I was amazed by the sheer size of the Chittorgarh Fort. The place was immense. I was told the area of the fort is 700 acres and it would take 3 days if I wanted to see it properly. Chittorgarh Fort is also one of the living forts where people have their homes, though no new construction is allowed. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
It was a pity that I had so little time to see this majestic monument. The fort’s construction is attributed to 7 AD by the Maurya ruler Chitrangada Mori. It then came to the Sisodiya Rulers of Rajasthan.
There are many temples within the fort. There is one devoted to Mira Bai as well, though not the one in picture above. It is so fascinating to go to places and see structures that I previously knew from the history books only. After all the Mira Bai story I think was part of some history lesson for me. It was a Hindi movie from my childhood too.
The other famous spot from my history lessons was the Rani Padmini’s palace and the story of Aladuddin Khilji. The legend goes that Khilji was smitten by the queen and he wanted to see her. They show you the mirror in which Khilji was able to see the queen’s image. And if you actually turn back and try to see the spot where the queen would have been standing, you cannot see it. It is visible only in the mirror. I have never been a fan of the queens setting themselves on fire if the menfolk lost a battle but then who am I to judge such ancient times.
There is a 9 story structure within the fort called the Vijay Stambh (victory pillar) and you can climb it till 8th floor. The stairs are narrow and dark. But it was fun going up the structure. This was the view of the city from the place. It was totally worth it. I was also so surprised to see all the idols defaced within the structure, I mean there were a lot of statues and all defaced. That would have been a lot of work for some people! But then religion is such a complex thing.
Finally it was time for the light and sound show which told us the history of the fort in an amazing way. Once again I could recognize a story from my history books, that of Panna Dhai who puts her son to be killed in order to save the crown prince!
While reading the books I never imagined the fort to be such a grand place, seeing it was something else. But then I never have had a vivid imagination nor too much of a fascination for history. After a while I tend to forget all the stories.
I visited Chittorgarh Fort from the Lake Palace, Nahargarh which is about 30km from the city.
It was anything but a lazy Sunday. I woke up at the Lake Palace, Nahargarh in Rajasthan. As I wanted to click pictures when the light was good I woke up 15 minutes before sunrise at the ungodly hour of 6.15 am. I had manage to crash only at 11.45 pm the previous night. I was staying there only one night, though it was all my fault.
When the Justa group invited me to visit The Rajputana, Udaipur and the Lake Palace at Nahargarh they wanted me to spend more time. However, as it is March end, I have hardly got any leaves left. I took Friday off to travel till Sunday. Beyond that I had no scope. So there I was up at sunrise, clicking pictures.
After I was done with clicking pictures, I went for a swim in this gorgeous pool at the Lake Palace, Nahargarh. I didn’t had much time as I was leaving at 9.30 am for the Udaipur airport to catch the flight back home. But it was fun swimming a few laps in beauty of a pool, which I had all to myself at about 7.00 am today. Surprisingly the water was not too cold, which was perfect for me. The palace has a lot of birds, particularly pigeons which like to hang around in the changing rooms sometimes.
I quite reluctantly tore myself out of the pool as there was no way I could afford to miss my flight. In the rush, I went charging to the changing room, only to find two pigeons taking offense at my approach what they considered to be their domain. One of them flew past my nose giving it a light graze. Now it was my turn to get startled.
The hotel is about 32 kilometers from Chittorgarh, so if you are looking for an offbeat place to stay near Chittorgarh you could give this a try. You go to the hotel by a boat as it is in the middle of a lake.
There are many trips to document now, and at least one more trip to go, starting next Saturday. Stay tuned, I will keep them coming.
I started my India travel blog, Travel Tales from India in 2005. In 2016 I realized Travel Tales from India and Abroad better reflected my writings. I love to walk and ride in metros around the world. I have not been everywhere, I am not even close, but it is on my list. I also quit my job as a professor in 2015, it was a happening year! I did a Ph.D. from IIT Kanpur ages ago!
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