Madhu Latha
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India has been called many names by those who see it. India appears as such to each as those who see it that way. Come take a look at my India through my eyes...

Friday, January 4, 2013

A trip to Chiitorgarh

On the way from Udaipur to Bundi we come to a unpretensious town of Chittor famous for its fort so much it is called Cittorgarh. The town is famous for its fort not only for its spectacular fort complex, occupying a rocky mountain plateau, its impressive edifice with massive crenellated walls, arched gateways, deserted palaces and temples and the exquisite  Jaya Stambha, the Victory Tower but as the home of the most beautiful queen of Rajastan, whose beauty led to the destruction of the kingdom.

The story goes like this, Ala-ud-din Khilji, the Patan (Turko-Afgan) king of Delhi heard of the unparallel beauty of Rani Padmavati, wife of Rawal Ratan Singh of Chittor beseighed the fort of Chittor. He made a pact with the king that if he could just once see the face of Padmavati he would leave the kingdom in peace. It was dishonorable for a married woman to give show their faces to anyone except their husbands. The rajput women wore pardas over their faces all the time, a tradition which is still observed in orthodox Rajastan. Anyway for th esake of the kingdom Rani Padmavati agreed to show her face in a mirror to Ala-ud-din Kilji. Once he saw her, he was so overcome with lust that he wanted so beautiful a lady in his harem and so he continued his seigh over the fort. When all the resources were depleted the men of the kingdom decided that they would rather die in honour fighting with the enemy than live watching their women humiliated by the enemy. The women of Chittor knowing that their men were facing an enemy far more powerful than them and knowiing that the result of the seigh would only mean their dishonour committed jauhar (sacrificing oneself in holy fire) lead by Rani Padmavati. When the soldiers of Ala-ud-din Kilji entered the fort atlast all they could find were the bones and ashs of the women. Though the women died a long ago, the story resonated in the deserted hallways of the fort. The legend remains alive in the stories and bards sung by so many in honour of the virtuous women of Chittor.
Chittor is also mentioned in Mahabharat, Bhima struck the ground here and water sprang out forming the nearby reserviour.

All the Chittor's attractions are inside the Fort.
Rana Kumbha Palace
Fateh Prakash Palace
Jaya Stambha
Rani Padmini's Palace
Kirti Stambha
Meera Temple
Kumbha Shyama Temple
Excursions around Chittorgarh

Where you can stay
Hotel Ram Rakhi ph: 01472-249558
Hotel Chetak ph: 01472-241589
Hotel Padmini ph: 01472-241718
Hotel Pratap Palace ph: 01472-243563

Getting there and away
Express buses serve Delhi and travel regularly to Ajmer, Jaipur, Udaipur and Bundi.
Trains are also avilable from all the main stations mentioned above.

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