Once in your lifetime, especially if you are a movie freak, you must have heard about the Bollywood Magnum Opus Padmavati which was based on the real-life of Rajputana Queen Rani Padmini. Rani Padmini was the Queen of Ratan Rawal Singh who ruled the Mewar kingdom in the present-day Rajasthan. She committed Jauhar, When the Sultan of Delhi, Allauddin Khilji attacked Chittor in order to captivate her. It is said that Allauddin Khilji, on knowing about Padmavati’s wit and charm, got obsessed with her and attacked Chittorgarh to capture her. However, Rani committed jauhar, and this quest of Allauddin Khilji to get her remained unfulfilled.
No, I am not here to talk about a movie on a travel blogging site. But today, I am here to tell you more about Chittorgarh, the land of valour and sacrifice, which perfectly describes the ethos of Rajputana. So let’s shall begin!
Table of Contents
- About Chittorgarh
- Sites to Visit in Chittorgarh
- Chittorgarh Fort
- Vijay Stambh
- Kirti Stambha
- Padmini Palace
- Meera and Kumbha-Shyam Temple
- Kalika Mata Temple
- Samadhiswara Temple
- Rana Kumbha Palace
- Gaumukh Resevoir
- Saatbees temple
- Fateh Singh Palace
- Ratan Singh Palace
- Sitamata Wildlife Sanctuary
- How to reach Chittorgarh?
- End Note
- Frequently Asked Questions
The Town of Chittorgarh lies on the banks of the Berach River, a tributary of the Banas River which flows in the western state of Rajasthan. Chittor was given to the Bappa Rawal, the founder of the Sisodia dynasty, as a part of the dowry upon his marriage with the last Solanki princess. Chittorgarh, ever since it was erected, has viewed many tales of sacrifice and pride. Interestingly, the honey coloured fort of Chittorgarh, which is the main point of attraction in Chittorgarh has also witnessed the sagas of love And devotion on its complex.
From the sacrifice of Panna Dhai to the Jauhar of Rani Padmini and the utmost devotion of Meerabai, the walls of Chittorgarh have seen it all. The lanes and corridors of Chittorgarh speak of the valour and pride that it occupied when it was ruled under the kingdom of Mewar.
Apart from the Majestic fort, Chittorgarh has been home to multiple Hindu temples dedicated to almost every diety. From Shiva and Vishnu to Bhadrakali and Sita, the temple architecture of Chittorgarh is next to none when it comes to its iconography and craftsmanship. The temples are managed by the local devotees.
Sites to Visit in Chittorgarh
Chittorgarh is home to several majestic structures that you cannot miss. These structures not only remind you of the history it has been a part of but also the pride and devotion with which the new age population of the town has taken care of them. Furthermore, Chittorgarh offers you a blend of nature and history in its most pristine form that you could have ever imagined. The Bassi wildlife sanctuary, Sitamata wildlife sanctuary and Gaumukh reservoir are living proof of that.
For History geeks and photographers, Chittorgarh is a paradise in disguise and I am not even exaggerating when I say this. But don’t believe me, plan your trip to Chittorgarh and witness this Paradise with your own eyes.
Without further delay, let me give you a glance at these tourist attractions of Chittorgarh!
1. Chittorgarh Fort
The Chittorgarh Fort is the most popular destination in Chittorgarh owing to its chivalrous architecture and the history it carries within itself. The Chittorgarh Fort has been declared as the world heritage site by the UNESCO.
Built by The Mauryas in the 7th century, the Chittorgarh fort has witnessed many historical events. The Fort is endowed with 7 huge gates known as Ram Pol, Bhairon Pol, Padal Pol, Ganesh Pol, Jorla Pol, Lakshman and Hanuman Pol. Spread across 700 acres, the fort is built at the top of the hill, guarding the entire city.
Chittorgarh Fort is not just a Fort where the Royal dynasties lived but is also home to many other numerous sites of edifices that carry Historical and Religious significance. Some of them are:
- Vijay Stambh
- Kirti Stambh
- Rana Kumbha Palace
- Padmini Palace
- Sammideshwara Temple
- Kalika Mata temple
- Meerabai-Kumbha Shyam Temple
- Saatbees Jain temple
- Gaumkukh Reservoir
- Bhimtal Lake.
