Chittaurgarh epitomizes Rajput spirit, valour, pride and romance. It reverberates with heroism and sacrifice the tales of which are still sung by the Bards of Rajasthan. The imposing and awe inspiring fort stands on a 240-hectares site, on 180m high hill that rises rapidly from the plains.
It has one kilometre zigzag ascent to it. The road leads through seven gates to the main gate Rampol (meaning Gate of Ram). On the ascent between the second and the third gate, you see two ‘Chattris’ (cenotaphs) built to honour Jaimal and Kalla heroes of 1568 siege by Emperor Akbar. The main gate of the fort itself is Surajpol (meaning Sun Gate). The fort fell thrice to the enemies in its entire history.
The first attack occurred in 1303 when the Sultan of Delhi Ala-ud-din Khilji, overwhelmed by the beauty of Queen Padmini, besieged the fort with sinister design to capture the queen. In 1535 Bahadur Shah, the Sultan of Gujarat, besieged the fort causing immense carnage. It is said that 32000 men donned the saffron robes of martyrdom and rode out to face certain death. The women folk led by Rani Karnawati committed Jauhar (collective self immolation by fire) to save their honor.
According to the legend the construction of the fort was started by Bhim, a Pandav hero of mythological epic Mahabharata. The fort has many magnificent monuments. Even though the fort mostly is in ruins, it stands as an overwhelming reminder of its past history of triumph and tragedy and its walls resonate with unbelievable legend of extraordinary men and women and their equally astounding deeds.
Chittaurgarh is connected by both bus and rail. The bus stand and the railway station are located in the new township.