The Blue City
From Haldighati our car went towards Chittod – a Fort. We saw the fort well before we reached it and it stood right there on the the top of Aravalli which our car had to climb. The fort is so big that you cannot think of moving around without a car. There are large buildings built for all the varied reasons. The Queen had a special building in the middle of a small lake – fondly called Water Palace and there were large structures built as a remembrance of the victories..
It is a huge fort with large gates for its entrance. These gates are named after Hindu Gods and Goddesses and are called as Pol. You are mesmerized at the size of the fort which now is home to some people, school to some children and a relic for the tourists. Despite being an age old fort it is well maintained. There is a huge ground in the center of the main fort and it instantly left me with the feeling that I should own this place. The main fort had huge rooms now converted to a museum kind of thing.The fort carried with it many famous story: The story of Mirabai, Maharana Pratap’s father’s , suicide by many queens among perhaps many others. The famous story of Maharana Pratap’s father is about he being saved by a Dasi who sacrificed her son instead and that of Mirabai who was saved many times from poisoning by her inlaws as she was going against the custom of Royal family by sitting around with beggers and singing Krishna’s bhakti geet.
There are atleast 138 temples built in the fort. Of Mira, Kali, Garuda, etc. Huge structures like Kirti Stumbha, Vijay Stambha are also built around – signifying the victory. There are many Gardens which are used by photographers to lure the tourists to get their snaps in Rajasthani dress. The famous Johar place is another tourist spot where many Ranis killed themselves to save embarassment when the fort was surrendered to the Mughals. The guide showed us all these spots and took us to a shop where we got the famous Udaipur blankets. They claimed that they sell it at a lesser cost than what at Udaipur. We prove him wrong after we buy a couple of blankets from them and one at Udaipur.
The city was made of limestone sometime back and Dad tells us that he had been there to scale the entire place back in college days. It still looks Blue, houses white-washed with a blue tinge, from the top of Gaumukh, a house of large number of fishes who are never used as a fodder.