Rajasthan

Chittorgarh Fort – One Thousand year old UNESCO World Heritage

This fort construction ranges from 8th century AD to 16th century. The fort is worth seeing. Really speaking it is the best forts I saw of its period if we compare with Kalinjar or Ranthambore. Amer fort was built much later.

I reached Chittorgarh on March 24th 11 AM. Took rest after check in. In evening  I visited this fort without any guide I felt there is not much see in this fort. But next day I started at 9 AM from Chittorgarh city and took an auto to reach to Subhash Chowk for Rs.10. From there I took another auto which dropped me at ticket counter office of Chittorgarh fort for Rs.20. I think total time taken to reach the fort was 40 minutes.

Quick tips in brief for this fort – About 2.5 hrs will sufficient to visit this fort by auto or your own transport. Better option is to visit all fort (covering 6 KM) on foot will take 4 hours. There are no steps, all road is plain. Even old people can visit this fort without tire.

My Itinerary

This fort was last point of my Itinerary.

Plan All Journeys by Train only – Agra-Mathura-Sawai Madhopur-jaipur-chittorgarh

View of Chittorgarh Fort from top. Breadth for fort is 800 meters and length is 16 Km.

Main points to visit in Chittorgarh fort if you have 2 hours. If you want to cover all points then 6 hours is needed.

I just discussed with a guide and settled for Rs.500 (justified) to show the fort and he told me that there are about 35 points in fort. Some people visit by hiring auto and complete the visit in 2 hours. But my plan was to see the fort on foot. This visit took about 4 hrs and all was on foot. I am jotting down in sequence how he covered the points of the Fort.

First we entered in “Kumbha Palace” which is in front of ticket office.

8th Century palace – Later additions and occupancy continued

He told that Rajputs in Mewar region was founded by Bappa Rawal. Since this clan called themselves as Sun dynasty, at the entrance of fort is place known as “Ghode ka rakha-House of 7 horses” to house 7 horses which represents 7 horses of Sun Chariot.

House of seven horses-Here 7 horses were kept which represents the 7 horse chariot of their Sun clan dynasty of Mewar Rajputs.

Next we see “Suraj Gokhada- Sun Balcony”.  Here was 50 KG God Sun statue which is now kept at City Palace museum in Jaipur.

Here Suraj Gokhada Balcony- 50 KG Sun Icon of gold was kept on right hand of the balcony.

Opposite of this is a temple where on 1st floor Veena and drums were played.

On first floor – For playing Veena and drums for Suraj Gokhada

Next the guide showed me the Tripolia gate. Named so as these are 3 gated. The domes on these gates were constructed later by Muslim emperors. Below the rightmost dome Rajput king Rana Sanga kept a Rhinoceros.

 

Tripolia Gate-Rana Sanga kept rhinoceros here. Later domes were constructed by muslim invaders.Next moved forward and we see that on right side of fort queens used to live and on left side the kings.

Let us first visit kings side.

We first see the Grains storage house.

Grains storage house

Next we come to see the small house in this palace where Pannan dai sacrificed her son to save the next infant king Uday Singh from revoltee Balbir singh. Udaya Singh later gave birth to Maharana Pratap.

House where Panna maid sacrifices her son to save 3 year old Uday Singh from revoltee Balbir Singh. Note that Uday Singh was father of Maharana Pratap.The RTDC hotel where I am staying is named Hotel Panna to give respect to Lady Panna.

Next we come to “Meerabai palace” and “Meerabai Temple”. This temple was constructed by Rana Sanga just adjacent to Meerabai palace so that Meerabai need not go out for Krishna worship and dance.

There is a “mass gathering place” inside the fort in case of any functions or in emergency.

Gathering place inside fort for some occasions or for emergency

As said above that one portion of Kumbha palace was for Queens to live. I am just giving two photos of one of the Queens room and balcony.

Balcony of queens room for seeing towards road side

A portion of queens room

Balcony of queens room for seeing towards road side

Ruins of Kumbha Palace

Vijay Stambh  is still entact unharmed. It was constructed by …. to celebrate the victory over Gujrat and Malwa regions. As per guide it contains the engraved sculptures of all Hindu God and Godesses and their names are engraved. So it is dictionary of Hindu gods.

