Chittor was ravaged thrice- first in 1303, second in 1535, and third in 1567. This oldest fort thrice witnessed the Rajput ritual of Jauhar (the mass suicide of women by fire, before their men plunged into a battle that they had no chance of winning). The fort dates to the 7th century and was the capital of Mewar in the 15th and 16th centuries.
High above the modern town of Chittor, 3 miles of walls encircle the ruined citadel, its palaces, towers, and temples abandoned since Akbar’s siege in 1567. At almost every turn of the ruined Chittorgarh Fort, tablets and chhatris (cenotaphs) commemorate acts of bravery and courage. Of outstanding interest are the richly carved, 122 feet high Vijay Stambh (victory tower) and 73 feet Kriti Stambh (tower of fame).
The Palace of Rana Kumb inside the Fort, believed to be the place where Padmini took her own life, reflects the fine aesthetic sensibilities of its builder. At the southern end stands Padmini’s Palace in its pool where Alauddin Khalip first had a glimpse of Rajput beauty, Padmini.