The temple of Mirabai on the Chittorgarh (fort)
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Mirabai Temple and of the Kumbha Shyama Temple at Chittaurgarh, taken by an unknown photographer in the 1900s, part of the Curzon Collection: Album of views of Udaipur and Chittaurgarh. Lord Curzon served as Viceroy of India between 1899 and 1905. The impressive fortress of Chittaurgarh is situated on a narrow ridge that rises abruptly 150 metres above the plain. This ancient site was occupied by a succession of rulers from the seventh century including the Pratiharas who built many stone temples. After the Muslim raids in the 12th and 13th century the fort became the headquarters of the state of Mewar. The most famous of the warrior kings who fought aginst the Muslims was Rana Kumbha (1433-68). In 1567, when the fort was sacked for the final time by the Mughal Emperor Akbar, Chittaurgarh was abandoned and the capital moved to Udaipur. The temple in the foreground of this view is the Kumbha Shyama Temple, situated in the fort and originally built in the eighth century during the Pratihara period and later enlarged in the 15th century. It consists of a sanctuary with a high basement, preceded by a mandapa or hall. The wall niches displaying images of the gods and goddesses, the columns and the ceiling panels are part of the original features while the mandapa with the pyramidal roof and the clustered tower are later additions. In the background there is the temple dedicated to the 15th century saint princess of Jodhpur Mira Bhai, who was famous for her poetic compositions. The sanctuary of this memorial monument is covered by a curvilinear tower.