Location: Chittorgarh, Rajasthan
Built In: 7th century A.D
Built By: N.A
Tags (if any): NA
Other names (if any): Water Fort
Lying on the bank of the river Gambheri, Chittorgarh Fort is the largest fort in India. Spreading across an area of 690 acres, this fort was built by the Mauryans in 7th century A.D and was passed on to Mewars, Rajputs and finally Mughals. Situated on a hill in the city of Chittorgarh, in the southern part of Rajasthan, the fort has a vibrant story to tell which is associated with the chivalry and bravery of Rajputs. The myth associated with the origin of the fort is that Pandava prince Bhima constructed the fort. However, a perfect display of Rajput architecture, the Chittorgarh Fort with its huge palaces, walls, gateways, water reservoirs and temples attract hordes of tourists and continue to mesmerise historians and explorers. Read on to know more about this grand fort, its history and its architectural brilliance.
The largest fort in India, the origin of Chittorgarh Fort can be traced back to 7th century A.D when it was supposedly constructed by the Mauryans. Plenty of stories regarding its history can be heard but, it is widely believed that the fort was under the possession of Mori Dynasty and it received its name from the ruler of Mauryan, Chitrangada Mori. Later, Chittorgarh came to be known as Chittor and remained the capital of Mewar for 834 years. The city was presented to the Rajput ruler, Bappa Rawal, after he got married to a Solanki princess in 8th century. Afterwards, the fort was ruled by Sisodiyas and Guhilots Rajputs. After the fort was captured by the Mughals in 1567, it laid neglected; however Akbar took some of its remains to his capital Agra.
The majestic fort of Chittorgarh standing on a tall hill is home to lot of temples and reservoirs which were built in the period between 9th and 17th century A.D. Spreading over an area of 690 acres and a length of 13 metres this fort is an architectural marvel with zig- zag paths, huge gateways and grand stone structures. This huge fort has seven gates known as Padan Pol, Hanuman Pol, Jorla Pol, Lakshman Pol, Bhairon Pol, and Ganesh Pol – all of which lead to the main gate, Rampol. At the top of the gate, there are parapets from where archers used to shoot at their enemies. There is a watch tower and some iron pointed doors which used to shield them. The main highlights of this fort are the water bodies, for which it earned the name, Water Fort. Among the 84 water bodies, which once existed in Chittorgarh Fort, only 22 are present today. The fort’s numerous ponds, wells and step wells which could store water for almost 12 months. The other important features of the Chittorgarh Fort are Sammidheshwara Temple, Rana Kumba’s Palace, Fateh Prakash Palace, Kumbha Shyam Temple, Meerabai Temple, Vijay Stambh, Gaumukh Reservoir, Kalika Mata Temple, Rani Padmini’s Water Palace, Kirti Stambh and Rana Singh Palace.
Major Battles or Events Associated With The Fort
- The Chittorgarh Fort witnessed three battles in 1303 AD, AD 1535 and AD 1567.
- The first battle ensued when the fort was attacked by Ala-ud-din Khilji of Delhi to win Padmini, the wife of Rana Rattan Singh. Though, Ala-ud-din Khilji captured the fort, he failed to achieve his goal as Padmini and other Rajput women underwent self-immolation in an underground cave.
- The second battle was between Rajputs and Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat in which the Rajputs were defeated.
- The third battle took place between the Rajputs and the Mughals when the Mughal Emperor Akbar turned hostile towards Rajput king Udai Singh for protecting the ruler of Malwa. The war caused much bloodshed.
The Chittorgarh Fort is maintained by the government of Rajastan and it is open to the public.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit Chittorgarh Fort is between the months of September and March. The fort remains open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm every day except the Fridays.
How To Reach
- Chittorgarh enjoys good connectivity through highways to cities such as Udaipur, Delhi, Jaipur, Ahmadabad and Ajmer.
- The nearest airport to Chittorgarh is in Udaipur which is 100 kilometres from the town. The city has frequent flights to Delhi, Mumbai and some other important Indian cities.
- Chittorgarh is well connected through railway with Delhi, Jaipur, Ahmadabad, Ajmer and Mumbai.
Around The Fort
The places to visit in Chittorgarh are plenty which include chhatris or memorials, Archaeological Museum, Baroli Temple, The Ghateshwara Temple and the Mahishasurmardini Temple.
The history of Chittorgarh Fort is as vibrant as the history of India. Read the article above to know all about this majestic fort if you are planning to visit.