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It lies on the Berach River, a tributary of the Banas and was the former capital of Sisodia clans of Rajput and of Mewar. Chittorgarh has the Chittorgarh Fort the largest fort in India. was under siege thrice and each time they fought bravely and thrice Jauhar was committed by the ladies and children, first lead by Rani Padmini, and later by Rani Karnavati. The fort at Chittorgarh also contains the ancient and beautiful temple to Goddess Kali called the Kalika Mata Temple.
Alauddin Khilji was the first to sack Chittaur on 1303 A.D., overpowered by a passionate desire to possess the regal beauty, queen Padmini.Legend has it, that he saw her face in the reflection of a mirror and was struck by her mesmerising beauty. But the noble queen preferred death to dishonor and committed 'Jauhar'.
In 1533 A.D during the rule of Bikramjeet came the second attack from Bahadur Singh,the Sultan of Gujarat.Once again Jauhar was led by Rani Karnavati, a Bundi princess. Her infant son, Udai Singh was smuggled out of Chittaur to Bundi who survived to inherit the throne of the citadel.
He learnt from his traumatic childhood that discretion is preferred to valour. So in 1567 A.D, when the Mughal Emperor invaded Chittaur, Udai Singh fled to establish a new Capital, Udaipur - a beautiful lake city, leaving behind Chittaur to be defended by the 16 year old heroes, Jaimal of Bednore and Patta of Kelwa.These young man displayed true Rajput chivalry and were killed in the battle. Immediately thereafter Akbar razed the fort to rubble. Chittaur was never inhabited again but it always asserted the heroic spirit of Rajput warriors.
The fort and the city of Chittorgarh also hosts the biggest Rajput festival "Jauhar Mela". It takes place annually on the anniversary of one of the jauhars, not the one by Padmini which is most famous. This festival is to commemorate the bravery of Rajput ancestors and all three Jauhars which happened at Chittorgarh. A huge number of Rajputs which include the descendants of most of the princely families do a procession to celebrate the Jauhar.
How to reach
By Air - Udaipur is the nearest airport (Dabok airport 90 kms away)
Ry Rail - Chittaurgarh is connected with Ajmer, Jaipur(318 kms) Delhi(583 kms), Udaipur(113 kms) and Ahmedabad by rail
By Road - It is also connected by road to Mount Abu(297 kms).
Places to see
It was from here that the Sisodias went to war against the Mughals at the famous battle of Haldighati.
It is believed that the fort was constructed by the Mauryan rulers in 7th century AD.
The Victory Tower was built by Maharana Kumbha, to commemorate the victory over the Sultan of Gujarat.
The Tower of Fame was built by a Jain merchant in honour of Adinathji, the first Jain Tirthankara.
Rana Kumbha's Palace
Rana Kumbha's Palace is near the Vijay Stambh. This is the birthplace of Maharana Udai Singh the founder of Udaipur. His life was saved by the heroic act of the maid Panna Dhay, who replaced her son in place of the prince & consequently her son was killed by Banbir. She carried the prince away to safety in a fruit basket. Rani Meera Bai also lived in this palace.The place is in ruins and is considered to be the place where Rani Padmini performed the ritual of Jauhar in one of the underground cellars.
Kalika Mata Temple
This was originally a Sun temple, now the temple is dedicated to Lord Kali.
Rani Padmini's Palace
Rani Padmini's Palace is from which Alauddin was allowed to watch a reflection of the Rani
Kumbha Shyam Temple
Built during the reign of Rana Kumbha in the Indo-Aryan style, the temple is associated with the mystic poetess Meerabai- an ardent Krishna devotee. She was the wife of Prince Bhojraj.
Kalika Mata Temple
Originally built as a Sun Temple in the 8 Th century, the temple was later converted into Kalika Mata Temple in the 14 Th century A.D, dedicated to the Goddess Kali - the symbol of power and valour.
The magnificent Fateh Prakash Mahal, presently a fine Museum with an exquisite example of sculptures from temples and buildings in the fort is worth a visit. Entry fee RS 2.00 Closed on Fridays.
One of the oldest towns of Rajasthan of great importance during the Mauryan period ,is situated on the banks of River Bairach.The Hindu and Buddhist remains from the Mauryan and Gupta period are found here.
Bassi Village(25 Km)
Enroute Bundi is a marvellous village with historical forts,temples and kunds.Especially famous are its sculptures and woodcraft.A place of great tourist interest.
Bassi Wildlife Sanctuary
50 Sq. Km sanctuary near Bassi,supports a population of panthers,wild boars.antelopes,mongoose and migratory birds.Prior permission has to be obtained from the District Forest officer,Chittaurgarh before visiting the sanctuary .
Sanwariyaji Temple(40 Km)
On the Chittaur-Udaipur road is a contemporary temple of Lord Krishna,an important pilgrimage spot.
Martia Kunda Temple(50 Km)
A popular sacred place dedictaed to Lord Shiva.Popularly called 'Haridwar of Mewar.
A marvellous castle built by Rao Shakti Singh,the younger brother of Maharana Pratap ,stands in the village.Presently it has been converted into a heritage hotel.
Sita Mata Sanctuary,Dhariyavad
This thickly wooded jungle sprawls over the Aravali ranges and the Malwa plateau with three rivers flowing through the forest.According to the legend, Sita,wife of Lord Rama stayed in this Jungle in Rishi Valmiki's Ashram after she was exiled by Lord Rama. The common fauna that can be sighted here includes leopard, hyena, and jungle fox, porcupine, sambhar, wild boar, four horned antelope, nilgai and flying squirrel.
A 16 th century magnificent fort near Pratapgarh with some beautiful palaces ornate with murals and splendid Jain temples.
On the Bundi-Chittaur road amid the natural beauty is Menal,famous for its ancient Shiva temples picturesque water falls and dense forests.