Chittorgarh: History, Geography, Places

Location, Area & Administration of Chittorgarh:

Chittorgarh is located in the southern part of the state of Rajasthan at an altitude of 394 meters above sea level with Latitude of  24.88°N  and longitude of 74.63°E. The district has two parts, the smaller portion or Bhainsrorgarh in the east is separated by the state of Madhya Pradesh. Chittorgarh District shares its border with ,Bhilwara District to the North ,Pratapgarh & Neemuch (M.P) District to the South ,Udaipur District to the west  and shares border with Madhya Pradesh State to the East.

Chittorgarh has an area of 10,856 square km which is divided into 10 tehsils namely: Chittorgarh, Rashmi, Gangrar, Begun, Kapasan, Rawatbhata, Dungla, bhadesar, Bari Sadri and Nimbahera.

Imagesource:MapsofIndia
Imagesource:MapsofIndia

History of Chittorgarh:

The antiquity of chittorgarh is difficult to trace, but it’s believed that Bhim the legendary figure of the Mahabharata, visited this place to learn the secrets of immortality and became the disciple of a sage, but his impatience to perform all the rites deprived him of his goal, and out of sheer anger, he stamped on the ground creating a water reservoir, this reservoir is called as BhimLat.

THe region was originally called Medhpaat and Lord Shiva (Ekling Nath) is called Medhpateshwar (Lord of Medhpaat). Over time, the name Medhpath became Mewar.

Later on, it came under Mauryas or Mori Rajputs. Maan Mori, 7th in line ruled the kingdom till 734 AD when he was killed by Bappa Rawal of the Guhilot clan. Born as Kalbhoj, Bappa Rawal was the founder of a dynasty which later comes to rule Mewar.

Rulers of Mewar: (Chittorgarh as Capital)

