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Rajasthan - Chittor - A Traveller's Guide
Former capital of Sisodia clans of Rajputs of Mewar, Chittorgath, bounded by soaring wall, is located on a valley of Aravalli hill, at the confluence of Gambhira and Barak Rivers.
There is confusion on how the fort of Chittorgarh was actually founded. But, the excavation on the banks of the Barak River had revealed a lot of historical evidences and sculptures of B.C. period.
A canal is linking the palace and Gaumukh. The water stream has come all the way from the hot spring. Royal Rajput family members used to visit Gaumukh through this canal for sacrificing their lives after taking a holy bath in the water of the Gaumukh.
Innumerable invaders have destroyed the splendor and monuments of Chittorgarh in a number of occasions. The power of controlling the city had been shifted to many dynasties over the years. Later on, in 1326 the Rajput dynasty again fought back and taken the control of the city. To recall the old gory history, a winning commemorative was constructed. Tourists, who visit the city, can recollect the bravery and valor of the the Rajput soldiers even today.
Located at an altitude of 150 meters, the captivating Chittorgarh fort is situated at a distance of 3 km from the railway station. The area of the fort is spread over 700 square km of land and is delimited by a 5 km long fortification. The well shielded fort can be accessed by 7 poles or gateways. The western doorway of the palace, also known as Badal pole, showcases excellent and scrupulous architectural splendor. The nearby memorial to remember the death of the prince Bagh Singh can be seen. Talk a walk through the elevated undulating land of the hill to hit the second pole which is famous as Bhairon Pol. It recalls the memories of prince Jaimal Where as the 3rd pol, also known as Hanuman pol on the same way recollects the gallantry of Kalla who was the clansman of the prince Jaimal. 4th, 5th and 6th gateways are known in the proximity as Ganesh pol, Jodla pol and Laxman pol respectively. The 7th gate was dedicated to the 15 years old valiant patta who had lost his father on the battle field. The combat that took place way back in 1567 against the Mughal emperor Akbar had affected the city life and the fort immensely. To remember the brave fight and intrepid Rajput leaders, a Chattis (shrine) had been built at the 7th gateway of the Chittorgarh fort. The fort which was once a well protected den of Rajput soldiers is now in ruins. But, the historical value of the fort is huge. The stories of sacrificing their lives to safeguard their territory are praiseworthy.
The newly built lower town is now spread across the western valleys of the neighboring hill. The water stream of Gambhira River is the sustenance of the city.
Built by Bapaditya in 8th century, the Rana Kumbha Palace had been reconstructed and offered a new shape during 1433- 1468. Rana Kumbha was the emperor of the terrain at that time. However, tourists who are flocking to the spot would only be able to witness the skeleton of the palace now. Cross Badi pol and Tripolia pol to enter into the fort of Chittorgarh to access the Rana Kumbha palace, positioned at the right hand side of the entrance. The demonstration of the momentous Rajput architectures can be watched on the walls of the Rana Kumbha Palace. The prime spot of the palace is the premise where from Rana Kumbha used to enjoy the shining sunrise. Rana Kumbha used to pay tributes to the sun from this premise as well. Even though the Jenana Mahal of the palace is in ruins but the astounding dome-shaped ceiling of the palace is still drawing attention of the huge crowds. The stable of elephants and horses unveil the fact that plenty of elephants and horses were there in the palace previously. A holy Shiva temple is there as well. There was a room (in the underground floor of the palace) where the queen Padmini had committed Jauhar after a holy dip in the water of Gaumukh in 1303.
The Fateh Prakash Palace, constructed at the opposite side of the Rana Kumbha palace, houses an archeological department, Nau Lakha Bhandar and a museum (1920). To watch the collection of weapons of Rajput family members you have to visit the palace during 10 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. It is closed on every Monday.
Carved out of stones, the palace, on the banks of the Ratneshwar Lake, at the northern side of the garh, was built by Rana Ratan in 1530.
Kumbha Shyam Ji temple, founded by Rana Kumbha in 1448, is situated adjacent to the Fateh Prakash museum. This is an abode of the deity Vishnu who is residing in the form of Baraha. The majestic Indo- Aryan architectural flair is exhibited on the walls of this righteous temple. The chief attractions of the temple are its pyramid shaped roof and the elevated crest.
The Krishna Temple of Mira Bai is located right at the back end of the fascinating Kumbha Shyam Ji Temple. The small Krishna temple is simple but spectacular. There is no idol inside the temple. Indo- Aryan odissi architecture looks marvelous on the pyramid shaped Nat Mandir. The main temple and Jagmahan would also enthrall the spiritual crowds. The architecture of the temple is said to be a reflection of the simple lifestyle of Mira Bai, the worshipper of Krishna. She was the widow wife of Bhojraj, the eldest son of Rana Sanga.
The Jain Shringar Chauri temple, built way back in 15th century, is another charming attraction. The consecrated temple is small but its grand architectures display the talent of the ancient architects. The astounding carvings of the temple are laudable. The dome, atop the temple, depicts Islamic architectural art form. The 16th Jain Tirthankar, Shantinath, is residing on the throne of this temple.
