Chittorgarh Fort, History, Timings, Entry Fees (Ticket), Sound and light shows, Museum, Architecture, Attractions, Things to see, Best Time to Visit, Accommodation, How to Reach.
About Chittorgarh Fort
Chittorgarh Fort is a fitting symbol of the Rajput spirit. Set atop a 180 metre high hill and spread across 240 hectares, this majestic fort features in tales of courage, pride and romance that the bards of Rajasthan have been singing for centuries. Legend has it that the construction of the Chittorgarh Fort was begun by Bhim, one of the heroic Pandava brothers from Mahabharata, India’s eminent mythological epic. The fort houses several magnificent monuments, some unfortunately ravaged by the passage of time. The imposing structure takes one back to the days of conquests and tragedies, and its walls continue to ring with incredible tales of extraordinary men and women. A one-kilometre road weaves its way from the foothills to the summit, taking visitors through seven gates before arriving at Rampol (Gate of Ram). On the road between the second and the third gate, visitors get to see two ‘chattris’ (cenotaphs) built in honour of Jaimal and Kalla, heroes, who laid down their lives in the 1568 siege by Emperor Akbar. The main gate of the fort is Surajpol (Sun Gate).
The fort is known for its seven gates namely Padan Gate, Ganesh Gate, Hanuman Gate, Bhairon Gate, Jodla Gate, Lakshman Gate and the main gate which is named after Lord Ram. The Chittorgarh fort houses many palaces, like the Rana Kumbha Palace, the Fateh Prakash Palace, the Tower of Victory and Rani Padmini’s Palace. All these structures are significant for their Rajput architectural features. There are also many temples within the fort. A huge complex of Jain temples are a major attraction. Chittorgarh fort, along with other hill forts of Rajasthan was declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013.
In ancient India, the place where the fort is currently present was known as Chitrakut. Due to the ancientness of this fort, there are no clear evidences supporting the origin of the fort. There is however, a bunch of theories that are still subjected to debates. The most common theory states that Chitrangada Mori, a local Maurya ruler built the fort. A water body which was situated next to the fort is said to have been created by the legendary hero of Mahabharata, Bhima. The legend has it that Bhima once struck the ground with all his might, which gave rise to a huge reservoir. Bhimlat Kund, an artificial tank next to the fort, was where the legendary reservoir once sat, it is said.
Thanks to the fort’s majestic appearance, many rulers in the past have tried to capture it, in an attempt to make it their own. Bappa Rawal of the Guhila dynasty was one of the earliest rulers to have captured the fort successfully. It is said that the fort was captured by him around 730 AD, after defeating the Moris, to whom the fort once belonged. Another version of the story states that Bappa Rawal did not capture the fort from the Moris but from the Arabs, who had captured it from the Moris, even before the arrival of Bappa Rawal. It is said that Bappa Rawal was part of the army led by Nagabhata I of the Gurjara Pratihara dynasty. It is believed that this army was mighty enough to defeat the famous troops of Arab, who were considered imperious on a battle field back then. Another legend has it that the fort was given as part of dowry to Bappa Rawal by the Moris, when they gave the hand of one of their princesses in marriage to Bappa Rawal.
Architecture & Attractions
Chittorgarh fort is spread in an area of 700 acres. It has been made in the shape of a large fish and its circumference is 13km. The fort is built on the banks of Gambhri River and a limestone bridge has to be crossed in order to enter the fort. The fort was built on the basis of Hindu architecture though ideas like vaulted substructures belong to Muslim architecture.
Built in 1440 AD by Maharana Kumbha to commemorate his victory over Mohamed Khilji this 9-storyed tower is adorned by sculptures of Hindu deities around. It is situated inside the Chittorgarh Fort.There are around 157 narrow steps leading to the terrace where the balconies give a beautiful top angle view of the whole town. When illuminated in the evening, the tower reflects a mesmerizing effect and the view is worth capturing in the camera. The topmost storey features an image of the Jain Goddess, Padmavati. Rana Kumbha also had carved the word “Allah” in Arabic nine times in the third storey and eight times in the eighth.
Dedicated to Adinathji the 1st Jain Teerthankar adorned by the naked figures of the Digambars [Adherents of the Digambar sect who does not believe in covering the natural body] A narrow stairway goes through seven stories of the tower to the top.The tower was built by a Jain merchant Jeeja Bhagerwala during the reign of Rawal Kumar Singh for the glory of Jainism which is 22 metre high, 30 feet wide at the base and narrows down to 15 feet at the top. Kirti Stambha is older than another tower in the same fort, known as the Vijay Stambha “Tower of Victory”.
