The ancient inscriptions in the Pali Buddhist character have been discovered in various parts of Rajasthan of the race of Taxak or Tak, relating to the tribe Mori and Parmara are their descendants. Taxak Mori was the lord of Chittor from very early period.
The Huna Kingdom of Sialkot (of Mihir Kula 515-540 AD), destroyed by Yashodharman, was subsequently seized by a new dynasty of kshatriyas called Tak or Taxaka. The Taxak Mori as being lords of Chittor from very early period and few generations after the Guhilots supplanted the Moris. From 725 to 735, there were numerous defenders who appear to have considered the cause of Chittor their own the Tak from Asirgarh. This race appears to have retained possession of Asirgarh for at least two centuries after this event as its chieftain was one of
the most conspicuous leaders in the array of Prithvi Raj. In the poems
of Chandar he is called the "Standard, bearer, Tak of Asir."
Chittorgarh is the epitome of Rajput (Indian warrior caste) pride, romance and spirit for people of Chittor
always chose death before surrendering against anyone. It reverberates
with history of heroism and sacrifice that is evident from the tales
still sung by the bards of Rajasthan. Though it can now be called a
ruined citadel there is much more to this huge fort. It is a symbol of
all that was brave, true and noble in the glorious Rajput tradition.
Historically, it is considered that Chittor was built by the Maurya
dynasty in the 7th century AD. It was then named Chitrakut after Chitrangada Mori,
a Rajput chieftain as inscribed on ancient Mewari coins. The fort is
surrounded by a circular wall which has seven huge gates before one can
enter inside the main fort area. Some accounts say that the Mori dynasty was in possession of the fort when Bappa Rawal the founder of the kingdom of Mewar seized Chittor garh (Chittor fort) and made it his capital in 734 AD. While some other
accounts say Bappa Rawal received it as a part of the dowry after
marriage with the last Solanki princess. After that date his
descendants ruled Mewar, which stretched from Gujarat to Ajmer, until
the 16th century. Chittor was one of the most contested seats of power
in India with probably some of the most glorious battles being fought
over its possession. It is famous in the annals of the Mewar Dynasty as
its first capital (prior to this, the Guhilots, forerunners of the
Mewar Dynasty, ruled from Idar, Bhomat, and Nagda), and renowned in
India's long struggle for freedom. By tradition, it remained the Mewar
capital for 834 years. With only brief interruptions, the fort has
always remained in possession of the Sisodias of the Guhilot (or
Gehlot/Guhila) clan of Rajputs, who descended from Bappa Rawal.
The first attack was by Alauddin Khilji in 1303 AD, who was
enamoured by the beauty of Padmini of which he had only heard. Rani
Padmini preferred death to abduction and dishonour and committed jauhar
(an act of self immolation by leaping into a large fire) along with all
the other ladies of the fort. All the men left the fort in saffron robes to fight the enemy unto death. Chittorgarh was captured in 1303 AD by Ala ud din Khilji, Sultan of Delhi who led a huge army. Elderly people then had the responsibility to raise the children. It was recaptured in 1326 by the young Hammir Singh, a scion of the same Gehlot clan. The dynasty (and clan) fathered by him came to be known by the name Sisodia after the village where he was born.
By the 16th century, Mewar had become the leading Rajput state. Rana Sanga of Mewar led the combined Rajput forces against the Mughal emperor Babur in 1527, but was defeated at the Battle of Khanua.
Later in 1535 Bahadur Shah, the Sultan of Gujarat besieged the fort
causing immense carnage. It is said that again just like in the case of
Jauhar led by Padmini in 1303, all 32,000 men then living in the fort
donned the saffron robes of martyrdom and rode out to face certain
death in the war, and their women folk committed Jauhar led by Rani
Karnawati. The ultimate sacrifice for freedom, Jauhar was again
performed for the third time after the Mughal Emperor Akbar captured Chittorgarh in 1568. The capital was moved west to Udaipur, in the foothills of the Aravalli Range, where Rana Udai Singh II (the young heir apparent) had established a residence in 1559. Udaipur remained the capital of Mewar until it acceded unto the union of India in 1947, and Chittorgarh gradually lost its political importance.
Chittorgarh is also famous for its association with two very widely known historical figures of India. The first is, Meera Bai the most famous female Hindu spiritual poetess whose compositions are
still popular throughout North India. Her poems follow the Bhakti tradition and she is considered to be most passionate worshipper of lord Krishna.
Folklore says that her love for Krishna was epitomized by her final
disappearance in the temple of Krishna in Dwarka. She is believed to
have entered the sanctum of the temple in a state of singing ecstasy
after which the sanctum doors are believed to have closed on their own
and when later opened, the sari of Mirabai was seen enwrapped around
the idol of Lord Krishna, symbolizing the culmination of her union with
The second equally famous person is Maharana Pratap, son of Rana Udai Singh II who is regarded as a personification of the values Rajputs cherish and die for. He took an oath to spend his life living in the
jungles and fighting until he could realize his dream of reconquering
Chittorgarh from Akbar (and thus reclaiming the glory of Mewar). It was
the dream greatly cherished by Maharana Pratap, and he spent all his
life to achieve this goal. He underwent hardships and a life of eating
breads made of grass while fighting his lifelong battle. Maharana
Pratap is the greatest hero in the eyes of the Raputs of Mewar. In the
absolute dark era of Rajput history, Maharana Pratap alone stood firmly
for his honour and dignity, never compromising his honour for safety.
With the reputation of a brave man with great character even among his
enemies, he died free in 1597.
Chittorgarh remains replete with historic associations and holds a very special place in the hearts of Rajputs, as it was a bastion of the clan at a time when every other stronghold had succumbed to invasion. It is often called as the "Bhakti aur Shakti ki nagari" (land of devotion and strength). The fort and the city of Chittorgarh also hosts the biggest Rajput festival "Jauhar Mela". It takes place annually on the anniversary of one of the jauhars,
not the one by Padmini which is most famous. This festival is to
commemorate the bravery of Rajput ancestors and all three Jauhars which
happened at Chittorgarh. A huge number of Rajputs which include the
descendants of most of the princely families do a procession to
celebrate the Jauhar.
The fort at Chittorgarh also contains the ancient and beautiful temple to Goddess Kali called the Kalika Mata Temple.