CHITTORGARH TOURISM GUIDE:
Map: Chittorgarh Tourism, Madhya Pradesh, India
Location: 90-km From Udaipur, Rajasthan
Tourist Attractions: Vijay Stambh, Padmini’s Palace
Best Time To Visit:September-March
The Epitome of Romance and Valour
The pride and glory of Rajasthan. Chittaur echoes with the tales of romance and valour unique to the Rajput tradition. A ruined citadel, where the royal past lives in its imposing forts, graceful palaces and spectacular ‘chhatris’.
This fortified settlement has been ravaged thrice and each time the outcome was ‘Jauhar’ – when women and children immolated themselves on a huge funeral pyre while men donned in saffron robes of martyrdom rode out of the fort towards a certain death.
Alauddin Khilji was the first to sack Chittaur in 1303 AD, overpowered by a passionate desire to possess the regal beauty, queen Padmini. Legend has 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 dishonour and committed ‘Jauhar’.
In 1533 AD during the rule of Sikramjeet, came the second attack from Bahadur Shah, the Sultan of Gujarat. Once again, Jauhar was led by Rani Karnvati, 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 1567AD 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 two 16 year old heroes. Jaimal of Bednore and Patta of Kelwa. These young men displayed true Rajput chivalry and died after ‘Jauhar’ was peformed. Immediately thereafter, Akbar razed the Fort to a rubble.
Chittaur was never inhabited again but it always asserted the heroic spirit of Rajput warriors.
RAJASTHAN TRAIN TRAVEL:
Palace on Wheels:
Ever wondered what luxury in the royal times was all about! Welcome to Palace On Wheels, a luxury train that carries with it an ambience of the Rajputana era and an exciting fairytale journey, which takes the visitor to the imperial cities of Rajasthan every single day. The coaches also carry out an image of the Rajput states with beautiful interiors. Last but not the least the “Royal Treat” for the passengers on board include saloons, bar lounges & libraries in every coach as well as restaurant and organized shopping facilites. more…
CHITTORGARH PRIME ATTRACTIONS:
Forts and Palaces in Chittorgarh:
The Fort: The indomitable pride of Chittaur, the fort is a massive structure with many gateways built by the literary rulers in 7th century AD. Perched on a height of 180 m high hill, it sprawls over 700 acres. The tablets and ‘chhatris’ within are impressive reminders of the Rajput heroism.
The main gates are Padam Pol, Bhairon Pol, Hanuman Pol and Ram Pol. The fort has many magnificent monuments – all fine examples of the Rajput architecture. The ancient ruins of the fort are worth spending few moments in solitude.
Vijay Stambh(Victory Tower): The imposing 37 metres high structure with nine storeys, covered with exquisite sculptures of Hindu deities and depicting episodes from the two great epics -Ramayana and Mahabharata. more…
It was built in 1440 AD by Maharana Kumbha, a powerful ruler of Mewar to commemorate his victory over the Muslim rulers of Malawi and Gujarat.
Kirti Stambh (Tower of Fame): The22 metres high tower built by a wealthy Jain merchant in the 12th century AD
The tower is dedicated to Adinathji, the first of the Jain Tirthankaras and is decorated with figures of the Jain pantheon.
Rana Kumbha’s Palace: The ruined edifice of great historical and architectural interest, bring the most massive monument in the fort of Chittaur. The palace is believed to have underground cellars where Rani Padmini and other women committed ‘Jauhar’
Jaimal and Patta Palaces: The ruins of palaces of Rathore Jaimal and Sisodia Patta are witness to the gallantry of these great warriors.
Padmini’s Palace: Built beside a pool, the palace is a magnificent one. It was here that Rana Ratan Singh showed a glimpse of queen Padmini to Alauddin Khilji. Rani Padmini stood in ‘Zanana Mahal’ – a pavilion in the centre and her reflection was visible to Alauddin Khilji in a mirror placed in the main hall. After having glimpse of the legendary beauty, Alauddin went to the extent of ravaging Chittaur in order to possess her. more…
Temples in Chittorgarh:
Kumbha Shyam Temple: Built during the reign of Rana Kumbha in the Indo-Aryan style, the temple is associated with the mystic poetess Meera bai – an ardent Krishna devotee. She was the wife of Prince Bhojraj.
Kalika Mata Temple: Originally built as a Sun Temple in the 8th century, the temple was later converted into Kalika Mata Temple in the 14th century AD, dedicated to the Mother Goddess Kali –the symbol of power and valour.
Meera Bai Temple: The temple where Meera Bai worshipped Lord Krishna is built in north Indian style on a raised plinth with a conical roof and beautiful inner sanctum. An open colonnade around the sanctum has four small pavilions in each corner.
Museums in Chittorgarh:
Government Museum: The magnificent Prakash Mahal, presently a fine museum with an exquisite example of sculptures from temples and buildings in the fort is worth a visit. Closed on Fridays.
