Chittorgarh Fort is one of the largest forts in India situated in Chittorgarh town in Rajasthan. The fort is spread in an area of around 700 acres. The fort has many palaces, temples, towers and other structures built by many Rajput rulers.
The fort was attacked by many rulers like the kings of Gujarat Sultanate, Delhi Sultanate, and Mughal Dynasty. Currently the fort has become UNESCO World Heritage site and it was included in the list in 2013 by World Heritage Committee.
Chittorgarh is situated on the banks of Berach and Gambhiri rivers. It was the capital of Sisodia Rajputs. The town was attacked thrice and the ladies of the Rajput rulers performed Jauhar in order to save themselves from enemies. The Rajputs that ruled Chittorgarh believed in sacrificing their lives rather than surrendering to the enemy.
Previously the name of the town was Chitrakut when it was under the Mori dynasty. Later on, Bappa Rawal overtook the kingdom and founded the kingdom of Mewar. Another legend says that Bappa Rawal got this town as a dowry from the last ruler of Solanki dynasty after marriage.
The fort is opened for the tourists from 9:45am to 5:15pm. It takes almost two hours to visit the whole fort along with the structures present in the fort. Sound and light shows are also organized in the fort whose timing is 7:00pm to 8:00pm. There is a museum which can be visited between 9:45am and 5:45pm. On Mondays and on important festivals the museum remains closed.
Tourists have to buy tickets from the ticket counter in order to visit the fort. The charges of ticket for an Indian tourist is Rs. 10 and for foreign tourist Rs. 100. To watch the sound and light show, the entry fee for an adult is Rs. 50 and for a student Rs. 25.
In order to visit museum, the tourists have to buy ticket. For an Indian tourist, the ticket charges for an adult is Rs. 10 and for a student it is Rs. 5. For foreign tourists, the ticket charges for an adult is Rs. 50 and for a student Rs. 25.
The best time to visit the fort is from February to April and October to December as the climate is pleasant in these months. The weather is neither too hot nor too cold. The other months are either very cold or very hot.
There are around 68 hotels in Chittorgarh which include inexpensive budget hotels to expensive four-star hotels. Tourists can stay in resorts and guest houses at cheap rates. People can get also stay in hotels nearby railway station and the fort.
Chittorgarh fort has a long history from the time it was built. The fort had been sieged by many rulers. The warriors fought the enemy bravely while the women performed jauhar so that they cannot be taken away by the enemy.
There are many legends related to Chittorgarh. Some of them say that Chittorgarh was previously called Chitrakut and was ruled by Moris while the other say that Chitraranga built the fort and so was named Chittorgarh. There is also a legend in which it is stated that Bhima, brother of Yudhishthir, struck the ground which became a large reservoir of water and now it is called Bhimlat Kund.
Legends say that Bappa Rawal was a Guhila ruler who either captured the fort or got it in dowry. It is also said that Moris were defeated by Arabs and then Bappa Rawal defeated the Arabs and captured the fort.
Alauddin Khilji attacked the fort in 1303AD in order to capture Rani Padmini who was very beautiful. She was the wife of Rana Ratan Singh. Though Rana showed her to Alauddin Khilji in the mirrors but he still wanted to capture her. Rana was captured by the Khilji who gave a proposal that Rana will be released if rani comes to his harem.
Rather than going to the harem, rani sent 700 soldiers who rescued the rana but were defeated in the battle that as fought near the fort. Rana was killed in that battle and Rani Padmini along with other women performed jauhar. Alauddin won the battle and appointed his son Khizr Khan as its ruler and named the fort Khizrabad.
Khizr Khan was pressurized to give the power to Maldeva who was killed by Hammir Singh. In his time, the kingdom of Mewar grew in wealth and prosperity and his dynasty came to be known as Sisodia dynasty. Ketra Singh succeeded Hammir Singh in 1364 and he was succeeded by Lakha Singh in 1382. Rana Kumbha was the grandson of Lakha Singh and he took up the throne in 1433.
