Kumbhalgarh Fort, The Great Wall of India
Nestled amidst the lush green forest and surrounded by the mighty hills of Aravallis, the Kumbhalgarh Fort is the second most important fort after Chittorgarh in the state of Rajasthan in India. It is also the 2nd largest fort in Rajasthan after the Chittorgarh fort. This UNESCO world Heritage Site has secured a place for itself in many record books because of its massive wall often referred to as The Great Wall of India. Read on to know some very interesting facts about this beautiful citadel.
The Kumbhalgarh fort gets its name from Maharana Kumbha who built it during 15th century AD. It took over a hundred years to build it. It was renovated by Maharana Fateh Singh during the 19th Century.
The Fort has been the place of refuge to kings of Mewar during many occasions. This was the place where the King Udai Singh was hidden during his childhood after he was rescued from the attack of Balbir in Chittorgarh. This fort is also the birthplace of Maharana Pratap, the greatest king and warrior of Mewar region.
The impregnable Fort boasts of seven massive gates, seven ramparts folded with one another with designed walls toughened by curved bastions and huge watchtowers.
This grand fort also has over 360 temples within the walls believed to have been built by the Mauryans. About 300 temples among them are considered to be Jain temples while the rest are for Hindu Deities.
The fortification wall of Kumbhalgarh is about 36 kilometers long and is thick and broad enough for eight horses to ride abreast. It is second longest in the world, first being the ‘Great Wall of China’.
Kumbhalgarh National Park surrounding the fort is an abode of a great variety of flora and fauna. It provides shelter to a number of endangered species of Indian wildlife. It is famous for panthers and leopards. Other wildlife in this national park is Hyena, Toddycats, Wolf, Neelgai, Sambhars, Junglefowl, Peacocks, Wild boars, Beers etc.
The Fort is also known for its famous palace that resides on the top of the structure. This beautiful palace is known as ‘Badal Mahal’ or the Palace of Cloud. The palace offers a panoramic view of the thirteen mountain peaks of the Aravali range that protect the fort of Kumbhalgarh.
Standing majestically on 1180m high ridge, this almost invincible fort is the highest and most formidable in the state of Rajasthan. It was never been conquered by direct assault. It fell only once to the combined armies of Mughal Emperor Akbar, Raja Mansingh of Amber, and Mirzas of Gujarat due to the shortage of drinking water.
Kumbhalgarh Fort is located at around 90 Km from Udaipur and can be covered on a day trip from Udaipur. Sound and Light Show is arranged every evening after sunset which depicts the stories from the glorious past of the massive fortress. For those willing to stay back in Kumbhalgarh after sunset, there are many jungle lodges and heritage properties in the vicinity. The adventurous ones can also try trekking in the Kumbhalgarh National Park. During our visit to Kumbhalgarh, we stayed at the Royal Palace of Ghanerao which is located at a driving distance of around 50 Kms from Kumbhalgarh. While in Kumbhalgarh, you can also plan to visit the world famous temple of Ranakpur which is known for its magnificent marble sculptures.