15th Century- Vijay Stambh- A dictionary of Sculpture

There are 2 queens and maids self immolation places inside the fort. As per guide 3 times Sati ceremony took place. First time in 1303AD on Allauddin Khilji invasion ( under command of Rani Padmini), 2nd time when Bahadur Shah of Gujrat attacked in 1534AD (under command of Rani Karnavati,wife of Rana Sanga)and third time when Akbar invaded in 1563AD ( under command of Rani Phool Kunvar who had sent Rakhi to Humayun).

There were 113 temples inside this fort premises. I saw 2-3 temples.

Jai Shankar Temple- Not known who constructed this.

11th Century- Samdeshwar Temple- It is famous.

 

12th century -Samadhi and cremation site of Rajput kings and family members of this fort

Below is the pond where Ghee used tio be stored in such big amount. Similar there is one morre pond which was used to store oil.

Pond for Ghee storage

In the fort population I observed that there is lot of respect for Feteh Singh. He was a commander in ……. There is Kankali devi temple inside.

Fatah Singh Mahal

The below pond is known as “Gomukh”. The water in this pond is always full and as per guide no one knows from where the water comes. Locals of Chittorgarh when visit four pilgrimage then finally they have to take dip in this pond also. This water is also supplied to locals.

Gomukh

Further we came on main road and came to Rani Padmini palace. As per guide and locals it was summer palace of Rani Padmini. The palace has one main building and other building is surrounded by water.

As is prevalent in locals that Padmini face was shown to Khilji from this first floor window and Rani Padmini was sitting in summer palace.

There is famous temple among all Chittorgarh and specially on occasion of Navratri. Hundreds of people visit this temple and fortunately I visited this temple on last day of Navratri and was caught in traffic jam.

Famous Kalika Temple. You can see the crowd there. Today is Navratri.

 

Rani Padmini Mahal

Inside the Padmini Mahal- Very well maintained by authorities

Inside Padmini mahal- The small balconies you can see as a sit out of daasis (maid friends) of Queen Padmini as my guide told.

I further went ahead with the guide to see Kirti Stambh. This was built by a Jain pilgrim to commemorate and spread Jainism.

Kirti Stambh along with Jain temple. Constructed by Jain Pilgrim merchant.

Kirti Stambh. Note that there are 2 different towers in Chittorgarh fort- Vijay Stambh and Kirti Stambh. Both are about 2 KM apart.

And last thing seen by me was “Suraj Pol”. It is said this was the first gate built to enter the fort.

Suraj pol- Was main gate was used to enter the fort.

There were 84 ponds inside this fort and now many have dried up.

One such pond is called Bheem laat . It is said that once Pandavas came to Chittorgarh and their mother Kunti felt thirst and Bheem hit the ground with his foot and it turned into a pond.

5th Century-Bheem laat pond

Bhama Shah Palace

Epilogue

This fort stands UNIQUE among many other forts. I’m surprised the large population lives inside the fort and so we can imagine LIVE 8th-15th century. This is the only fort which I saw which had all hall marks of our school text book heroes like Rana Kumbha, Meera Bai, Panna Daai, Temple of Meera and her Palace, Johar Maidan (Self Immolation ground of Rasputin women) and Rani Padmini Palace.
I reached Chittorgarh from Jaipur on 25th March 15, 11 AM. Took rest at RTDC hotel Panna. An average hotel but with huge lush green garden. Next day –
It will take about 5 hours if you go round by walk or 2.5 hrs if you take your own vehicle. I went all ON FOOT. This fort is one of the biggest forts (700 acres) I ever saw. It has no less than 30 points to show. I described here all important points. There are 5 UNESCO World Heritage forts in Rajasthan. It is one of the. I covered 3 such forts in my this March trip.

Without guide it is difficult to see this big fort. There are atleast 50 points which once can see. For example I could see only from far the “Gora Badal Mahal”, “Rao Ratan Singh Palace” and ” Bhama Shah” mahal.

Recommended Duration : 2 hours This temple has the high historical importance as it was
Recommended duration  One day if you want to see only popular monuments like Gol Gumbaz,
Recommended Duration - 2 hours Had a weekend plan to attend a friend's brothers wedding
Recommended duration : 3.5 hours. I suggest to stay here for a day at KSTDC
As said in my Jaigarh fort  post, Jaipur city has fort triplet Jaigarh - Nahargarh-

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