The Victory Tower

The Victory Tower :

Every fort has a story to tell and has seen many ups and downs in its history.

Monuments like forts, palaces, tombs and landmarks of wars and festivals tell us about our past.

Share with your friends anything you know about a monument in your city or neighbouring area.

Read the story and find out what a monument in a fort has to say.

I am the Victory Tower situated in Chittorgarh fort. You can reach me by bus or train; you can see me standing tall on a 500 foot high hillock that is five kilometres long and two kilometers wide. Would you like to see and know about me? Come along!

Chittorgarh fort has seven gateways! The first is Padan Pol. Please enter and walk along its winding path. You will find several monuments, temples and palaces on both sides of the path.

Now look at me! I stand on a 47 square foot platform and rise to a height of 122 feet. It was built by Maharana Kumbha to celebrate his victory over Malwa and Gujarat. That is why the people call me Vijay Stambh or the Victory Tower.

Step back a little, take a good look at me and enjoy my architectural beauty. Climb onto my platform and walk around me. You will get glimpses of scenes from the Puranas, Ramayana and Mahabharata.The masons have carved different incarnations on my walls. They have also carved scenes of different social festivals, seasons and dances. These carvings reflect the culture and lifestyle of Mewar, which is in the southern region of Rajasthan.

Oh! You look quite surprised! Colonel James Tod, too, was amazed when he first saw my architectural beauty. He called me an encyclopedia of Indian sculpture. Another famous visitor was the historian, James Fergusson, who compared me to the Trojan Tower in Rome.

But don't be so amazed by my excellent facade. The magic you see is the imagination of Jaita, Maharana Kumbha's Chief Royal Mason. Thank him.

He began to construct me in 1440 AD. The rhythmic sound of chisels and hammers of the masons continued until I was completed in 1448 AD. I am a nine-storey tower that stands 122 feet tall, with a winding staircase leading up to my eighth floor.

Would you like to climb up to my highest storey? But first look at my entrance. It is called Vishnu Dhwaj.

I have 157 stairs that go winding through my central wall and the gallery built around it. Climb those stairs and reach my eighth floor. But please be aware! You are not allowed till the ninth storey.

Now that you have climbed so high, pause to enjoy the imposing beauty of one of Rajasthan's most famous historical monuments. Look around at the fort. You also get a breathtaking view of Chittorgarh town! Sit down and relax. Enjoy the cool breeze drifting through my open windows!

Dear friends, centuries have passed. I have been standing here for a long time, a silent observer of history. Even if I have recorded the ups and downs of Mewar's past, I don't wish to spoil your pleasure in visiting me by telling you about my bitter personal experiences or burdening you with my sorrows.

But do listen to some of the pleasant experiences of my life. I felt very happy on two occasions. I still remember them.

The first was on the golden dawn of August 15, 1947 AD. It was a proud moment for me. You would call it a red-letter day in Indian history. On that day India became free and the moment our National Flag was hoisted at the Red Fort in Delhi, I held my head high. My motherland, Mewar, also gained freedom on that day, fulfilling Maharana Kumbha's promise. I breathed freely for the first time in my life that day.

The second was the favourable moment of April 6, 1954 AD, when the descendants of the Gadiyalohars entered the Chittorgarh fort with Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, who was then the Prime Minister of India. The Gadiyalohars were the followers of Maharana Pratap, his companions in his joys and sorrows. When they climbed onto my platform, it seemed as if Maharana Pratap had himself come to life. I held my head high with pride!

Friends! Now, India is a free country and we believe in democracy. Keep this freedom memorable! It is an invaluable inheritance of our freedom fighters! We must all be like the Great Kumbha and worship the art, literature and cultural heritage of our country! Adorn yourselves with the values of patriotism and sacrifice for the motherland! Preserve all our monuments of historical and cultural importance.

My good wishes are with you! Do visit me again! Goodbye! See you soon again!

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