Chittorgarh Fort, India

Originally called Chitrakuta, the Chittor Fort is said to have been built by Chitranga, a king of the local Maurya dynasty (not to be confused with the imperial Mauryans).

The Guhila (Gahlot) ruler Bappa Rawal is said to have captured the fort in either 728 CE or 734 CE. However, some historians doubt the historicity of this legend, arguing that the Guhilas did not control Chittor before the reign of the later ruler Allata.

In 1303, the Delhi Sultanate ruler Alauddin Khalji defeated the Guhila king Ratnasimha, and captured the fort.[5] The fort was later captured by Hammir Singh, a king of the Sisodia branch of the Guhilas. Chittor gained prominence during the period of his successors, which included Rana Kumbha and Rana Sanga. In 1535, Bahadur Shah of Gujarat besieged and conquered the fort. After he was driven away by the Mughal emperor Humayun, the Sisodias regained control of the fort.

In 1567-68, the Mughal emperor Akbar besieged and captured the fort.

Geography
Chittorgarh is located at 24.88°N 74.63°E.[6] It has an average elevation of 394 metres (1292 ft).Chittorgarh is located in the southern part of the state of Rajasthan, in the northwestern part of India.It is located beside a high hill near the Gambheri River.Chittorgarh is located between 23° 32′ and 25° 13′ north latitudes and between 74° 12′ and 75° 49′ east longitudes in the southeastern part of Rajasthan state.The district encompasses 10,856 square km (3.17 per cent of the Rajasthan State) area of land..

Transport
The completed Golden Quadrilateral highway system passes through Chittorgarh, connecting it to much of the rest of India. The East West Corridor (Express Highway) also crosses it. Chittorgarh is situated on National Highway No. 76 & 79. National Highway 76 connects to Kota with a driving time of 2 hours.

Chittaurgarh Junction is a busy junction of Western Railway of Indian Railways, Ratlam Division. It has direct rail links with all major Indian cities including Ajmer, Udaipur, Jaipur, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Pune, Yeshwantpur, Ahmadabad, Surat, Indore, Ratlam, Gwalior, Bhopal, Nagpur, Bilaspur, and Kota.

Chittorgarh is well connected to all parts of India by roads. The Golden Quadrilateral Road Project and North-South-East-West corridor expressways pass through Chittorgarh City. The bus stand (bus depot) of Chittorgarh is located between the old and new cities. There are good bus services (private as well as state-owned) available for Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Ajmer, Bundi, Kota, Udaipur and other major cities.

Rajasthan Roadways (RSRTC) provides a service for visiting areas around Chittorgarh. Rajasthan Roadways also has premier services called Pink Line, Silver line and Sleeper Coaches (Grey Line).

The nearest airport is Udaipur (Dabok Airport). The airport is located 70 kilometers from Chittorgarh and linked by daily air service from New Delhi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, Ahmedabad and Mumbai.

Festivals
Maharana Pratap Jayanti The legendary Maharana Pratap was a true patriot who initiated the first war of independence. Maharana was born on May 9, 1540 in Kumbhalgarh in Rajsamand district of Rajasthan to Maharana Udai Singh II and Rani Jeevant Kanwar.Maharana Pratap has gained amazing respect and honor as he is seen 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.

Special puja and processions are held in his remembrance on Maharana Pratap Jayanti day everywhere.Several cultural programs such as debate are also organized.

Meera Mahotsav Meera Bai (1498 – 1547) was a devout follower of Lord Krishna. Meera Bai was one of the foremost exponents of the Prema Bhakti (Divine Love) and an inspired poet. Mira Bai was a Rajput princess who lived in the north Indian state of Rajasthan.Meera 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 Chittorgarh district officials organise Meera Mahotsav every year on Sharad Purnima day (On Mirabai’s birth anniversary) for 3 days. Many famous musicians and singers get together to sing bhajan’s in this celebration. The 3 days celebration also features puja’s, discussions, dances, fire works etc.

Teej Teej is one of the major festivals in Chittorgarh which is celebrated with great enthusiasm.Teej is the festival of swings. It marks the advent of the monsoon month of Shravan (August). The monsoon rains fall on the parched land and the pleasing scent of the wet soil rises into the air. 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. Goddess Parvati is worshipped by seekers of conjugal bliss and happiness.

Gangaur The Gangaur Festival is the colourful and most important local festival of Rajasthan and is observed throughout the State with great fervour and devotion by womenfolk who worship 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.

Jauhar Mela The fort and the city of Chittorgarh host the biggest Rajput festival called the “Jauhar Mela”. It takes place annually on the anniversary of one of the jauhars, but no specific name has been given to it. It is generally believed that it commemorates 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. It has also become a forum to air one’s views on the current political situation in the country.

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. A big colorful fair and huge gathering of tribal to rejoice the harvest of wheat has been celebrating Rang Teras is customary since 15th century. It is a thanksgiving festival of farmers. 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.

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