Tales of Jauhar in Chittorgarh

Trip Start Dec 01, 1992
Trip End Jun 01, 1993

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Flag of India  , Rajasthan,
Friday, April 2, 1993

We went on a minibus tour, to see the fort on the hill which Chittorgarh was famous for.
Three times in history the fort had been defeated by Moslems and each time jauhar had been resorted to, in which all the women and children immolated themselves in the fire while the men put on orange robes and rode out to their deaths.
There was so much to see up on the hill, firstly the ruins of an old palace where in a subterranean passage the beautiful Padmini had committed jauhar.
A Jain temple had been taken over by blackfaced langur monkeys, and there were other temples close by, one to Varaha, the boar incarnation of Vishnu, and one to Mirabai, a princess of Chittoor, whom I admired for her deep devotion to Krishna.

Jai and Andy climbed a high tower that commemorated a past battle victory, while I explored around about. I was sitting on a lawn when some Indian lads came over to talk to me. One of them, Amman from Jammu, wanted an English girl to write to though I couldn't think of anyone to set him up with.
After looking around the Sammideshwara Shiva temple, we bussed onwards to a Kali temple, the only one where pujari's were not trying to sell guide books and postcards that were laid before their deities.
Padmini's Palace was attractively sited on a small lake. It was there that the brutal Aladdin saw her beautiful reflection and became obsessed with her. He decided that he must possess her, hence his attack on the fort, the result of which she had committed jauhar to protect her honour. I don't think one can fail to be moved by this story.
Lastly, we stopped at one of the old gates to see the view and visited one more victory tower.
On our tour there was a rather large family from Delhi, the granny of whom kept holding Jai's hand and getting him to come running with her.

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