India - Vijay Stambha, Rajasthan - Secret Places Around The World

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Vijay Stambha "Tower of Victory" is an imposing structure located in Chittorgarh fort in Rajasthan, India. This tower is the piece-de-resistance of Chittaurgarh. It was constructed by Mewar king Rana Kumbha between 1442 AD and 1449 AD to commemorate his victory over the combined armies of Malwa and Gujarat led by Mahmud Khilji. Dedicated to Vishnu, this 37.19 m high 9 storied tower is one of the most remarkable in India. It is built partly of red sand stone and partly of white marble and is enriched by numerous images of Hindu gods and goddesses with inscriptions at bottom of each. It is believed that the tower took 10 years to be completed. This exemplary piece of architecture stands on a pedestal 10 feet high. Each of the nine stories are distinctly marked with openings and balconies at every face of each story. The interior staircase winds alternately through the central chamber and surrounding gallery. The construction was supervised by the Sompura architects originally from Patan.
The inscribed slabs in the uppermost story contains genealogy of the rulers of Chittaur from Hamir to Rana Kumbha. The entire tower is covered with architectural ornaments and inscribed images of gods and goddesses, seasons, weapons, musical instruments, etc. Its inscribed sculpture are a veritable text-book of Hindu iconography. 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. There are around 157 narrow steps leading to the terrace from where one can have a beautiful view of Chittorgarh town and the fort. The uppermost floor has been sealed off and is no longer accessible to visitors.
The Jain Kirti Stambha in the fort dates from the 13th century and is thus about two centuries older. It served as a model.
The tower is a remarkable example of religious pluralism practiced by the Rajputs. Arabic Allah is inscribed around the columns in the third and the eighth story, and an image of the Jain Goddess Padmavati is present on the top story.

GPS: 24.887800,  74.645139

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