Chittaur is the most romantic name in Rajasthan. It is a symbol of all that was brave, true and noble in the glorious Rajput tradition. Chittaur was attacked and defeated three times, and on each occasion, the ritual of ‘Jauhar’ was performed. Jauhar is embracing death by throwing oneself into raging fire or a well rather than submit oneself to the enemy. In 1303, when Allauddin Khilji, Sultan of Delhi, coveted the famous Rajput beauty, Rani Padmini, she led the Jauhar, rather than submit to dishonour. The second instance was in 1533, when the Sultan of Gujarat attacked Bikramjeet of Chittaur. Rani Karnavati led the Jauhar, in which many women and children chose death to defeat. In 1567 A.D. when the Mughal Emperor invaded Chittaur, the ruler of Chittaurgarh fled leaving behind Chittaur to be defended by two 16-years old heroes, Jaimal of Bednore and Patta of Kelwa. These young men displayed true Rajput chivalry and died after performing Jauhar. Immediately after the attack Akbar razed the fort to rubbles. Chittaur was never inhabited again but it was regarded as symbol of the heroic spirit of Rajput warriors.
Udaipur (112 km) is the nearest airport. Chittaurgarh is connected with Ajmer, Jaipur, Alwar, Delhi, Udaipur and Ahmedabad by rails. Good roads connect Chittaurgarh with other parts of Rajasthan.
Located on an 180 m high hill, with a distinct Rajput character, the fort is a massive structure with many gateways that were built by the Mauryas in 7th century A.D. The fort, which sprawls over 700 acres, has many architectural attractions. The main gates are Padal Pol, Bhairon Pol Hanuman pol and Ram Pol.
Vijay Sthamb (Victory Tower)
In 1440 A.D, Maharana Kumbha built the tower in commemoration of victory over the Muslim rulers of Malwa and Gujarat. This imposing 37 metres tall, nine-storey structure is covered with exquisite sculputres of Hindu deities depicting episodes from Ramayana and Mahabharata.
Kirti Sthamb (Tower of Fame)
This 22 m high tower was built by a wealthy Jain merchant, in the 12th century A.D., and is dedicated to Adinathji, the first of the Jain Tirthankaras. The tower is decorated with figures from the Jain pantheon.
Rana Kumbha’s Palace
Although in ruins, this palace is of historical and architectural interest. The palace is believed to have underground cellars where Rani Padmini and other women committed Jauhar. This palace is the largest structure in the Fort of Chittaur.
The magnificent Fateh Prakash Mahal, has been converted into a museum. The museum has exhibits of example of sculptures from temples and buildings in the fort.
Kalika Mata Temple
This temple of Goddess Kali is a symbol of power and valour. Originally built as a Sun temple in the 8th century, it was converted into the Kalika Mata temple, in the 14th century A.D.