Tryst with Chittorgarh Fort
Posted on August 25, 2017 by Ghoomophiro
Chittorgarh Fort popularly known as Chittor Fort is the Pride of Rajasthan. It is one of the largest forts in India and counts as a World Heritage site. It is spread over an area of 691.9 acres over a hill that is 180m in height. The fort is of great historical importance as it was ruled by the Mewar Kingdom since the 7th century. During the rule, there have been three prominent attacks on the fort by Muslim rulers such as Allauddin Khilji, Bahadur Shah and Akbar. The entry of the Chittorgarh Fort is by crossing four gates called ‘Pol’. The main gate is known as ‘Ram Pol’.
What makes Chittorgarh Fort so different from the rest of the forts in Rajasthan is that the build of the fort is pure Rajputana and there is no Mughal Art mixed with it. The architecture and even the stones tell the story of the great Mewar. Unlike Jaigarh Fort or Ajmer Fort, the palace is not in pristine conditions. In fact, most of it seems like nothing but a glorified ruin but those ruins tell the stories of great war and bloodshed. During those times of attacks, firstly by Allauddin Khilji when he defeated Rana Ratan Singh, the fort suffered great destruction and the soldiers lay down their lives trying to protect their kingdom. It is believed that Khilji led the attack in order to make Rani Padmini (wife of Rana Ratan Singh who is believed to be the most beautiful queen of Rajasthan) and make her join his Harem. When it was clear that there was no way to victory, the queen along with other royal women and some commoners decided to accept death as their fate instead of bowing down to some other ruler and facing the dishonour of defeat. They preferred to die in the Rajputana way of Jauhar (dying on a pyre by jumping into the fire). Again with the other two attacks, the walls of the fort heard war cries of soldiers and the echoes of women folk were heard as they took their own lives. Well, ultimately no matter how many times they were defeated, the fort was won again by Mewar rulers.
There is also another Mythological importance of this fort related to a popular figure ‘Meera’ who was a saint in love with Lord Krishna and who spent her life devoted to the same. She believed Lord Krishna to be her husband and there is a temple called ‘Meera Temple’ within the grounds of the fort where she used to chant hymns, dance and worship Lord Krishna. It is said that this is the same temple where she totally submerged herself into holy matrimony with God.
Another part of the fort is the Vijay Stambha (Victory Tower) which has nine-storeys and is 122 ft tall. It was used to keep an eye on the enemy’s army. It ensured their victory in many attacks and therefore was named Victory tower. Among the premises of the fort, there is also a Jain temple and a Peepal tree has been planted. The tree itself is of great importance as it is said to give relief to the many wandering souls in the fort. With such atrocious deaths that occurred between those walls, it brings a sense of calm to the place.
Located nearby is Fateh Prakash palace that was built by Rana Fateh Singh. From there, The Gaumukh Reservoir is visible which offers a picturesque view.
In the end, I would like to add that Chittorgarh Fort is an important part of the History of Rajasthan and anyone visiting there should absolutely walk among those walls.