As I had already mentioned before that Chittorgarh will bring horripilation to you.
The history of Chittor is one of the most thrilling and heroic chapters in Indian history.This ruined palaces relate the saga of innumerable sieges, encirclement and heroism which has almost become a myth or a delusion
Bappa Rawal, the legendary founder of the Sisodia dynasty, received Chittor in the middle of the 8th century, as part of the last Solanki princess’s dowry. It crowns a 13Km long hill, covering 700 acres, with its defences, temples, towers and palaces. It’s like a small town within a fort.
How to reach
We went in a private car from Udaipur. We took around 2 hours to reach the Fort from Udaipur which used to be the new Capital of Mewar Kingdom. Fort is so giant that you need atleast one half day time to complete the tour. Right now the Palace inside the fort is under construction. But we were lucky enough to get a good guide who is successor of the Rajput clans.
New entry gate of Chittorgarh Fort
From the 8th to the 16th century, Bappa Rawal’s successor ruled over Mewar stretching from Gujarat to Ajmer. But during these eight centuries the Chittor was surrounded, overrun, and revasted 3 times.
In 1303 Allauddin khilji, Sultan of Delhi, tantalized by story of the matchless beauty of Padmini, Rani of Chittor, of her wit and charm, decided to meet her. It is said in Indian history there were only 3 queens whose beauty was incomparable: Rani Padmini, Roopmati from MP and Mastani from Bundelkhand.
His armies surrounded Chittor, and the sultan sent a message , Padmini’s husband,to Rana Ratan Singh to say that he would leave the city if he could see Rani Padmini. But this was against Rajput’s respect. But King was abeyancing between the safety of the city Vs respect of Rajput tradition of not whowing wife’s face in front any stage person. The compromise finally reached was that the sultan could look upon Padmini’s reflection in the mirroe placed over the pond if he came unarmed into the fort. Accordingly, the sultan went up the hill and glimpsed a reflection of the beautiful Padmini standing by a lotus pool. He thanked his host who courteously escorted Allauddin down to the outer gate-where the sultan’s men waited in ambush to take the rana hostage. You can see the gate where King Ratan was hijacked.
Getting this news Rani Padmini decided to take revenge from Alaudin Khilji and she made a plot in a smarter way. She sent a message to Alaudin Khilji that she is ready to come to Delhi and stay in their province only at one condition that she will be accompanied by 700 maids. Dozens of curtained palanquins set off down the hill, each carried by six humble bearers. Once inside the Sultan’s camp, four well-armed Rajput warriors leaped out of each palanquin and each lowly palanquin bearer drew a sword. In the ensuing battle, Rana Rattan Singh was rescued-but 7,000 Rajput warriors died to glory.
The sultan now attacked Chittor with new energy. Having lost 7,000 of its best warriors, Chittor could not hold out. Surrender was unimaginable. The rani and her entire entourage of women, the wives of generals and soldiers, sent their children into hiding with loyal retainers. They then dressed their wedding fine performed jauhar.
This used to be 150ft deep but during excavation by Govt they found lots of bones and jewelleries and they decided to fill it up with sand and make a Jauhar garden for visitors. But standing over it really gives you a feeling which is I cannot express in writing. How 16,000 wife’s together jumped one by one and singing ancient hymns, boldly slid themselves ro farewell.
The men, watching with expressionless faces, then draped in saffron robes, covered the holy ashes of their women on their foreheads. Opened the gates of the fort and ambushed down the hill into the enemy, to fight to the death.The second sack of Chittor, by which Rajputs still swear when pledging their word, occurred in 1535, when Sultan Bahadur Shan Of Gujarat attacked the fort.
Chittorgarh And Jainism
Chittorgarh is ancient center of Jain tradition. Here are few temples:
- Chittor is adjacent to the ancient city of Madhyamika.
- The famous Acharya Haribhadra Suri (6th cent) was born in Chittor
Beautiful carvings on the roof
Exterior of Jain temple
Carving on pillar
Read about story of Haldi Ghati and Maharana Pratap in our upcoming blog.