Temples Of Chittorgarh Fort, Rajasthan

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Chittorgarh Fort Temples
Chittorgarh Fort Temples

Temples of Chittorgarh Fort are all over the fort. I do not recall standing at a place where I could not see Temples of Chittorgarh in the fort. One can only imagine that Temples of Chittorgarh fort must have been an integral part of life here. Before I landed in Chittorgarh the only temple I was keen to see was the Mira Bai temple – for I have heard so much about her Bhakti or devotion. The place where she sang and danced and composed all that beautiful poetry must be very special. However, I discovered that Mira Bai temple was just one of the many Temples of Chittorgarh Fort and each has a story to tell.

There are as many Jain temples and Hindu temples in Chittorgarh. Beyond the heritage precinct of the Chittorgarh Fort, there are living temples where you can see hints of their ancient origin along with their journey through the various eras that they have seen.

Temples of Chittorgarh Fort

Samadishwara Temple.

Gomukh Kund, Chittorgarh Fort
Gomukh Kund

This 11th CE temple dedicated to Shiva in his Trimurti avatar is probably one of the oldest temples in this complex. Standing next to the Gomukh pond this temple has a pyramidal roof that is usually seen in Jain temples. The base of the temple is an inverted lotus. And a human life story is carved on a panel above it. The stone shows the signs of aging and impact of climate over centuries. But the artist’s craftsmanship still shines through the stories carved in stone.

Shiva Murti at Samadishwara Temple, Chittorgarh Fort Temples
Shiva Murti at Samadishwara Temple, Chittorgarh Fort Temples

A unique part of this temple is its giant three-headed idol of Shiva. Thankfully they allow you to take pictures inside this temple. When you stand in the small temple you can feel the antiquity of it with walls showing the signs of age-old devotion. There are yantras and inscriptions on the inner walls of the temple. Again, I wish someone would explain what is written there. I am sure it must be a documentation of the eventful history of the temple.

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There is a small Nandi temple in an open pavilion like all Shiva temples.

There are many big and small temples scattered around this temple mostly in a dilapidated state.

Kumbhaswami Temple.

Kumbhaswami Temple, Chittorgarh Fort Temples
Kumbhaswami Temple, Chittorgarh Fort Temples

Kumbhaswami is one of the best-preserved Chittorgarh Fort Temples. It is a unique temple dedicated to Boar or the Varaha Avatar of Vishnu. This temple was built sometime in 16th CE.  In a typical North Indian Nagar style of temple architecture with carvings everywhere. The mandapa of the temple has a pyramidical roof. While Garbh Griha has a tall Shikhara. There is a pradakshina path or circumambulatory path that goes around the sanctum. All the walls of this are also intricately carved.

Varaha Avatar Idol at Temples of Chittorgarh Fort
Varaha Avatar Idol

The image of Varaha can only be seen at the back of the Garbhagriha. As a new image of Krishna & Balaram has been placed in the main sanctum, which is decorated with colorful clothes in a very contemporary way.

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An interesting feature of this temple is a Garuda Mandapa in front of the temple. Now we usually see a Nandi Mandapa in front of Shiva temples. Sometimes we do see a Garuda Dhwaja in front of Vishnu temples. But I do not recall seeing a proper Garuda mandapa anywhere else.

Mira Bai Temple.

Mira Bai temple, Chittorgarh Fort Temples
Mira Bai temple, Chittorgarh Fort Temples

Mira Bai’s temple is a rather small temple located in one corner of the Kumbhaswami temple complex. It has a large contemporary image of Mira Bai in her trademark saffron Sari. Holding ektara in hand and lost in the Bhakti of Krishna. We have heard so much about Mira Bai and her devotion for Krishna.  Her singing and dancing in the temples that when you see this temple, you are a bit disappointed. This temple looks too small for it. I reconciled that this may have been a temple meant only for Mira Bai and her Bhakti. And may be she just sang and danced for herself here.

Mira Bai & Krishna at Chittorgarh Fort
Mira Bai & Krishna

I sat at the temple, listening to the Mira Bai’s bhajans being played. Observed the Pujari interacting with the visitors – honestly, I did not get the vibes of devotion. I did not feel the presence of Mira Bai there. The only image of devotion was an old woman sitting on the stairs and singing songs in the hope of getting some tip.

Opposite the temple is a cenotaph dedicated to her Guru. I could not gather anything more about who this Guru was.

Saatbees Jain Temple.

Saatbees Jain Temple, Chittorgarh Fort Temples
Saatbees Jain Temple, Chittorgarh Fort Temples

Bang opposite the Kumbhaswami temple is the Saatbees Jain temple. If you are curious about the name, Saatbees means 27 and it refers to the 27 mini temples that exist inside this one single temple. Similar to Ranakpur Jain temple but 200 years older than that. This is a temple which is dedicated to all the teerthankeras of Jains.

Carved Silver Door at Saatbees Jain Temple Chittorgarh Fort
Carved Silver Door at Saatbees Jain Temple

There is one temple in the center and all other 26 temples are on three sides of this temple. Each has a profusely carved silver door. I looked at few doors intently and found mostly auspicious symbols. And the symbol of that particular teerthanker carved on the door. Inside the temple was a small or mid sized idol of the teerthanker and nothing else. The circular ceiling of the main temple is so intricately carved that you can get lost in it. There are dancing girl brackets on the ceiling that rises up like a pyramid.

