10 must visit spots in Chittorgarh fort Rajasthan

Chittorgarh fort is one of the largest in India. It is also a world heritage site, owned by the Archeological department of India. We planned to visit Chittorgarh fort from Udaipur. And we were super excited to visit here as there are several interesting spots to visit in this fort and equally interesting stories associated with them. Chittorgarh fort was the capital of the kingdom of Mewar. It saw several glorious years before it came under attack by the Muslim rulers.

Chittorgarh fort
Across the expanse of Chittorgarh fort

Several spots and sites inside the fort tell tales of the heorism of Rajput men and women, across these battles.

As we started our day, we took the Udaipur – Chittorgarh highway. Since the highway is in excellent condition, we reached Chitoorgarh in 2 hours. After crossing the town, we reached the small hill atop which lies the Chittorgarh fort. Just like all other forts, this one as well has very robust walls and a great defense system in place. From the foothill itself started our visit to the interesting spots of this fort, the first one being the fort gates.

7 Gates of Chittorgarh fort

The Chittorgarh fort is guarded by not one but 7 robust gates. Each of these lies a few hundred meters ahead of the previous one, on the incline of the hill. As is evident, in the ancient times, an enemy had to conquer all the 7 gates one after the other to be able to reach the fort. Since the fort premises start right at the foot of the hill, from the first gate (or Pol as it is called), and the fort is too large, vehicles ply till the top. As we drove through the different gates, we started feeling the majesty of the fort.

We crossed through all the 7 gates before reaching inside the fort. These gates are named Padan Pol, Bhairon Pol, Hanuman Pol, Ganesh Pol, Jodla Pol, Laxman Pol and the main gate named the Ram Pol. We reached the fort after crossing all the pols. Then we stopped our vehicle near Vijay Stambh.

Rana Kumbha Palace

Rana Kumbha Palace is the oldest monument in Chittorgarh fort. Alas, it is mostly in ruins now. While reaching the Vijay Stambh from the main road of the fort, one passes through the ruins of this palace. This palace marks the birth place of Maharana Udai Singh, the king who later went ahead and formed Udaipur. As per the legends, when Maharana Udai Singh was born, his life was under threat of enemies. In order to protect him, a devoted maid of the palace named Panna Dai, had replaced him with her own son. While the maid’s son was mistaken as the prince by the enemies and killed, Udai Singh was hidden in a basket of fruits and transported to a safer spot. Several elephant and horse stables are part of this palace, which are mostly in ruins now. A pathway through the palace garden leads towards the Vijay Stambh.

Chittorgarh fort
Ruins of Kumbha Palace

Vijay Stambh or the Pole of Victory

Unlike all other forts that I have visited, the prominent structures of Chittorgarh fort are scattered over several acres. The first one that we stopped by is Vijay Stambh or the Pole of Victory. It was built in 1440 AD by maharaja Kumbha. He built this pole to commemorate his victory over Mohammad Khilji. This tower comprises of 9 floors. The outer walls of the tower are engraved with beautiful carvings of Hindu deities. There is a narrow flight of stairs that leads to the top of the tower. At the top floor, there are balconies. These balconies provide a great view of rest of the fort. Overall, Vijay Stambh is a great example of great ancient architecture. Since the way the structure stands tall through hundreds of years is the testimony of its strength.

Chittorgarh fort

Kalika Mata Temple or Sun Temple

Just besides Vijay Stambh is the Kalika Mata Temple or the Sun temple. Actually there are several small temples all across the fort premises devoted to different God and Goddess. However, this is one of the most prominent ones. The temple is located towards the left of the Vijay Stambh. While crossing the Vijay Stambh and reaching to the temple, one can encounter several ruins of ancient structures in between. Near the temple, you might find some vendors and artists selling different stuff. I bought some prints of paintings done in the traditional Rajasthani style. Since I paint, I can use those small, easy to carry prints to motivate my next painting 🙂

Samadhiswara temple (Shiva Temple)

Just besides the Kalika Mata Temple lies the Shiva temple. There is a stone bull and a Shivling in the temple. However, other than that, this temple is very similar to the Sun Temple in it’s architecture. A small temple, open on all four sides. And, a small flight of broad stairs leading up to the temple.