Gaumukh Reservoir symbolizes the exuberance of its homely fort more than the fort itself. A deep tank filled by a spring coming from a ‘cow mouth’, situated at the edge of the cliff. It is located near temple, and is a complete natural beautyand also feeding fishes here is considered to be an auspicious ritual. The Gaumukh Reservoir is one of the eighty four water bodies of the fort is filled with water to this day. It is believed that after touring various holy places in India, Hindus need to visit the Gaumukh Kund in Chittorgarh to complete their holy journey.
Rana Kumbha Palace
The ruined edifice of great historical and architectural interest, being the most massive monument in the fort of Chittaur, this palace was named after the greatest of the Sisodia’s. The palace is believed to have underground cellars where Rani Padmini and other women committed Jauhar. This place was once the home of the famous bhakti poetess Meerabai.
Padmini Palace was once the palatial abode of the exquisitely beautiful Rajput queen, Rani Padmini, the wife of King Rawal Ratan Singh. Revered as an epitome of beauty, Rani Padmini was the daughter of a Sinhala ruler Gandharvasen and plays a crucial role in the history of the gallant Rajput warriors. The palace, once the scene of an incident directly responsible for the bettle between Allauddin Khiliji and Rana Ratan Singh, is a distinctly feminine structure that overlooks a pleasant pool.
Ratan Singh Palace
Ratan Singh Palace is situated near Ratneshwar Talab and was built by Ratan Singh. The palace is surrounded by high walls and the entrance has crowned arch with two pillared chhatris. The place has many rooms, deorhis, and towers. There is a darikhana on the second floor that faces the Talab.
Build by Maharana Kumbha in 1449, this lord Vishnu Temple has beautiful idols in its sanctum, mendap and pillars. The Meera temple is constructed to be dedicated to Meera Bai and is a very famous Hindu temple. The splendid work of art on the temple attracts a large number of tourists and also the temple reflects the Indo-Aryan style of architecture which was very famous in those times and is still a part of our cultural heritage. The Meera Bai temple and the Kumbha Shyam temple are both built on the same ground and on the outer side of the Meera Bai temple there is a carved statue of five human bodies with one head which symbolizes the fact that people of all castes and creed are the same and no differences exists.
Nagchandreshwar Mahadev Temple
Nagchandreshwar Mahadev Temple is a temple of Lord Shiva situated beside Rani Padmmini’s Palace. There is a garden situated on the right side of the temple. In this garden flowers and vegetables are grown. There is ample space inside the temple so that devotees can worship without any discomfort. People of Chittorgarh perform Abhshek of the idol in the month of Sawan.
Tulja Bhavani Temple
Tulja Bhavani Temple was built to worship the goddess named Tulja Bhavaniwhich is another form of Goddess Durga. This temple was constructed in 16th century and is located near Ram Pol.
Kumbha Shyam Temple
Kumbha Shyam temple was built by Rana Kumbha on the request of his wife Meera Bai as she dedicatedly worshipped Lord Vishnu. There is a chhatri which she dedicated to Swami Ravidas also known as Swami Raidas. According to a legend, a demon named Hiranyakasha stole the Mother Earth and hid himself in primeval water. To rescue the Mother Earth, Lord Vishnu took the form of a boar called Varaha in which the body was of human and the head was of a boar. The idol of Varaha is installed in the temple. The construction of the temple is based on Indo-Aryan architecture. The temple consists of ardha mandapa (half porch), mandapa (full porch), antarala (interior compartment, and garbhagriha (private chamber). The inner walls are decorated with the sculptures of Hindu Gods.
Kalika Mata Temple
This temple belongs to the 14th century and it is said that the temple which is placed across Padmini Palace was originally a temple which is also called “Temple of the Sun God”, which was built here during the 8th century. After the attack by Allaudin Khilji, this temple was destroyed. Dedicated to Goddess Kali also known ak Kalika Mata, this temple is an architectural gem that belongs to the Pratihara times. Thus, this temple is not only a popular religious site but is also quite popular amidst tourists and art lovers.
Build by Maharana Fateh Singh this huge palace is of morden style. This place has been named Fateh Prakesh after Maharana Fateh Singh. There is a big Ganesh idol, a fountain, and different frescoes which are to be seen to be believed. It is located inside the Chittorgarh Fort. It is now a museum, has a rich collection of sculptures from temples and buildings in the Fort. It also exhibits various kinds of weapons which includes daggers, old shields, knives, helmets, axes, uniform of soldiers and farsa. Clay models of local tribes wearing traditional outfits are also a part of the exhibits of the museum.
Jain Mandir – Satbis Deori
Satbis Deori is a holy temple for Jains and is situated inside the Mohan Magri. At present, There are six jain temples on the fort of Chittor. The largest and chief among them is the temple of Bhagawan Adinatha with fifty-two devkulikas. The place of this temple is known as ‘Satbis Deori’. It means that at some time in the past, there were twenty-seven temples here.