Rana Kumbha was the son of Rana Mokal and he reigned from 1433 to 1468. During his reign, he built around 32 forts in order to secure his kingdom. One of his forts is Kumbalgarh that is built near Udaipur. Rana Kumbha was killed by his son Rana Udaysimha to gain the throne.
Rana Udaysimha, also known as Rana Udai Singh I, attained the throne in 1468 by killing his father but the assassination was not liked by the people so Rana Raimal attained the throne in 1473. Rana Raimal died in 1509.
Rana Raimal was succeeded by Rana Sanga who was his youngest son. Rana Sanga, also known as Sangram Singh, elevated the prosperity and pride of Chittor and Mewar. He defeated the Gujarat rulers and Ibrahim Lodi.
He was defeated by Babar in the Battle of Khanwa fought in 1527. Though the Rana escaped but was killed in the attack on the Chanderi fort. The death of Rana Sanga led to the decline of Rajputs and the fort was besieged by many rulers.
Bahadur Shah was the ruler of Gujarat who attacked the fort in 1535. Due to the attack, around 13,000 women performed jauhar and around 3,200 Rajputs went for fighting. Rana Udai Singh and Panna Dhai escaped from the fort and went to Bundi.
Akbar attacked the fort in 1567 during the reign of Rana Udai Singh II. Shakti Singh went to Akbar after quarrelling his father. But when he came to know that Akbar was planning to attack Chittorgarh, he returned back and informed his father about it. After knowing this, Rana Udai Singh hid himself in the hills of Udaipur while Jaimal and Patta defended the fort but were killed in the battle which was fought for four months.
Chittorgarh fort is spread in an area of 700 acres. It has been made in the shape of a large fish and its circumference is 13km. The fort is built on the banks of Gambhri River and a limestone bridge has to be crossed in order to enter the fort. The fort was built on the basis of Hindu architecture though ideas like vaulted substructures belong to Muslim architecture.
There are seven entrances which are −
The fort also includes palaces, temples, and water bodies.
When the fort was built in 5th century, it had only one gate. Sisodia Rajputs renovated the fort and built six more gates. The temples related to Hindus and Jains built inside the fort are
There are two towers which are the other Jain monuments and these are Kirti Stambh and Vijay Stambh.
Rana Kumbha Palace can be accessed from seventh gate. Rana Ratan Singh Palace was constructed in 19th and 20th century. Fateh Prakash Palace is also there which has been converted into a museum.
The Chittorgarh fort has seven gates out of which one was built in fifth century and rest were built in 15th century. Ram Pol is the main gate to enter the fort. The gates were made in such a way that they provide full security to the fort from invasion. They were built with heavy stones and pointed arches. The arches were pointed so that the elephants of the enemy cannot push the gates. They also protected the gate from cannons. Along with these, there are parapets for the archers to shoot arrows.
Padan Pol is the gate where Prince Bagh Singh was killed in 1535 while Jaimal was killed between Bhairon Pol and Hanuman Pol. In the commemoration of the death of Jaimal, chhatris and statues were made. A cenotaph has also been built in which a statue of Jaimal sitting on a horse has been built. A chhatri for Patta has also been made at Ram Pol in his commemoration. Jodala Pol is the combination of two gates. The arches of the gate is connected to the base of the Laxman Pol.
Padan Pol is the first gate of the fort and its name is derived from the Rajasthani word Patwi which means eldest or first. There is a legend which says that after Alauddin Khilji made a siege, a buffalo kid named pada was brought down with force so it was named padan pol.
A statue of Bagha Rawat or Bagh Singh is situated on the left side of the gate. Bagh Singh was the grandson of Rana Mokal and was killed during a war with Bahadur Shah, king of Gujarat Sultanate.
Bhairon Pol is the second gate of the fort and the statue of Lord Bhairon is situated nearby. It was renamed as Fateh Pol as Maharana Fateh Singh rebuilt it. It has also been said that Bhairon Das was a soldier who was killed while fighting with the forces of Bahadur Shah hence the gate was named as Bhairon Pol. Jaimal and Patta were killed between Bhairon Pol and Hanuman Pol.