Gomukh Water Reservoir

Unlike any other forts in India, the Chittorgarh fort has water canal along it’s boundaries as an extra defense system. Due to the water, it was not possible for enemy troops to enter the fort without making a noise while crossing the water. Gomuhk Water Reservoir is a part of this water defense system. As well as, it serves as one of the many water reservoirs inside the fort. This reservoir can be seen from besides the Shiva Temple. A narrow flight of stairs nearby leads to the reservoir. As the name suggests, Gomukh means “cow’s mouth”. Cow is considered a holy animal in Hindu religion. There is a mouth of cow constructed at a height through which water circulates and falls off into the reservoir. Hence the name. Good thing is that you can take the flight of stairs and reach all the way up to the water.

Chittorgarh fort
Gomukh water reservoir

The Chiitorgarh fort has several other lakes, ponds and wells as source of water. So much so that it is believed that the capacity of all these water bodies put together was enough for the whole town of Chittorgarh and it’s army to survive for several years without requiring to step out of the fort. 

Padmini Palace & the story of Rani Padmini

After visiting the temples and Gomukh water reservoir, we came back to the main road. A walk of 2 minutes by foot leads to Padmini Palace. Padmini was the wife of then king Maharana Ratan Singh. The Padmini Palace is where she resided with other ladies amongst the kins of the king. This palace is constructed as a 3-floor building. And, it lies in the center of a big pond. It is believed that the structure of this palace actually inspired the formation of several ‘Jal Mahal’ kind of palaces all over Rajasthan later on. It is said that she was very beautiful.

Chittorgarh fort padmini palace
Padmini palace

There is a deep story behind the final seize of the fort of Chittorgarh and the beauty of Padmini that goes like this:

Story of Rani Padmini

A sorcerer is banished by king Ratan Singh. He finds refuse in the court of Allauddin Khilji in Delhi. He narrates the tales of beauty of Rani Padmini to Allauddin day in and day night. As a result, Allauddin starts caveating her. He sends a message to the Rana that he wants to see his wife once and that his intentions are just friendly. The Rana takes the proposal to his wife. However, call it the intution of a woman or her sixth sense, Rani Padmini doesn’t feel comfortable about the proposal. So, she, in turn, proposes that Allauddin can see her but not directly. He can see her glimpse in a mirror. Although, not very happy, Allauddin agrees to the proposal. Thus he is invited over by Rana Ratan Singh to Chittorgarh palace. He gets to see a glimpse of Rani Padmini in her palace through a mirror.

However, after seeing her, the madness of possessing this beautiful lady grips him more than even before. He returns back with his troops and attacks Chittorgarh. The mewar army fight diligently but a defeat seems inevitable. Upon learning that, Rani Padmini and several of her fellow ladies in the palace conduct Jauhar. Jauhar came to be known as a ceremony where the women kill themselves by jumping into fire. As a result, although Allauddin Khilji was able to win over the fort of Chittorgarh, what he ultimately found was only remains and ashes..nothing else. Highly disappointed, he returned back to Delhi after some time.

Keerti Stambh or Tower of fame

Keerti Stambh is a 12th Century construction inside the fort of Chittorgarh. It was built by a Jain merchant Jeeja Bhagerwala. The tower marks the glory of Jainism in this era. Built in the style of Jain monuments, the tower has beautiful carvings all around it. During this era, Jainism had a big influence on the kingdom of mewar. As is evident from Jain temple inside the Chittorgarh fort and all over rest of Rajasthan.

Chittorgarh fort
Keerti Stambh

Meera Temple

The infamous devotee of Lord Krishna, Meera Bai, is also believed to be born in the temple of Chittorgarh. She is a mystic poet and a great devotee of Krishna. So much so that legends say once she was made to consume poison and she still survived it by the grace of Lord Krishna. This temple, right inside the premises of Chittorgarh fort is devoted to Meera. The temple is built in a mixed architectural style. It reflects combined architecture of aryan and other prevailing styles. In conclusion, it is one of the most peaceful temples inside the fort premises, where one feels utter calm. So, a very beautiful one.

