Chittorgarh is a city and municipality in Rajasthan, northwest India. It’s known for the honey-colored, 7th-century Chittorgarh Fort, a vast hilltop complex with the remains of many temples and monuments. The 15th-century, 9-story Vijay Stambh (Tower of Victory) is built from red sandstone and white marble. It offers city views from the top, and it is lit up at night. Nearby is the Rajput-style Fateh Prakash Palace.
Places of interest
The Chittor Fort seated on a 180-metre hill, covers an expanse of 700 acres (2.8 km2). It was constructed by the Mauryans in the 7th century AD. There is also a belief that it was constructed by Bhima of the Pancha Pandavas. This fort was the citadel of many great Indian warriors such as Gora, Badal, Rana Kumbha, Maharana Pratap, Jaimal, Patta, etc.
Kalika Mata Temple
Kalika Mata Temple was originally built in the 8th century for Sun God and was later converted to a temple for mother Goddess, Kali in the 14th century. During the festival days of Navaratri, fairs are organised and pilgrims from different places come here to pay obeisance at the temple.
Vijay Stambha, is a huge nine storey tower which was built by Maharana Kumbha to commemorate his victory over the rulers of Malwa and Gujarat in 1440. The tower is 122 ft (37 m) high and stands on a 10 ft (3.0 m) high base. There are sculptures and carvings on the exterior walls of the tower. The tower is visible from any section of the town below. And for reaching tower top one have to climb 157 steps, one can take great view of the surroundings. The inside walls of the tower are carved with images of Gods, weapons, etc.
Kirti Stambh (Tower of Fame) is a 22-metre-high (72 ft) tower built in 12th-century. Kirti Stambh is built inside Chittorgarh fort. It is dedicated to Rishabha, the first Tirthankara of Jainism. It was built by a merchant and is decorated with figures form the Jain pantheon.It is a seven storied pillar which was built by Biherwal Mahajan Sanaya of Digambar Jain sect during 12th century AD. On its four corners are engraved idols of Shri Adinathji in Digambar style which each are five feet (about 1.5 meters) high and elsewhere are engraved several small idols consecrated to Jain lineage of deities.
Rana Kumbha’s Palace
Rana Kumbha’s Palace is near the Vijay Stambh. This is the birthplace of Maharana Udai Singh, the founder of Udaipur. His life was saved by the heroic act of the maid Panna Dhay, who replaced her son in place of the prince, with the result that her son was killed by Banbir. She carried the prince away to safety in a fruit basket. Rani Meera Bai also lived in this palace. This is the place where Rani Padmini committed jauhar with the other ladies in one of the underground cellars.
Rani Padmini’s Palace
According to legend, Rani Padmini’s Palace is from which the Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khalji was allowed to watch a reflection of the Rani by replacing the mirror at such an angle that even if he turned back he could not see the room. Khalji had been warned by the Rani’s husband Rawal Ratan Singh that if he turned back they would cut his neck.
Maharana Pratap Jayanti
The legendary Maharana Pratap was a true patriot who initiated the first war of independence. Maharana was born on May 9, 1540, in Kumbhalgarh in Rajsamand district of Rajasthan to Maharana Udai Singh II and Rani Jaivanta Bai Songara. Maharana Pratap has gained amazing respect and honor as he is seen as an epitome of valor, heroism, pride, patriotism and the spirit of independence. His birth anniversary (Maharana Pratap Jayanti) is celebrated as full-fledged festival every year on the 3rd day of Jyestha Shukla phase.
Special puja and processions are held in his remembrance on Maharana Pratap Jayanti day everywhere. Several cultural programs such as debate are also organized.
Meera Bai (1498–1547) was a devout follower of Lord Krishna. Meera Bai was one of the foremost exponents of the Prema Bhakti (Divine Love) and an inspired poet. Mira Bai was a Rajput princess who lived in the north Indian state of Rajasthan. Meera was Rajput princess born in about 1498 in Metra, Rajasthan. Her father, Ratan Singh, was the youngest son of Rao Duda, ruler of Merta, and son of Rao Duda ruler and founder of Jodhpur. Ratan Singh belonged to the Rathore clan. She was married to Bhoj Raj, ruler of Chittor.
Meera Smrithi Sansathan (Meera Memorial Trust) along with the Chittorgarh district officials organise Meera Mahotsav every year on Sharad Purnima day (On Mirabai’s birth anniversary) for 3 days. Many famous musicians and singers get together to sing bhajans in this celebration. The 3 days celebration also features puja’s, discussions, dances, fireworks.
Teej is one of the major festivals in Chittorgarh which is celebrated with great enthusiasm. Teej is the festival of swings. It marks the advent of the monsoon month of Shravan (August). The monsoon rains fall on the parched land and the pleasing scent of the wet soil rises into the air. Swings are hung from trees and decorated with flowers. Young girls and women dressed in green clothes sing songs in celebration of the advent of the monsoon. This festival is dedicated to the Goddess Parvati, commemorating her union with Lord Shiva. Goddess Parvati is worshipped by seekers of conjugal bliss and happiness.
The Gangaur Festival is the colourful and most important local festival of Rajasthan and is observed throughout the State with great fervour and devotion by womenfolk who worship Gauri, the consort of Lord Shiva during July-August. Gan is a synonym for Shiva and Gaur which stands for Gauri or Parvati who symbolises saubhagya (marital bliss). Gauri is the embodiment of perfection and conjugal love which is why the unmarried women worship her for being blessed with good husbands, while married women do so for the welfare, health and long life of their spouses and happy married life.
The fort and the city of Chittorgarh host the biggest Rajput festival called the “Jauhar Mela”. It takes place annually on the anniversary of one of the jauhars, but no specific name has been given to it. It is generally believed that it commemorates Padmini’s jauhar, which is most famous. This festival is held primarily to commemorate the bravery of Rajput ancestors and all three jauhars which happened at Chittorgarh Fort. A huge number of Rajputs, which include the descendants of most of the princely families, hold a procession to celebrate the Jauhar. It has also become a forum to air one’s views on the current political situation in the country.
Rang Teras – The Tribal Fair
Rang Teras is a popular tribal fest of Mewar celebrated on the 13th moon night of the month of Chaitra. A big colorful fair and huge gathering of tribal to rejoice the harvest of wheat has been celebrating Rang Teras is customary since 15th century. It is a thanksgiving festival of farmers. Farmers pay their honor to Mother Earth for providing them food for next year.