Rambling in the Ruins of Chittorgarh

Chittor, chittorgarh, ruins at chittor, chittor attractions, things to see in chittorgarh

Chittorgarh – the name instantly invokes a mixed feeling of awe, veneration and thrill. The moment I read the name in our itinerary the names like Rana Pratap, Mira Bai, Rani Padmini thronged my mind. Chittorgarh is a place full of historical sagas of chivalry, sacrifice and spirituality.

way to Chittorgarh, Chittorgarh Fort, entering chittorgarh fort

Our Rajasthan tour plan was like this – Jaipur Pushkar (via Ajmer Sharif Dargah) – Udaipur (via Chittorgarh) – Mount Abu (via Haldighati) – Jaisalmer – Jodhpur.

So we left Pushkar early in the morning and reached Chittor in the afternoon on our way to Udaipur. The fort is situated on a hill and you can take a tour of the entire fort area by auto rickshaw. We booked autos from the auto stand near Hotel Padmini. It took Rs. 100 per head. The cost included auto fare and guide’s charge for our group.

Chittorgarh was a fortified town in time of Rajput rulers. I assume it took years to build such a huge fortified town which is also the largest fort in India. The guide said there are total 113 temples inside the fort apart from palaces and monuments. Once the capital of Mewar Rajputana (Southern part of Rajasthan) Chittorgarh is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was ruled by Guhilot and Sissodia dynasties from 7th Century AD until captured by Emperor Akbar.

chittor, chittorgarh, chittorgarh ruins,  UNESCO World heritage site

Unfortunately, it was already 5 pm and we had too little time to explore the entire fort area. This is one of the downsides of joining conducted tour by travel agencies. Ours was a large group and you know the proverb … too many cooks spoil the broth. 😛 We always fell short of time. Anyway, I roamed around and explored the palaces, memorials and temples as many as I could before the dusk.

Sun Temple

Surya Mandir or Sun Temple in Chittorgarh is the place where Rajput kings offered worship to sun god. The temple erected in 8th century stood the test of time for over a millennium. The intricate stone detailing on the temple walls and columns is a treat to the eye.

Chittor Sun Temple, Surya mandir, Chittorgarh, chittor attractions

Krishna Temple (Kumbh Shyam Temple)

This is the temple of Mira Bai. It was built separately beside the sun temple. The Rajput rulers were worshipper of Surya (the sun god). But Mira Bai despite being a Rajput daughter and the queen of Chittor was a devotee of Lord Krishna and later chose the life of a saint.

meera temple, kumbh shyam temple, chittorgarh, chittor, krishna temple, chittor attractions

Mira used to sing devotional songs and won people’s love with her soulful singing and sacrifices. This is the temple where Mira Bai contemplated for the last time and nobody had seen her after that. The legend says her mortal body was merged to the icon of Lord Krishna in the temple.

Mira bai temple, kirshna temple chittor, Meera Bai at the temple, chittorgarh, chittor attractions

Vijay Stambha

We started our Chittorgarh tour with Vijay Stambha (Tower of Victory) which is the emblem of Chittor’s glorious past of valor and heroism in protecting their motherland. The monument was built by Rana Kumbha (1458 AD-1468 AD) to celebrate his victory over the Sultan of Malwa in 1440 AD. The tower has over 150 steps to the top balcony. I bet if you can make it to the top it will be the most rewarding experience to enjoy a 360 degree view of the fort.

Vijay Stambha, tower of victory, Chittor, chittorgarh, fort, chittor attractions

Rani Padmini Mahal

Queen Padmini’s Palace is situated in the middle of water. The path through the garden entrance led us to the room where Allauddin Khilji is said to have a glance at the reflection of Rani Padmini on a mirror while the queen stood at the gate of her palace.

rani padmini mahal, chittor, chittorgarh, rajasthan tour, chittor attractions

It is said that Padmini the wife of Rana Ratan Singh was so beautiful that the story of her ravishing beauty reached the ear of Nawab Allauddin Khilji and he came all the way from Delhi to Chittor to see her. But it was against the dignity of Hindu Rajputana that an outsider will look at the queen. Again, they didn’t have the choice to refuse Khilji who had a strong armySo they arranged it liked that.

rani padmini mahal, chittorgarh, chittor, rajasthan, chittor attractions

Jauhar Kund

Later in 1303 Allauddin attacked Chittor and killed Rana Ratan Singh to possess his queen. But the queen and all other female royals committed suicide by burning to death called Jauhar. This was a custom meant for Rajput female royals. Whenever the kingdom was defeated and captured by the enemy (especially Mughals) they committed Jauhar to avoid the shame and indignity at the hand of enemy. The huge pyre where women jumped into the fire was called Jauhar Kund.

jauhar kund chittorgarh, jauhar, rajput custom, chittor, chittor attractions

Bramha Temple

The Brahma Temple in Chittorgarh was built by Rana Kumbha to honour his father. The adjoining garden called Charbagh houses the cenotaphs containing the ashes of Chittor’s kings starting from Bappa Rawal to Udai Singh, the founder of Udaipur.

