The massive Chittaurgarh Fortress, in the south of the Indian province of Rajasthan, has for many centuries been the epitome of legendary Rajput heroism. However, the Chittaurgarh Fortress did not enter the history books because of its glorious victories but due to its catastrophic military defeats.
It is believed that Ala-ud-din Khalji, the Sultan of Delhi, along with his mighty army, was the first to lay siege to the Chittaurgarh Fortress. Rather than face defeat in 1303, the men of the fortress, including their families, decided to commit suicide. Thus, the legend of the heroic and superhuman courage of the Rajputs was born. While the men attacked the enemy for the last time, the women chose to kill both themselves and their children by throwing themselves onto the Jauhar, a huge fire.
The many beautiful religious buildings of Chittaurgarh, such as the sensually decorated Meera Temple, are in stark contrast to the brutal history of the fortress.
Despite many battles, some sections of the Kalika Mata Temple have survived to the present day. The sanctuary dates back to the 7th century and is one of the fortress’ oldest buildings.
The legend of the Rajputs, who retained their courage and pride even to the death, lives on.
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