The pride and glory of Rajasthan, the sprawling hilltop fort of Chittorgarh, or Chittaur echoes with the tales of romance and valour unique to the Rajput tradition. Until 1568 the town of Chittor was also on the hilltop within the fort walls, but today’s modern town, known as Lower Town, sprawls to the west of the hill. This is one of the oldest cities in Rajasthan, founded in 728 AD. by Bappa Rawal, who according to legend was reared by the Bhil tribe. This fortified settlement has been ravaged thrice by Alauddin Khilji, Bahadur Shah and Akbar and each time the outcome was ’Jauhar,’ where women and children immolated themselves on a huge funeral pyre, while men donned in saffron robes of martyrdom rode out of the fort towards a certain death. It is now a ruined citadel, however, it always asserts the heroic sprint of Rajput warriors. Despite the fort’s impressive location and colourful history, Chittaur is off the main tourist circuit.
Today the fort of Chittor is virtually a deserted ruin, but impressive reminders of its grandeur still stand.
Vijay Stambh or Victory Tower, Kirti Stambh or Tower of Fame are exquisite sculptures of Hindu deities and Jain pantheon respectively.
The most massive monument in the fort of Chittaur is Rana Kumbha’s Palace, the place where Jauhar was committed by Rani Padmini and other women.