The fort of Chittorgarh had a remarkable history. To this day it stands as the symbol of pride for the great Rajputs. Its walls defied the invaders and encompassed the tales of honor, bravery, and immense sacrifices.
The fortress of Chittor withstood the three Jauhars and countless onslaughts. Declared a world heritage site by UNESCO on 21 June 2013 the marvelous fort of Chittor withstood the invasions of Arabs, Turks, Mughals etc for centuries.
The great fort of Chittor is located on the plateau of Mesa. Historians like Shymaldas, Munhot Nancy, and Kumarpal Prabandh had suggested that the Chitrang Mori was the person who initiated the construction of this fort.
However, Maharana Kumbha constructed many parts of the fort during his reign that’s why he is known as the Modern builder of Chittor. The main architectural characteristic of Chittorgarh fort includes vaulted chambers, projecting balconies, and exterior slope of the walls.
Khuman Rasa (Raso) and Chittorgarh
The ancient text which was written around the ninth century CE describes the fortress of Chittorgarh in detail. Khuman Rasa is famous for providing a lot of information about Rawal Khuman who was the ruler of this region.
Chitra-koot is the chief among 84 castles, renowned for its strength, the hill on which it stands rising out of the level plain beneath, and the tilak on the forehead of the Earth. It is within the grasp of no foe, nor can the vassals of its chief know the sentiments of fear. Ganga flows from its summit and so intricate are its paths of ascent, that though you may find the entrance, there would be no hope of return.
According to Khuman Rasa(Raso), there were about 84 bazaars, schools, learning centers and varieties of artisans existed inside the fortress of Chittor.
Gates of Chittorgarh Fort
The fort had several big and small gates and each one tells its own story. Rana Kumbha is believed to have constructed around seven gates on the western part of the fort.
This gate is regarded as the oldest gate of the fort and during the Battle of Chittorgarh (Second Jauhar of Chittor 1535) Sai-Das Salumbar attained martyrdom. When Colonel James Tod visited Chittor he was astonished by the story of the great Sai Das Salumbar and his sacrifice.
The Englishman paid tribute to the fallen hero and offered flowers to his cenetop. Colonel Tod also appreciated its design, architecture, and the art of sculpture used in its construction.
Another gate that is of huge significance from the perspective of Mewar’s history is the gate of Ram Pol. It is the place where the gallant Putta’s cenotaph is located.
The fourth gate of Chittor is the place where another warrior who hailed from the Jhala Rajput clan attained martyrdom during the second Jauhar of Chittor. It was none other than Sajja of Delwara. He was the brother of Ajja who fought in the battle of Khanwa against the Mughals.
Contains the cenotaph of Jaimal and Kalla the defenders of the fort during the third Jauhar of Chittor (1567-68). The gate is named after Bhairav Das who belonged to the Solanki Rajput clan and sacrificed his life during the second Jauhar of the fort in 1535.
This gate encompasses the memorial built to honor Bagh Singh of Deolia who died during the Second Jauhar (1535).
A small gate is located in the northeastern portion of the fort. It is the same place where Jaimal Rathore was shot by the Mughal emperor Akbar. Other gates: Lakshman Pol, Jorla Pol, Ganesh Pol
Other Famous Structures
It is a type of hall/room that was used to store treasure. Furthermore, it also served as the residence of Banbir, the son of Maharana Sanga’s eldest brother Prithviraj. It also contains a Twin Reservoir which was constructed to celebrate the marriage of Lal Kunwar Bai the daughter of Maharana Mokal and known as the Ruby of Mewar.
It was constructed by Maharana Kumbha to commemorate his victory over of the sultanate of Malwa. Rana Kumbha decimated the force of Sultan Mahmud Khijli in the battle of Sarangpur and to remember this monumental glory he built the famous Vijay Stambh.
James Fergusson had compared this marvelous monument of Maharana Kumbha with the Tarjan’s Column of Rome.
It is a nine-story building dedicated to Lord Vishnu and built at a cost of around nine lakhs. It is around 122 feet tall and around 35 feet wide from the base. It also had black marble tablets which mention the genealogy of the kings of Chittor.
Also referred to as the Jain Pillar or the Khawasan Stambh is another marvelous structure which had been constructed inside the Fort of Chittor. It is a 75-foot-tall tower built in a square shape and carved with marvelous figurines resembling Jain culture.
It is dedicated to Adinath the first Jain Tirthankar.
Called the Hall of Carpets. It is the place where the princes of Chittorgarh met on grand occasions.
Temples Inside Chittor Fort
Apart from the above-mentioned structures, palaces, and monuments, there are several temples located inside the fortress of Chittor. Some of the famous ones are
The Temple of Deoji
Temples dedicated to Lord Shri Krishna and Mira Bai were constructed by Rana Kumbha. Sringar Chaori-
A small temple located in the northeastern corner of the fortress and highly sculptured.
Temple of Tulsi Bhavani
To this day the fort of Chittorgarh is seen as the symbol of pride, courage, and sacrifice. Its fascinating architecture and spine-tingling stories of Rajput heroes are still alive inside the walls of this fort. It was the adobe of warriors like Maharana Kumbha, Maharana Sanga, Rana Kshetra, Rana Uday Singh, and the list goes on.
However, for years we had completely neglected this palace and had paid unnecessary attention to the monuments which were built by the Turkish sultans.
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