Chittorgarh is rich with stories of Rajputana bravery, dignity, and passion. The local bards sing tales of courage and sacrifice, recounting stories that are fondly known to everyone. Chittorgarh is named after its most imposing structure, the Chittorgarh Fort, perched atop a high hill. The fort itself has had a tempestuous past. This bastion of the Rajput valour has seen violent battles and the silver lining of victory thrice in its history.
Nestled on the banks of the Beach and Gambheri rivers, the magnificent city of Chittorgarh in Rajasthan boasts a tapestry of rich culture and Rajput history. A city and a municipality in Rajasthan, Chittorgarh is a famous tourist destination in northwest India. It is known for the honey-coloured 7th-century Chittorgarh Fort, a vast hilltop complex with the remains of many temples and monuments. Chittorgarh is largely influenced by the forts and palaces built here since ancient times. Once the capital of the erstwhile kingdom of Mewar was used, there is a lot to cherish as you gear up for Chittorgarh tourism. Decked with numerous ruins, citadels, and forts, including the gigantic Chittorgarh Fort, this place lets you savour the glorious historical tales of sacrifice and heroism, making it one of the most sought-after travel destinations in Rajasthan. So, if you are a history buff or someone who loves to marvel at royal architecture, every nook and corner of this city will leave you spellbound for the entirety of the excursion.
The history of Chittorgarh is replete with the bold tales of Rajput kings and warriors. The legendary founder of the Sisodia dynasty, Bappa Rawal, received Chittor, with all its formidable fortifications, during the mid-eighteenth century as dowry from the Solankis. Chittor is seated at a sprawling seven-mile-long hill and covers 700 acres of area, including its fortifications, towers, temples, and palaces. Today, all these monumental networks form an integral part of Chittorgarh tourism.
Steeped in a rugged yet glorious history, Chittorgarh, also known as Chittor, has seen numerous valiant battles that Rajput men and women had to fight against the invaders from Delhi, including the siege of Alauddin Khilji, who invaded the historic city in 1303 A.D. If you want to know more about Chittorgarh's history, visit its many attractions, including the largest fort complex- Chittorgarh Fort (after which the city was named). As you unveil the stunning attraction, the self-sacrificing story of Jauhar performed by Rani Padmini may send shivers down your spine. It is one of the most important historical truths about Chittorgarh. Filled with water moats and roof pavilions, the most prominent attraction in the fort complex is the Rani Padmini Palace. The dilapidated palace still rings the courageous story of Rani Padmini out loud in every corner.
Chittorgarh (Chittaurgarh) is the model of Rajput pride, romance and spirit. It resonates with a history of heroism and sacrifice, which is evident as it echoes with the tales sung by the Bards of Rajasthan. The main reason for visiting Chittorgarh is its massive hilltop fort, which depicts Rajput culture and values.
The fort of Chittor is regarded as one of the most impressive forts of the country and is indeed the 'Pride of Rajasthan State. The formidable fort is perched atop a 180-meter-high hillock covering a massive area of 700 acres and is a standing sentinel to the courage and bravery of Chittorgarh. It is believed that the Mauryans built the fort in the 7th century, and the successive Mewar rulers added other structures to it.
Chittorgarh fort is also called Water Fort. The fort had 84 water bodies, of which only 22 exist today. These include tabs (ponds), kunds (wells), and barriers (step-wells). All the labs have a natural catchment. The kids and barriers are located below the tabs so that even the seepage from the latter is not lost.
The fort extends over 700 hectares, 40 per cent of which are given over to water bodies. The moderate reservoir depth is about 2 m. This indicates these reservoirs can store about 4 billion litres of water.
In a year of more than normal rainfall (average annual rainfall: 700 mm), enough water would be reserved to last the next 12 months. Even after water loss due to seepage, evaporation, and other causes, an army of 50,000 could live in the fort for four years without fear of thirst.
Built-in 1440 AD by Maharana Kumbha to celebrate his victory over Mohamed Khilji, this 9-story tower is adorned by sculptures of Hindu deities around. It is situated inside the Chittorgarh Fort. There are around 157 narrow steps directing to the terrace, where the balconies give a lovely top-angle view of the whole town. When illuminated in the evening, the tower reflects a mesmerizing effect, and the view is worth capturing with the camera. The top storey features an image of the Jain Goddess, Padmavati. Rana Kumbha also carved the word 'Allah' in Arabic nine times in the third storey and eight times in the eighth.
