The formidable fort perched atop a 180 meter high hillock covers a massive are of 700 acres and has a circumference of 13 kms., with a maximum with of 3 kms. This standing sentinel to the courae and valour of chittaurgarh is the ‘Pride of Rajasthan’. It is believed that the fort was originally built by the mauryans in 7th century and further structures were added to it by the successive mewar rulers. The fort was ravaged thrice, but each time the indomitable spirit of chittaur rose like a phoenix and regained its lost glory. Allaudin khilji was the first to sack chittaur in 1303. It is said that he was lured by the legendary beauty of rani padmini and attacked chittaur to abduct her. But, rani padmini preferred death to dishonor and committed jauhar (self immolation), along with the other ladies of the court.
Chittaurgarh was plundered again in 1535, by sultan bahadur shah of Gujarat and finally by the mughal emperor akbar in 1567, in an attempt to subdue maharana udai singh.
The serpentine road to the fort is quite steep and exhaustive. The fort is approached through seven huge gateways or ‘pols’, which are guarded by watch towers and massive iron spiked doors. The gateways are padam pol, laxman pol and the main ram pol, with a distinct rajput architectural style. Near the bhairon pol is a cenotaph or ‘chhatri’, built in honour of the chivalrous jaimal and his cousin kala, who laid down their lives whilst defending chittaur against the mughals. Jaimal who was seriously wounded, but was not ready to die in the bed and was carried into the battle on the shoulders of his cousin kala, both of them died while showing exemplary courage.
At ram pol is a memorial to phatta, who was only 16 years old and had jus been married. His father had already died defending chittaurgarh and was sent into the battle by his mother. His mother and newly wed bride also took to the battle field and died in front of him, so that phatta could fight fiercely and be free from any affection towards the home. Next day the women folk of the palace ended their lives by committing johar (sacrifice). Phatta lead the saffron robed men from the front and thundered down upon the enemies like a lightening and died fighting fiercely.
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