Fateh Prakash Museum: Inside the historical Chittaurgarh Fort, one big portion of Fateh Prakash Palace was converted into a museum in the year 1968. more…
Gardens and Parks: Pratap Park, Meera Park and Nehru Park are beautifully laid out parks in lush surroundings. Beautiful Khwaja Rose Garden at Sawa is just 13-km from Chittaur.
CHITTORGARH SIGHTSEEING AND EXCURSIONS:
Nagari (20-km): One of the oldest towns of Rajasthan, of great importance during the Mauryan period, is situated on the banks of River Banish. 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-kms 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 Office, Chittaurgarh before visiting the sanctuary.
Sita Mata Sanctuary, Dhariyavad: This thickly wooded jungle sprawls over the Aravalli ranges and the Malawi plateau with three rivers flowing through the forest. According to 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, Jungle Fox, Porcupine, Sambhar, Wild Bear, four-horned Antelope, Nilgai and Flying Squirrel.
Sanwariyaji Temple (40-km): On the Chittaur-Udaipur road is a contemporary temple of Lord Krishna, an important pilgrimage spot.
Matri Kundia Temple (50-km): A popular sacred place dedicated to Lord Shiva. Popularly called ‘Haridwar of Mewar’.
Forts and Palaces: Deogarh (125-km): A 16th century magnificent fort, near Pratapgarh with some beautiful palaces ornate with murals and splendid Jain temples.
Bijalpur (40-km): 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.
Menal (90-km): On the Bundi-Chittaur Road, amid the natural beauty is Menal, famous for its ancient Shiv temples, picturesque water falls and dense forests.
HOW TO REACH CHITTORGARH:
Air: 90-km is the nearest airport, Dabok airport, Udaipur. Rail: Chittaurgarh is well connected by rail. Some important train connections are : Chetak Express (Delhi Sarai Rohilla- Chittaurgarh-Udaipur); Pass. (Kota-Chittaurgarh-Nimach); 9769 Express (Khandawa-Chittaurgarh-Ajmer) Road: Bus services operate to several important destinations. Delhi (583-km), Mount Abu (297-km), Jaipur (325-km), Indore (325-km) and Ajmer (185-km) away from Chittaurgarh. Local Transport: Unmetered auto-rickshaw, cycle-rickshaws and tongas are avilable for commuting within the city.
PLACES TO STAY IN CHITTORGARH:
There are Standard Hotels and also budget hotels available offering excellent accommodation facilities. Supplementary Accommodation: Circuit House, Railway Retiring Rooms, PWD Dak Bungalow, Irrigation Dak Bungalow.
SHOPPING IN CHITTORGARH:
The beautiful wooden toys made in Bassi village near Chittaurgarh are the best buys. Besides these, there are ‘Thewa’ articles of Pratapgarh, printed fabric of Akola and leather ‘Mojri’ of Gangaur.
Favourite shopping spots include Sadar Bazaar, Rana Sanga Market, New Cloth Market, Fort Road Market, Gandhi Chowk and Station Circle.
CHITTORGARH TOURIST INFORMATION CENTRES:
Banks / Money Changers: State Bank of Bikaner and Jaipur, Near Collectorate; Bank of Baroda, City Branch; Punjab National Bank, near Panna Tourist Bungalow; State Bank of India, Meera Market, City Road; Bank of Rajasthan, Fort Road; Chittaur Kendra Bank, Station Road
Post and Telegraph Office: General Post Office, Shree Gurukul Road .There are several smaller post offices in other areas of the town.
Conducted Tours: Sight seeing of Chittaurgarh Fort can be made by auto rickshaws, this tour covers the View Point, Tope Khana, Srinagar Chauri, Rana Kumbha Palace, Govt. Museum, Sat Bees Deori, Meera Temple, Victory Tower, Kalika Temple, Padmini’s Palace, the Deer Park, Suraj Pol, Tower of Fame, Banmata Temple and the Palace of Rana Ratan Singh.
Guides: Approved guides of the Central Archaeological Department and Rajasthan Tourism are available.
Sports Activities: Fishing-Bassi Lake, Gambhiri Dam, Gosunda Dam, Matrikundiya Dam.
Hospital: General Hospital, Collectorate Circle; Aditya Hospital, New Indra Market; Kothari Clinic, near General Hospital; Ladha Clinic, Meera Nagari; Dashora Clinic, Udaipur· Road; Jainam Hospital, City Road
NEARBY CITIES OF CHITTORGARH:
Nagari: 20-km Bejalpur: 40-km Menal: 90-km Udaipur: 90-km
CHITTORGARH GENERAL INFORMATION:
Area : 6.5-sq-kms Altitude : 408m Climate Max Min Summer : 43.8°C 23.8° C Winter : 28.37° C 11.6° C Rainfall : 60 – 85 cms. Best Time To Visit : September-March Clothing Summer : light tropical Winter : light woollen Languages : English, Hindi, Rajasthani.