  • Khumar (753 – 773 )
  • Mattat (773 – 793 )
  • Bhratrabhat (773 – 813 )
  • Sinha (813 – 828)
  • Khuman II (828 – 853)
    • Repelled up to 24 Muslim attacks.
    • Ruled a Golden Age in Mewar.
  • Mahayak (853 – 878)
  • Khuman III (878 – 942)
  • Bhratrabhat II (942 – 943)
  • Allat (943 – 953)
    • Possibly near start of his reign, Allat is driven from Chittor by the Paramara king of Malwa, Munja Raja, who then rules Chittor and is succeeded by his nephew, Raja Bhoj. Allat establishes a new capital at ancient Ahar.
  • (953 – 971)
    • The death of Allat leaves a gap in the succession, and there is no Guhilot leader at all for a total of eight years while the Paramaras attack Ahar. The Paramara king, Vakpati Raj of Malwa, rules Chittor. It takes until 971 for a new Guhilot king to reign.
  • Naravan / Narvahan (971 – 973)
  • Shalivahan (973 – 977)
  • Shaktikumar (977 – 993 )
  • Amba Prasad (993 – 1007)
    • Fought against Mahmud Ghazni (Yamin-ud-Dawlah Mahmud).
  • Suchivarma (1007 – 1021)
  • Narvarma (1021 – 1035)
  • Kirtivarma (1035 – 1051)
  • Yograj (1051 – 1068)
  • Bairat / Vairat(1068 – 1088)
  • Hanspal (1088 – 1103)
  • Vairi Singh (1103 – 1107)
  • Vijay Singh (1107 – 1127)
  • Ari Singh I (1127 – 1138)
    • Chittor is again captured by Malwa.
  • Chaur Singh (1138 – 1148)
    • The Western Chalukyas attack the Paramaras who hold Chittor.
  • Vikram Singh / Vikramaditya I (1148 – 1158)
  • Karan Singh (1158 – 1168)
    • The royal family divides, possibly near the end of Karan Singh’s reign. His son Rahap establishes the Sisodia branch of the family while another son, Mahap, establishes the Dungarpur kingdom.
  • Kshem Singh (1168 – 1172)
  • Samant Singh (1172 – 1179)
    • Samant Singh occupies Bagar (in the Dungarpur area) during his reign. After seven years on the throne he is slain by Kirtipal Solanki of Nadol in battle at Ghaggar (Punjab).
  • Kumar Singh(1179 – 1191)
    • Possibly relocated capital to Nagda at end of his reign.
  • Mathan Singh (1191 – 1211)
    • 1191 – 1192 – Mathan Singh fights in the Battles of Tarain, in which the Chauhan ruler, Prithviraj III, and the Rajput confederation which includes Mewar (the Hindu League) are defeated by the Ghurid Sultan Mohammed Ghuri.
    • 1207 – Chittor is taken and ruled by the Western Chalukyas just as they are facing their own terminal decline.
  • Padam Singh (1211 – 1213)
  • Jait Singh / Jaitra Singh (1213 – 1253)
    • During his reign, Jait Singh defeats the Malwa Rajputs who rule Chittor, reinstating its fort as the capital of Mewar. This probably occurs shortly after Sultan Iltutmish of Delhi has destroyed Nagda.
    • 1234 – Sultan Iltutmish of Delhi is defeated by Mewar when he invades the region.
  • 1253 – 1261
    • There is an apparent interregnum. No known ruler of Mewar exists during this period, although the circumstances behind the gap are unknown. The relation of the next known ruler of Mewar to his predecessor is also unknown.
  • Tej Singh (1261 – 1267)
  • 1267 – 1273
    • There is a second apparent interregnum. No known ruler of Mewar exists during this period, and the fate of Tej Singh is unknown, as are the circumstances behind the gap are unknown. It takes six years for Tej Singh’s son to ascend the throne.
  • Samar Singh (1273 – 1302)
    • Samar Singh builds wall around Mahasati in Chittor. His son, Kumbh Karan, migrates to Nepal (where his descendants become the Nepalese royal family).
  • Ratan Singh (1302 – 1303)
    • Last Guhilot king to rule.
    • 1303 – 1st Jauhar of Chittor
    • Ala ud din Khilji, Sultan of Delhi, rallied his forces against Mewar, in 1303 AD. The Chittorgarh fort was till then considered impregnable and grand, atop a natural hill. But his immediate reason for invading the fort was his obsessive desire to capture Rani Padmini, the unrivalled beautiful queen of Rana Ratan Singh. The Rana, out of politeness, allowed the Khilji to view Padmini through a set of mirrors. But this viewing of Padmini further fired Khilji’s desire to possess her. After the viewing, as a gesture of courtesy, when the Rana accompanied the Sultan to the outer gate, he was treacherously captured. Khilji conveyed to the queen that the Rana would be released only if she agreed to join his harem. But the queen had other plans. She agreed to go to his camp if permitted to go in a Royal style with an entourage, in strict secrecy. Instead of her going, she sent 700 well armed soldiers disguised in litters and they rescued the Rana and took him to the fort. But Khilji chased them to the fort where a fierce battle ensued at the outer gate of the fort in which the Rajput soldiers were overpowered and the Rana was killed. Khilji won the battle on August 26, 1303. Soon thereafter, instead of surrendering to the Sultan, the royal Rajput ladies led by Rani Padmini preferred to die through the Rajput’s ultimate tragic rite of Jauhar (self immolation on a pyre).