Chittorgarh fort

Fateh Prakash Palace (Government Museum)

Fateh prakash palace is yet another palace inside the Chittorgarh fort premises. Built by Maharana Pratap Singh, it was his resident for several years. The palace is built in Rajasthani style of architecture. Thus preserving the culture in it’s walls forever. The palace has a huge collection of paintings, crystal items and several other collectibles. Looking at the historical and cultural importance of these items, the palace has been converted into a government museum. And it’s door are open to the public for visiting.

Overall, Chittorgarh fort is one of the most important historical places in India. It has seen several centuries of glory. There are so many stories that each part of the fort narrates. Whatever stories I had heard about the glory of the fort seemed well justified upon visiting. We were glad that we included it in our itinerary while visiting Udaipur.

Tips for visiting

  • You must wear comfortable cloths and walking shoes. The fort premises are too huge and you will have a lot of walking to be done.
  • You can hire a cab or use a self – driven vehicle. You can also reach Chittorgarh from Udaipur via buses and trains.
  • From the foothills of the palace till the top, autos ply all the time. You can use them in case you are not having your own vehicle.
  • Don’t forget your sun glasses and a cap or hat. The day we visited, it was quiet a hot one, with scorching sun overhead.
  • Chittorgarh – Udaipur highway is in very good condition, you will reach in 1.5-2 hours. Start early to beat the heat and take your time to visit the huge fort premises.
  • Internet is full of resources about the details of Chittorgarh fort and the stories of it’s era. Educate yourself a bit so that you can understand and relate to the spots that you visit.
  • There are several packaged food and water vendors inside the palace, so, you need not worry about them. There are several good restaurants in the town of Chittorgarh as well.

Although Chittorgarh is a well known destination in Rajasthan. There is an offbeat destination Menal, just 60km from Chittorgarh which is a great combination of both natural beauty and historical marvels. You might want to checkout this article on Menal for the details of this gem of a place.

Chittorgarh fort

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The magnificent Jain Temple of Ranakpur

How best to spend 4 days in Udaipur – itinerary 

3 days Jaipur Itinerary

An evening at Chokhi Dhani, Jaipur

The unconquored fort of Nahargarh, Jaipur

One day trip to Amer fort, Jaipur

10 must do when in Rajasthan

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Hotel Ram Pratap Palace, Udaipur

Bagore ki Haveli Museum, Udaipur

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142 Responses

  1. […] Revolving Compass has been born, we have travelled profusely. We went to Jaipur, Udaipur, Ranakpur, Chittorgarh, Kumbhalgarh, Mahabalipuram, Coorg, Wayanad, Paris, Rome, Florence, Pisa, Venice, Amsterdam, Bern, […]

  2. Great, thanks for sharing information

  3. Oh I just love things like this ! I have always been an ancient history buff and look for places like this to explore whenever I travel – this would be a must for me. Thanks for sharing.

  4. […] beautiful restaurant Raj Bagh. We took day trips to Kumbhalgarh fort , Jain temple Rakankpur and Chittorgarh fort from Udaipur. In the city itself we visited the Fateh Sagar Lake, Lake Pichola, City Palace, […]

  5. […] days we went out, one on a day trip to Ranakpore and Kumbhalgarh and another one on a day trip to Chittorgarh. So, we actually spent only two days in the city of Udaipur. Although we did a lot during these two […]

  6. So beautiful!! I love your photos, really makes me want to go and visit! Hopefully in the years to come I’ll be able to visit India 😀

  7. I’ve heard lots of cool things about Rajasthan! This post makes me want to visit even more 🙂

  8. I’ve always wanted to go to India! Your post is inspiring me to book a trip right now. 🙂 Thank you.

  9. This post is teasing me….this is one of the few places I could not manage in my last trip 🙁 and I know that I will be back in Rajasthan only for this the next time. And the Rani Padmini palace is one of the main reasons why I want to head to Chittorgarh

    • One trip to Rajasthan is never enough Ami. In fact several are needed. Even we can’t wait for our next trip there to cover so many other places that we badly wanted to but couldn’t due to lack of time 🙂

  10. anceantovska

    Perfect pictures! India has many place to see!

