Located by the River Berach, Chittorgarh is a popular destination for the largest fort of Rajput Dynasty built around 14 centuries ago. It used to be the capital of Sisodia clans of Mewar Rajputs once upon a time and presently it is the administrative headquarters of Chittorgarh district.
Chittorgarh Fort known as Chittor is housed on a hill 180 meters tall and spreads over 692 acres area above the plains of the valley drained by the Berach River.
Inside the fort, there are several gates and monuments. There are 22 water bodies like step wells, wells and ponds within the confines of the fort presently. It is interesting to know that these all have a storage capacity of 4 billion liters that could be enough for 4 years.Seven majestic gates lead you inside the fort. Ruined palaces and 130 temples are found in the fort.
Brave Rana Kumbha erected the Victory Tower, Vijay Stambha or Jay Stambha to celebrate his triumph over Mahmud Shah I Khalji who was Malwa’s Sultan. It is more than 500 years old. From the 8th floor of the tower, you can have a beautiful view of the entire new Chittor and the plains around. A dome was added to the construction later. It is a mesmerizing sight during the evenings when the Stambha is illuminated.
Entry: Free for Indians, 50 Rs. for foreigners
Kirti Stambha or Fame Tower is established on a 9.1 meter base and 1.4 meter apex. The impressive Jain sculptures on the outside of this majestic tower make it a place worth visiting.
The ruins of Rana Kumbha’s palace epitomize the rich historical past of India. It had elephant and horse stables along with a temple of Lord Shiva. The magnificent canopied balconies make it a unique ancient palace. You can enter the palace through a courtyard from Suraj Pol. Rani Padmini along with several other women sacrificed her life in the funeral pyre in an underground cellar as an act of bravery (jauhar).
A museum and archaeological office are located from the palace. There is a Singa Chowri temple in the vicinity.
Padmini’s Palace is housed in the southern part of Chittor. Surrounding the palace, there is a water moat and chhatris adorn the roofs of the palace. Rani Padmini was as beautiful as Cleopatra and knowing about the story of her life would surely give you goose bumps.
Meera Temple, Kalika Mata Temple, Tulja Bhavani Temple, Fateh Prakash Palace, 6 Jain Temples and Gaumukh Reservoir are some of the places of tourist interest inside the fort.
Udaipur at about 90 kms is the nearest airport from Chittorgarh. As far as traveling by train is concerned, Chittorgarh has its own railhead. Regular trains are available from Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Ajmer, Kota, Delhi, Udaipur and many other cities. The Palace on Wheels luxury train is also available to reach there. It is well connected by road from Delhi, Udaipur , Jaipiur and many other cities too.
Stay and Food
Hotels suitable for every budget are available at Chittorgarh. Mughal, Rajasthani and other Indian cuisines are served in the local food joints of the city.
2016 has set in and it is a great idea to take your first vacation trip to Chittorgarh. The biggest Rajput festival Jauhar Mela is organized during February-March and you can definitely plan a visit during those days.