| CHITTAURGARH - Shrine of Chivalry
Chittaurgarh is one of the oldest cities in Rajasthan, India famous for the magnificent fort that stands tall on a 152-m-high rocky hill. Chittaurgarh Fort epitomizes the romantic ideal of Rajput chivalry. The fort with its impressive location and colorful history is the main attraction in the town. The walls of the fort, 5 kilometer long, enclose the deserted ruins while the slopes are covered with scrub jungle. The immense stretch of the walls and the ruined palaces relate the saga of innumerable sieges and heroism. The modern town of Chittor lies at the foot of the hill.
The oldest palace of the Chittaurgarh Fort is the Rana Kumbha Palace. It is situated on the western side. The palace is approached through two gateways to the east. The first gate is the immense Badi Pol and the second is the more modest Tripolia. The palace also housed elephants, horse stables, and a Shiva temple. The jauhar committed by Padmini is believed to have taken place beneath the courtyard. Across the palace is the archaeological office, museum and the treasury building..
A comparatively modern structure, the Fateh Prakash Palace is situated just beyond the Rana Kumbha Palace. Built by Maharana Fateh Singh, today it houses a small museum.
Situated close to the Fateh Prakash Palace is another temple dedicated to the mystic poetess Meerabai. It was constructed during the reign of Rana Kumbha. The temple is a magnificent specimen of the ornate Indo-Aryan style of architecture.
The Gaumukh (literally, cow's mouth) reservoir is to the south of Rana Kumbha Palace. It is a deep tank, which is fed by a spring gushing out from a carved mouth of a cow.
Built in the late 13th century and rebuilt at the end of the 19th century, the Padmini Palace is built besides a large pool with a pavilion in its centre. Legend has it that as Padmini sat in the pavilion, Ala-ud-din saw her reflection in a mirror in the palace-a sight that later led to the attack on Chittaugarh.
Across Padmini's Palace is a temple dedicated to Goddess Kali called the Kalika Mata temple. Built in the 8th century, it was originally dedicated to Surya, the Sun God.
The tower of victory or Jaya Stambh was constructed between 1458 and 1468 by Rana Kumbha to commemorate his victory over Mahmud Khilji of Malwa. The tower is 37 meter high and has nine storeys. Tourists are allowed to climb the narrow stairs up to the eighth storey. The outside of the tower has Hindu sculptures on it.
The Kirti Stambh or tower of fame is another famous tower of Chittor. Built by a Jain merchant, it is dedicated to Adinath, the first Jain tirthankara. The tower is decorated with nude figures of the various tirthankaras. A narrow staircase leads to the top of the tower.
For tour packages, please click www.exoticjourneys.com