Chittor, home of the brave, is one of India's most fiercely contested lands of power. Located 115 km from Udaipur, on the banks of River Berach, the City of Venice in Rajasthan, Chittorgarh is known for its formidable fortifications. Many epic battles have been fought on this land that has significantly shaped the history of the country. This quaint town is also known for its ancient architectural splendours that speak volumes about the engineering prowess of our ancestors. Incredible temples, stunning palaces, majestic forts, wildlife sanctuaries, waterfalls, and more attract tourists to explore and feel its vibe. The road to the famous Chittorgarh Fort, Rajasthan zigzags steeply for a mile and rises high on the horizon. You are sure to feel goosebumps exploring this magnificent building and knowing more about its interesting history.
A visit to Chittorgarh evokes a lot of emotions in the human mind. The place is synonymous with royal glory, the indomitable spirit of brave and chivalrous Rajputs, and deep love for the Motherland. The place is also peppered with natural attractions like cascading waterfalls, wildlife sanctuaries, and majestic Aravalis, enveloping this quaint town in a gentle embrace. A trip to this town, steeped in history, will leave you awestruck with the magnificence of the place and make your heart swell with pride hearing the stories of bravery of our ancestors.
Best Time To Visit Chittorgarh
Chittorgarh is located approximately 72 miles from Udaipur and the south-eastern fringes of Rajasthan. Although the verdant Aravali Range surrounds it, it experiences extreme temperatures. The place can be visited at any time of the year, but the best time to visit Chittorgarh is from October to March. The weather is mildly chilly and moderately pleasant, which makes it easy to explore the quaint outdoors. The city experiences scorching and sweltering temperatures from April to July, which makes it uncomfortable for tourists to explore and visit its major attractions. Monsoons wash the dust and grime settled on the forts and palaces. As sun rays fall over them, these structures seem to shine brightly and look beautiful against an overcast sky. The cool breeze brings a much-needed respite from high temperatures. Travellers can enjoy and visit major attractions and offbeat places in Chittorgarh and make their trip memorable.
History of Chittorgarh
Bappa Rawal, the legendary founder of the brave Sisodia Dynasty, received Chittorgarh as a part of the last Solanki princess's dowry in the middle of the 8th Century. It crowns a seven-mile-long hill covering 700 acres with impressive temples, fortifications, palaces, and soaring towers. From the eighth to sixteenth Century, the descendants of Bappa Rawal ruled over Mewar, a very significant kingdom that stretched from Gujarat to Ajmer. But during these eight centuries, the seemingly invincible and impregnable Chittor was surrounded, overrun, and sacked three times.
Chittorgarh also finds mention in the ancient text, Mahabharata, where it is said that Bhima, one of the Pandava brothers, chose this place to meditate and find the truth behind immortality. Another story that has been narrated for centuries is about the Queen of Chittor, Rani Padmini, who was known for her heavenly beauty. She was married to Rawal Ratan Singh Ji of Chittor. Alla Uddin Khilji, the then Mughal Emperor, heard about her beauty and decided to see her once. Royal ladies were not allowed to be seen by menfolk other than her closest family members in those times. Due to the imminent threat of attack on the city, Rawal Ratan Singh Ji allowed Alla Uddin Khilji to see her through her shadow, falling on a mirror. After looking at her through the mirror, the Emperor became obsessed with her and decided to abduct her and make her Queen. It resulted in a fierce battle where Rawal Ratan Sigh Ji lost the battle and Rani Padmini, along with other women in the Fort subjected themselves to 'Johar.' This collective self-immolation of women was etched in the history of India forever, where women decided to burn themselves to save their dignity.
10 Best Places to Visit in Chittorgarh
Revisit the times of grandeur, magnificence, bravery, and architectural brilliance. Chittorgarh is a historical destination peppered with some of the most magnificent forts, palaces, temples, wildlife sanctuaries, etc. Have a look at some of the 10 best places to visit in Chittorgarh and explore the magnificence of the place. Check out!
Declared as the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013, Chittorgarh Fort is sprawled across 700-acres of land. Named after Chitrangada Mori, the person responsible for constructing this magnificent fort, it is interspersed with a network of soaring towers, stunning palaces, incredible temples, and beautiful reservoirs. Vijay Stambh and Kirti Stambh are memorial towers that draw many visitors who are fascinated with its intricate work. The enticing history of this fort makes it one of the major tourist attractions in Chittorgarh. The fort's entrance is through seven 'pols' or huge gates, which are a series of strong points with great iron-spiked doors and watchtowers. Close to the Bhairon Pol is a cenotaph of Jaimal and Phatta. Both were brave warriors who donned the saffron robe and laid their lives for Chittor.
2. Chittorgarh Palace
The Palace of Rana Kumbha is the first large palace inside the fort. Rana Hamir built the original palace. Chittor remained the seat of power for two centuries and reached its zenith under Rana Kumbha. His time was considered the golden age of art and architecture in Mewar. This beautiful palace is known for its architectural brilliance and grandeur. There are a lot of fascinating tales associated with this magnificent palace. After the valiant defeat of Rana of Mewar, his Queen Rani Padmini self-immolated herself along with other womenfolk in the Fort to save their dignity.
3. Padmini Palace
It is another one of the most beautiful palaces located inside the Chittorgarh Fort. This palace stands tall and speaks volumes of its beautiful Queen Rani Padmini and her Johar. Standing in the middle of the water, this palace shares the epic tale of a gallant Queen known for her impeccable war skills and unimaginable beauty. From this palace, she showed herself in the mirror to Allauddin Khilji.