Dedicated to Adinathji, the 1st Jain Teerthankar is adorned by the naked figures of the Digambar [Adherents of the Digambar sect who does not believe in covering the natural body]. A slim stairway goes through seven stories of the tower to the top. The tower was built by a Jain merchant Jeeja Bhagerwala during the reign of Rawal Kumar Singh for the glory of Jainism, which is 22 metres high, 30 feet wide at the base and narrowed down to 15 feet at the top. Kirti Stambha is more geriatric than another tower in the same fort, known as the Vijay Stambha Tower of Victory.
The ruined tower of great historical and architectural interest, being the most massive monument in the fort of Chittaur, this palace was named after the greatest of the Sisodia. The palace is thought to have underground cellars where Rani Padmini and other women committed Jauhar. This place was once the home of the well-known bhakti poetess Meerabai.
This temple belongs to the 14th century, and it is said that the temple placed across Padmini Palace was originally a temple called 'The Temple of the Sun God, which was built here during the 8th century. After the invasion by Allaudin Khilji, this temple was destroyed. Dedicated to Goddess Kali, also known as Kalika Mata, this temple is an architectural gem that belongs to the Pratihara times. Thus, this temple is not only a popular religious site but is also quite famous among tourists and art lovers.
Gaumukh Reservoir symbolizes the vitality of its homely fort more than the fort itself. A deep tank filled with a spring coming from a 'cow's mouth is situated at the cliff's edge. It is located near the temple and is a completely natural beauty. Also, feeding fish here is considered to be an auspicious ritual. The Gaumukh Reservoir is one of the eighty-four water bodies of the fort and is filled with water to this day. It is believed that after touring diverse holy places in India, Hindus need to visit the Gaumukh Kund in Chittorgarh to complete their religious journey.
To enter the Fort Of Chittorgarh, the person has to go through seven huge gates(Pol). Each gate is different, built as massive stone structures with secure fortifications for military defence. The list of these gates are:
The best way to enjoy food in Chittorgarh is through street food and snacks. A wide variety of snacks available in almost all the corners of Chittorgarh offer an unforgettable experience. However, it would help if you also tried the special thalis available at all the restaurants in Chittorgarh.
Dal Bati Churma - a vegetarian dish comprising a baked wheat flour ball and vegetable curry known as churma.
Lal Maas - is a popular non-vegetarian dish which is also the speciality of the entire state of Rajasthan. This dish is best relished with millet bread.
Mohan Maas - another popular non-vegetarian dish made up of milk, mild spices and cream. It is less spicy than all mass but equally delectable.
Gatte ki Khichdi - a famous vegetarian dish prepared with small dumplings made out of Bengal gram.
Chittorgarh is well-known for its forts and palaces, which retell the stories of bravery and warriors. However, Chittorgarh is also famous for many other things, shopping being one of them. You can try these items to buy in Chittorgarh:
Colourful leather jutis
Wooden painted toys
If you are awed about the places to shop for these items, here's a list :
Rana Sanga Market
Fort Road Market
New Cloth Market
If you plan to visit Chittorgarh for a cultural tour, you must visit it during the festive seasons. The whole town wears a colour of vibrancy and glitter during the festivals celebrated here. Some of the fairs and festivals that are honoured in Chittorgarh are :
Maharana Pratap Jayanti - is celebrated in honour of the brave Maharana Pratap Singh. During this time, several puja and parades take place. You can also relish cultural programs and debates held during this time.
Meera Mahotsav - this celebration takes place annually on Meera's birth anniversary, which falls on the day of Sharad Poornima. It is a 3-day celebration with puja, discussions, dances, and fireworks.
Gangaur, celebrated between March and April, is Rajasthan's most important and colourful festival. In Chittorgarh, it is celebrated with much enthusiasm, especially by the womenfolk who offer their prayers to Goddess Gauri.
Take our travel guide, and set out for an inquisition of this magnificent city in Rajasthan. Once famed for its opulence and grandeur, though the city is catching up to commercialization, the evidence of glorious battles shall take you back to medieval times in no time!
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