Chittor Fort

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Akbar shoots Jaimal at the siege of Chitor.jpg

The Chittor Fort or Chittorgarh is one of the largest forts in India. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The fort was the capital of Mewar and is located in the present-day town of Chittorgarh.


  • Tod’s account of the fall of Chitor, one of the Rajput capitals, is as romantic as any legend of Arthur or Charlemagne; and indeed (since it is based solely upon native historians too faithful to their fatherland to be in love with truth) these marvelous Annals of Rajasthan may be as legendary as Le Morte d’Arthur or Le Chanson de Roland. In this version the Mohammedan invader, Alau-d-din, wanted not Chitor but the princess Pudmini—“a title bestowed only on the superlatively fair.” The Moslem chieftain proposed to raise the siege if the regent of Chitor would surrender the princess. Being refused, Alau-d-din agreed to withdraw if he were allowed to see Pudmini. Finally he consented to depart if he might see Pudmini in à mirror; but this too was denied him. Instead, the women of Chitor joined in defending their city; and when the Rajputs saw their wives and daughters dying beside them they fought until every man of them was dead. When Alau-d-din entered the capital he found no sign of human life within its gates; all the males had died in battle, and their wives, in the awful rite known as the Johur, had burned themselves to death.
  • “…The emperor prayed to the Almighty in the month of Ramzan/March of the same year saying ‘O Allah thou should come to the help of the army of Muslims.’ He further desired that the army should launch a sudden attack on the fort from all sides. The army came up like a huge pack of pigeons and, entered the fort by slaughtering those soldiers, who were guarding its gate. They pierced a group of the enemy by their arrows and killed them. Then they scaled the wall of the fort with much courage and jumped into it. Naturally the fire of battle blazed forth…
    “Thus the emperor became the owner of the flag of battle, i.e. victorious and the rebels (Kafirs) became the prey of arrows. The breeze of the grace of Allah began to blow. The heart of enemy began to wreathe in pain. By the time of prayer the full volume of sound was blown and delivered the final attack on the Satans. Realizing their helpless condition that wretched race began to slaughter their women and children with their own hands, and set fire to them, reducing (them) to ashes.
    “Despite all, there was only one victorious army and the vanquished one were thousands. In short, many of the misguided persons were killed by swords. The number of the dead was about thirty thousand.
    “As a result of this victory, most of the persons of the army became rich, and under the emperor’s government (or in his kingdom) they became men of substance. Everyone achieved the desired object. Everybody got in his army his cherished ambition. Men of sport enjoyed the beautiful ladies. Those who were covetous of hoarding property, benefited themselves fully. Every one was very happy over the success and every soul got a fresh lease of life by this triumph...
    “If proper attention is to be paid to understand the exceptional qualities and graces of the character of His Majesty, then it would become clear that the feelings and mind inside and outside are the mirror of Divine injunctions because on that day an extraordinary effect appeared from the limbs and organs of his body which is beyond comprehension. His pure heart and noble mind were turned inwards and in consequence of this purity he made a pilgrimage to the tomb of Qutb-ul-Qutabi Khwaja Muinuddin Chishti in his dream and he paid full attention and due reverence to that paradise like tomb. On Sunday, 26th of Ramazan/15th March, of the aforesaid year he went for the pilgrimage. He stayed there for ten days and then left for Agra.”
    • About Akbar's conquest of Chittor Fort. TArIkh-i-Akbari of Muhammad Arif Qandhari, translated into English by Tanseem Ahmad, Delhi, 1993, pp.149-51. Quoted in S.R.Goel, The Calcutta Quran Petition (1999) ISBN 9788185990583
  • The Hindu architects produced buildings incomparably more rich and interesting as works of art. I have not visited Southern India, where, it is said, the finest specimen of Hindu architecture are to be found. But I have seen enough of the art in Rajputana to convince me of its enormous superiority to any work of the Mohammedans. The temples at Chitor, for example, are specimens of true classicism.
    • Aldous Huxley, (1969). Jesting Pilate. The diary of a journey. quoted in : On Hinduism Reviews and Reflections - By Ram Swarup p.161-165
  • The fort of Chitor is larger than that of Jodhpur and therefore less spectacular. The Jodhpur fort is perched on the summit of what is almost a crag. The hill on which Chitor is built is probably as high, but it seems much lower, owing to its great length; it is a ridge, not a pinnacle of rock. And the buildings, which, at Jodhpur, are crowded into a single imposing pile, are scattered at wide intervals over the space enclosed within the circuit of the walls of Chitor. Jodhpur is wildly picturesque, like something out of a Dore picture-book. Examined at close quarters, however, it is not particularly interesting. From a distance, Chitor is less imposing; but climb up to it, and you will find it full of magnificent buildings — temples among the finest in Upper India, great ruined palaces, towers fantastically carved from base to summit. None of these buildings is much more than five hundred years old ; but time has dealt hardly with them. The soft stone of which they are built has crumbled away under the rain and sun and wind. The sharp edges have become blunt, the innumerable sculptures are blurred and defaced. The splendours of Hindu art are only dimly seen, as though through an intervening mist, or with myopic and unspectacled eyes.
    • Aldous Huxley, (1969). Jesting Pilate. The diary of a journey.
  • “After he had crossed the river Bhîm, he started laying waste the country and capturing its people by sending expeditions towards Chittor everyday. He started constructing mosques after demolishing temples. He stayed 2-3 days at every halt.”
    • Tabqãt-i-Akharî by Nizamuddin Ahmad. Sultãn Mahmûd Khaljî of Malwa (AD 1436-1469) Chittaurgarh (Rajasthan)
  • After the conquest of Chittor in 1303, Alladin "constructed a congregational mosque. There was a temple lying in ruins." In Biana there is the Ukha mosque belonging to the Khalji period. Many mosques were built during Alauddin's invasion of the South. Farishtah claims that a mosque was built as far away as at Rameshwaram and called Masid-i-Alai and that it was in existence when Farishtah lived.137 The above examples clearly show that as per the dictates of the Quran and the injunctions of the Hadis and the Sunnah, mosques in India too were built on the sites of the idol temples and with the materials obtained from razing the shrines. ....
    • Lal, K. S. (1999). Theory and practice of Muslim state in India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 3 quoting Epigraphia Indica
  • On Monday, the 22nd February [1680]/1st Safar the Emperor went to view Chitor; by his order sixty-three temples of the place were destroyed.
    • Aurangzeb. Saqi Mustad Khan, Maasir-i-Alamgiri, translated and annotated by Jadunath Sarkar, Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal, Calcutta, 1947, reprinted by Oriental Books Reprint Corporation, Delhi, 1986. quoted in Shourie, Arun (2014). Eminent historians: Their technology, their line, their fraud. Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India : HarperCollins Publishers.
    • Different translation: ‘On 22 February the Emperor went to look at Chitor, and by his order the 63 temples of the place were destroyed.’
      10 August 1680: ‘Abu Turab returned to Court and reported that he had pulled down 66 temples in Amber’. (Akhbarat. Jadunath Sarkar, History of Aurangzib, Volume III, Orient Longman, New Delhi, 1972 reprint, pp. 185–89., quoted from Shourie, Arun (2014). Eminent historians: Their technology, their line, their fraud. Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India : HarperCollins Publishers.)
  • “No place on earth,” says Count Keyserling about Chitor, “has been the scene of equal heroism, knightliness, or an equally noble readiness to die.”

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