The Chittorgarh Fort is open for visitors from 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM and the cost of tickets for entering is ₹10 for Indians and ₹100 for foreigners. Note that the timings are same for every site inside the fort.
2. Vijay Stambh
Vijay Stambh, also known as the victory stamp was built by Rana Kumbha upon his victory over Mahmud Khilji in 1442. It took seven years for the completion of the tower. Made up of Red sandstone and Marble, the tower has a total of 9 storeys with each storey having a separate balcony in the outward direction. A visit to Chittorgarh is incomplete without seeing this architectural marvel.
3. Kirti Stambha
Also known as the Tower of Fame, Kirti Stambh was built by Biherwal Mahajan Sanaya in the 18th century. The stambh is dedicated to Rishabha, the first Tiranthakara of Jainism. Built-in the style of Solanki architecture, it has 7 storeys in total with a five-foot-high idol of Rishabh. The Stambh is highly revered among the followers of the Jain religion with several people from the Jain religion coming every year to pay a visit to the Tiranthkara.
The top storey of the tower gives a panoramic and picturesque view of the entire Chittorgarh fort and the Chittorgarh city.
4. Padmini Palace
Padmini Palace is a 3 storied white structure where the Queen of Mewar and the wife of Raja Ratan Rawal Singh lived before she self-immolated herself in the Jauhar Kund. The Palace is surrounded by Water moats and lotus pools which makes it an extremely beautiful sight to view. The Palace is open for visit by tourists. The Timings are 6 AM to 6 PM.
5. Meera and Kumbha-Shyam Temple
In Hindi Literature, Meerabai is known as the Bhakt-Shiromani. The reason was her ardent devotion towards Krishna, so much so that she renounced worldly affairs at a tender age. Meerabai worshipped Krishna in this Temple in Chittorgarh. It is also said that the Bhakti movement began here. The temple is built in Ornate Indo-Aryan style.
Another temple in the same compound, slightly bigger than the Meerabai temple, stands erect. The temple was built in the 8th century and later, it got revamped in the 15th century by Rana Kumbha on the behest of Meerabai.
The Temple is dedicated to Varah, the boar incarnation of Vishnu. Meerabai had spent hours worshipping Krishna and feeding the poor from her wealth.
The temple has a separate chattri dedicated to Meerabai’s guru Swami Ravidas who lived in Kashi. His footprints are also preserved here in the temple.
6. Kalika Mata Temple
Travelling to Chittorgarh and not taking the blessing from Kalika Mata temple is a complete no-no. The Kalika Mata Temple is an intricately carved Hindu temple dedicated to Goddess Bhadrakali. The temple was originally built in the 8th century to worship the Sun god. However, in the late 14th century, the temple was revamped and from then, Goddess Bhadrakali is worshipped in the temple.
The temple walls speak of the extreme devotion with which it has been constructed. Unfortunately, The temple has been in partial ruins with the passage of time. However, the powerful aura of the temple still shines through the ruins.
7. Samadhiswara Temple
Situated near the Gaumukh reservoir, Samadhiswara Temple is dedicated to Shiva. Built in 11th century AD, this is the oldest temple in the entire complex. A unique feature of this temple is the Idol of Shiva where he is in the Trimurti Form. The idol of Shiva is three Headed and is made of stone. Apart from the Grand image of Shiva, the Temple has a Garbhgriha, Antarala and a Gudhamandapa with a Mukhmandapa in all three directions (Western, Northern and Southern). The walls of the temple is intricately carved with sculptors of Humans and animals, that speak of the craftsmanship and advancement of Hindu architecture.
8. Rana Kumbha Palace
Rana Kumbha Palace is the largest monument inside the Chittorgarh fort. In historical times, the palace served as the residence to The Royals like Bappa Rawal and Meera Bai. This is the same palace where Panna dhay, a wet nurse had saved the life of an infant Uday Singh, the founder of Udaipur, by sacrificing her own son. In the dungeons of the Palace, it is said that the Queen Padmini along with other Rajput ladies had committed Jauhar in order to save herself from Allauddin Khilji.