  11. Wow this looks incredible!!! It looks like it’s right out of a movie ty so much for sharing your adventures ❤️❤️❤️

  12. The tale of Rani Padmini is incredible! So fascinating that invading armies would have to conquer all 7 gates – what beautiful architecture and history. Would love to make it to Chittorgarh Fort one day!

  13. The story of Rani Padmini is so thought provoking. I love the history in these structures, thank you for sharing them. That is also some of the most interesting architecture I have ever seen.

  14. The architecture is breathtaking! Your photos definitely gave this attraction some justice – it must have been awe-inspiring to see that in person.

    • It was one of the most fabulous day trips that we have taken so far..beautiful indeed

  15. The story of Rani Padmini is so sad and dramatic. Sounds like the palace was built in the middle of the water to protect her? Too bad she had a terrible fate.

    • The palace was built in the middle of water more from aesthetic perspective and the fort had so many water bodies from strategic perspective. No one had foreseen the danger on her and the kingdom ..

  16. Prerna_Malhan

    Thanks for sharing some practical tips about visiting Chittorgarh fort Rajasthan. We’d plan it soon after being inspired by your pictures! 🙂

  17. So much history. I would love to visit one day.

  18. emmaeatsandexplores

    All the temples look so beautiful and they’re all so different. Some of them look almost prehistoric! Absolutely stunning!

  19. Wow! This place looks spectacular! It’s going on my bucket list. Thanks for sharing!

  20. Gorgeous pictures!! I am planning on visiting India in 2017 – thank you for posting this!!

  21. infocultureweddingca

    Very historical. Are you from there yourself? My boyfriend wants to really go to India to visit. We have visited most parts of the world except for that area. The photos are definitely interesting.

    • We are from India, but not from this part. Although, we can happily help you out when you plan your trip..

  22. Great suggestions! I think I’d particularly like Padmini Palace and that it’s surrounded by a pond. It would be interesting to visit the ruins of Rana Kumbha Palace as well.

  23. One of my bosses apparently used to take trips to this state to take pictures for National Geographic. Some of his pictures were published. I might want to go to these places as well.

  24. anceantovska

    Very interesting photos and place for visiting! Thank you for sharing!

  25. I would really love to visit here. So much history. Thanks a lot for sharing this.

  26. Rajasthan is the place that I always wanted to drop by whenever I watched Indian movies shooting in this state. Your writing really urged me to drop by there one day.

  27. Can’t add more here than my earlier comment…just makes me want to pack my bags.

    Our history is indeed amazing, and that’s why I love India!
    Sati was a practice, but happy we are over it now (for the most part).

  28. Such gorgeous photos, Neha! Absolutely love how colorful everything is and what an eye-opener to see all these stunning architectures. Thanks for sharing!

  29. Jenni Petrey

    It is places like this that I would love to travel too, so much history. It looks amazing.

  30. These sites are amazing indeed. It would be great to visit any 🙂

  31. Wow! Those temples look amazing. I hope to see those in person some day!

  32. Always looking for new, difficult-to-pronounce words and travel recommendations! Thanks for sharing!

  33. OMG I love going to places like this. I love how architecture tells so much about the history of a certain place. Thanks for sharing. Will definitely add this to my bucketlist =)

  34. thischicafrican

    I’ve never been to India. It’s def on my list of places to visit so this list is perfect.

  35. Beautiful as well, can’t wait to get there by the end of 2017! Thanks for this wonderful post 🙂

  36. Megan Johnson

    What a great post! I actually never knew about this place, but will definitely be adding it to my bucket list! I love places with so much history to them! Your photos are breathtaking!

  37. All of these places look amazing and gorgeous.You are not only a talented writer but a talented photographer.We will be in India next year and we will definitely visit the places that you recommend on this list.Thanks for sharing this beautiful article.

    • Thanks a lot Nicholas. We will definitely help you out with any info you need during your India trip

  38. Isn’t it funny how in all the folklore men always go crazy over a beautiful woman? Although I am a bit jealous of Rani Padmini. She had a beautiful house looking over beautiful scenery. I can’t believe she jumped in a fire to escape that terrible man!

