the structure in great respect. That same gallant emotion is conveyed to the tourists who come to see the largest fort complex of India.
The fort ramparts symbolize the royal seat of Mewar. The complex fortification comprises numerous palaces, temples, towers orKirti Stambh,haveli mansions, water reservoirs orbaoris, gateways and cenotaphs.
The fort has seven massive gateways from where even the e royal elephants and cannons could pass. The gates also have cenotaphs in the memory of Rajput warriors. Vijay Stambha or Victory Tower is another iconic structure of Chittaur, In fact, it is seen as a symbol of the kingdom. Erected by Rana Kumbha, to commemorate his victory over Sultan of Malwa in 1440, the tower represents the fierce bold style and expression of Rajputana architecture.
Kirti Stambha or the tower of fame is smaller than the former, but again exhibits the religious inclinations of Mewari Rajputs. It is adorned with intricate Jain sculptures and is dedicated to Adinatha, the first Jain teacher. Other important structures of great importance in the palace complex are Rana Kumbha Palace, Fateh Prakash Palace and Rani Padmini’s Palace.
Sightseeing of these heritage marvels brings tourists closer to the history of Chittaurgarh. For a closer and authentic share of this kingdom’s history, do not miss out the special sound and light show organized within the fort premises only. Held every evening at 7 PM, the show presents the glorious past, tragic tales and other sacrifices to the visitors of the modern times.
Due to its association with Rajasthan’s rich history, the city of Chittaurgarh is also included in the royal itinerary of Palace on Wheels luxury train. The train allows visitors to spend one whole day in this historically magnificent kingdom. The special sound and light show sums up the narrative in a captivating way.