Made from the Sandstone, the ruins of the Palace speaks of the grandeur it held when it was at its peak. The entrance to the palace is from two gateways known as Suraj Pol and Tripolia Gate leading further to Suraj Gokhra, Zaman Mahal and Kanwarpada-ka-Mahal in the open courtyard. There is a Small Shiva temple inside the Palace along with stables of horses and elephants. One Remarakble feature of this palace is the canopied balconies that continues to astonish the Visitors even now.
The Palace is now converted into a Museum and an Archeological office. The Cost of entering is ₹15 for Indians and ₹200 for foreigners.
Timings: 9:30 AM to 5PM
9. Gaumukh Resevoir
The Chittorgarh fort was once reffered as the “Water-fort” due to the presence of 22 water bodies. Except a few, rest all the water bodies are either dry or destroyed. One of these water body is the Gaumukh reservoir which is a sacred Hindu pilgrimage now. The name of the reservoir is owed to the rock from where it originates, which resembles “Cow’s mouth”. Another feature of this reservoir is the presence of Shivalinga and an Idol of Goddess Lakshmi at the base of the waterfall. The devotees or visitors can also indulge in activities like feeding the fishes of the reservoir.
10. Saatbees temple
Built in 11th century, The Saatbees temple is another remarkable gem in the crown of Chittorgarh. The temple, as the name suggests, is actually an amalgamation of 27 small temples dedicated to the life and virtues of Adinath, the Jain Tiranthakara.
When you visit the temple, you can feel the tranquility and peace inside the temple complex. You can visit the temple and sit around for sometimes to feel the serenity and divine energy the temple radiates.
Saatbees temple is open from 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM
11. Fateh Singh Palace
The Fateh Singh Palace was built by Maharana Pratap Singh as his residential Palace in the Majestic Chittorgarh Fort. The Fateh Singh Palace stands unique amidst of all the forts and palaces due to its modern architecture.
Currently, the palace is serving as a museum for the visitors. Inside the palace, there is a big Ganesha Idol that adorns the palace complex along with the fountains that add charm to the edifice. The Palace also houses several historical artifacts such as crystals stones collected by Maharaja Sajjan Singh, Studded Carpets, Axes, Shields, Furnitures and Soldiers Uniform. The palace corridors are adorned with paintings from 17th to 19th century that picturises the Rajasthani folktales and Hindu mythology.
Timings to visit the palace are 9:30 AM to 6:30 PM
12. Ratan Singh Palace
Known as the Winter Palace, The Ratan Singh Palace once served as the Residence for the Family of the Ruler during the winters. Although, today the Palace is in ruins, it stills manages to enthrall its visitors with its gigantic structure, balconies and lush green gardens. The lakes surrounding the palace give a scenic view to the visitors.
13. Sitamata Wildlife Sanctuary
Named after the Hindu Goddess Sita, wife of Shri Ram, the Sitamata wildlife sanctuary is a protected forest area preserved for the conservation of wildlife. It is said that Goddess Sita after her separation with Shri Rama, lived in this forest in the ashram of sage Valmiki. Some rocks in the forest also contains carved paintings from pre-historic times.
The Sanctuary has dry-deciduous flora and many small Rivers such as Karmoi, Jakham, Sitamata, Tankiya and Budho flow through this reserve. The Sanctuary is a home to leopard, spotted deer, wild bear, four horned antelope, nilgai, jungle cat, jackal, hyena, caracal wild boar, wild pangolin and rare flying squirrels.
Spoonbill, White Necked Stork, Little Cormorant, Little Grebe, Indian Darter, Pond Heron, Gray Heron, Cattle Egret, Painted Stork, Little Egret, Lesser Whistling Thrush,Rubby Shelduck, Cotton Teal, Pintail, Nukta, Spotbill, Parah Kite, White Eyed Buzzard, Shikra, King Vulture, Tawny Eagle, White Backed Vulture, White Scavenger Vulture, Rain Quail and many other exotic species of birds are also found in the Sanctuary.
Visitors can go for jungle safari and can witness the rare sight of flying squirrels and leopards in this reserve. Cost of the tickets are ₹10 for Indian adults, ₹2 for students and ₹80 for foreigners.
The Timings are 8 AM to 5 PM
How to reach Chittorgarh?
Chittorgarh is situated in the Southern Rajasthan. It is 112 KM away from Udaipur and 182 KM from Ajmer. Being an urban Muncipality town, Chittorgarh is connected to rest of India with all the three modes of transport.
