The story of Chittorgarh is a saga of valor, tenacity and
sacrifice. Chittorgarh (also Chittaurgarh) was sacked three
times and its defenders had to make the supreme sacrifice. The
Fort of Chittorgarh is a treasure trove of history and offers
to the traveler an insight into the life of the Great Rajput
rulers, who laid down their lives fighting a superior enemy
instead of leading a life of submission under them.
The origin of Chittorgarh can be traced to the seventh
century. Earlier it was known as Chitrakut, after a local
Rajput chieftain named Chitrang. It remained the capital of
the local Sisodia clan of Rajputs from the eighth to the 16th
century. The history of this town is written in blood and
sacrifice. Muslim rulers sacked it three times in the medieval
period. The first was by Ala-ud-din Khilji, the Sultan of
Delhi in 1303. Khilji laid siege of this hill fort to capture
the beautiful Padmini, the queen of Chittorgarh. When the
situation worsened, Bhim Singh, the ruler of Chittorgarh, led
his men donned with saffron robes of sacrifice, and rode out
of the fort to certain death. Inside the fort, women,
including Padmini and the children, committed mass suicide or
jauhar by immolating themselves on a huge pyre, rather than
losing their honor at the hands of the enemy. In the middle of
the 15th century, Chittorgarh gained eminence when the
legendary Rajput ruler, Rana Kumbha, ruled it. He built the
Vijay Stambh (Victory Tower) to commemorate his victory over
Mahmud Khilji, the ruler of Malwa, in 1440. Chittorgarh was
sacked again in 1535 by Bahadur Shah, the Sultan of Gujarat.
The jauhar that followed the siege saw the death of 13,000
women and 32,000 Rajput soldiers. The third and final siege
took place in 1568 at the hands of the great Mughal emperor
Akbar. Jaimal and Kalla, two Rajput generals, valiantly
defended the fort but with their death and deteriorating
situation, jauhar was performed. However, Maharana Udai Singh
II, the ruler of Chittorgarh, fled to Udaipur and
re-established his rule. The Mughal emperor Jahangir returned
Chittorgarh to its rulers in 1616.
Climate: Bundi is
located in the southern part of the state of Rajasthan, in the
northwestern part of India. It is located amidst a hilly
terrain, near a gorge. It is 206 km from Jaipur and 36 km from
Kota. The climate of Bundi is extreme: summers are quiet hot
(April-June) and winters are cool (October-February). It
experiences scant rainfall between June and August.
Location : The best time to visit Bundi is between the
months of October and February, but one might also visit it in
July-August, when the Kajli-teej festival is celebrated here.
Best time to visit: An extensive green cover ensures a
pleasant season during spring and early winter. The best
season to visit the city though remains between October and
Places of interest
tourist attraction of the town of Chittorgarh is its fort,
which is located on a steep hill beside the modern township. A
zigzag ascent of about 1 km through seven gates leads the
tourist to its main western gate or Rampol. On the way, one
can see two chhatris or memorials of Jaimal and Kalla marking
the spots where they fell while defending the fort during the
siege of 1568. The main gate on the eastern side of the fort
is known as the Surajpol. Though most of the monuments in the
fort are in ruins, yet they reflect the glory of its great
Rana Kumbha Palace
Rana Kumbha Palace is an important spot and it is believed
that Queen Padmini had performed jauhar in one of its cellars.
Rana Kumbha Palace
The Archeological Museum, the Singa Chowri Temple, and the
Fateh Prakash Palace and Museum are some places to visit,
adjacent to Rana Kumbha Palace.
Places to visit in Chittorgarh:
Victory Tower/Vijay Stambh
The Victory Tower or Vijay Stambh
is one of the main tourist attractions of the fort. It was
built by Rana Kumbha to commemorate his victory over Mahmud
Khilji, the ruler of Malwa in 1440. This 37-m, 9-storied tower
has a number of balconies at each story, from where the
tourist can look at the monuments within the fort.
Tower of Fame/Kirti Stambh
The Tower of Fame or Kirti Stambh is another important
monument. This 22-m-high tower, with carvings of Jain deities,
was built in 12th century and is dedicated to Adinath, the
first Jain Tirthankara (spiritual leader).
Other spots worth visiting are the Sammidheshwara Temple,
Neelkanth Mahadev Temple, Meera Temple, Kumbha Shyam Temple,
and the 8th-century Kalika Mata Temple.
Other Tourist Places
Gaumukh reservoir and the Palace of Queen Padmini are
important spots to the south of the Rana Kumbha Palace.
According to legend, Ala-ud-din Khilji, the Sultan of Delhi,
was allowed to see the reflection of Queen Padmini in a mirror
while she stood behind a pavilion in this palace. Ala-ud-din
was so smitten by her beauty that he invaded and sacked
Chittorgarh to possess her. Bhimtal Tank is another must visit