  39. I’d heard of Chittorgarh fort as a good day trip from Udaipur but had never seen photos of it. It looks amazing; I had no idea it was so big. I love the Keerti Stambh in particular. It’s definitely on my list for my India trip.

  40. The Pole of Victory looks just out of this world. What beautiful architecture, I can’t imagine what it’s like to see in person! Another one for the bucket list…

    • Thoughtful..these architectures of the past definitely look like out of this world

  41. wanderingwagarschristina

    Great photo essay on Chittorgarh fort. It is amazing how many incredible structures can be visited in such a small area. I enjoyed reading the stories about the history of the various sites.

  42. The structures are really stunning! With great history, no wonder why they still stand so nice up today.I hope I can visit some of these in the near future so that I can have nice memories of the experience.

  43. So much history and so much to see! I’ve been wanting to visit this area for a long time, my other half is a big fan of India and tells me it’s a great place to visit, maybe in 2017!

  44. Thanks for the tips!! If the place is just around 2 hours from Udaipur, I might include this as well for my future India backpacking trip. Planning it around May, what do you think about the May month?

    • May will be extremely hot. Inside the palaces and hotels it will be comfortable. But walking outside in the sun will be painful

  45. Wow, amazing India. I’ve heard so many things about India recently, and this one is another wonderful thing. I’ve been planning to visit this country and this place will surely be penned on my bucket list. Thank you so much for sharing.

    • I am happy to see your excitement. You do plan a trip, it will be wonderful indeed

  46. This is pretty helpful! I have never been to india before but friend of mine and I are planning to visit India by the end of 2017 and I would surely visit these places , it looks very peaceful and that is what we americans look for it and after reading your article I surely think that we are going to get it there! Thanks again for such a beautiful post. Cheers.

    • End of the year will be a perfect time to visit here.. the climate is at its best. You will definitely enjoy your trip

  47. What an incredible place with a long history. Your photos are beautiful. thanks for sharing.

  48. nomadicfoot

    i have been to Udaipur but could not make it to Chittorgarh. This fort is one of the destination which i desperately want to visit. You have explained so well here about the fort. Thanks

    • Thank you, visit here oct – feb. We felt the day was a little too harsh in september

  49. Incredible list. I have seen them all. I got goosebumps here in this land thinking of hundreds of women who have given up lives committing Sati. So hard to imagine those times.
    Excellent pics.I thought I had commented here before too.

  50. I am planning to visit Chittorgarh next year. The tips were useful. Thanks a lot for sharing.

  51. Aside from the epic structures, I love reading and learning about the legends and stories behind this historical place. What makes me want to visit chittorgarh? I love the narrow stairs going to the top of the temple… I have fear of heights, so it is like an achievement reaching the top :)))

    • You sure will love the place then. It has tall pillars, lots of history and lots of architecture

  52. This convinced me to visit the fort of Chittorgarh!

  53. I have been to Rajasthan. Its truely a mesmerizing destination with so many colors and divere soceity. Chittorgarh is yet another important destination in Rajasthan, I spent two days here.

  54. I haven’t heard for this place before!! But i definitely love it through your blog!! Freat post 🙂 Thanks for sharing with us

  55. cool to know there are other interesting places (and probably less touristy) than Jaipur and Udaipur in Rajahsthan. thanks for sharing the beauties of Chittorgarh

    • Actually there are many more Elisa..hope to visit them soon and then share across our experience

  56. Superb photography Neha! I have this urge to go there again.

  57. To me, India is a place full of interesting history. I always feel fascinating when my Indian friends tell me the stories about places in India which I always can’t remember all. There are just too many. 😀

    • Can totally understand..there is so much to explore and experience. It’s a world in itself

  58. I did not know about the place at all. Now l am actually keen on googling and reading about it. thanks !!

    • Oh is it…great..there is a lot of history and interesting story of valor attached to this place..do read on

  59. Wow! I love the water surrounding the fort. My son would love exploring this place!

  60. Chittorgarh is fascinating with so many tales of valour hidden in the stones of the magnificent structures. I have always been inspired by the legend of Padmini. It would have been a wonderful moment when you visited Padmini’s palace.