    • Administration of the captured state is handed to the ruler of the neighbouring state of Jalore, Maldeo.
  • Rana Hammir (1326-64)
    • Progenitor (Shuruwat karne wala) of the Sisodia clan
    • Built the Annapoorna Mata temple, located in the Chittorgarh Fort
    • Alauddin Khilji defeated Rana Ratan Singh (Padmini ne Jaauhar kiya) and transferred administration of new territories ( including chitter) to Maldeo, ruler of Jalore.
    • Maldeo , married his widowed daughter Songari with Rana Hammir.
    • Hammir organized overthrow of Maldeo and established Mewar again in 1326.
  • Khaitsi or Khetra Singh (1364-82)
    • Son of Rana Hammir
    • Conquered back, Mandalgarh, Ajmer, Mandsore & area of Chappan.
    • Obtained victory over Sultan of Delhi at Bakrole.
    • The Kumbalgarh inscription says that “he captured Zafar Khan.- Sultan of Gujarat.
  • Rana Lakha (1382- 1421)
    • Defeated the imperial army of Delhi at Badnor
    • Had two Sons – Elder – Rana Choonda – who took oath not to claim throne of mewar – in the exchange of his father’s marriage to Rani Hansa Bai.
    • In compensation – his symbol Lance (Bhala) was superadded to autograph of prince in all grants to vassals. Hence, Lance of Saloombra still precedes monogram of Rana.
    • In line with promise, Rana Mokul (Son from Hansa Bai) succeeded throne.
  • Rana Mokul/Mokal Singh (1421-1433)
    • After Rana Lakha, as Rana Mokul was minor, Rana Choonda started taking care of administration.
    • But Rani Hansa bai, did not like and asked Rana choonda to leave. He left.
    • Rani seek help of father Ranmal of Marwar but later understood intentions of Ranmal.
    • Rani called back Choonda, who came in and rescued Mokul Singh.
    • Had 3 sons = Rana Kumbha + 2 & daughter Lal Bae.
  • Rana Kumbha (1433-68)
    • In 1433, defeated Sultan of Malwa, Mahmud Khilji, in Battle of Mandalgarh and Banas.
    • Erected Vijay Stambh (victory tower) – 37 meter/9 floors.
    • Erected 32 Forts in defense of Mewar. Including highest fort in Rajasthan (MRL 1075m) – Kumbhalgarh
    • Additionally he also costructed, the Ranakpur Trailokya-dipaka Jain temple with its adornments, the Kumbhasvami and Adivarsha temples of Chittor and the Shantinatha Jain temple.
    • Credited with writing the Samgita-raja, the Rasika-priya commentary on the Gitagovinda, the Sudaprabandha, and the Kamaraja-ratisara.
    • Sangita-ratnakara and Sangita-krama-dipaka (two books on music by Rana Kumbha.
    • During his reign, scholar Atri and his son Mahesa wrote the prashasti (edict) of the Chittor Kirti-stambha and Kahana Vyasa wrote the Ekalinga-mahamatya.
    • Rana kumbha successfully defended Mewar and expanded his territory at a time when he was surrounded by enemies like Mahmud Khilji of Malwa, Qutbuddin of Gujrat, Shams Khan of Nagaur and Rao Jodha of Marwar.
  • Rana Udai Singh I ( 1468-73)
    • A In a patricide, Rana Kumbha was killed by his son Udaysimha (Udai Singh I) or Ooda Singh
    • Defeated by his brother – Raemul in battles of Jawar, Darimpur and Pangarh
  • Rana Raemul (1473- 1508)
    • Other Son – Raemul finally succeeded Khumbha
    • By marrying Sringardevi (daughter of Rao Jodha), Raimal ended the conflict with the Rathores.
  • Rana Sanga ( Sangram Singh ) (1508-1528)
    • Battle of Gagron: defeated Sultan of Malwa
    • Battles of Idgar: 3 battles: fought between Bhar Mal & Rae Mal two princes of Idar, Rana Sanga supported Rae mal.
    • Battle of Khatoli & Dholpur: Sanga defeated Ibrahim Lodhi
    • Gujarat Invasion: laid seize at Ahmadnagar (Himmatnagar) – defeated Sultan.
    • Battle of Khanwa: was defeated by Babur
  • Ratan Singh II (1528–1531) 
  • Vikramaditya Singh (1531–1536)
    • During his reign, Sultan of Gujarat Bahadur Shah sacked Chittor in 1534, Udai Singh was sent to Bundi for safety.
    • Rana Sanga’s wife Karnavati –send Rakhi to Humayun.
    • But Humayun late – 2nd Jauhar of Chittor
  • Vanvir Singh (1536–1540)
    • Vanvir killed Vikramaditya Singh, and was about to kill Udai Singh II, when Panna Dhai, rescued him with sacrifice of her won child.
  • Udai Singh II (1540–1572)
    • 1540, he was crowned in Kumbhalgarh by the nobles of Mewar.
    • Maharana Pratap born in same year (9th May-1540)
    • In 1562, he gave refuge to Baz Bahadur of Malwa. Using this as a pretext, Akbar attacked Mewar in October 1563.
    • Udai Singh retired to Gogunda.
    • Rao Jaimal & Patta – fought with Valor – even Akbar impressed – statute erected at Fatehpur Sikri
    • Jauhar- 3rd Jauhar of chittor (1568)
    • Founded city of Udaipur. This became the capital of Mewar from here on.

