Monday, February 10, 2020

Basic data and tourism information on Chittorgarh District of Rajasthan

Chittorgarh District at a Glance
·                     District:                      Chittorgarh
·                     Headquarters:          Chittorgarh
·                     State:                          Rajasthan
Area in Sq Km (Census 2011) 
·                     Total:                          7822
·                     Rural:                         7672
·                     Urban:                       150
Population (Census 2011) 
·                     Population:               1544338
·                     Rural:                         1259074
·                     Urban:                        285264
·                     Male:                          783171
·                     Female:                      761167
·                     Sex Ratio (Females per 1000 males):                     972
·                     Density (Total, Persons per sq km):                        197
Constituencies (ECI) 
·                     Assembly:       5
·                     Lok Sabha:     1
The historic city of Chittorgarh is the administrative headquarters of the district.
The district is divided into a larger western portion and a smaller eastern portion by Neemuch District of Madhya Pradesh. The western portion is bounded by Neemuch, Mandsaur, and Ratlam districts of Madhya Pradesh to the east, and the Rajasthan district of Pratapgarh to the south, Udaipur and Rajsamand to the east, and Bhilwara to the north. The eastern portion is bounded by Bhilwara, Bundi, and Kota districts of Rajasthan to the north and Neemuch District of Madhya Pradesh to the south and west.
In 2006 the Ministry of Panchayati Raj named Chittorgarh one of the country's 250 most backward districts (out of a total of 640). It is one of the twelve districts in Rajasthan currently receiving funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme (BRGF).


Chittorgarh Fort
Chittorgarh fort is the largest forts of the Asian sub-continent and is housed in the city of Chittorgarh.  The fort is also famous by the name of Chittor. It served as the capital of Mewar during ancient times.

Chittorgarh Fort at a glance (Image credit)

The fort is located on a hill-top 180 m above sea level and is spread in an area of 280 hectares. The total height of the fort above sea level is around 609 m.

Side view of Chittorgarh Fort (Image credit)

Guhilots ruled the fort initially but Sisodia clan ruled on the fort after that and ruled the place for more than eight centuries. Akbar attacked and conquered the fort in 1567 AD.
It is the largest fort of the country and is a famous tourist spot.

Vijaya Stambh
At a distance of 600 m from Kumbha Palace and 8 km from Chittorgarh Railway Station, Vijay Stambh is a nine-storey tower located inside the premises of Chittorgarh fort. It was built in order to commemorate the victory of Rajputs over Muslim ruler Allaudin Khilji in 1440 AD. The tower has a height of 37 m. Vijay Stambh is an imposing historical monument and one of the most famous tourist places of the city because of the picturesque view one gets from the top of the tower.

The magnificent Vijaya Stambh was built by Mewar King Maharana Kumbha in 1448 AD to commemorate his victory over the combined armies of Malwa and Gujarat led by Mahmud Khilji. Dedicated to Lord Vishnu, Vijay Stambh is a 9 story tower with a height of 37.19 m. Made with red sand stone and white marble, this tower has a balcony in each stories. An inscription in the uppermost storey giving detailed chronological account of life and achievements of rulers of Chittor was taken up by Rana Kumbha's court scholar Atri and was later completed by his son Mahesh.

Vijay Stambh (Image credit)

Vijay Stambh built in Rajput style is covered with architectural ornaments, images of Gods and Goddesses, seasons, musical instruments and weapons. Intricate sculptures can be seen on the tower depicting the stories from Ramayana and Mahabharata. The tower is a remarkable example of religious pluralism practiced by the Rajputs. The topmost storey features an image of the Jain Goddess, Padmavati. Rana Kumbha also had the word Allah carved in Arabic nine times in the third storey and eight times in the eighth. This tower also has the portrait of Jaita, architect of this tower with his 3 sons - Napa, Puja and Poma in the 5th floor.
There are around 157 narrow steps leading to the terrace where the balconies give a beautiful top angle view of the whole town. When illuminated in the evening, the tower reflects a mesmerizing effect and the view is worth capturing.
Kirti Stambh
At a distance of 800 m from Kumbha Palace and 7.5 km from Chittorgarh Railway Station, Kirti Stambh or the Tower of Fame is an ancient Jain monument situated inside Chittorgarh Fort Complex. The tower is 22 m in height and is a seven-storied tower with sculptures of Adinath.

Kirti Stambh is older than Vijay Stambh and is another attraction for the tourists who visit Chittorgarh. Kirti Stambh is a 12th century tower built by a Jain merchant Jijaji Bhagerwala during the reign of Rawal Kumar Singh. The main purpose behind its commission was to glorify Jainism. This tower is dedicated to Adinath, the first Jain Thirthankara.

Kirti Stambh (Image credit)

Built in Solanki style architecture, it has many columned balconies, latticed arches and intricately carved niches. The tower is embellished with numerous figures of naked Thirthankars indicating that it belonged to the Digambara sect. In the lower storey, images of standing Adinatha are depicted on all the four cardinal directions whereas upper storeys contain hundreds of miniature images of Jain divinities. A number of Jain inscriptions can be found within and outside the tower, dating it to 896 AD.

