Saturday, August 22, 2009

Chittoragarh Fort

Chittor a city which finds its place in the Great Indian Epic Mahabharta has the Fort known as the Chittorgardh Fort. Famously known for the beautiful Queen Rani PADMAVATI, it can be reached either from Delhi (14hrs), Udaipur (3 hrs), Or Jaipur (8 hrs) by road. Luxury buses/ Tourist buses and cabs which are easily avialable from all these places.

It is one fort among other fortresses filled with legends of bravery, love and romance. It dates back to 7th century to the kingdom of Mayuras who first built this fort. Chittorgarh was captured in 1303 by Ala-ud-din Khilji who was then the King of Delhi. In the 16th century Mewar bacame the leading Rajput dynasty. Mewar is also known for two famous personalities Meera - the famous Indian Spiritual poetess who sang in worship of Lord Krishna and Maharana Pratap - the valiant King.

The Fort
Formed in the shape of a fish, it stands on a top hill that is 180m high with a 28 sq km site. Some of its Stupas (pillars) were made by the Mayuras in the 7th century. It has three main gates called as Padal Pol, Bhairon Pol, Hanuman Pol and Ram Pol (Gate). The fort stands its attraction due to the sculpture and the architecture it has. A river seperates the Fort from the rest of the city. This fort is also famous for the beautiful Queen Padmini whose beauty from the word of mouth attracted Ala-ul-din to have a glimpse of her and then later on a wrong intention to possess her. However his evil plans were laid off when the Queen went on to do Jauhar (a mass suicide by the woman in a pyre of the lost warriors of a war).

In and Around
» Padminis Palace : On the southern side of the Fort, there lies the Padminis Fort with a Lotus Pond with central pavillion - the summer palace of the King. The story goes by that it is the same pond where the Glimpse of the Queen Padmini prompted Ala-ud-din to possess her. Near this palace is the prison where the captives were kept.
» Tower of Fame : This Kirti Stambha dates from the 12th century and is smaller in height than the Tower of Victoty. It not made by any King but a Jain (one who followed Jainism), is dedicated to Adinath , the first Tirthankar (one of the 24 revered Jain teachers). It has the sculptures of various Tirthankaras. It is seven storied; though no one is allowed to move inside the tower.

Not to be Missed
» Mewar Festival : It is celebrated to welcome the coming of the spring. The women folk gather dressed in local Rajasthani dress and then carry out processions in various parts of the city with pomp and show. Dances of Rajasthani style and local songs fill the air on this occassion. The procession usually finds its end in the Pichola lake in Udaipur. Fireworks mark the end of the festival.

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