The mighty fortress Chitor

Trip Start Dec 27, 2016
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8
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Trip End Jan 18, 2017


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Flag of India  , Rajasthan,
Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Leaving our romantic Castle, which was a bit too eccentric for some, we drove back along country lanes to The city of Chittorgah, dominated by the massive Hindu fortress Chitor on the rocky outcrop above. The second biggest Fort in India, its walls are 18 kms around. In the Middle Ages it was the key to Rajasthan, and despite its commanding position and apparent impregnability, capturing it was a major priority of any ruler hoping to hold north India. Three times it fell, the third time to The Muslim Emperor Akbar in 1568. Each time either the ruling prince or his heir was smuggled to safety to raise the standard anew. Each time the Hindu princes of Mewar rode out to do or die, and each time the women of the royal line self-immolated rather than face dishonour. It epitomises the romance and futility of Rajput honour and valour, immortalised in Rajasthani folk songs and ballads.

We ascended the path up to this evocative ruin in tuk tuks. Our guide today was a lovely young woman who spoke excellent clear English. Although she is a Hindu, she said that she had been educated at a catholic school! She said that her husband was part of the local ruling family, and that she had chosen him from 12 photos of prospective husbands. We understand that she is the only woman tourist guide who takes English-speaking tours in India (or was it in Rajasthan?)

We finished our tour with a walk (more of a scramble) along part of the ramparts.

After the final fall of Chitor in 1568, Rana Udai Singh II of Mewar founded a new capital which he named after himself - Udaipur. We drove there, arriving in time for late lunch. Udaipur is our favourite city so far. Busy, but cleaner than others, among forested mountains and set around lovely lakes, clearly visible in much cleaner air. We took a boat out to an island Palace in Lake Pichola for lunch - a lovely spot, and a huge lunch. Three of us decided to share a bottle of Jacob's Creek Chardonnay Which cost us $20 each! Beer is much cheaper - might stick to it from now on.

On the way back in our boat we went on a bit of a lake cruise, and can see why some call Udaipur "The Venice of the East" - at least some vistas from the Lake itself, passing the enormous City Palace, bring to mind the palaces along the Grand Canal.

A short drive took us up to our 5 star hotel, very posh and with sweeping views from my room over the lake. As we're here for two nights I took the chance to do washing. Most of us weren't up to dinner. I only had soup, and three of us didn't come down at all. It seems a shame to be alone in such huge rooms but very comfortable.
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Comments

Janet on

Enjoying the photos of the hotels you are staying in as well as the local sights. All look fabulous!

travellingsue
travellingsue on

Yes, they're all great!

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