Chittor Fort - Bravery and Sacrifice

I was ploughing through my albums today and stumbled upon a trove of pictures from my trips to the desert state of Rajasthan in 2005. Jaipur and Udaipur are undoubtedly the most visited and most popular amongst the travelers from abroad. Chittorgarh is given a pass because it does not fall on the main tourist circuit. They do not know what they missed and here is my attempt to share those moments with you.

The fort, ruled by Rajputs, is situated over a hill overlooking the town and the farm lands. All attractions are within the fort which is spread over 700 acres.

In 1303 AD, after hearing about queen Padmini's beauty, Alauddin Khilji invaded the fort in an attempt to capture her and bring to his harem. Upon reaching Chittor, he found the fort was impenetrable. Khilji then requested king Ratansen to meet her. The unsuspecting king after persuading queen Padmini permitted Khilji to see the reflection of queen Padmini in the water. That event eventually led Khilji to lay siege on the fort for not surrendering the queen to him. Later, after several months of siege, while the king's men opened fort gates to fight a losing battle, the queen along with other women in the palace committed self immolation instead of losing their honor to the invaders. These Rajput women have sacrificed themselves not once but thrice during the course of history of this fort.

Following are the pictures of her palace amid a lotus pool which was a trendsetter for other water palaces built later in Jaipur and Udaipur.

The rulers of Rajasthan were quite obsessive about imported glass from Belgium. You can see the Belgian glass ornament in the picture below adorning the spire of this structure.

Tower of Victory was built to commemorate the victory of the Rajputs over Muslim rulers in 1440 AD. The lattice work in stone on the top storey of the tower reminds of the quilt block patterns that I often see.

Tower of Fame (seen from Tower of Victory) was built by a Jain merchant dedicated to Adinatha, the first of the 24 enlightened spiritual role models.

Some of the temples within the fort:

In my next posts I will share the pictures and stories from Udaipur and Jaipur.

Wishing you all a great week ahead.

~ Kalyan


sewplay said...

Thank you Kalyan. How spectacular and beautiful and I would never have known of them. The lotus moat is so lovely.Kathy

Stephanie said...

The stonework and carvings are truly amazing. Yes, I immediately saw quilt blocks. It's hard to imagine life in ancient times--harems sounds so exotic. Thank you for sharing and giving us a little history lesson in the process. You're a terrific tour guide.

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

You know we don't make anything like this with technology today. Think of the efforts of working with stone clear back when these things were built. It is totally amazing. What beautiful structures. Thrilling, I'm sure to see them in person.

Martha said...

Thank you for the wonderful tour, interesting history, and the lovely photos. I guess it's common for quilters to see quilt patterns in architecture -- I know it happens to me all the time.

ashima said...

What a nice journey to take of a time passed and hear the stories of those who lived them. Its almost as if your pictures tell their story through your lens. :)

Ann Champion said...

Thank your for the tour..and the interesting history of these beautiful buildings. I'm sure seeing them in person has to pretty impressive? The architecture is amazing. I noticed the tower's designs looked like quilt blocks too! :)

Craft Town Fabrics said...

Looks like an amazing vacation.