The state of Rajasthan and its seemingly countless cities like Jaipur, Udaipur, Jaisalmer, Jodhpur and more need no introduction to discerning travelers. These places have always had the adulation of tourists and draw millions from all over the world. Now while there is already an overwhelming number of tourist destinations and attractions in Rajasthan, a few still escape the explorers’ eye. Perhaps the best among these is the Tower of Victory or Vijay Stambh in Chittorgarh city.
About Tower of Victory (Vijay Stambh)
The Tower of Victory is perhaps the most unique monument in all of Rajasthan, and one sight of it will undoubtedly evoke ‘wow’ from you. Such is its marvelous design and architecture. The 9-storey tower soars to a height of over 35 meters standing on a square platform, with 14-meter long sides. The Tower of Victory has a base width of just 9 meters. It is located within Chittorgarh Fort, or Chittor Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The best part of the Tower of Victory is undeniably the craftsmanship that adorns the entire edifice. It has withstood the test of time to sweep 21st-century travelers off their feet with its exquisite design.
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About Chittorgarh Fort
One of the largest fortresses in India, Chittorgarh Fort has a storied and fascinating history. The place once served as the capital of the flourishing Mewar kingdom. It sits atop a 180-meter tall hill, sprawling over an area of about 280 hectares or 690 acres. The fort is a massive complex, housing a plethora of buildings such as temples, palaces and memorials. In 2013, Chittorgarh Fort, along with 4 other hill forts in Rajasthan, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, cementing it as a crucial part of history, and architecture.
It is believed to have been built by Chitrangada Mori, a Mori Rajput ruler. There are also several legends associated with the place that only add to its intrigue and mystery. One of these says that Bhima, from the Hindu Epic of Mahabharata, struck ground here and out came a water spring.
But perhaps the most fascinating part of Chittorgarh Fort’s history is that of Alauddin Khalji and Ratnasimha in the early 14th century. The Delhi Sultanate ruler conquered the fort after an eight-month long siege. An event on which the blockbuster movie Padmavat is based. Thus, this is where Rani Padmini is believed to have sacrificed her life in funeral pyre after Rathnasimha’s defeat at the hands of Alauddin Khalji.
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History of the Tower of Victory of Chittorgarh Fort
Vijay Stambh, Jaya Stambha or Tower of Victory, whatever you call it, you will be referring to the symbol of Chittorgarh. It was constructed by Rana Kumbha between 1458 and 1468 for the purpose of commemoration of his victory in 1440 AD over the Sultan of Malwa, Mahmud Shah I Khalji. The over 35-meter tall statue took more than 10 years to build. The exteriors as well as interiors of the tower are intricately carved. Its dome was damaged due to lightning, and was repaired in the 19th century.
Best Time to Visit
If what you just read has compelled you to lay your eyes on the magnificent the Tower of Victory, then you would be pondering about the best time to plan a trip. Much like for any other destination in Rajasthan, you should plan your trip to Chittorgarh Fort in the winter months, between October and March. The summer season in the state tends to be quite hot and humid. As a result, most people avoid planning a holiday from April to June. Also, if you do not want the monsoon to rain on your parade of sightseeing plans, you can avoid a July, August or September trip.
How to Reach
Chittorgarh city, the home of the Tower of Victory, is well connected with other parts of the country by road. Therefore, you can easily travel by road. You may also book train tickets for Chittaurgarh Junction, a railway station not too far from here. Lastly, you can fly to Udaipur International Airport, which is about 100 km away, and cover the rest of the distance by road (taxi or bus).
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