Chittorgarh, Rajasthan, India

A zigzag ascent of more than 1km starts at Padal Pol and leads through six outer gateways to the main gate on the western side, the Ram Pol (the former back entrance). Inside Ram Pol is a still-occupied village that occupies a small northwestern part of the fort. (Turn right here for the ticket office.) The rest of the plateau is deserted except for the wonderful palaces, towers and temples that remain from its heyday, with the addition of a few more recent temples. A loop road runs around the plateau, which has a deer park at the southern end.

Meera & Kumbha Shyam Temples

Both of these temples southeast of the Rana Kumbha Palace were built by Rana Kumbha in the ornate Indo-Aryan style, with classic, tall sikharas (spires). The Meera Temple, the smaller of the two, is now associated with the mystic-poetess Meerabai, a 16th-century Mewar royal who was poisoned by her brother-in-law but survived due to the blessings of Krishna. The Kumbha Shyam Temple is dedicated to Vishnu and its carved panels illustrate 15th-century Mewar life.

Visit India Epic India Route © Monika Newbound

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