Historical Places of Chittorgarh:

Chittorgarh Fort:chittorgarh_fort

Chittorgarh Fort is the largest fort in Asia. The Fort of Chittorgarh is strategically located on the top of a high hilly outcrop of the Aravallis about 180 mabove the plains of the valley drained by the Berach River.  The fort also contains Gaumukh Reservoir, which is a deep tank  fed by a spring. The spring emerges from a rock formation resembling a Gaumukh or ‘cow’s mouth’. The tank is considered sacred by the locals.

Nagri:

One of the most important townships of the Mauryan era in Rajasthan, situated on the banks of river Bairach.  It  was formerly known as Madhyamika, which flourished from the Maurya to Gupta era. The excavations  overhere have  unearthed many interesting facts and have showed signs of strong Hindu and Buddhist influence.

Barolo:vijay_stambhchittorgarh_fort

The ruins of the famous temples of babaroli, near Rawatbhata. This town is worth visiting, because of the  group of  ancient temples situated here.

Vijaya Stambh:

Vijaya Stambh is a huge nine storey tower which was built by Maharana Kumbha to commemorate his victory over the Muslim rulers of Malwa and Gujarat in 1440, the tower signifies the victorious spirit of the Rajput Kingdom after securing a victory over the intruder Mohammed Khilji.The towers stands at a height of 37 meters and compromises of 9 floors offer a great view of the city of Chittorgarh and the Chittorgarh Fort.

Kirti Stambh:Kirti Stambh 

Kirti Stambh or the tower of fame is part of the two popular stumbhs or pillars inside the Chittorgarh Palace. Kriti Stambh is a 12th-century tower situated at Chittorgarh fort in Rajasthan, india. Dedicated to the first Jain teethankar Adinath, the stambh is a 22 meter high seven storied tower having a sculpture of Adinath in the second floor.Kirti Stambh is older than another tower in the same fort, known as the Vijaya Stambh(Tower of Victory). The topmost floor of the pillar offers a panoramic view of the whole Chittorgarh city and attracts a large number of travelers, historians and photography enthusiasts.

Padmini’s Palace: Padmini Mahal

The Padmini palace is Amazing place to visit in Chittorgarh. It was the residence of Rani Padmini who was known for her gorgeous beauty. The palace is a popular tourist attraction because of its rich architecture and association with the Rajput heritage and history.There is a lotus pond near this palace.Ala-ud-din saw the reflection of Queen Padmini in this pool. He was so captivated and entranced by her that he fought a furious battle with Maharana Ratan Singh (husband of Maharani Padmini). This battle changed the history of Chittorgarh.

Rana Kumbha Palace: chittorgarh-rana_kumbha_palace-05-20131014

Rana Kumbha palace is 15th century palace where Rana Kumbha lived and spent his royal life. This historic monument is very popular among tourists due to its charming and artistic architecture.The founder of Udaipur, Maharana Udai Singh was born in this same palace. Rana Kumbha palace have the cellar where brave Rani Padmini performed an act of jauhar along with other women during an attack of Khilji.

Meerabai Templetemple_of_mirabai_in_the_fort

Meerabai, an ardent devotee of Lord Krishna’s, worshipped him at this temple. The structure is designed in the classic North Indian style of temples. It rises from a raised plinth and its conical roof can be seen from far. The temple houses a beautiful shrine surrounded by an open porch with four small pavilions in four corners.

Bhainsrorgarh Fort

bhainsBhainsrorgarh is an impregnable fort, inhabited from at least the 2nd century BC. It is dramatically positioned between two rivers, the Chambal and Bamani. It had passed through the hands of several clans before becoming the seat of a premier noble of Mewar, the large region around Udaipur and Princely State of the Sisodia clan. It contains five tanks, temples to Devi Bhim Chauri,Shiva, and Ganesh. The present fort is around 260 years old and was built in the 1740s.

Fairs & Festivals of Chittorgarh:

Maharana Pratap Jayantimaharana

Maharana was born on May 9th 1540 in Kumbhalgarh in Rajsamand district of Rajasthan to Maharana Udai Singh II and Rani Jeevant Kanwar. Maharana Pratap is respected and revered as an epitome of valor, heroism, pride, patriotism and the spirit of independence.His birth anniversary (Maharana Pratap Jayanti) is celebrated as full fledged festival every year on 3rd day of Jyestha Shukla phase.

