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Chittorgarh

Lying on the Berach river, Chittorgarh is engraved in the history of India as a place where people chose death over dishonour when Ala-ud-din Khilji laid siege to the city in his quest to capture Rani Padmini, the wife of Maharaja Ratan Singh. The mass self immolation committed by Chittaur's brave women, tells a story of immense pride and courage. Chittorgarh is also famous for the spiritual love story of poetess Meerabai, whose compositions have become an important part of Indian culture.
 Located in southern Rajasthan, Chittaurgarh boasts of a legendary past. The main part of the city is located inside the fort itself. The huge fort looms large on the horizon of Chittaurgarh. The colossal structure is perched at the top of a 180m high hill and spread over 700 acres. Chittaurgarh epitomises Rajput courage and valour. The brave warrior Rana Pratap who never stooped to the Mughals and chose instead to live a tough life fighting from inside the jungle, was also from Chittaurgarh. The Rajputs here chose to fight till death  several times against a superior enemy force, rather than accept- submission to them;  their wives in turn performed the brave act of ‘Jauhar’ or self immolation to protect their pride and honour.
Chittaurgarh was named after the Rajput Chitrangada Mori who was a ruler of the Puar clan of the Mori sub-clan. He laid the foundation of the Chittaurgarh fort. Later it was seized by Bappa Rawal in 734 AD. His descendants, the Sisodias of the Gehlot clan ruled Mewar till the 16th century. Chittaurgarh Fort is India’s largest fortification. Also called Chittaur, it was the capital of Mewar under the Rajputs, from the 7th -16th century. The fort has many impressive monuments displaying some of fine examples of Rajput architecture.
The most heroic story of Rajput courage of Chittaur is the story of Rani Padmini. It is a story that has been narrated over centuries through folklore and bard music in a classical integration of love, lust, infatuation, sacrifice, honour and wrath.
The Sultan of Delhi Allaudin Khilji heard about the beauty of Rani Padmini, wife of Rana Ratan Singh of Chittaur. Allauddin Khilji became desperate to win her for himself and subjugating the kingdom of Chittaur became his main focus towards fulfilling his desire. In 1303 AD his armies surrounded Chittaur and he asked Rana Ratan Singh for a meeting with Rani. To avoid carnage Rana agreed to show a glimpse of his wife. Alaudin went up to the fort and saw a reflection of Padmini in a lotus pond. As Rana Ratan Singh escorted him back, Allaudin’s men took Ratan Singh hostage.
Now Padimini devised a plan. She sent a message to Khilji that she was willing to surrender to him. Dozens of palanquins with curtains went down to his camp, each with six bearers. Once at Khilji’s camp four soldiers emerged from each palanquin and each palanquin bearer drew a sword. They succeeded in freeing Rana Ratan Singh, but thousands of Chittaur warriors died in the ensuing battle, when the enraged Sultan counter attacked the fort with full force.
Faced with eventual defeat and capture, Padmini and her entourage of women, wives of generals and soldiers, performed ‘Jauhar’ to escape disgrace. Proceeding to war, their husbands wore saffron to signify a fight till death.
After Khilji in 1303 AD, Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujrat attacked in 1535 AD. Again Jauhar was performed, this time by Rani Karnavati. In 1568 AD, Akbar attacked and caused immense carnage. Although the town was restored by Jahangir in 1616 AD, it was never resettled again.
It is a treat to walk inside this fort and explore the architectural treasures. All the temples, reservoirs and palaces give a glimpse into the life of royal Rajputana.
Maharana Pratap 
Prince Pratap (1540-1597AD) - a great warrior in his own right - left Chittaur in 1567 AD when it got surrounded by the Mughals. He succeeded his father Udai Singh to the throne in 1572 AD at Gogunda from where the Mewar government functioned in exile.
He was desperate to reclaim Chittaur from Akbar. To make Rana submit to him, Akbar sent various diplomats to him, but Rana retained his vision of a free Chittaur. Angry, Akbar blocked Mewar from the rest of its allies. Later Rana moved his capital to Kumbhalgarh and prepared for war.
In 1576 AD, the famous battle of Haldi Ghati was fought between a small troupe of Rajput men and a the 80,000 soldiers of Akbar. The battle remained undecided, but Rana was badly injured.
Although Rana Pratap suffered a life of constant struggle and hardship due to lack of funds, he never submitted to his enemy. In the last ten years of his life Rana ruled Udaipur and Kumbhalgarh, but failed to conquer Chittaur. He guided his successor Prince Amar Singh to fight for the freedom of his country from Mughals and until his death never gave up fighting to win it back. Untill today he is regarded as Rajputana’s greatest warrior.
Mirabai:
Born around 1500 AD into a royal family, Mirabai grew up amidst an atmosphere of Krishna consciousness. She became devoted to lord Krishna, often going into deep trance in devotion.
When she was married at the age of 13 to Rana Bhoj the crown prince of Chittaur she could not adjust to the life of his wifeand neglected her marital responsibilities. To his credit, Bhoj sympathised with Mirabai and remained a good husband to her. She devoted her life to writing and singing devotional songs in the praise of Krishna.
After the death of her husband she left the palace and began wandering throughout Rajasthan, preaching singing and gaining followers.

Bassi village has locally made wooden toys.

Jauhar Mela:

Celeberating Rajput pride and honour, the Jauhar mela sees a procession from the royal families to mark the anniversary of Jauhars committed here.

Nearby places Train stations Airports
UDAIPUR 92 Km 01H 36m
Chittaurgarh 2 Km 00H 04m
Udaipur City 115 Km 02H 01m
Nearby major cities
Name Distance Duration
123 Km 01H 55m
157 Km 02H 23m
190 Km 02H 55m
207 Km 03H 21m
123 Km 01H 55m
Surrounded by the Aravali hills and regarded as one of the most attractive cities in India, Udaipur is a city of beautiful palaces and lakes that add immensely to the grandeur and romance of royal Rajputana.
157 Km 02H 23m
Famous for its step-wells, palaces and Taragarh Fort - Bundi is an integral part of Rajasthan's cultural heritage surrounded by the Aravali mountain range from three sides and forested hills on the remaining side.
190 Km 02H 55m
Ajmer is a popular pilgrimage centre for the Hindus as well as Muslims. Especially famous is the Dargah Sharif-Tomb of the Sufi Saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, which is equally revered by the Hindus and Muslims.
207 Km 03H 21m
The mystical, charming and laidback desert town with 52 Ghats and 500 temples around the holy Pushkar Lake is a sacred place of worship for Hindus and a hub of culture and heritage evocative of Rajasthan. Pushkar is also famous for its annual Camel Fair organised in November.
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Weather
Season Min. Temp. Max. Temp.
Summer 25 °C 43 °C
Winter 11 °C 28 °C
Very hot in Summer with the mercury shooting up to 43°C at times. Starting from pre Winter months till the Summer arrives (October - March ) is the best time to visit.
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