The Digamabar Jain Kirtistambh and seven-storied Kirtistambh are two among them. The seven-storied Kirtistambh was built in the fourteenth century in memories of Bhagawan Adinatha. The Satbis Deori Temple is a beautiful structure that displays various traditions and beliefs of the Jain religion and culture.
Bhagwan Mahaveer Temple
Chandra Prabhu Jinalaya or Bhagwan Mahaveer temple was constructed in 1167AD. The main tower of this temple is Kirti Stambh that was built by Jeeja Bhagerwala during the reign of Bappa Rawal. The height of the seven-storeyed tower is 75 feet. The diameter of the base is 30 feet while the diameter of the top is 15 feet. The digambara-style four statues of Bhagwan Adinath are built on the outer wall of the tower. Each statue has the height of 25 feet.
Bhagwan Parshvnath and Bahgwan Adinath Temples
The Bhagwan Parshvanath Temple was constructed in 1322 near Gaumukhi Kund. The temple is also known as Chomukhi temple as the temple has four faces. The temple was constructed by Jaytalla Devi who was the wife of Rana Tej Singh.
Bhagwan Adinath Temple is considered as the largest Jain temple in the fort. It is said that due to the construction of 27 temples nearby, the place came to be known as Sattavish Devri.
Seven Gates of the Fort
To enter in to the Fort Of Chittorgarh, the person has to go through seven huge gates (Pol). Each gate is different in its name, built as massive stone structures with secure fortifications for military defense.
- Padan Pol- Padan Pol is the first gate of the fort and its name is derived from the Rajasthani word Patwi which means eldest or first. There is a legend which says that after Alauddin Khilji made a siege, a buffalo kid named pada was brought down with force so it was named padan pol. A statue of Bagha Rawat or Bagh Singh is situated on the left side of the gate. Bagh Singh was the grandson of Rana Mokal and was killed during a war with Bahadur Shah, king of Gujarat Sultanate.
- Bhairon Pol – Bhairon Pol is the second gate of the fort and the statue of Lord Bhairon is situated nearby. It was renamed as Fateh Pol as Maharana Fateh Singh rebuilt it. It has also been said that Bhairon Das was a soldier who was killed while fighting with the forces of Bahadur Shah hence the gate was named as Bhairon Pol. Jaimal and Patta were killed between Bhairon Pol and Hanuman Pol.
- Hanuman Pol and Ganesh Pol – Hanuman Pol is the third gate of the fort and is named so due to the construction of Hanuman temple nearby. Ganesh Pol is the fourth gate where a temple of Lord Ganesh is situated. The temple is very old and beautiful.
- Jodala Pol, Laxman Pol, and Ram Pol – Jodala Pol is the fifth gate of the fort and since it is connected with the sixth pol so it was named as jodala pol. Between this and the Ganesh pol there is a monument of eklingnath. Laxman Pol is the sixth gate to which a tourist can reach after a sharp turn from jodala Pol. Near to Laxman Pol there is a temple for Lord Laxman. Ram Pol is the seventh gate and it is named so as the ancestors of the kings of Mewar were the descendants of Lord Rama.
9:45am to 5:15pm.
Sound and light shows
7:00pm to 8:00pm.
9:45am and 5:45pm.
On Mondays and on important festivals the museum remains closed.
Entry Fees (Tickets)
The charges of ticket for an Indian tourist is Rs. 10 and for foreign tourist Rs. 100.
To watch the sound and light show, the entry fee for an adult is Rs. 50 and for a student Rs. 25.
To visit museum, the tourists have to buy ticket. For an Indian tourist, the ticket charges for an adult is Rs. 10 and for a student it is Rs. 5. For foreign tourists, the ticket charges for an adult is Rs. 50 and for a student Rs. 25.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit the fort is from February to April and October to December as the climate is pleasant in these months. The weather is neither too hot nor too cold. The other months are either very cold or very hot.
There are around 68 hotels in Chittorgarh which include inexpensive budget hotels to expensive four-star hotels. Tourists can stay in resorts and guest houses at cheap rates. People can get also stay in hotels nearby railway station and the fort.
How to Reach
Chittorgarh does not have its airport but Dabok airport in Udaipur and Sanganer airport in Jaipur are nearest to Chittorgarh. Dabok airport is 70km away from Chittorgarh which is connected to Delhi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Ahmedabad, and Mumbai. Sanganer airport is 300km away from Chittorgarh and is connected with many national and international cities.
Chittorgarh is connected to major cities in India through rail which include Udaipur, Jaipur, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, and others. Tourists can get direct trains to these places. There are no direct trains to cities like Lucknow but tourists can change trains from other stations that are connected with both Chittorgarh and Lucknow.
Chittorgarh is connected to various cities though highways. Tourists can catch private and government buses in order to reach their destination. The bus stand is located in the middle of old and new city.