Package Name: A trip from Delhi to Chittorgarh, Rajasthan
I had heard much about the hilltop Chittorgarh Fort, a World Heritage Site, the largest fort in Rajasthan that reverberates with beautiful and romantic palaces, lakes and valiant Rajput history of fierce battles, “jauhar” and Rajput bravery and spirit. When we reached the fort, every image of the fort came alive! It was not just a fort. It was a complete colossal city with well-designed palaces, magnificent cenotaphs, huge towers, several strong gateways, temples, lakes, winding roads, wilderness and many stories. For the basics, the formidable fort is situated atop 180 meter high hillock near the Gambher River. It covers 700 acres of land and was believed to be first built by the Mauryas in the 7th century and later by the Mewars of Rajasthan. Chittorgarh Fort was the capital of the Mewar and Sisodia kings. It is undoubtly the Pride of Rajathan!
The impregnable fort witnessed three battles. In 1303, for the first time, it was attacked by Allaudin Khilji to fulfill his desire to defeat the Rana Ratan Singh and win his beautiful wife, Rani Padmini. In 1553, a second attack was from Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat .And the third attack was in 1567, by Mughal Emperor Akbar to conquer Maharana Udai Singh. Each time, the enemy was defeated. There are stories of a false alarm of defeat to the Maharana the hands of Allaudin Khilji and consequent attempt to “jauhar” by Rani Padmini who did not want to submit to Allaudin Khilji’s designs on her. These stories are narrated by the local Rajput Bards with much nostalgia and realism.
And the best thing that touched me was that in these temples, Meera Bai sang and danced for her beloved Lord Krishna. She walked on this land, which makes it holy. Meera Bai was wed to Rana Kumbha in 1513, and brought to Chittorgarh. After her household duties were over, Meera would go to the temple of Lord Krishna, worship, sing and dance before Lord Krishna Idol daily. KumbhaRana’s mother and other ladies of the palace did not like the ways of MiraBai, and they conspired against her. Three attemts to kill Meera Bai failed as each time her lord saved her. Finally, she left for Brindavan to sing the praise of lord Krishna. Soon Rana Kumbha realized his mistake and went with Meera Bai to support her love for the lord.
Besides Rani Padmini and Meera Bai there was Maharana Pratap, greatest of Rajput heroes. This fort has seen unparallel heroism, sacrifice,love, beauty, devotion and spirituality. It could never be conquered. There must be some special blessing on this fort. Akbar always envied it. If you are interested in history and spirituality or even a simple romantic, Chittorgarh Fort is a must in your once in a lifetime visit.