There is a narrow stairway which leads through the seven storeys to the top. On the top floor there is an observation hall which offers a panoramic view of Chittorgarh city. A large number of followers of Jainism come to the tower to worship Lord Adinath. However this monument is closed for visitors to go inside the monument. One can view it from outside.
Rani Padmini's Palace

Rani Padmini Palace (Image credit)

The Rani Padmini palace was once the residence of the legendary Rani Padmini. Its rich architectural design and association with rich Rajputana heritage makes the place a treat for the tourists. A lotus pond is built in the palace as well which further beautifies the interior of the palace.

Rana Kumbha Palace

Rana Kumbha palace is a heritage monument situated near Vijay Stambh inside the Chittorgarh Fort complex, at a distance of 6 km from Chittorgarh Railway Station. It is one of the top places to visit in Chittorgarh Fort, The palace was rebuilt in the 15th century by Maharana Kumbha, on a ruined palace which was built in 734 AD by Bappa Rawal. He was known for his art and cultural patronages in Rajasthan's Mewar dynasty. It is in this palace that the Rajput King Maharana Kumbha lived his royal life.

According to the legends, the founder of the city of Udaipur, Maharana Udai Singh was born here, and his life was saved by his wet nurse Panna Dhai, who sacrificed her own son and successfully managed to take a young Udai Singh to a safe destination. This place was once the home of the famous bhakti poetess Meerabai. The palace is believed to have underground cellars where Rani Padmini and other women folks in the royal palace performed Jauhar during the attack of Ala-ud-din Khilji in 1303 AD. This is also said that their souls are still haunting this palace.

Rana Kumbha Palace (Image credit)

The Rana Kumbha Palace is a fine specimen of Rajput's architecture. It is a huge structure, built of sandstones, which are not of equal proportions. The palace is raised high from a large basement which is in the shape of a rectangle. The walls are ornamented with artificial battlements and turrets. The remarkable feature of the palace is its splendid series of canopied balconies. The entrance to the palace is through two gateways known as Suraj Pol and Tripolia Gate leading further to Suraj Gokhra, Zanana Mahal, and Kanwarpada-ka-Mahal in the open courtyard.

The palaces of Panna Dhai and Meerabai are situated in the southern part of this palace complex. A grand old temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and stables of horses and elephants are placed nearby. The Nau Lakha Bandar (nine lakh treasury) building, the royal treasury of Chittor was also located close by. Now, across from the palace is a museum and archeological office. The Singa Chowri temple is also nearby.
Shri Sanwariaji Temple

Sanwariya Seth Temple

There is a town in Chittorgarh district named Mandaphia which is located at a distance of around 40 km from Chittorgarh city. It houses the beautiful Sanwariaji temple. The temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna and the idol in the temple is also referred to as Shri Sanwaria Seth, another name for Lord Krishna.

Bassi Wildlife Sanctuary
Bassi Wild Life Sanctuary

Another very famous tourist place for the visitors in Chittorgarh district is the Bassi Wildlife Sanctuary which is located at a distance of 5 km from the main city. The sanctuary is spread across more than 50 sq km and houses species of panthers, antelopes, mongoose, wild boars, etc. There are a lot of species of migratory birds which reside in this sanctuary as well. No one is allowed to enter the sanctuary without the permission of the District Forest Officer.

Menal Mini Khajuraho

Menal is also known as Mini Khajuraho and is famous for its temples. The place also houses beautiful forests and waterfalls. It is located on the Chittorgarh-Bundi Highway and serves as a picnic spot


At a distance of 7.7 km from Chittorgarh Railway Station, Fateh Prakash Palace is situated near Rana Kumbha Palace and close to the Badi Pol inside Chittorgarh Fort Complex.

Fateh Prakash Palace was built by Rana Fateh Singh and has been named after him. This magnificent double storied palace is a grand specimen of modern Indian architecture. This is an edifice with a tower on each of its four corners crowned by domed chhattries. The palace illustrates the maharaja's inclination towards art and is famous for the pillars and corridors. During the year 1968, a big portion of the palace was converted into a public museum.

The museum is divided into sections dedicated to different antiquity such as coins, art, weapons, tribal life and wood crafts of the Bassi village. A large collection of sculptures and majority of the deities is harbored within this museum. Among the sculptures, Lord Ganesh statue from Pangarh is quite attractive and it is said that the statue had been created in the 8th - 9th century. Lord Indra and Jain Ambica statues are also worth seeing and were excavated from the Rashi village.

Fateh Prakash Palace

In this museum, all the weapons and equipment used in the battlegrounds of the Rajputs are displayed in broad details. There are daggers, knives, shields, axes, helmets, costumes and uniforms of soldiers, farsa and few other types of equipment required during war. One can also see some clay replicas of regional tribal clad in their traditional costumes inside the museum. Wood crafts from the local traditional designs and also a number of items from the royal families are found in this museum. Presently it has a large collection of paintings too, disclosing the historical facts attached to the fort.


