Set atop a hill, the daunting Chittorgarh is a symbol of architecture, tragedy and history. Situated 123 km from Udaipur, this fort is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fort of Chittor has witnessed the world's longest-ruling dynasty, the Kingdom of Mewar, for almost 8 centuries. Built in the 7th century, Chittorgarh is the largest fort in Asia. Spread over the area of 700 acres, this place has 22 water bodies.
Chitrangad Mori of the Maurya dynasty is said to have laid its foundation during the 7th century. The fort came into the control of Bappa Rawal, who established the Mewar dynasty, in the mid-8th century. He later made the fort a capital of his extensive new kingdom which stretched from Gujarat to Rajasthan in the year 734.
This massive fort has witnessed multiple invasions starting from Alauddin Khilji, Bahadur Shah and Akbar. The fort was repeatedly attacked a lot of times over the years by Mughals in a bid to establish their dominance in northern India. Many lives were lost, including not only the soldiers and Kings but also their wives as they preferred immolating themselves over being captured by the Mughals.
The capital of Mewar was subsequently re-established in Udaipur. Akbar's eldest son, Jehangir, ended up giving the fort back to the Mewars in 1616 as part of a peaceful alliance treaty. After a few years, Maharana Fateh Singh added a few structures during his reign from 1884 to 1930.
What to see when in Chittorgarh?
1. Vijay Stambh
Vijay Stambh was built by King Rana Kumbha to celebrate his triumph over the combined forces of Malwa and Gujarat led by Mahmud Khilji, in the year 1448. It gives a scenic view of the entire town. The stambh is an excellent example of religious pluralism observed by the Rajputs. The stambh has inscriptions of Jain Goddess Padmavati, Allah and various Hindu Gods and Goddesses.
2. Gaumukh Kund
This sacred water body situated on the western part of the famous Chittorgarh. The pond is aptly named as the water flows in from a cow-mouth shaped point. There is also a tunnel named as Rani Bindar where Queen Padmini supposedly committed ‘Jauhar’.
3. Rana Kumbha’s Palace
This palace was built by King Rana Kumbha and has been one of the most visited structures by tourists. Its intricate architecture and beauty are exemplary. The series of canopied balconies, stables of horses and elephants of the palace are a must on your Chittorgarh sightseeing list.
4. Fateh Prakash Palace
If you want to witness Rajput grandeur, you should visit Fateh Prakash Palace. There are a number of corridors which have beautiful paintings on display. Now, a museum, the large part of it houses the beautiful paintings and shows the love of the royalty towards art.
5. Kirti Stambh
This 22 meters tall, 12th-century tower was built by a Jain merchant, Jeeja Bhagerwala during the rule of Rawal Kumar Singh. Famous for its elaborate carvings of the Digambar sect, this seven storeyed tall tower has marvellous statues of Sri Adinatha.
It isn't very easy to define how marvellous Chittorgarh is because of its majestic and royal aura. If you are planning for a royal vacation, there are hotels in Udaipur that gives you the authentic Rajasthani experience. As far as Udaipur hotels are considered, The Leela Palace Udaipur stands out from the crowd. You can even book a room at the Lake Palace Udaipur to start your royal vacation.