Chittorgarh, also called Chittaur, from the 7th century to the 16th, was the capital of Mewar under the Rajputs. Chittaur evokes memories of great heroism and sacrifice by Rajput men and women in the intermittent battles that they had to fight against invaders from Northwest or Delhi. Chittaur witnessed both the ravages of war and the triumphs of the spirit. Allaudin Khilji who coveted Queen Padmini of Chittaur, invaded the city in 1303 A.D. Queen Padmini and the women of the court sacrificed themselves in a pyre of fire rather than submit to anybody. This supreme sacrifice has been called 'Jauhar' and epitomises the fiery spirit of the Rajputs of the day. The city stands strewn with monuments and battlements as evidence of the blood and gore that it went through in medieval times.
Chittorgarh resonates with stories of Rajputana bravery, pride and passion. The bards of Rajasthan sing tales of courage and sacrifice recounting stories that are known to every child and adult in the city. Chittorgarh is named after its most imposing structure, the Chittorgarh Fort which stands atop a 180 metre high hill and is spread across 700 acres. Chittorgarh Fort has had a tumultuous past.
Chittorgarh Fort is one of the most important places to visit in Chittorgarh. This historical fort is the pride of the Rajasthani town as it stands imposingly upon the top of a hill, looking down protectively over the city. Nearly all of Chittorgarh’s attractions are housed inside the fort. The Chittorgarh Fort is a massive structure which was first built in the 7th century and covers an area of approximately 700 acres.
Tower Of Fame (Kirti Stambh)
The Kirti Stambha is a one of the lovely tourist attractions of Chittorgarh. Housed inside the massive Chittorgarh Fort, this 12th century tower stands as a monument to Adinathji, the 1st Jain Teerthankar. It is decorated with the naked figures of the Digambars, and reflects the cultural beliefs of the Digambars comprehensively. There are seven storeys in the tower, and a narrow and steep staircase leads to the top from where views of the Chittorgarh environs can be taken in and is one of the best places to visit in Chittorgarh.
Rana Kumbha Palace
Rana Kumbha Palace is one of the most interesting places to visit in Chittorgarh fort. The massive proportions of the ruined edifice of the palace reveal what an imposing structure it was in the height of its glory. Rana Kumbha Palace is the largest monument in the Chittorgarh Fort and has a grand history attached to it. Rana Kumbha Palace is a part of number of legends. These legends are associated with queen Padmini of Chittorgarh. The palace is also named after the greatest of the Sisodias.
Vijay Stambha (Victory Tower)
The Vijay Stambha stands tall and mighty in the premises of the Chittorgarh Fort. Built in 1440 AD by Maharana Kumbha to commemorate his victory over Mohamed Khilji, this 9-storyed tower is adorned by sculptures of Hindu deities around and reflects the historical traditions of its age quite successfully. Hence, the entire town can be viewed from here.
One of the most important water tanks in the Chittorgarh Fort, the Gaumukh Reservoir is a sacred site in the Hindu religion, so much so that a tour of sacred Hindu pilgrimage sites is considered incomplete without a visit to this reservoir. Water from a natural spring constantly flows from the “cow mouth” into the reservoir. A shiva-linga and an icon of Goddess Lakshmi adorn the base of the Gaumukh where the water falls.
Kalika Mata Temple
It is one of the most important temples of Chittorgarh and the city's tour isn't complete without a visit to this temple. The splendid sculpture of the temple is what attracts most tourists. It is dedicated to Kalika an incarnation of Goddess Durga. The entire temple, built on a platform, boasts of Prathira architectural style. The ceiling, pillars and gates all have intricate designs.
Meera Temple or Meera Bai Temple located in the premises of Chittorgarh Fort is dedicated to Meera Bai who was a Rajput Princess. The striking temple was constructed by Maharana Kumbha, the Rajput king during his rule, making it both a historical and religious attraction. As soon as one enters the place of worship, they are bound to feel immense tranquillity and happiness.
Bassi Wildlife Sanctuary
Spread over an area of about 50 sq km near the Bassi village, Bassi Wildlife Sanctuary is located on the western boundary of the Vindhyachal range. In the sanctuary, animals like panther, antelope, wild boar, etc and various species of native and migratory birds can be seen. Tourists can also go on a Jeep safari arranged by the forest officials.
Fateh Prakash Palace
This palace of Chittorgarh takes Rajput grandeur to a new level. The architecture is splendid, and the layout fantastic. There are a number of corridors and a rich display of Rajasthani paintings, the presence of a large variety of crystal artifacts also indicates the King's love for it. Now, a large part of the fort has been converted into a museum and the royal crystal items take up a large part of the display.