Right at the heart of the Chittorgarh Fort, the garrison that the Rajputs cleverly built to take advantage of the naturally rocky terrain, stands the Rani Padmini Palace. The once beautiful and stately, albeit small structure is now in an advanced state of disrepair. And yet, it stands out as a touch of femininity in the midst of what is obviously a soldier’s world. The fort itself stands atop a 180 meter tall hill, making use of the natural settings to make it impregnable. Spread over about 700 acres, the Chittorgarh fort is believed to have been originally constructed in the 7th century.
Rani Padmini’s Palace makes for a visual treat. It is one of the earliest palaces constructed in India to be completely surrounded by water. The queen’s ill-fated but legendary beauty is reflected in the lotus pool that surrounds her small but stunning palace. The architectural style is distinctly Rajasthani, but hints of the Persian influences that had started to make their presence felt in India at the time. While there are certainly many parts of the Chittorgarh Fort that may be listed on tour guides and perhaps cry out for attention, the queen’s palace combined with its history make this an unforgettable and attractive part of the fort.
This three storied white building was built in the 19th century, and is located in the southern part of the fort overlooking a pleasant lotus pool. The palace is adorned by the pavilions at the top and surrounded water moats. The architecture of this palace becomes the example for many other notable structures which were surrounded by the water. The bronze gates to this palace were carried off by Akbar and can now be seen in Agra Fort. Near Padmini's Palace is a small prison where captured invaders were kept; former prisoners include sultans of Malwa and of Gujarat.
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