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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

Reference code
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 entry, paper
Chirol, Valentine

24.8829177, 74.6229699

Thurs 15. [15 January 1903] Off at 8.30. Met the Pinkeys at the station
who had come to meet the Leiters. Train an hour late. This railway
was a famine[?] relief work of the Rana's. We got to Chitorgarh
[Chittaurgarh] at 2, nearly an hour late and walked off to the DB of
which we were the sole inhabitants. We at once sent for our elephant
and about 3 got our lunch for which we were most ready. He arrived
about 4 and we started off for the fort. The modern village is about a
mile off, you cross a river over which there is a good bridge built by
Rana Lakshman's son Ari Singh - he and his father were killed in the
1st Sakr of Chitor, Ala ud Din's in 1303. (The 2nd was by the King of
Halwa, Behadur of Gujarat, in 1535 and the 3rd by Akbar about 1577
and all 3 occasions the women performed the Johur.) The village is
charming, under every tree is a collection of little shrines, Shiwa and
Ganpati being most obvious. The street comes round to the Padal
Pol, the first of the 7 gateways leading up to the Fort, outside of which
is an upright stone plentifully besmeared with red paint, marking
where Bagh Singh fell in the Gujerat [Gujarat] siege, 1535. He was
elected and crowned for the purpose of satisfying the Great Goddess
Insani or Parwati who thirsted for a king's blood and having put on the
saffron robe and eaten the pan he went down to meet his death. At
each gate there is a little shrine, within, and most of them are studded
with elephant spikes. Between the Phuta Pol and the Hanuman Pol
are 2 chattris marking where Jeimal of Beduore[?] and his kinsman
Kalla fell in Akbar's siege and just within the Ram Pol is a chattri
marking where Patta Singh fell in the same siege. His mother and
bride had already put on armour and died fighting in the Suraj Pol.
(Sahidas the Chouda of Salumbra fell) Outside the Ram Pol is a
columned and carved guardhouse. It is the most ornamented of the
gates. They are all but one built without an arch, the projecting stones
being carved with the usual sort of statuette decoration. It was 5 by
the time we arrived and we went straight up by Khumba's Palace; Mira
Bai's temple and the Jain temple to Khumba's Tower of Victory, 1439.
It is a magnificent thing, 7 stories [sic] tapering and 2 above
projecting and covered within and without with carving. It stands in a
little depression full of trees and the Chattris of the Ranas. We
climbed to the top and had a splendid sunset view over the plain and
the little village below us and the steep hillside clothed with jungle. It
must be at its highest point about 1000 ft. So home in the dusk, got in
soon after 6 and dined at 7.15. And to bed most peacefully. We are
without Muni having allowed him to go on to Ajmer when we arrived to
see if he cd cure his fever. A telegram from Domnul saying he arrives
on Sat. evening at Alwar.

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