Chittorgarh Fort has several interesting places spread over a huge fort which I had tried to cover in my different blogs. I am sharing the links of our Rajasthan Diaries below for your reference if you want to read them all.
So friends, let us start our exploration of Chittorgarh fort with Vijay Stambh or Tower of Victory
Chittorgarh Fort was attacked several times over the centuries, the last being Mughals. Rajput clans are known for their valour and they always gave strong resistance to any form of invasions. It was to commemorate one such victory on the battlefield that Vijay Stambh or tower of victory was constructed.
Vijay Stambh is a nine-storied imposing structure within Chittorgarh Fort. This magnificent tower’s height is 37.19 meters and it was built and consecrated by Maharana Kumbha in AD 1448. This tower was built to commemorate Maharana Kumbha’s victory over the combined armies of Malwa and Gujarat led by Mahmud Khilji.
The interior staircase winds alternately through the central chamber and adjoining gallery. The inscribed slabs, on the uppermost floor of the tower, contain the genealogy of the rulers of Chittor from Hamir to Rana Kumbha.
The portraits of the architect of this magnificent viz. Sutradhar Jaita and his three sons Napa, Puja, and Poma are carved on the 5th floor of the tower.
One has to climb 157 steps to reach the top of the tower. I was told, that the view of the city looks quite mesmerizing from the top. Sadly when we visited this place, we were not allowed to climb the tower. I think due to covid restrictions the authorities were not allowing people to go to the top of the tower. Hence we had to be satisfied by taking pictures of the exterior of the Vijay Stambh.
Standing at the Vijay Stamb, just next to it we see a huge ground.
If you remember how we had an accident in my first blog due to which my wife was not able to move around much. So it was a bhagam bhag kind of situation for me. I again made her sit near the Vijay Stambh and I was running around the whole complex like mad and clicking pictures as fast as I can, Yaad hai na auto walo ne dhamki di thi, Jaldi dekho warna…
The area around the Vijay Stambh is literally littered with an impressive number of remains of the ruins of monuments and temples.
On closer look, we realise that they have been arranged and kept at places, probably to reconstruct in future or it could be possible that ASI could not find all the pieces.
Which included a pair of monumental gateways
and several Florid temples including the superbly decorated Samadhishvara Mahadev temple whose shrine houses an image of the Trimurti a composite three-headed image of Shiva Brahma and Vishnu.
On the way to Gaumukh Kund from victory tower, we see a very old but great temple with unique architecture.
As mentioned above this temple is known as Samadhishvara Mahadev and it’s also called Mokalji’s temple. Originally the temple was built by Raja Bhoj. But Maharana Mokal renovated it again and that’s why it is also called Mokalji’s temple.
Epigraphic evidence suggests that the temple was constructed in the 11th century, and was further restored in the 13th and the 15th centuries.
Samadhishvara Temple is a very beautifully carved temple that has a very large number of carvings on its exterior. Many of these carvings seem to depict battle scenes or stories.
In case if you wish to know more, please click on this link Samadhishvara Temple ( Source Wikipedia)
Whenever I see such interesting carvings and idols I feel helpless as to why I did not acquire knowledge of Indology. Per kya kare, Ab life choti si..dekhana-seekhna bahut kuch hai…kaise hoga
Just next to the temple some stairs go down toward a water reservoir, These steps lead you to Gaumukh Reservoir/Gaumukh Kund.
The Gaumukh Reservoir is one of the eighty-four water bodies of the fort which is filled with water to this day. The nomenclature refers to the cow-shaped mouth which serves water to the reservoir. The Gaumukh Kund is admired by the visitors as the ‘Tirth Raj’ of Chittorgarh. It is believed that after touring various holy places in India, Hindus need to visit the Gaumukh Kund in Chittorgarh to complete their holy journey.
Water incessantly flows from the cow-shaped mouth into the Kund or the reservoir. The Kund is considered to be a natural spring. The origin of the water is possibly an aquifer. As per hydrogeology, at some places beneath the surface of the earth, layers of permeable rocks, sand, and silt can have water reserve. This stored water creeping out into the surface of the earth results in the formation of aquifers.
A Shivling and an icon of Goddess Lakshmi adorn the base of the Gaumukh where the water falls. Numerous fishes dwell in this reservoir. During the three famous sieges when the enemy troops cut down the essential supplies to the Chittorgarh Fort, The Gaumukh Reservoir served water to the inhabitants for days together.
The reservoir can be located near the Samadhishvara Temple inside the Chittorgarh Fort. It is advised to be cautious of the steep staircases of the reservoir.
After taking pictures I came out of this complex. The temperature was shooting up very high so we quenched our thirst with nimbu pani and boarded our auto to move to the next destination Rani Padmavati Palace. Stay tuned till then.
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