Chittaurgarh ( Rajasthan, North India )
BappaRawal conquered Chittaur in the middle of 8th century from Mauryan rulers. During 8th to 16th century, Chittaur, the profoundly independent capital of Mewar, was destroyed thrice and each time the consequence was "Johar", when women and children sacrificed themselves on a huge funeral pyre. Set on a 6 kms long hill, Chittaur covers an area of 280 hectares with fortifications, temples, towers and places. The pride and glory of Rajasthan, Chittaur mimics the tales of romance and chivalry matched to the Rajput tradition. Ala uddinKhlji was the first to ravage Chittaur in 1303. In 1567, when the Mughal Emperor attacked Chittaur, Udai Singh fled to establish a new capital Udaipur, a beautiful lake city, leaving behind Chittaur to be defended by two 16 years old heroes, Jaimal of Badnore and Phatta of Kelwa. Immediately thereafter, Akbar destroyed the Fort to ruins. Chittaur was never inhabited again but it always affirmed the heroic spirit of Rajput warriors.
The Fort: an unconquerable pride of Chittaur, is a massive structure with many gateways built by the later Maurya rulers in 7th century. Perched on a height of 180 metres high hill, it stretches over 700 acres. The main gates are Badan Pol, Hanuman Pol and Ram Pol. The Fort has many magnificent monuments.
Vijay Stambh: (Victory Tower), the majestic 37 metres high structure with nine stories, was built in 1440 by Maharana Kumbha, apowerful ruler of Mewar and Rajasthan, to celebrate his victory over the Muslim rulers of Malwa and Gujarat.
Kirti Stambh : (Tower of Fame), a 22 metres high, seven storied tower built by a wealthy Jain merchant in the 12th century. The tower is devoted to Lord Adinath.
Rana Kumbha's Palace : is the hugest monument in the Fort of Chittaur. The palace is believed to have underground basements where Rani Padmini and other women committed Johar.
Rani Padmini's Palace: Built alongside a pool, is magnificent one. It was here that Rana Ratan Singh showed a glimpse of Queen Padmini to Ala ud Din Khilji. After having a glimpse of the royal beauty, Ala ud din Khilji went to the extremes of spoiling Chittaur in order to possess her.
Kumbha Shyam Temple, built during the reign of Rana Kumbha in the Indo -Aryan style, is associated with the spiritual poetess Meerabai- an earnest devotee of Lord Krishna. Kalika Mata Temple was originally built as a Sun Temple in the 8th century. It is dedicated to mother Goddess Kali, the deity of power and valour.
Government Museum :(Fateh Prakash Palace) is located inside the fort. It houses a great collection of sculptures of 8th - 9th century and post medieval period. Besides, there are weapons, clay models of local tribes, coins and wood crafts of Bassi village.Jaimal & Phatta's Palaces are the ruins of palaces of Rathore Jaimal & Sisodia Phatta that are witness to the gallantry of these great warriors.
Meerabai Temple was built in north Indian architectural patternon an elevated plinth with a conical roof and beautiful inner sanctum where Meerabai worshipped Lord Krishna.