Chittaurgarh

We were told that the hotels in Chittaurgarh weren't too good and so we drove down the 112 kms from Udaipur to see India's largest fort and the ultimate symbol of Rajput chivalry and pride. Hundred and thousands of soldiers have laid down their lives for this fort and as many women have commited Jauhar (mass self-sacrifice in a sacred fire to escape dishonour from the enemies).


The ascent to this awesome hill fort is by a torturous winding road defended by seven fortified gateways with each turn of the road having a legend of the sacrifice of a brave soldier. Particularly touching are the cenotaphs of two teenaged Rajput chieftains Jaimal and Patta who led the fortress' defence against the might of the Mughal Emperor Akbar. 


An outstanding feature of the fort is the Vijaysthambha (Tower of Victory) Profusely carved with images of gods and godesses, this nine-storied architectural masterpiece is visible from the plains below for miles around. 

   

But THE most outstanding feature is the fort itself. The stark no-frills palaces stand out in sharp contrast to the opulence of Jaipur's Amber Palace, for generations of Chittaur's rulers spent all their money in preparing for the next battle.


Chittaur's blood-soaked earth silently screams a long history of valour, chivalry and glorious death.