General view from a distance of the Mahakali Temple (Kalika Mata Temple), Chittaurgarh [Chitorgarh]
Photographer: Baudesson, O.S.
Medium: Photographic print
This photograph was taken by O. S. Beaudesson in 1882. The Hindu Kalika Mata Temple dates from the eighth century but was partly rebuilt in 1568. The temple originally consisted of a sanctuary surrounded by a colonnade and an open mandapa at the front. The outer walls are decorated with sculptures of the gods, Surya in the central niche and the Dikpalas in the corner niches. The projecting porches of the mandapa rest on finely-carved pillars with the pot and foliage motifs at the base and capital. The fort of Chitor was under the rule of the Pratiharas and other dynasties from the seventh century. Many Hindu and Jain temples from this and later periods are preserved inside the fort. The oldest palace structures in the fort date to the rule of Rana Kumbha of Chitor (r. 1433-68). Chitorgarh in the modern-day state of Rajasthan was an important Rajput fortress throughout the medieval period. It served as a political capital, despite being sacked by both Ala-u'd-din Khalji in 1303 and Bahadur Shah of Gujarat in 1535, until it was finally taken by the Mughal emperor Akbar in 1567. It was later returned to Rajput control but never regained such prominence again.