Rajasthan is a northern Indian state bordering Pakistan. Its palaces and forts are stark reminders of the many kingdoms that historically fought for the region. In its capital, Jaipur (the “Pink City”), is the 18th-century City Palace and Hawa Mahal, a former cloister for royal women, fronted by a 5-story pink-sandstone screen. Amer Fort, atop a nearby hill, was built by a Rajput prince in the early 1600s.
History: Chittorgarh, also called ‘Chittaur’ was the capital of Mewar under the Rajputs from the seventh century to the sixteenth century. Chittaur is a symbol that signifies memories of great heroism and sacrifices by Rajput men and women in the intermittent battles that were fought against invaders from Northwest or Delhi. Chittaur had gone through both the devastating state of wars and the glorifying state of triumphs of the spirit. Allaudin Khilji who invaded the city in 1303 A.D defeated Queen Padmini of Chittaur. Queen Padmini and the women of the court sacrificed themselves in a pyre of fire rather than submit to anybody. This absolute sacrifice has been called ‘Jauhar’ and symbolizes the blazing spirit of the Rajputs of the day. The city stands upright, sprinkled with monuments and battle pieces of evidence of the blood and guts that it went through in the history of India’s medieval age.
Origin: The Chittaur Fort is the best-known fort in Rajasthan. Its origins are traced back to the Pandavas of Mahabharata. The myth says that Bhima, one of the Pandava brothers, built the fort. Covering an area of seven hundred acres the fort stands one hundred and eighty meters high hill.
The Seven Gates Of The Fort: To enter into the Fort Of Chittorgarh, the person has to go through seven huge gates(Pol). Each gate is different in its name, design and its size. Below is the list of these gates:
Padan Pol | Bhairon Pol | Hanuman Pol | Jorla Pol | Ganesh Pol | Laxman Pol | Ram Pol
Temples: Meera and Khumba Shyam Temple are found inside the Chittaur Fort. It is the place which is closely related to Meera Bai, a supernal devotee of Lord Krishna. Her life and bhajans have become part of the mythology and scholarly traditions of the region and several parts of India.
Chittorgarh Fort: The Chittorgarh fort is considered as one of the most outstanding forts of the country and no wonder has been named as the “Pride of Rajasthan State”. The massive hilltop fort, which is a depiction of Rajput culture and values, and seven huge gateways or ‘pols’, which are guarded by the watchtower and gigantic iron barbed doors are the primary reasons for visiting Chittorgarh Fort.
It is believed that the fort was built by the Mauryans in the 7th century and further structures were added to it by the successive Mewar rulers.
It doesn’t matter who made this but the beauty of this fort will actually show you the true culture and heritage of India.
Water Fort: Chittorgarh fort also known as Water Fort had eighty-four water bodies, out of which only about twenty-two exist today. They are all talabs (ponds), kunds (wells), and baories (stepwells). All the talabs have a natural catchment. So that even the seepage from the talabs are not lost as the kunds and baories are located below the talabs.
Forty percent of the fort which spreads over Seven hundred hectares are given over to water bodies. The average depth of the reservoir is about two meters. Summing up, these reservoirs are capable of storing about four billion liters of water.
Enough water would be stored to last the next twelve months in a year of more than normal rainfall (average annual rainfall: seven hundred millimeters). Even after water loss due to seepage and evaporation and other causes, an army of fifty thousand could live in the fort for four years without fear of thirst.
Tower of Victory – (Vijay Stambh) | Tower of Fame – (Kirti Stambh) | Gaumukh Reservoir | Rana Kumbha Palace | Padmini Palace | Kalika Mata Temple (Kalikamata Mandir) | Fateh Prakash Palace – (Government Museum) | Jain Temples (Jain Mandir – Sattavish Devri)
Bundi a glorious town located around thirty-six kilometers from Kota is scattered with palaces and forts. The place has a fairy tale perspective about it. Flanked by the Aravalli range and rivers, lined by fields of cotton, barley, and wheat, surrounded by orchards of orange, guava, pomegranate and mango trees, it is a charming location. Situated far from the crowds, it is the simple rural lineage that lends Bundi its glamour.
