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Chittorgarh Jain temples

  Location:

Chittorgarh (Rajasthan) is connected by rail and road from Ajmer; Udaipur; Ratlam and Delhi. The nearest railway station of Chittorgarh is at a distance of 7 kms. from the temple and 4 kilometers from the Dharmshala.

Chittor is one of the oldest cities in Rajasthan, and Bappa Rawal is credited with establishing the city of Chittor in early 8th century. Chittorgarh is always remembered by its Rajput chivalry. Rana Khumba, Padmini, Meera, are immortal figures belongs to Chittorgarh. The famous Chittorgarh fort previously called by the name Madhyamika Chittorgarh is on a 280 hectare site on the top of a 180-metre-high hill, which rises abruptly from the surrounding plain. There are many palaces within the fort like Rana Kumbha Palace, Fateh Prakash Palace, two towers known as the 'Kirti Stambh' (Tower of Fame) and the 'Vijay Stambh' (Tower of Victory), Padmini's Palace, several temples, reservoirs, and palaces originating between the 9th and 17th centuries AD. There is also a big complex of Jain temples within the fort.The Satbis (27) Deora, Vijaystambh, Kirtistambh and Digambar Jain Mandir, Meerabai temples found inside the fort are very important. Chittorgarh is also the birthplace of Acharya Haribhandrasurishvarji.

      Chittorgarh fort

     Chittorgarh Fort

  Jain Temples:

;The temple of Bhagawan Mahavira was built here in the year 1167 of the Vikram era. The temple of Bhagawan Parshvanath was built in the year 1322 of the Vikram era. The King's advisor built many Jain temples during the period of King Mokal. The Tirthamala composed between the years 1563 and 1566 of the Vikram era, states that there were 32 temples of different gachchhas. The Digamabar Jain Kirtistambh is one among them. The seven-storied Kirtistambh was one among them. The seven-storied Kirtistambh was built in the fourteenth century in memories of Bhagawan Adinatha. At present we can find six temples on the fort of Chittor.

The largest and chief among them is the temple of Bhagawan Adinatha with fifty-two devkulikas. The place of this temple is known as ‘Sattavish devri’. It means that at some time in the past, there were twenty-seven temples here. In Rampol Street of the village on the fort, there are temples of Bhagawan Mahavir Swami and of Bhagawan Shantinath in the same compound.

Many great Rajput kings and their Jain advisors  patronized Jainism. The artistic Jain Kirtistambh built in the fourteenth century even today reminds us of the glorious history of Jains. The sixteenth renovation of Mt. Shetrunjaya was accomplished in the year 1587 of the Vikram era and the renovator belongs to this place. The place of Bhamashah, the great donor and Maharana Pratap’s treasure is also of this place.

There are five other temples in the fort. The temple of Bhagawan Shantinath is small but rich with artistic skill of a high quality. It is called Shrungal Choki. Near the Gaumukhi Kund (stepped pond), there is a temple of Bhagawan Parshvanath with four mouths. Besides the the temple of Mirabai and Samidheshvar are very delightful. Below the fort, near the gateway to the village there is Smrtuimandir of Haribhadrasurishvarji.

     

   Digamabar Jain Kirtistambh

      Chittor Temple
   

  Brief History of Chittor:

Bappa Rawal established Chittor in early 8th century. In 1290 AD Alauddin Khilji the Turk ruler of Delhi heard about Rani Padmini, the queen of Chittor and the wife of Ratan Singh. She was most beuitiful women at that time.He wanted to marry Padmini but no Rajput would tolerate that. When Khilji met with a refusal he laid siege to Chittor in 1290AD, but he was defeated by brave rajputs. In 1303 AD Alauddin Khilji besieged Chittor again. As the final assault on Alauddin Khilji's forces was being put into action, the women of Chittor including Padmini entered a subterranean chamber and immolated themselves in one of the largest jauhars in the history of India. Hamir and Khaitsi, Hamir’s son, Rathores ruled the Chittor long time.

By 1496 Mewar had shaken off the spell of Muslim rule and had taken the Sultan of Delhi captive in a battle on the plains of Malwa by Rana Khumba, that valiant Rajput who built a total of 32 out of the 84 forts erected to defend Mewar. The great Rajput Rana Sanga the ruler of mewar was defeted by Mughal Empror Babur in 1528. Bahadur Shah, the Sultan of Gujarat, attacked on Chittor in 1532. Bahadur Shah entered Chittor, but all he found was death all around.

32,000 Rajputs had died.From Chittor a rakhi was despatched by queen Karnavati to the Emperor of Hindustan, Humayun. Humayun responded immediately and set out from Bengal. But the distance was too great, and by the time he approached Chittor had fallen. Humayun was true to the power of the rakhi and it is believed that he felt honored that a Rajput queen had chosen him as a brother.

In Chittor nurse Panna sacrifice will also be remebered to protect child prince Udaisigh from cruel hands of Banbir. According to chronicles in Akbar’s time, there was just one attack on Chittor by Mughal forces.

Another jauhar was prepared, and as the women lept into the raging flames their husbands, nephews, uncles and fathers rode out in the saffron robes which heralded death in battle. 32,000 Rajputs had been killed, and 13,000 of their women had chosen death by fire. The Mughal army had incurred losses too, and Akbar was furious that the siege had taken so long (October 20, 1567 to February 23, 1568) and had resulted in the deaths of so many. He had the gates to Chittor removed and taken to Delhi along with two massive nagaras (drums) used to announce the departure and arrival of Chittor  princes. A huge candelabra from the Kallika Mata temple was also removed and taken to Agra. Chittor was razed to the ground so much so that two centuries later it became the haunt of wild animals. After Chittor fell, other Rajput rulers submitted to Mughal rule.

                                                                            

  

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