|Meera temple .nativeplanet.com|
Enclosed in this fort is the Meera and Khumba Shyam Temple that is associated with the great devotee of Sri Krishna - poetess Meera who was an epitome of devotion to God and whose life was spent on conducting bhajans on lord Sri Krishna. Quite well-known across India, her devotional hymns have become part of the folklore and literary traditions of the region and other places.
The history of this majestic fort is a poignant one written in blood shed and brave self-immolation by Rajput women. It had all links with the invasion of treacherous Muslim invasion from the Delhi rulers. The invasion of Muslim warriors from NW had begun to give insecurity among the Mewar rulers because they were notorious butchers and destroyers of both Hindu and Buddhist temples. Till the end of 13th century, the fort never faced any major enemy attack or any threats whatsoever. It is a matter of debate as to why did, in 1303, Allaudin Khilji, the brutal ruler of the Delhi Sultanate, attack the fort ? Was it to abduct the beautiful queen of Padmavati, as some sections of historians believe or was he just after the strong and strategically-positioned fort to add to his land? Anyway, the unexpected invasion by the brutal army from Delhi caused havoc, mayhem and mass massacre; the outcome was devastating. It left behind a trail of bloodshed and death of as many as 30,000 people within the fort. The ruler was either captured or killed in the battle. As for virtuous Padmavati, she, having no choice, immolated herself along with other women in the royal family. This was done to avoid being preyed upon by Allaudin Khilji and his merciless army.
Later Mewar rulers re-eatablished the rule in 1326 and improved the fortification a lot. Rana Kumbha strengthened most of the fort's walls during his reign from 1433 to 1468. Sultan Bahadur Shah of Gujarat made a successful attack after a long struggle and during the second attack on the fort, the ruler Uday Singh II and his brother escaped to avoid facing death and in the wake 13000 Rajput women got into the huge fire to escape harassment, rape and dishonor.
Soon, Emperor Humayun defeated the Sultan from Chittorgarh and and this time he reinstated the inexperienced young Mewar king Rana Vikramaditya; He though he could deal with the young ruler easily.
In 1567 Mogul ruler Akbar of Delhi had an eye on this amazing fort and attacked it with a huge army. It took a while for the Mogul army to access the fort because of sturdy stone walls and they did it by way of blasting their way with mines and digging tunnels. They also used cannons to damage the fort when necessary arose. When the Mogul ruler captured it in 1568 Rana Udai Singh II had escaped from the scene, asking his commanders to take care of the battle. This time thousands of of common people were slaughtered by Akbar's army and this again resulted in the mass immolation of Rajput women inside the fort. At last, Mogul ruler Jehangir made a peace treaty with the Mewar rulers in 1616 and between 1884 and 1930 some palaces and other structures came up.
|chittorgarh-fort, Rajsthan. .transindiatravels.com|