A Fort with lots of stories: Chittorgarh

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Stories abound in this fort. Wrapped in history, Chittorgarh Fort has been a textbook lesson on valour, honor, sacrifice and never ever to fade aura of romance. Haunting silence of the innumerable historic episodes, that identified a setting right here, nevertheless echo in the ruins. Every single corner appears to have a story to inform. “You should have heard the story of Queen Padmini” stated my driver with a toothless smile, as we whizzed previous the lanes of this living fort. Chittorgarh, has been a portion of history lessons, taken as an epitome of Rajput valor and pride. 1 of the oldest surviving forts of India, it was essentially constructed by the Mauryas. More than centuries, it changed lots of hands, observed lots of battles, but its grandeur only enhanced with time. Even even though it stands in decay now, it provides you a feeling of awe and magnificence of ages and periods of history, these buildings have observed.

RanaKumbha Palace_Chittorgarh

Rana Kumbha Palace, even though in ruins, nevertheless evokes myriad feelings in travelers.

Chittorgarh was as soon as a fortified city and the capital of Mewar Rajputana (Southern portion of Rajasthan), just before falling into hands of Khiljis, then ruled by Gehlot and Sisodia dynasties from 7th Century AD till captured by Emperor Akbar. Right now this gorgeous fort is a UNESCO planet heritage website. This was my second stop by to Chittorgarh, infact Chittorgarh was my introduction to Rajasthan, when I had combined it with Bundi. As I entered the gate (Pol), frames from my initially stop by, flashed just before me. In a minute, Chittorgarh turned into a bouquet of feelings for me.

The history of the fort epitomizes Rajputana romanticism and valour. The fort was attacked 3 occasions (in 1303, 1535 and 1568) and each and every time, its inhabitants chose death more than dishonor. The males rode out of the fort to particular death and ladies and kids immolated themselves on a holy pyre to save their honour from the enemies. Such a history evokes a distinct reaction in you. As an avid history reader, a particular person who loves tracing roots of events, I have never ever observed the winner and the vanquished in two lights, everybody was a warrior. We create these shades, the tones of black and white, the dirges and the paeans, tales that travel by means of generations stamping labels on kings, queens and their subjects. These tales which reflect the writers’ perspectives, and frequently these tales go way down, and are told and retold so lots of occasions and to so lots of persons, that they grow to be the identity of the spot. And Chittorgarh is no stranger to such tales, some historic events turned fables and some crafted to entertain the audience. Chittorgarh is complete of such tales. And it does have an illustrious history, which can type the base of lots of folktales. And one particular such is of a wonderful queen Padmini and an enamored king Ala-ud-din-khilji. It is stated that Khilji was infatuated by Padmini’s beauty and that created him attack Chittorgarh, the king of Chittorgarh fought till his final breath, but failed to save Chittorgarh from Khilji. Queen Padmini, being aware of of her king’s fall, chose to immolate herself in the holy pyre to, be taken by Khilji as wide or mistress. Set in medieval era, Queen Padmini was the topic of quite a few ballads, fantasies and poems, penned by poet Malik Muhammad Jayasi. Going by means of historic documents, you may possibly not establish any authenticity of this tale, but this is what Chittorgarh has selected to recognize itself with.

Ruins_Chittorgarh Fort

Ruins @Chittorgarh Fort

Constructed atop a hillock, the fort overlooks the sleepy town, as a royal guardian. There are seven gates and more than 60 monuments, like 4 palaces, memorials and scores of temples and quite a few water bodies in the fort. Although most of these monuments are in distinct states of ruins, but as you stroll along these crumbles, you reside these tales. In the Rana Kumbha Palace, screams of tens of thousands who immolated themselves when the Mughal emperor Akbar attacked the fort and defeated Rana Kumbha, nevertheless look to echo. Even in crumbles, the palace stands as a wonderful spectacle of architecture. Every single brick in the palace can turn a storyteller, for you.

An additional significant landmark in the fort is the Victory Tower, with nine storeys and 122 ft tall, constructed to commemorate a victory and later utilised to maintain an eye on the enemy’s army. Saying that the tower can maintain you in a click frenzy mode for hours, will not be an exaggeration.

Gaumukh lake_Chittorgarh

There are seven gates and more than 60 monuments, like 4 palaces, memorials and scores of temples and quite a few water bodies in the fort.

VictoryTower_Chittorgarh

The Victory Tower

Sacred temple in Chittorgarh

A number of wonderful temples dot the fort

At a stone throw away distance from the victory tower is the section with the emerald tinged waters of the Gaumukh reservoir. But possibly the most effective portion of the fort is the Padmini palace, the epicenter of tales that created Chittorgarh fort an indelible portion of Indian medieval history. As you stroll by means of these walls, you obtain your self closer to these stories. “This was Rani Padmini’s room” my guide stated as I kept shifting my gaze from one particular developing to the other. I took a quick stroll towards the edge that overlooks the Padmini Lake. The sun burnt low, its rays touching the soft ripples of the water physique, embellishing it with its molten highlights. On the edges, was an arid landscape, as if left untouched, eager to embrace you and take you back to these ages, the formidable fort turning into a battlefield, when thousands of ladies chose honour more than life, the victories, victory tower had observed and smiled at and the hub-bub of life that as soon as defined this fort. All lives now, but there nevertheless appears a deep chill as you stroll these monuments, the silent screams echo by means of the walls, each small monument prepared to turn a story-teller and take you beyond the ballads of  Malik Muhammad Jayasi, as if calling you to know the genuine Padmini, the genuine Chittorgarh, as it existed, fought, died and then revived.

To attain: Chittorgarh can be covered from Udaipur. It is about a 100 kms from the lake city of Udaipur and could be covered as a one particular-day detour.

Padmini lake_Chittorgarh

Padmini lake is fairly a landmark in this Fort

Padmini Mahal_Chittorgarh Fort

At Padmini Palace, a monument that has evoked lots of tales, ballads and identities.

Chittorgarh city

Chittorharh city as photographed from the Gaumukh lake

Several temples dot the Chittorgarh Fort

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