Tower of victory [or Jaya Stambh], Chitor
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Tower of Victory at Chittaurgarh (Chitor), taken by an unknown photographer in the 1870s, part of the Bellew Collection of Architectural Views. The citadel of Chitor is sited on a high rocky plateau of the Aravalli range in southern Rajasthan. Its origins are unclear, but from about the 8th century AD it was a prominent stronghold of the Rajput region of Mewar, first controlled by the Guhilot clan and later the capital of the Sisodias, a branch of the Guhilots, from the 14th century. The Sisodias made Mewar the foremost princely state of all Rajput kingdoms, a bulwark of traditional Rajput values which gave strong resistance to any form of invasion. Chitor was attacked several times over the centuries, lastly by the Mughals. Its chiefs, called Ranas or Maharanas, were the last to capitulate to the Mughals. After Chitor fell to Akbar in 1568, the Rana Udai Singh shifted to a new capital of Udaipur. The Jaya Stambha or Tower of Victory, situated in Chitor's fort, was erected by Rana Kumbha (ruled 1433-68) in 1448 to commemorate his victory over the Muslim ruler of Delhi. It has nine storeys with balconies and an internal staircase leads to the dome at the summit which is a modern addition. Images of Vishnu and other Hindu divinities cover the walls.