Bramha temple chittorgarh, charbagh, chittor, chittor attractions

Gaumukh Reservoir

Built adjacent to Bramha Temple this reservoir holds water for sacred functions and worship. As the name reveals the shape of the reservoir resembles the mouth of a cow, the sacred animal in Hindu religion. The cascading structure with the reservoir at the bottom creates a wonderful vista.

gaumukh reservoir, chittor, chittorgarh, chittor attractions

Other Attractions in Chittorgarh

Apart from this there are Rana Kumbha Mahal or the Palace of Rana Kumbha, Kirti Stambh, Fateh Prakash Museum, Naulakha Bhandar or the ‘Nine Lakh Treasury’ established by Rana Kumbha are some of the main attractions of Chittorgarh. Fateh Prakash Museum opened in the residence of Maharana Fateh Singh, is located near Rana Kumbha Palace. The museum remains open from 10am to 4pm daily except Fridays.

After about 2 hours of rambling in the ruins of Chittorgarh it was time for us to leave for Udaipur. 😦 The stone edifices looked mysterious in the dying daylight. I wished I could stay there for some more time. But Udaipur was beckoning. It looked even more beautiful in the light of setting sun.

Udaipur city, udaipur from Chittor

What I realized is that you need at least one day to explore and enjoy the beauty of Chittor. The place has so much to offer that it is an unjust attempt to accommodate everything in a single post. I wish to share more glimpses of Chittorgarh Fort in future. 🙂

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43 thoughts on “Rambling in the Ruins of Chittorgarh

  1. Great pictures and beautiful articulation. We visited the city in the later part of last year and were amazed at the rich history and stories of courage shown by the rulers. The valor of the women of the fort is especially praiseworthy, especially on this Women’s Day.

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  2. You bring a wide smile to me because i love travelling and seeing historical places and i can practically experience some of them through your work.

    Few months back we visited Gillette Castle in Connecticut and believe me, such a place is an absolute bliss to see. You can see pictures in Saru’s Album – Essex Steam Train and Gillette Castle.

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    1. Yes…historical tours like this are exciting. Ancient and medieval history was my favorite subject in school. I am glad you liked the post. Your Gillette Castle tour sound interesting. Can you please share the URL for the album?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful pictures and interesting stories shared there. it pains to see that the queen who was known to be so beautiful met such an end. Indian history is so interesting, Thanks for sharing these babe.

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    1. Yes, it is a very sad story, Shweta. I was upset for a moment to see the jauhar kund. Chittor, has a magical charm with so many interesting stories and enthralling architecture. Thanks for reading. I am so glad you liked the post. 🙂

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    1. Oh Yes… Rajkahini, a timeless creation … porey chhoto belay koto ki imagine kortam… 😛 Chittor dekhe chokh sarthok holo 🙂 Thank you. Glad you liked it.

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  4. Great pics here, but my fave is the reservoir. The lighting is incredible and I love the adult and child looking down at the water. Provides perspective and leads the viewer’s eye into the picture at the same time. Like an excellent painting! 🙂

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      1. I also just like the pics of Eastern architecture–so different from European. Of course, in the US any buildings of this vintage would be Native American, and much simpler in design.

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      2. Yes…oriental architecture is versatile. In India there is wide variety of architecture. Apart from pure Indian such as in Chittorgarh different architectural styles for example, Hindu, Mughal and European styles have blended from time to time to make it richer. The old architectural edifices here are like work of art with intricate detailing. But I like American too. For me simplicity is refreshing. 🙂

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  5. I haven’t seen much from this beautiful place before and really enjoyed this post.

    Incredible architecture and you have beautifully captured it 🙂

    Thank you so much for sharing and so nice to read that there are many more interesting posts on it’s way 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That you so much Sreejith for taking your time to go through the post. I am glad you enjoyed it. I wish to go there again to capture more … Chittorgarh has so much to offer 🙂

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