4. Vijay Stambh
To commemorate his victory against the combined might of Sultan Mahmud of neighbouring Malwa and Sultan Ahmad Shah of Gujarat, Rana Kumbha built a soaring tower, Vijay Stambh, 120 feet high. It has nine storeys served by a winding stairway. It is built up of limestone and is covered from top to bottom with carvings depicting the social life of the time.
5. Kirti Stambh
Kirti Stambh is another tower built within the fort premises. It is dedicated to Shri Adinath Rishabhdeo, the first Jain Tirthankara. There are several other Jain temples in Chittor. Some Buddhist artefacts dating back to the Maurya dynasty are also found.
6. Meera Temple
The Fort has a beautiful temple of Meera Bai, an ardent devotee of Lord Krishna. Born in a royal family in Chittor, Meera Bai shunned her royal life and dedicated her entire life to Lord Krishna's bhakti. Built-in Indo-Aryan architectural style, this temple displays stunning works of art. A lot of cultural festivals are organised here all through the year.
7. Kalika Mata Temple
This temple was also built by Rana Hamir and is located in the south end of the fort. It is the oldest fort in the area, dedicated to the Sun God, built by Bappa Rawal in the 8th Century. The temple was destroyed in the first attack on the city and was later rebuilt. The idol of the patron Goddess of Chittor, Mata Kalika, was kept here, replacing the idol of Sun God.
8. Fateh Prakash Palace
This palace is built in a modern architectural style. Named after Maharana Fateh Singh, it is a lovely palace with its walls adorned with stunning murals and wall paintings. It is now a popular museum that houses historical artefacts, sculptures, paintings, and more.
9. Gaumukh Reservoir
A lonely flight of steps winds down to the Gaumukh Reservoir. Here, through the mouths of cows carved on the rock face, the waters of an underground spring flow into the reservoir onto a sacred Shivalinga placed below. The underground passage leading from Kumbha's palace comes out on the north bank of the reservoir, inside a small Jain temple called Parasnath Temple.
10. Bassi Wildlife Sanctuary
Sprawled in a vast expanse of 15,000 hectares of land, Bassi Wildlife Sanctuary near Chittorgarh is home to diverse wildlife. Spot wildlife species like panther, mongoose, langur, nilgai, and more while roaming through this verdant land. Photography lovers, nature enthusiasts, and wildlife buffs love exploring the sanctuary and admire the rich biodiversity of this land.
Things to do in Chittorgarh
Besides exploring its magnificent attractions, Chittorgarh also offers many interesting and exciting activities that help travelers unwind, relax, and enjoy nature at close quarters. Here are some of the top 5 things to do in Chittorgarh.
1. Cave Exploration
A short drive to Menal leads to caves of ancient Buddhist religious sites and temples right outside Chittorgarh. You can also enjoy a family picnic with friends and family, water activities, and outdoor entertainment here.
2. Light and Sound Show
Relive the magnificent history of Chittorgarh through a Light and Sound Show held at the fort. The program is held at 7 pm every day and touches on various aspects of history, legends, bravery, and growth of the city.
3. Enjoy Royal Hospitality
Stay in a heritage property or a royal palace and enjoy the unique Rajasthani hospitality. Stay in the 16th Century Bassi fort, soak in the exclusive royal grandeur and decor and bask in warm and welcoming royal hospitality.
4. Oil Treatment
Visit Avari Mata temple located in Aasawara village close to Chittorgarh Fort and get the best oil treatment. It is recommended to carry your oil bottle with you and subject yourself to a unique oil treatment that cures many ailments and helps you relax and unwind.
Indulge in shopping in the lanes and bylanes of Chittorgarh at local stalls, old shops, and more. Here, you will find wonderful souvenirs, marble figures, miniature paintings, camel leather articles, bangles, handicraft items, and more. Sadar Bazaar and Fort Road market are some of the best markets to explore in this quaint city.
How To Reach Chittorgarh
Chittorgarh, the Pride of Rajasthan, beckons many tourists every year who love exploring its magnificent forts, palaces, and temples. The city is well-connected with the major cities of Rajasthan and nearby states. Here, we bring you detailed information about how to reach Chittorgarh using diverse modes of transport. Check out!
Maharana Pratap or Dabok International Airport in Udaipur is the nearest airport to Chittorgarh, which is well connected to all major cities of India through regular domestic and international flights. After deboarding from the airport, hire a cab or a taxi to reach this quaint city.
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You can also travel by train as Chittorgarh has its railway station near River Gamberi. After reaching the destination, hire a cab or a taxi to explore the tourist attractions of Chittorgarh.
Chittorgarh is connected to many major cities through a well-maintained network of roads. Many private and state-run buses ply their services to this tourist city. From there, you have to consider options like taking a stroll, riding in a horse cart, or rickshaws.
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Frequently Asked Questions Related to Chittorgarh, Rajasthan
Ques 1. What is the major attraction in Chittorgarh?
Ans 1. The major attraction worth exploring in Chittorgarh is the magnificent Chittorgarh Fort.
Ques 2. What is the best time to visit Chittorgarh?
Ans 2. The best time to visit Chittorgarh is between October to March, when the weather is pleasant.
Ques 3. Is Chittorgarh a world-famous site?
Ans 3. Yes, declared as the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013, Chittorgarh Fort is sprawled across 700-acres of land.
Q 4. Who founded Chittorgarh?
Ans 4. Bappa Rawal, the legendary founder of the brave Sisodia Dynasty, received Chittorgarh as a part of the last Solanki princess's dowry in the middle of the 8th Century. It crowns a seven-mile-long hill covering 700 acres with impressive temples, fortifications, palaces, and soaring towers.
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