1. By Airport
The Nearest Airport to Chittorgarh is Dabok (Udaipur) Airport which is 70 Kilometers from the town of Chittorgarh. The Airport is connected to major cities of India such as Delhi, Mumbai and Jaipur.
2. By Road
The town Chittorgarh is covered under the Golden Quadrilateral route because of which it is well-endowed with Highway roads. The bus stand is located in the middle of the old and new city and the distance between the bus stand and major hotels is around 1 to 2 KM. The Chittorgarh Fort and Railways stations are both 2 km way from the bus stand. You can either take your vehicle or can reach Chittorgarh via bus services. Both private and Government Bus services are available in Chittorgarh.
For more detail about Rajasthan Roadways service please call on following numbers:
General Enquiry: 01472 – 241177
Station Master: 01472 – 241038
Srinath travel is a private bus service which provides you with affordable and comfortable ride and is connected to the major cities of India.
3. By Railways
The Chittorgarh Railway station is the nearest junction from Western Indian Railways. The Junction is well connected to rest of the Indian cities.
As you have read enough about Chittorgarh and its gems, I am sure there is nothing left for me to tell you why you should visit to Chittorgarh. Chittorgarh is one of those destinations of India which are serene yet Rustic. The walls of Chittorgarh Fort speaks of the grandeur it held when it was ruled under the Kingdom of Mewar.
The Temples of chittorgarh continues to shine with devotion that is poured on to it by the devotees. The ambience of this city will remind you of the glory of the bygone era and the architecture will surely make you enthralled. So next time, do make a plan to visit the city and relive the glory of the past!
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Which is the best season to visit Chittorgarh?
Since Rajasthan has scorching heat, visiting Post-Monsoon is more fruitful, since the heat will be less and rejuvenated nature will add a charm to your trip. The months from October to January are best suited to visit to Chittorgarh.
2. Which are the best Standard hotels to stay in Chittorgarh?
Chittorgarh offers a range of resorts and hotels which are convenient and under the budget for every group. Some of these are
- Hotel Kumbha Retreat and Spa: It is 3 star hotel located in Gandhi Nagar. It provides with WiFi, Parking facilities and is safe for women travellers to stay.
- Amrit Manthan: Amrit Manthan is another three star hotel with outdoor swimming pool and garden. The Hotel provides hygienic and hospitable services.
- Hotel Royal Inn: This is a newly constructed leisure Hotel. It provides with WiFi and lunch facilities.
- Castle Narela Lake resort: Situated in the vicinity of Chittor’s heart, the hotel gives you a Royal experience. This hotel is also at a smaller distance from commercial area and sightseeing spots.
3. What are some activities that one can do in Chittorgarh?
In Chittorgarh you can indulge in various activities. Here are some activities that you can enjoy on your trip to Chittorgarh:
- Picnic at Chittorgarh Fort:
You can go with families to enjoy your day at Chittorgarh fort viewing around the Architectural marvel. Just remember not to loiter waste around the heritage premises
- Jungle Safari at Bassi and Sitamata Wildlife Sanctuary
What is more enjoyable than a Jungle safari to the forest and viewing some rare and exotic animals around the forest. You can go for Birdwatch in Bassi Wildlife Sanctuary, however, you need the permission of district officer to go in the Sanctuary.
- Try Rajasthani Cuisine
As colorful and joyous is Rajasthan, the food of Rajasthan is equally fascinating and flavourful. Try the best of Rajasthani Cuisine such as Dal-Baati or Gatte ki Sabzi when you travel to Chittorgarh town.
4. Where to buy in Chittorgarh?
You can buy a number of products from Chittorgarh. However, to get the beat deals with good quality, you must check these places:
- Sadar Bazaar: Offers you with the best products in jewellery, Wooden crafts and toys, metal wares etc. You will be at the aww of the vibrancy and culture it displays.
- Gandhi Chowk: Known for unique vibrance, this is a go to place for street food and wooden products
- Fort Road Market: Located at a convenient distance from sightseeing areas, the Fort Road Market has diversified products at convenient rate.
- Rana Sanga Market: This destination of Chittorgarh offers you the home grown spices and Rajasthani artefacts at reasonable cost.