Chittorgarh dates back to the 7th century and its history encapsulates more than a millennium of Indian cultural change. It has endured three epic battles between the Rajput family and the Mughals (Alu-ud-Din-Khalji in 1303; Sultan Bahadaur Shah in 1535; and Akbar in 1568) and remains to tell the tale today.
It is known as the strongest bastion of Hindu resistance in the state and each battle was followed by a johar (mass suicide) as the dead warriors’ wives sacrificed themselves to prove their loyalty. The fort covers an area of 14 square km and was once home to over 100 temples, separate palaces for each dignitary and almost 100 reservoirs. An impressive, and largely still-standing wall, surrounds the entire complex. Interestingly, a parallel plateau can be seen across the plain on which the highway was built; this used to be the battlefield. This hill is in fact higher however as the terrain is less rocky and unsuitable for storing water, the fort was built on the lower platform.
Much of the fort is now in ruins (although structurally still stunning) but it has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site. As at Haldighati, the site is a treasure trove of stories, which involve individuals such as Padmini, who is believed to be the most beautiful woman to have ever lived, and the famous Maharana Pratap, who always wished to occupy the fort but, due to its outstanding defences, was unable to. Little inform is supplied, so to unlock the secrets of Chittorgarh it is well worth paying a guide to take you around the site and transportation can be provided by the hotel. Harish is a particularly knowledgeable guide and extremely professional. For the day he charges 500INR.