So after spending a great day around the Lake Pichola and its surrounding the next morning, 1st of March was the day to explore the history of heroism and sacrifice of the Rajputs. We were all set and ready to get on the hired car to explore one of the most outstanding forts of the country, The Chittorgarh Fort.
Thanks to our cab driver for his punctuality throughout his services for all the 3 days. As per the plan the cab was ready at 8:30 am and we started sharp at 9 am from our hotel Jagat Niwas Palace – Pichola Lake.
The distance of Chittorgarh fort from Udaipur is 125 Kms which took 2 h 30 mins with 1 stop for tea break. We hired a Toyota Innova cab at Rs 3200 for the trip inclusive of all the Parking and Toll charges.
The famous national highway in the state which joins Ajmer-Jaipur-Udaipur-Chittorgarh
The entrance of Chittorgarh Fort
We arrived at the entrance of the fort at 11:40 am through the zigzag curvy road and stopped for couple of seconds at Padal Pol gate. The driver explained bit of history and a quick discussion on how we would start from the 1st point, what to expect etc. There are 6 gates to cross all the way up to the 1st point of interest which is the Vijay Stambh (Tower of Victory).
At a glance we realised why this huge rock island is claimed to be the largest fort in India as the entire stretch rises from the plains approx 6km long and surrounded on all sides by 150m-plus cliffs. According to our guide this fort is built up on 180 meter high hillock covering a massive area of 700 acres.
Thankfully, you can reach to most of the points by car but it’s only up to the entrance gate of each site and you still need to walk a lot to explore the various monuments which is not that bad when you dip into the history of chivalry and tragedy.
The main attractions in the fort
Like its courageous history, this magnificent fort has some interesting facts that made me stunned be it the design or the concept. So below are the main attractions :
- Water fort– Guess what, this fort has got 84 water bodies which includes the ponds, wells, and step wells although now only 22 are in existence. As per our guide, the overall water that used to be stored were about 4 billion litres of water in a year of normal rainfall. More interestingly, I was told that with that amount of water an army of 50,000 could live inside the fort for 4 years without the shortage of water. Although, I have seen only the Gaumukh Reservoir and skipped the information about the other reservoirs.
- Padmini Palace – The story of this place is that, an incident in this palace led the battle between Allauddin Khilji and Rana Ratan Singh which resulted the capture of Rana Ratan Singh deceptively by Allauddin Khilji who ultimately defeated him because of the gorgeous wife of Rana Ratan Singh, a legendary beauty, Queen Padmini. Khilji was fancy to win Queen Padmini. And if you are really interested to know what happened next — then the below link will give you the full story.
3.Tower of Victory (Vijay Stambh)- This beautiful 9-storey tower is adorned by sculptures of Hindu idols around was built in 1440 AD by Maharana Kumbha to honour his victory over Allauddin Khilji.
4. Jain Temples
Presently there are 6 Jain temples on the fort of Chittor that looks very beautiful.
So the 1st point that we started from is the Vijay Stambh which will be on the right hand side of this gate as shown in the picture below.
Once you move forward in 10-15 yards ahead on your right you will get to see the place of Jauhar-A huge pyre where the queen Padmini along with 13,000 other women sacrificed their lives to avoid the dishonour at the hands of the victorious enemy.
As you proceed, you will have a beautiful view of the back side of the fort
At this point we decided to skip some other small spots as we have covered the main historical spots. So we moved towards the final attraction – The battlefield of Haldighati which is on the way to exit gate.
It gives a great view from the boundary wall of the fort with greenery all around. Finally if you are with your guide, he would make his final recommendation to visit a museum which sells handloom crafts but I would strongly recommend to avoid that as you can get real value for money in the museum in Udaipur city palace which is situated just at the entrance gate.
Thus, we concluded the day by a goodbye note to our guide. You may not believe it but we had a good deal while bargaining with the guide. So, keep that in mind and it may save you some bucks. He agreed with merely Rs 50 for his service.
So that was all about a day well spent at Chittorgarh fort.