Jauhar Mela:

The fort and the city of Chittorgarh host the biggest Rajput festival called the “Jauhar Mela”. It takes place annually to commemorate Rani padmini’s Jauhar, which is most famous. This festival is held primarily to commemorate the bravery of Rajput ancestors and all three jauhars which happened at Chittorgarh Fort. A huge number of Rajputs,which include the descendants of most of the princely families, hold a procession to celebrate the Jauhar.

Meera Mahotsavmeera

Meera Bai (1498 – 1547) was a devout follower of Lord Krishna. Meera Bai was Rajput princess born in about 1498 in Metra, Rajasthan. Her father, Ratan Singh, was the youngest son of Rao Duda, ruler of Merta, and son of Rao Duda ruler and founder of Jodhpur. Ratan Singh belonged to the Rathore clan. She was married to Bhoj Raj, ruler of Chittor.

Meera Smrithi Sansathan (Meera Memorial Trust) along with the district government, organise Meera Mahotsav every year on Sharad Purnima day (On Mirabai’s birth anniversary) for 3 days. The celebrations also bhajan singing, puja’s, discussions, dances, fire works etc.

Teej

Teej is one of the major festivals in Chittorgarh and is also called as the festival of swings. It marks the advent of the monsoon month of Shravan (August). Swings are hung from trees and decorated with flowers. Young girls and women dressed in green clothes sing songs in celebration of the advent of the monsoon. This festival is dedicated to the Goddess Parvati,commemorating her union with Lord Shiva.

Gangaur

The Gangaur Festival is the colourful and most important festival of Rajasthan celebrated throughout the State with great fervour and devotion by womenfolk to worship Goddess Gauri, the consort of Lord Shiva during July-Aug. Gan is a synonym for Shiva and Gaur which stands for Gauri or Parvati who symbolises saubhagya (marital bliss). Gauri is the embodiment of perfection and conjugal love which is why the unmarried women worship her for being blessed with good husbands, while married women do so for the welfare, health and long life of their spouses and a happy married life.

Rang Teras – The Tribal Fair

Rang Teras is a popular tribal fest of Mewar celebrated on the 13th moon night of the month of Chaitra.  Since 15th century, the festivals is being organized where Tribals rejoice the harvest of wheat. Farmers pay their honor to Mother Earth for providing them food for next year.As a part of Celebrations , young men in village perform their valiant skills while dancing.It is also celebrated is Sri Krishna Temples all around North India and ISKCON Temples.

Geography of Chittorgarh:

Topographically the district is undulating with scattered hills of the Aravalli ranges. The western southern and northern parts of the district are somewhat plain. A series of hills run North­South forming parallel valleys to the east of Chittorgarh. Bhainsrorgarh area is practically hilly. The district comprises rocks of Bhilwara Supergroup, Vindhyan Supergroup and Deccan Traps.

The main rivers flowing through this district are Chambal, Banas, Berach, Gambhiri, Jakham with smaller rivers like Wagon, Gungali etc. The annual average rainfall is 90cms.

The district of Chittorgarh is good in forest resources as the percentage of total area under forest including hills is reported to be 2407 square kilometers which is 22.17% of total geographical area of the district.The forest coverage is above the state average of above 9% under forest. The major species available in the forest area is salar,teak wood, bamboos, katha etc.

Natural Places of Chittorgarh:

Bassi Wildlife Sanctuary:

A sanctuary near Bassi, covering an area of 50 Sq km with panthers, wild boars, antelopes, mongoose and migratory birds. The Sanctuary is situated 5 kms from the Fort on the western fringes of Vindhyachal Ranges with series of tableland, gentle slopes and vast streches of large lakes, water channels of which penetrate into the forest. Among the wild animals baghera sar, langur, lakkar bagha, beddia, lomaari, lider etc. with snakes both poisonous and non-poisonous also being found.

Natural Resources in Chittorgarh

The district can be identified as a limestone district of Rajasthan, since the district is endowed with large deposits of cement grade limestone as well as splittable lime stone and sand stone which is used for flooring purposes. Besides these, small deposits of china clay, red ochre, blockable marble etc. are also found in the district.

Population:

According to the 2011 census, Chittorgarh district has a population of 15,44,392 of which 50.76 percent are males & 49.24 percent are females.  Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 16.09%.  Chittaurgarh has a sex ratio of 970 females for every 1000 males, and a literacy rate of 62.51%. The district has a population density of 193 inhabitants per square kilometer.