History: Bundi once upon a time was ruled by the Hada Chauhans. According to many historians it used to be the capital of the great Hadoti Kingdom, which was renowned for its art and sculpture. Unfortunately, in 1624, Kota became an independent state and thus began the downfall of Bundi. Whatever it may be, Bundi still retains its charming medieval grandeur. And just like Jodhpur and Rajput, the architecture of Bundi is also blessed with an eye-catching bluish hue, designed to keep houses cool during hot summer, in the intricately carved sandbags and pillars.
Origin: According to Indian history, Bundi derived its name from Bunda Meena, a former Meena king. During the 12th century, it came under the rule of Chauhan rulers who after a brief span of time transformed it into their center of power. Bundi was ruled by the Hadas too from the 12th century onwards. In fact, in the year 1264, Kota also came under their rule.
TARAGARH FORT: The limelight of Bundi Taragarh fort was built in the 14th century. The fort provides an option of peaceful hike around its premises with the entry being free and age-old shops, fortunately, being absent. Inside the instant eye-catchers the Bhim Burj, a large battlement with a cannon placed on it and a large reservoir carved out of single piece of rock is present. The views from the fort are exceptional, especially during the sunset when the sun rays seem to lend a lovely bliss to the entire area.
BUNDI PALACE: The spectacular Bundi palace, led by a wooden gate, adjacent to the fort is decorated with the murals that carry the visitors back to the Bundi Royalty. The murals cover almost entire palace walls, however, all these areas are not open for public viewing except the picture gallery. Special permission is needed to be taken from the secretary of the Maharaja of Bundi for visiting other areas. Bundi Palace, illuminated with lights during the night, presents a glowing beauty which should be captured in camera.
Other Attractions: Baoris & Tanks | Sukh Mahal | Eighty Four Pillared Cenotaphs | Kshar Bag | Dabhai Kund | Nagar Sagar Kund | Lake Jait Sagar | Lake Kanak Sagar | Ramgarh Vishdhari Sanctuary | Phool Sagar
Bhangarh Fort is a haunted place which has many stories associated with it though one is most trustworthy and widely held to be true. The fort is listed as the seventh haunted place in the world according to Hostelworld. The fort is so packed with the elements of paranormal activity that even the official administrative machinery supports the idea that the place is not normal. It is a place where it is deliberately prevented to venture even when a little bit of darkness falls.
History: The legend behind the Bhangarh Fort being haunted says that Princess Ratnavati of Bhangarh was responsible for the apocalypse that fell on the fort. A local black magician fell in love with her (the princess was very beautiful). He tried to cast a spell on a cosmetic that she was supposed to use, to make her fall in love with him. The princess became suspicious and she to end the entire conspiracy of the black magician threw the jewelry on the massive stone boulder, which was supposed to be fatal for the black magician. The black magician before breathing his last spelt a curse upon the entire village that no soul would ever be in peace there. The entire village and fort being cursed like that became haunted soon after.
Origin: The Mughal connection is ascribed to the relationship of Sawai Madho Singh, the ruler of Bhangarh in 16th Century with Raja Mansingh-I, the then general in the army of Akbar. These two autocrats were brothers according to history. Their father Bhagwant Singh was the ruler of Amer (Amber). This Mughal association continued till the death of Aurangzeb as believed in history. After the downfall of the Mughal empire, Bhangarh was invaded by Jai Singh II in 1720 AD. Later in 1783 AD, a great famine had put the whole village into darkness. This forced the folks to abandon the city. Whatever the history may be, the fort area has the reputation of being haunted place till recent years. And, such reputation became the main reason for the tourist to flow in that ever destroyed village.