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Tourist Places To Visit In Chittorgarh
Chittorgarh, the city of brave Rajput kings and their braver queens, the city of devotion and the making of a woman who broke social barriers for her beloved, the city of forts and the valour that resided within. This city is an ancient one, roughly being dated back to the 7th Century when the main fort here was first renovated. When was it constructed? That’s still being determined. Hence it is no wonder that Chittorgarh is pretty scenic, with sites that tell stories of centuries ago and people who still sing praises of their ancestors. Here’s our list of best tourist places around here.
The Chittorgarh Fort is almost a township in itself, one of the largest fort complexes of India, built over a ridge to protect the people inside as well as fight battles. It has great historic significance because of the Rajputi women who committed jauhar or ‘death by fire’ inside its walls when their husbands went down in battle against invaders. The most renowned of these tales is the tale of Queen Padmini or Padmavati, whose husband died on the battlefield defending her against Allauddin Khilji and who, to hold her dignity and honour, jumped into fire before letting Khilji even see her.
The fort and the numerous temples, ponds, towers and chambers inside are amazing, best seen through a long day tour on a winter morning.
Also known as the Tower of Fame, the Kirti Stambh is another highlight of Chittorgarh, located inside the Chittorgarh Fort. It was built in the 12th Century CE and is dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankar Adinathji. You will see the tower carved with figures of naked men and women who are digambaras and it narrates the culture of that era and its Jains. The tower is 7 storeys high and is graced with a very narrow winding staircase to the top. A must visit.
Another Tower in the Chittorgarh Fort is known as Victory tower. It glorifies the victory of Maharana Kumbha Karan over Mohammad Khilji and was built by him in 1440 CE. Over nine storeys tall, the Vijay Stambha is primarily built and carved with Hindu deities, and reflects the traditions of Hinduism as practiced in that century. You can climb to the top and enjoy the views, along with some amazing arial photography.
Rani Padmini has an almost goddess-like status in Rajasthan, and rightly so. Her self-immolation has been praised over the centuries for its bravery. The fact that she did not cower and surrender and reduce herself to a miserable life as Khilji’s sexual trophy, and led the women of an entire generation of Chittor to choosing their own destiny in death instead of being exploited all their life makes Padmini a messiah. Inside the Chittorgarh Fort, one of the best places of tourist interest is her palace. It is here that Khilji had seen Padmini’s reflection in a mirror; the first and the last time he ever laid eyes on her.
There is sweet natural beauty surrounding the palace and you will feel the echo of history with this human angle to just stones and mortar.
Rana Kumbha Palace
Rana Kumbha Mahal is another great core of history and numerous stories inside the Chittorgarh Fort. It is as if the land itself has been so glorious that it has housed glorious people of history. At one point or another the Rana Kumbh Mahal was inhabited by someone of great character; be it Rani Padmini or Maharana Kumbh himself, Meera bai or the patriotic nanny Panna Dhai, who sacrificed her own infant son to the invaders and kept the only surviving heir Udai Singh safe, who later went on to establish the city of Udaipur.
This is apparently also the place where Padmini performed Jauhar.
Kalika Mata Temple
Kalika is an incarnation of Goddess Durga and this little 8th Century temple is dedicated to her. The shrine is a very important pilgrimage for locals as well as Mewadis around the area. Situated inside the Fort, the Kalika Mata Temple has devotion spelled even in its architecture, with the intricate carvings and adornments on old walls. Some of its part is ruined but the shrine is still up, and is bathed in regular worship.
The Sanwariaji Temple, as the name suggests, is dedicated to the Dark Lord. And in Hinduism, there is only one who has been called dark - Shri Krishna. This temple is around 40 km away from Chittorgarh and is considered just next to the Shrinathji Temple of Nathdwara, which is the centre of Krishna devotees of the world. Sanwariaji Temple is located in the Bhadsoda and Mandphiya village nearby and you can take a half day tour to catch a glimpse or darshana of the lord and return by evening.
Meera bai was a 16th Century Bhakti poet and Krishna devotee, who found her salvation in loving the lord. But before all of that, she was a Rajput princess from Pali, who was married into the royal family of Mewad, whose seat was at Chittor. Her husband was the crown prince who died in battle and her in-laws persecuted her for her devotion and love in Krishna. While Meera bai left Chittor and Mewad forever to make Dwarka her home, Chittor never forgot her. The Meera Temple here is Chittor’s way of remembering and worshipping its princess by marriage, who brought forth a social upheaval here but also taught that the Lord need not be achieved by meditations and penances but by simply loving him.