The wonderful Sat Bish Deori of 11th century is said to be another Jain temple which pulls crowds for its engrossing architectural panache. A number of Hindu deities and idols of dancing women decorate the temple. The style of this finicky temple resembles the structures of the temples of Orissa and Belur. It is believed that 27 holy temples were dotted around previously.
The mirror, placed in the Padmini mahal, nestled in the Lake which was full of blooming lotuses, is still pulling crowds. Historians opine that this was the famous mirror through which Allaudding Khilji had seen the beautiful face of the glamorous queen Padmini from the Guest room of the Gents’ Palace. The Mughal emperor Akbar had taken the bronze gate of the palace before placing it in Agra. Tourists can enjoy the historical palace during 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
There is a deer park, located at the southern side of the city.
The criminals were thrown into deep pit from the narrow premise, located at the southern tip of the city.
Cross the Suraj Pol to hit the ancient Mahadev temple, erected in 15th century.
The Kirti Stambh or “Tower of Fame”, founded by the wealthy Jain Merchant namely Jija, was dedicated to the Jain Tirthankar Adinath. The architectural excellence of this 7 storied monument is bejeweled with the figures of Jain Pantheon. The Digambar idol of Adinath is residing on the throne of the temple. The width of the encirclement of the Kirti Stambh is 9 meters and height is 22 meters. The intricate structure has a confined staircase of 54 stairways.
The Jaya Stambh or the Tower of Victory is standing tall in the vicinity and is recalling the victory of Rana Kumbha against Sultan Mahmud Khilji. As much as 90 Lakhs were spent to build the tower during 1458- 1468. The height of the tower (9 floors) is 37 meters. The 3 meters tall square shaped base (14 meters) is amazing. The encirclement of the base is 9 meters wide. The time-honored structure and architectural majesty of the Jaya Stambh are impressive. The 3rd and 8th floors of the monument exhibit stories of the almighty in Arabian language. The spectacular monument also showcases numerous mythological tales. Plenty of Hindu deities, elephants and lions are engraved on the walls as well. The dome of the stambh was demolished as it was hit by lightning. Later on it was reconstructed though. Climb up the Tower of Victory through 157 stair ways to take delight in the panoramic view of Chittorgarh. The doorway of the tower, however, is closed now.
Located at the southern side of the Tower of Victory, Saka of 1534 was a place where royal women used to commit Jauhar at.
Tourists should take a walk to the nearby waterfall. Adjoining Maha Sati was the graveyard of the royal family members. Innumerable Sati stones are sprinkles around. Samadhishwar or Shiva temple is located at the southern corridor of Maha Sati. Gaumukh can be accessed walking downside through the staircase.
Climb up the Chittoreshwari Kalika Mata temple of 8th century crossing a staircase. The deity, Kali, is residing in the temple. The idol is made up of black stones. It is believed that devout devotees used to worship the deity Surya in this holy temple previously. The residing deity was changed in 1568 when the temple was revamped after the attack of the Mughal ruler Akbar. Surya temple is also imprinted on the wall, outside the temple.
The inscription (that recalls the trip of Chalukyas king), Patta palace (at the southern side of Gaumukh), the war shooter of Babar and Dargah Sharif are the other coveted destinations of Chittorgarh.
A lot of city dwellers of Chittor now depend on cement and marble industries for earning.
The Vijaypur Palace, about 20 km away from Chittor, is another nearby attraction. You can stay at Bassi Fort Palace which has been built in the rooms of the Vijaypur Palace to watch the palace closely. Besides, the holy Lakshminath temple and Shiva temple, tourists would also be entertained if they move around the wildlife sanctuary of Bassi.
Tourists should enjoy the trip to Menal, about 90 km away from Chittorgarh. The place, however, has not come up with any hotels yet. The place is famous for a primeval Shiva temple of 12th century and an astonishing waterfall. The Nandi idol of Menal is a prime enticement for the spiritual crowds.
Bijolia, located at a distance of 20 km from Menal, is a must visit place, especially for the temple lovers who want to feel the divinity of the ancient temples of 10th century. Hundreds of scattered temples of Bijolia were built by the Chauhan Rajput emperors. Plenty of holy temples are in ruins though. Temples, such as, Hajeshwar, Undeshwar and Mahakaleshwar still recollect the memories of the ancient era. Cross the bus stand and market to watch few noteworthy temples of Bijolia.
Tourists can stay at Mewara or Kushal Raj hotel in Bijolia.
If you are high on energy, then it’s not a bad idea to visit Kota, about 70 km towards the north- eastern side of Bijolia.
How to reach: Chittorgarh is well connected to Jaipur, Ajmer, Udaipur, Vadodara, Surat, Ahmadabad, Jodhpur, Ajmer, Delhi, Hardwar and plenty of cities of Madhya Pradesh by bus. The railway station of Chittorgarh can be accessed by trains from Udaipur, Ajmer, Jaipur, Delhi, Indore, Kolkata and Ahmadabad.
Where to Stay: Check our hotel booking links below for photos, rates, options and online bookings.