Hanuman Pol is the third gate of the fort and is named so due to the construction of Hanuman temple nearby. Ganesh Pol is the fourth gate where a temple of Lord Ganesh is situated. The temple is very old and beautiful.
Jodala Pol is the fifth gate of the fort and since it is connected with the sixth pol so it was named as jodala pol. Between this and the Ganesh pol there is a monument of eklingnath. Laxman Pol is the sixth gate to which a tourist can reach after a sharp turn from jodala Pol. Near to Laxman Pol there is a temple for Lord Laxman. Ram Pol is the seventh gate and it is named so as the ancestors of the kings of Mewar were the descendants of Lord Rama.
Many Jain and Hindu temples were constructed in this fort by different rulers. Most of them have been ruined. Some of the temples in the fort are as follows
Chandra Prabhu Jinalaya or Bhagwan Mahaveer temple was constructed in 1167AD. The main tower of this temple is Kirti Stambh that was built by Jeeja Bhagerwala during the reign of Bappa Rawal. The height of the seven-storeyed tower is 75 feet. The diameter of the base is 30 feet while the diameter of the top is 15 feet. The digambara-style four statues of Bhagwan Adinath are built on the outer wall of the tower. Each statue has the height of 25 feet.
The Bhagwan Parshvanath Temple was constructed in 1322 near Gaumukhi Kund. The temple is also known as Chomukhi temple as the temple has four faces. The temple was constructed by Jaytalla Devi who was the wife of Rana Tej Singh.
Bhagwan Adinath Temple is considered as the largest Jain temple in the fort. It is said that due to the construction of 27 temples nearby, the place came to be known as Sattavish Devri.
Kalika Mata Temple is a Hindu Temple built in the 14th century. Legends say that previously it was the temple of Sun God that was constructed near the Padmini Palace in 8th century. The location of the temple is between Padmini Palace and Vijay Stambh. Ratri Jagrans are organized in the empty space of the temple. The temple is beautifully decorated during the festival of Navratri. There is a Shiva Temple inside the Kalika Mata Temple complex and is called as Jageshwar Mahadev temple.
Tulja Bhavani Temple was built to worship the goddess named Tulja Bhavani which is another form of Goddess Durga. This temple was constructed in 16th century and is located near Ram Pol.
Kumbha Shyam temple was built by Rana Kumbha on the request of his wife Meera Bai as she dedicatedly worshipped Lord Vishnu. There is a chhatri which she dedicated to Swami Ravidas also known as Swami Raidas. According to a legend, a demon named Hiranyakasha stole the Mother Earth and hid himself in primeval water. To rescue the Mother Earth, Lord Vishnu took the form of a boar called Varaha in which the body was of human and the head was of a boar. The idol of Varaha is installed in the temple.
The construction of the temple is based on Indo-Aryan architecture. The temple consists of ardha mandapa (half porch), mandapa (full porch), antarala (interior compartment, and garbhagriha (private chamber). The inner walls are decorated with the sculptures of Hindu Gods.
Meera Bai temple is situated to the right side of the Ram Pol where she worshipped Lord Krishna. Kumbha Shyam Temple and Meera Bai Temple are located in a campus which is surrounded by high walls. There is a black-coloured statue of Lord Garuda at the entrance of the campus. From there, one can reach Meera Bai Temple which consists of a statue of Lord Krishna. There is a chhatri on the left side of the temple which has the foot prints of Swami Ravi Das.
Nagchandreshwar Mahadev Temple is a temple of Lord Shiva situated beside Rani Padmmini’s Palace. There is a garden situated on the right side of the temple. In this garden flowers and vegetables are grown.
There is ample space inside the temple so that devotees can worship without any discomfort. People of Chittorgarh perform Abhshek of the idol in the month of Sawan.
Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple is another temple of Lord Shiva situated near Ratan Singh Palace. A white coloured Shiva Linga is installed on a stone base. The black-coloured ceiling is decorated with the designs of flowers.
Rani Padmini Palace is situated between Kalika Mata Temple and Nagchandreshwar Temple. The palace was made in front of a water source. There is a garden at the entrance having lots of roses. There is a separate room inside and people can reach there through staircases. This is the same room in which Alauddin Khilji saw Rani Padmini in mirror.
Fateh Prakash Palace which was built by Rana Fateh Singh has now been converted into a museum. This palace has a large idol of Lord Ganesh along with frescos and a fountain. The palace is situated nearby Meera Bai Temple and has beautiful pillars and corridors.
Ratan Singh Palace is situated near Ratneshwar Talab and was built by Ratan Singh. The palace is surrounded by high walls and the entrance has crowned arch with two pillared chhatris. The place has many rooms, deorhis, and towers. There is a darikhana on the second floor that faces the Talab.
Rana Kumbha Palace was built by Rana Kumbha in 15th century. The architecture of the palace is very beautiful.
It is considered as the oldest structure and is built near the Vijay Stambh. The palace can be entered through Suraj Pol. This is the same palace where Rani Padmini performed jauhar.
Tourists can reach Chittorgarh through various means of transport as the city is connected by road and rail transport to various cities. Chittorgarh does not have its airport but the nearest airport to the city is Sanganer in Jaipur where domestic and international flights take-off and land. The cities nearby Chittorgarh with their distance are as follows −
Chittorgarh does not have its airport but Dabok airport in Udaipur and Sanganer airport in Jaipur are nearest to Chittorgarh. Dabok airport is 70km away from Chittorgarh which is connected to Delhi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Ahmedabad, and Mumbai. Sanganer airport is 300km away from Chittorgarh and is connected with many national and international cities.
Chittorgarh is connected to major cities in India through rail which include Udaipur, Jaipur, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, and others. Tourists can get direct trains to these places. There are no direct trains to cities like Lucknow but tourists can change trains from other stations that are connected with both Chittorgarh and Lucknow.
Chittorgarh is connected to various cities though highways. Tourists can catch private and government buses in order to reach their destination. The bus stand is located in the middle of old and new city.
There are many other places nearby Chittorgarh Fort which the tourists can visit. These places are as follows −
The Sanwaliyaji Temple is located on Chittorgarh Udaipur road and in this temple Lord Krishna is worshipped. Buses are available for the people to go there. The temple is popular due to large amount of donations that it receives from daily visitors. The temple is around 41km away from Chittorgarh Fort.
Bassi Wildlife Sanctuary has various kinds of animals like deers, leopards, panthers, birds, and many others. The sanctuary is 5km away from the fort. The tourists have to take permission from the District Forest Officer before going to the sanctuary.
A fort built by Rao Shakti Singh is located here. Rao Shakti Singh was the younger brother of Maharana Pratap. The fort has now been converted into hotel. The fort is located on Vindhyachal Hills and is surrounded by forests. The distance between Chittorgarh Fort and Bijaipur Fort is around 40km.
Bijolia is a fort located on Bundi Chittorgarh road. Its ancient name was Vindhyavali which was very popular during Chauhan period as they built many Shiva temples in the fort. Most of the temples have been ruined now. Hajaresvara Mahadeva Temple is popular due to high ling along with small lingas surrounding it. The distance between Chittorgarh Fort and Bijolia Fort is around 104km.
Mandalgarh Fort is 54km away from Chittorgarh and has seen many battles in its glorious times. A chief of Balnote Rajput constructed the fort. There is Lord Shiva temple which also have many other Hindu gods. A large pond for the provision of water is also there inside the fort.
The fort was taken by Delhi Sultanate, Rajputs, and Mughals. Raja Roop Singh got it from Shah Jahan as a Jagir. In 1660, he won the fort but Aurungzeb captured thr fort in 1700 and gave it to Jhujar Singh. The distance between Chittorgarh Fort and Mandalgarh Fort is around 83km.