India is a place for amazing architectural works and even now unseen wonders are being excavated. Today let us know a special structure that was built by a Hindu king after he defeated an Islamic invader.
The structure which I’m speaking is about the Vijaya Stambha which was built by Rana Kumbha within Chittor Fort in Chittorgarh, Rajasthan.
The tower was built in the year 1448 by the Hindu King Rana Kumbha to commemorate his victory over the Mahmud Khilji. Interestingly, the Army led by Mahmud was a combined armies of Malwa and Gujarat, yet failed front of Kumbha.
Kumbhakarna, popularly known as Rana Kumbha, ruled from 1433 to 1468 and never lost a battle though he was regularly attacked by powerful rivals. At times the rivals teamed up to take on the mighty Rana. Today history sees him as a great ruler who was never defeated in his 35 years of rule.
Coming to the specialities of the Vijaya Stambha, the uppermost storey has slabs that have detailed inscriptions about the ancestry of the rulers of Chittaur. Another speciality is that the Vijay Stambha displays great amount of religious tolerance and diversity.
Yes, the tower of fame has images of the Jain Goddess, Padmavati. What will surprise is most is that even though Rana Kumbha was constantly attacked by Islamic invaders, he carved the word Allah in Arabic nine times in the third storey and eight times in the eighth.
Along with fostering religious harmony, the pillar has given space to even its architects. Yes, the pillar has the names of the architect, Sutradhar Jaita and his three sons who assisted him in the work. They are Napa, Puja, and Poma, whose names are carved on the eighteen floor of the tower.
In the Chittorgarh Fort, along with Vijay Stambha, there are few other important structures like Kirti Stambh, Gaumukh Reservoir, Rana Kumbha Palace, Padmini Palace, Meera Mandir, Kalikamata Mandir, Fateh Prakash Palace, Jain Mandir.
This magnificent fort has seven forts namely Padan Pol, Bhairon Pol, Hanuman Pol, Jorla Pol, Ganesh Pol, Laxman Pol, Ram Pol.
The Vijay Stambha that has 9 floors is 37.19 metre (122 ft) in height
Another speciality of the Vijay Stambh is that it has carving related to Hindu God and Goddess. Even the carvings related to Lord Vishnu is found in the tower. The construction of the tower is made with red stone and white marble. Balconies at every storey of the tower makes the architecture further attracting.
Not just the inscriptions, but the tower has carvings related to musical instruments and even images related to weapons.
The 37.19 metre tall tower has a base height of 3.0 metres and one need to climb 157 steps to reach the top of the tower. After reaching the top of the tower, one will witness a visual treat as they can have the view of the entire city which is filled with several historic structures.
Because of all these specialities of the Vijaya Stambha, its creator Rana Kumbha will always be remembered. Mewar has 84 fortresses that protect the city from the invaders and out of that, 32 were erected by Rana Kumbha.
The world knows Rana Kumbha as a great ruler who never lost a single war in his 35 years of rule. But many don’t know that he himself was a great scjolar and a poet.
He had written the Samgita-raja, the Rasika-priya commentary on the Gitagovinda, the Sudaprabandha, and the Kamaraja-ratisara. His court consisted of renowned scholars and philosophers.