    • It indeed was. Such a beautiful place and as you rightly said, filled with tails of Valour

  61. It’s interesting to know that this fort has 7 gates! That water reservoir is alos so picturesque, and it’s fascinating to know its name means “cow’s mouth”! I really want to visit!

    • Thanks a lot. Do visit when you get a chance. It’s one of the biggest forts of India

  62. The fort looks amazing. Thanks for including a little bit of history as well. The colours in KeertinStambh are amazing, especially against the beautiful blue sky.

  63. Very interesting post. I was unfamiliar with Chittorgarh Fort until reading this piece. The architecture is very unlike other places I have visited, so I’m sure that I’d enjoy it.

  64. I was there about a week ago! It is really beautiful. My favorites were the area of the Victory Tower and the Meera Temple. 🙂

  65. Awesome images. Would love to visit those sites someday

  66. Amazing architecture! They really didn’t leave anything to chance when it comes to defense with the several gates and water canal! I didn’t realize how large and magnificent the structures were until I noticed the tiny people walking around! 🙂

    • Indeed it’s one of the biggest forts in India. There is almost a whole township inside the fort

  67. Really impressive, seems like a place full of magic from another time and even space 🙂
    What always fascinates me of such places is the special aura that surrounds this mystical and religious places. And I am wondering how many people it took to build these temples, what inspired them… fascinating! Thank you for sharing your experiences, Cheers Birdie & Hendrik

    • Thank you Birdie & Hendrik. Chittorgarh for is one of the most renowned forts of India. Actually, I would call it a must visit

  68. We were thinking about all that refreshing looking water around the fort. Since it’s usually so hot, do they allow any swimming? Also do you have any restaurant recommendations for Chittorgarh?

    • Actually, we did spot a few people taking bath in the water, but not sure if swimming would be allowed. We ate in a small roadside eatery , there are plenty like that. Being a tourist destination, they all seem to be decent, nothing very fancy because its a small town

  69. There are so many things to see in this beautiful fort. I am discovering so many things about India. What a sad story for these women to burn themselves alive to stay safe.

    • Thats really a heart wrenching story. So many wars, so much brutality was in existence in the ancient times

  70. One of popular forts in India and one we have all read about in school at one time or another. It’s always lovely to see India’s culture on the forefront and Chittorgarh with its architecture and history is simply wonderful. Lovely to see you travel and explore India, something we all sometimes forget to do.

  71. Hello Neha. Thanks. You just added another cool place to our India must see list. Chittorgarh fort has such a dramatic atmosphere. The Keerti Stambh tower looks like it leaning a bit. Not sure if it’s just the photo, but it would be understandable since its from the 12th century.

    • Thanks a lot! The tower is not leaning..it might be my camera.. 🙂 But the place is worth a visit anytime.

  72. It looks beautiful

  73. I am impressed that these temples are still intact. Is there an entrance fee to visit this place? You have good tips too. I always wear comfortable shoes when I travel especially in Asia.

    • Yes there is a moderate entrance fee to the place. Its INR 100 for non-Indian nationals.

  74. Neha, looks like our interests coincide a lot. I have been reading a couple of articles on your blog recently and I m quite thrilled to know that we have almost planned a similar itinerary for our trips 🙂 I visited Chittorgarh too during my visit to Rajasthan in Oct this year and totally fell in love the amazing stories and history associated with it. Thanks for bringing back memories of my trip with post 🙂

    • Thanks Sindhu. It’s always a delight to hear from you. And I am thrilled to know that! Lets see if our travel dates also coincide sometimes and we bump into each other 🙂

  75. Oh your blogs always make me want to travel to India ASAP. Your tips are really helpful too. Thanks for sharing!

  76. I haven’t been to India but it’s somewhere I’d be super keen to visit. Particularly because of the country’s history, which is rich and varied, as this post demonstrates!

  77. dwellboxes

    Looks beautiful! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  78. Wow! Beautiful pictures, they give me such wanderlust! I have India at the top of my bucket list 🙂

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