Chittaugarh (or Chittorgarh) a small town in the state of Rajasthan embodies romance and chivalry of the Rajputs. Of all the former Rajput capitals, Chittorgarh was the strongest bastion of Hindu resistance against the Muslim invaders.
The stories told of the ruined Fort Chittor evoke awe and respect to this day. The fort fell more than once and each time the inhabitants fought literally to the last man and the women committed mass immolation, to escape the ignominy of capture. The most famous instance, which is now a part of folklore, occurred in 1303 when the legendary Rajput beauty, Rani Padmini committed self-immolation with thousands of womenfolk to escape dishonour at the hands of the soldiers of Allaudin Khilji, Sultan of Delhi.
In 1535, Bahadur Shah, the sultan of Gujarat besieged the fort and once again the medieval dictates of chivalry determined the outcome. It is said that 13,000 Rajput women and 32,000 Rajput warriors died following the declaration of jauhaur – the ritual mass suicide by immolation. Honour was always more important than death itself. Chittorgarh stands today as a symbol of Rajput courage and pride.
The fort, a symbol of Chittaugarh’s stoicism is today a virtual ruin, though impressive reminders of its one-time grandeur are apparent including the Rana Kumbha Palace, Fateh Prakesh Palace, Tower of Victory, Gaumukh Reservoir, Padmini’s Palace, the Tower of Fame and various temples including Meera Temple and Kalika Mata Temple.
Often called the 'open air art gallery of Rajasthan', the region of medieval Shekhawati in northeastern Rajasthan lies in the ...