Carved Ceiling of SaatBees Jain Temple Chittorgarh Fort
Carved Ceiling of SaatBees Jain Temple

Two smaller temples exist at the back of this main temple. What I like about this temple is the series of Shikharas that you see on the temple instead of a single shikhara in most temples. It is also one of the cleanest temples I have seen, not a speck of dust. It was such a pleasure to walk barefoot in the temple premises.

You are allowed to take pictures in this temple except that of the idols.

Villages and Temples of Chittorgarh Fort.

Village House inside Chittorgarh Fort
Village House inside Chittorgarh Fort

From the heritage area, I started walking towards the village. I passed by Nagina Bazaar and Moti Bazaar – small shop like structures and the rest of it, you have to imagine. What I gathered while walking through this area is that this must have been a buffer area between the royal quarters and the villages where the general public lived. These markets may have been a common meeting point for both of them. And must have catered to the day to day needs of both the royals and their subjects.

Janaki Temple, Chittorgarh Fort Temples
Janaki Temple, Chittorgarh Fort Temples

I walked through the narrow lanes of the village. Visited a few temples that are still managed by the Brahmin families. These small temples show the signs of continued living. Though in some of them I saw Shikhara replaced by a Dome. No one could answer how that happened. But I guess that it may have been done during the repairs. Or during the times when fort fell to Islamic rulers, people may have replaced Shikharas with domes to protect the temples. On the walls, I could see fresh paintings – both outside the houses and outside the temples.

Carvings on Temple Walls Chittorgarh Fort
Carvings on Temple Walls

Saas-Bahu Mandir.

At one place two temples stood bang opposite each other and were called Saas-Bahu Mandir. The specialty was that you could see both the temples from either of them. There was another set of two temples dedicated to Durga and Annapurna avatar of Devi. I had a lovely conversation with the women managing the temple. They were not really bothered about the antiquity of the temple and only knew that these temples have always been there.

What mattered to them was the fact that the temple rituals are followed. And that the deity whom they referred as ‘Ma’ or simply mother. They firmly believed that the goddess will take care of their lives. One would ensure they always have food on their plate. While the other one will protect them from the danger of any kind. This conversation made my attempts to interpret the iconographies and date the temples so futile. It is the faith of the devotee that makes a temple or even its deity powerful.

Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple.

Rataneshwar Mahadev Temple, Temples of Chittorgarh Fort
Ratneshwar Mahadev Temple, Temples of Chittorgarh Fort

Near the Ratan Singh Palace I saw a small but beautiful Ratneshwar Mahadev temple. Next to a pond with lovely carvings. Near Ram pol I saw a Janaki temple – and tried recalling how many temples have I seen dedicated to Sita. All I could recall was Panchvati in Nasik. In the park opposite the Kumbha Palace, I saw many small temples with domes. All these temples were locked. So I could admire only the sculpted outer walls.

Annapurna Temple, Temples of Chittorgarh Fort
Annapurna Temple, Temples of Chittorgarh Fort

While visiting all these temples of Chittorgarh Fort, I did miss the Kalika Devi temple. That was a Sun temple once upon a time. But somewhere down the line got re-aligned to the divine feminine.

Chittorgarh Fort is like a small temple town. Temples dedicated to almost all major Hindu deities. India never ceases to amaze me.

Recommend you to read about more Tourist destination Forts & Temples of Rajasthan, that I have visited and blogged on IndiTales.

  1. Kumbhalgarh Fort with an unwinding wall.
  2. Chittorgarh Fort – stories of courage, devotion & sacrifice.
  3. Chitrashala – Miniature Paintings, Bundi School of Art.
  4. Haunted Trails through the abandoned cursed villages of Jaisalmer.
  5. Walking around the Jaisalmer Fort.
  6. Royal Cenotaphs @ Bada Bagh, Jaisalmer.
  7. The Deceptive Palace at Deeg.
  8. Little gem of Rajasthan – Alwar.
  9. Surprise discoveries at Ajmer.
  10. Pushkar and its mysteries.
  11. Jain temple at Ranakpur.
  12. Neemrana Fort and Palace.
  13. Roaming in the Royal city of Udaipur.
  14. Culinary delights at Tijara.

15 COMMENTS

  1. Just posted on another Fort from the same Sisodia dynasty today 🙂 Lovely capture of the temples. The carved ceiling of Saatbees temple seems to be the trademark design of the Rajputs. I found similar ones across Cenotaphs and temples in Rajasthan.

  2. Chittorgarh fort is very big and it has so many things to visit. I really enjoyed your post. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

  3. Beautiful pictures of Chittorgarh temple. It really eye catching and very informative blog for explorer and all. Rajasthan has also very fine heritage for heritage lovers.

  4. I too went to the Chittorgarh Fort with the specific intention to see the Mirabai Temple. Mine was a different experience in that by seeing Sri Krishna who resides there I could understand why and how Mirabai gave up everything for Him…..the older lady was there when I went in 2011 too, chanting……It made me think that I would like to come back again with some of my friends and have a kirtan there….I will I hope….I also visited the other Temples, but had to come back once again to the Mirabai Temple before I left….BTW….I was just thinking how I would like to see a female photographer’s pictures and there you appeared 🙂

  5. We were compiling what all to visit in Chittorgarh on our trip to Rajasthan a couple of months down the line…now we are pretty sure 🙂 Beautiful pictures and very informative writeup, particularly for people who are planning on a trip to Chittorgarh

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