Chittorgarh Fort

Chittorgarh Fort is one of the most important forts in India. It is in the state of Rajasthan. It stands ona rocky upland that is 500 feet high. The fort is spread through 700 acres. Rana Kumbha was the one who officially built this fort. His palace is the oldest monument within the fort.

The palace was built from 1433 - 1468. It was built with plastered stone. The entrance is known as ‘Suraj pol’. Darikhana or Sabha (council chamber), Ganesha temple and the zenana (residence for women) are the main attractions of the fort. But the most attractive features of the palace is its canopied balconies. There are also stables for elephant and horses, houses for nobles and palace attendants. But, they have been almost ruined now.

Rani Padmini’s Palace is another monument that catches one’s attention. It is a three storied white building. The palace is surrounded by water. The balconies make the palace really charming. Bhimlat kund is an artificial tank existing near this palace. It is dedicated to Bhima, the strongest of the Pandava brothers. There is a three - storied tower called Chonda house. It was built in early 15th century.

The Naulakha Bhandar (nine lakh treasury) was built by Rana Kumbha. It is small fort in itself. It was here that all the wealth of Chittor was stored. In northeastern corner there is a small temple called Shringar Chaori. It has some beautiful carvings of gods and goddesses,. It is a Jain temple which was built into the fort wall in 1448. Two big temples also are within the fort. One was built by Rana Kumbha and the other by Mir Bai. Rana Kumbha’s Vrij temple was built around 1450. It is dedicated Varah, the god with the body of a man and the head of a boar.

Another monument within the fort is Kunwar Pade ka Mahal. It was the place of the price of Chittor. It was built in 1450. Ogee arches or the S - Shaped arches are the speciality of this palace. The Rajputs used such arches for the first time in this palace. Later, they became the trademark of Rajput architecture. The blue tiles used in this palace also are very beautiful and attractive.

Fateh Prakash is the most modern building in Chittor. It was built in the early 20th century. This palace was the residence of Maharana Fateh Singh, Chittor’s ruler. He died in 1930. Now, the Government of India has established a museum in a part of the building.

The main gateway to the fort is something to be mentioned. There is a limestone bridge leading to the fort. It is supported by ten arches. The bridge is built across the Gambheri River. Altogether, there are seven imposing gateways. They are massive stone structures. They were powerful enough to resist the attacks with elephants and cannot shots. There is an ancient Tulja Bhawani temple in honour of goddess Tulja.

Bappa Rawal built the Kallika Mata temple in the 8th century. It was dedicated to Surya, the Sun god. After its destruction Rana Hammir rebuilt it as a Kali temple in the 14th century. Mahasati is a small terrace. The Ranas of Chittor were cremated in the Mahasati. Stones marking satis surround it. Sati was custom existed in the Indian Society. As per this, the widows were burnt alive with the bodies of their husbands. Gaumukh is a fountain formed in the mouth of a ‘cow’.

Vijaystambha or Victory Tower is the most impressive monument of Chittor. Rana Kumbha erected it from 1457 - 1458. He erected it after he defeated the combined armies of Malwa and Gujarat. The tower is 122 feet high. It has nine stories and the base itself is 42 feet broad. Each of the nine stories had doorways leading into balconies. An architect called Jaita in the Jain style designed it.