At a distance of 350 m from Kumbha Palace and 6 km from Chittorgarh Railway Station, Kumbha Shyam Temple is a Hindu temple situated inside Chittorgarh Fort. It is among the popular temples in Chittorgarh Fort Complex and also one of the top places to visit in Chittorgarh.

Kumbha Shyam Temple was built by Rana Kumbha in 1448 AD. The temple is dedicated to Varaha, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. Though there is also a Kali Mata temple and Meerabai Temple in the same premise but the Kumbha Shyam temple is dominating in size. This temple is the place where Meera used to worship Lord Krishna, and Bhakti movement originated at this place.

The temple built in Indo Aryan style presents a compact architecture. The temple has a unique pyramid like roof with a high tower. The temple has an open pradakshinapath, ardha-mandapa, main mandapa, antarala and garbhagriha. The sculptures of various Hindu Gods and Goddesses inside the temple are fascinating. The sculptures of eight rulers of the land are also present in the temple. The image of Garuda stands under the canopy facing the temple.

Kumbha Shyam Temple

Meera Temple, situated in the same complex, was dedicated to bakthi poetess Meerabai. The temple was also constructed during the rule of Maharana Kumbha, the Rajput king. The temple was constructed in the Rajput architecture. The dome of the temple is embellished with a structure of five human bodies with a single head. The human bodies symbolize the four castes of the Hindu religion or the Varnas and the 5th caste of the Harijan. The single head symbolizes the faith in God, who can be equally realized by all. Above the chief sanctum rises the conical roof of the temple.

The sanctum sanctorum of the temple comprises of the paintings of Lord Krishna. Paintings of Meerabai offering prayers to the Lord are also placed in the inner sanctum. The small chhatri found in the temple's forecourt is dedicated to the mentor of Meerabai, Swami Ravidas. He hailed from Varanasi and belonged to the Harijan caste.

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Basic data and tourism information on Churu District of Rajasthan

Churu District at a Glance

·                     District:                      Churu
·                     Headquarters:          Churu
·                     State:                          Rajasthan
Area in Sq Km (Census 2011) 
·                     Total:                          13835
·                     Rural:                         13632
·                     Urban:                        203
Population (Census 2011) 
·                     Population:                2039547
·                     Rural:                         1463312
·                     Urban:                        576235
·                     Male:                          1051446
·                     Female:                      988101
·                     Sex Ratio (Females per 1000 males):                     940
·                     Density (Total, Persons per sq km):                        147
Constituencies (ECI) 
·                     Assembly:       6
·                     Lok Sabha:     1

The town of Churu is the administrative headquarters of the district.
Churu lies in the Jangladesh region of northern Rajasthan and shares boundaries with the Hanumangarh District to the north, the Haryana state to the east, the Jhunjhunun and Sikar districts to the southeast, the Nagaur District to the south, and the Bikaner District to the west.
Literacy among residents is 67.46%.
The major crops include bajra and guar. The major minerals found in the district are copper and gypsum.


Tal Chhappar Sanctuary

The Tal Chhappar sanctuary is located in the Shekhawati region of the state of Rajasthan. The sanctuary is known for its rare blackbuck.

Black buck frolicking

The Tal Chhappar sanctuary is situated at the edge of the Thar desert on the Ratangarh Sujangarh highway.
Geographically, the sanctuary falls in Sujangarh Tehsil of Churu and is an amusement place for the visitors. The sanctuary is at a distance of 85 km from Churu city and at 132 km from Bikaner.

Salasar Balaji Temple

Salasar Balaji

Located in the town of Salasar near Sujangarh, Salasar Balaji is the temple of Lord Hanuman. Fairs are organised every year on Chaitra Poornima and Ashwin Poornima at Salasar Balaji temple. The place also houses Rani Sati temple and Khatu Shyamji temple as well.
Salasar Balaji is also known by the name of Salasar Dham.

Kothari and Surana Havelis

One of Kothari and Surana Haveli

Another spot for the tourists to visit in Churu district is the series of havelis (mansions) which were built by the Kothari and Surana merchants during the rule of their clans in this region. The most famous haveli is the ‘Malji ka Kamra’ which was built by Malji Kothari in 1925 AD when Churu was a part of Bikaner state. It was initially built as a guest house but soon it became an entertainment spot for the artists. The Haveli is built on the famous Italian and Shekhawati architectural designs.
There is a famous Surana brothers’ Double Haveli located in this region as well which was built in 1870 AD. The Double Haveli includes Hawa Mahal which has 1,111 doors and windows and the Bagla Haveli.
Sethani Ka Johara

Sethani ka Johra (The Reservoir of the Wealthy Lady) was built by the wife of Bhagwandas Bagla. Bhagwandas was the first Marwari Shekhawati Crorepati. He was a very wealthy timber merchant and owned several Saw Mills. Bhagwandasji was originally from Churu, Rajasthan. Sethani Ka Johara is some 3 km west by the Ratangarh road, built as a relief project during the terrible ‘Chhappania Akal’, Indian famine of 1899–1900.

Sethani ji ka Johra

The water reservoir attracts birds and mammals such as ‘Nilgai’ (blue bull – a large antelope). The village elders in Churu say that the water in the Johra has never dried up till date.