I was amazed by the sheer size of the Chittorgarh Fort. The place was immense. I was told the area of the fort is 700 acres and it would take 3 days if I wanted to see it properly. Chittorgarh Fort is also one of the living forts where people have their homes, though no new construction is allowed. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It was a pity that I had so little time to see this majestic monument. The fort’s construction is attributed to 7 AD by the Maurya ruler Chitrangada Mori. It then came to the Sisodiya Rulers of Rajasthan.
There are many temples within the fort. There is one devoted to Mira Bai as well, though not the one in picture above. It is so fascinating to go to places and see structures that I previously knew from the history books only. After all the Mira Bai story I think was part of some history lesson for me. It was a Hindi movie from my childhood too.
The other famous spot from my history lessons was the Rani Padmini’s palace and the story of Aladuddin Khilji. The legend goes that Khilji was smitten by the queen and he wanted to see her. They show you the mirror in which Khilji was able to see the queen’s image. And if you actually turn back and try to see the spot where the queen would have been standing, you cannot see it. It is visible only in the mirror. I have never been a fan of the queens setting themselves on fire if the menfolk lost a battle but then who am I to judge such ancient times.
There is a 9 story structure within the fort called the Vijay Stambh (victory pillar) and you can climb it till 8th floor. The stairs are narrow and dark. But it was fun going up the structure. This was the view of the city from the place. It was totally worth it. I was also so surprised to see all the idols defaced within the structure, I mean there were a lot of statues and all defaced. That would have been a lot of work for some people! But then religion is such a complex thing.
Finally it was time for the light and sound show which told us the history of the fort in an amazing way. Once again I could recognize a story from my history books, that of Panna Dhai who puts her son to be killed in order to save the crown prince!
While reading the books I never imagined the fort to be such a grand place, seeing it was something else. But then I never have had a vivid imagination nor too much of a fascination for history. After a while I tend to forget all the stories …
I visited Chittorgarh Fort from the Lake Palace, Nahargarh which is about 30km from the city. I was invited by the hotel to spend some time with them. How I wish I had more time.