Vijaya Stambha, Chittorgarh
The Vijaya Stambha or The Tower of Victory is founded by Mewar king Maharana Kumbha in Chittorgarh. It is a nationalist masterwork, built to commemorate the state’s victory over the encroached Mohammed Khilji.
This ‘Victory Tower‘ built between 1442 AD and 1449 AD was built by King Rana Kumbha as a symbol of victory over the combined forces of Malwa and Gujarat in 1440 AD.
The tower is dedicated to the god Vishnu and is 37.19m (122 ft) high made of red sandstone and white marble. Its 9 stories are adorned with beautiful sculptures of Hindu gods and goddesses accompanied by inscriptions underneath. The entire tower is covered with architectural ornaments, seasons, weapons, musical instruments, etc. All the designs are carved out of blocks of sandstone & marble.
The inscribed slabs in the uppermost storey contain the genealogy of the rulers of Chittorgarh from Hamir to Rana Kumbha. The portraits of the architect of this tower Jaita and his 3 sons, Napa, Puja, and Poma are carved on the fifth floor of the tower. The topmost storey features an image of the Jain Goddess, Padmavati. Rana Kumbha also had the word Allah carved in Arabic nine times in the third storey and eight times on the eighth floor.
If the Vijay Pillar is called a museum of Hindu Gods and Goddesses, there will be no exaggeration, in this, you can see almost all the deities and statues of mythological texts. However, due to the mining work currently happening around the fort and the landmass in them. Its walls have been damaged due to which the Archaeological Department has closed it for tourists for a year for repair.
The interior staircase has around 157 narrow steps leading to the terrace, but tourists can visit only the 8th floor as the 9th floor is closed for tourists. Each of the nine stories has openings and balconies that overlook Chittorgarh Fort. The “Tower of Victory” perpetuates the model established by the previous Jain Temple – the 13th century “Tower of Glory” that was built by a Jain merchant near the Mahariva temple.
The Vijay Pillar is the most important site of the Chittorgarh fort. A tourist to Chittorgarh fort does not return without seeing the Victory Pillar. The bottom view of the tower gives a complete impression of old architecture and nearby you can see a monumental gateway, number of temples including the Samiddhesvara Temple which holds a three-headed image of Shiva, Brahma, and Vishnu.
The topmost floor gives a majestic and great view of the whole Chittorgarh city. The magnificent tower is best viewed in the evening when you can get a mesmerizing view of the place and you will feel proud of the vibrant history of the country.
Suggested Read: Rajasthan – Most Colorful Region In India