Rajasthan – just the name makes you think about old-time magnificent forts, royal residences, pristine lakes, never-ending desserts, colourful turbans, delectable food, festivals and fairs and lot more. One such enchanting fort is the Kumbhalgarh Fort situated in the Rajsamand district near Udaipur in Rajasthan. It is known for its great walls stretching from one hill to the other, nestling between the peaks of the Aravalli.
Built in the 15th century, the fort is one of the six hill-forts of Rajasthan which is acclaimed as the ‘Great Wall of India’ owing to its 36 km long perimeter of walls and is known to be the second-longest wall in the world, as recognized by UNESCO.
It is an amazing place to be throughout the year; book our accommodation at the best Kumbhalgarh hotels now!
The Story Behind the Kumbhalgarh Fort…
The Kumbhalgarh fort was built by Rana Kumbha who was facing many challenges while building the fort. One day, he met a holy man who said he could help in resolving the problems. He further stated that a man with a pure heart and soul sacrifices his life in his own will can enable to build the fort.
Fortunately, things fell into place when the same good man sacrificed his own life. As per the man’s wish and to commemorate his good deeds, the king built the entrance of the fort at the place of his head while the palaces were constructed at his body.
The fort personifies the spirit and grandeur of the mighty warriors- Rajputs. It is the birthplace of Maharana Pratap, the 13th legendary king of Mewar. It is a pride of Rajasthan which makes it close to the heart for every Indian. The fort was built as a barrier to separate the Mewar and Marwar regions in Rajasthan.
It is designed on a hilltop to provide the strategic position to Mewar kings during wars to protect themselves against the attacks of the enemy.
This beauty and charm portrayed by the fort attracts tourists in huge numbers and makes it known universally. It is a fine example of Rajasthan’s exemplary prowess and history which remains unknown to many.
The Architecture of Kumbhalgarh Fort
Although this fort is claimed as a Heritage site sadly, it is less popular than the Amer forts and Jaisalmer forts. It is mostly because the fort is located 90kms north and you can feel the road swinging as you move at a higher altitude. After all the horror experienced as you move upwards, a faint glimpse of the fort will surely leave you in awe.
The architecture of Rajasthan was built in the Rajput military hill architectural style with a defence mechanism owing to its mountainous location.
A Sneak Peek into the Fort
You will be welcomed with giant, rusty, battlemented walls accompanied by a long hill range that will take you to the palace. As you enter the fort and take a few temples to the left, you reach a large gateway that takes you to the palace complex.
As you walk up the stairs, you will be covered with thick clouds and that’s the ‘Badal Mahal’. You will surely get mesmerized with the elaborate patterns of elephants fighting and aesthetic sculptures that are modified and added by a generation of rulers.
As you pass through several courtyards, small shrines, empty rooms and some troops of monkeys silently munching; there you have an incredible panorama view to yourself. Feel the cold breeze coming from the forests and explore everything from the hill-top vantage point to the countryside.
It is an endless 36 km walk coupled with 360 Hindu and Jain temples, hamlets of houses, cenotaph (or royal chhatris), wells (or baoris), water reservoirs, thick vegetation and small ridges that make the fort look pleasant and full of life. Stay at Kumbhalgarh hotel to enjoy this enchanting view.
A Detailed Insight to Kumbhalgarh
There are 7 imposing gates known as ‘Pols’ that are guarding all the entries of the fort. These huge sturdy rounded batons proclaim the Rajput supremacy and are ancient defence mechanisms. You can enter the fortress through the Aret Pol, Halla Pol, Hanuman Pol, Ram Pol and Vijay Pol.
While the palace complex can be approached through three gateways- Bhairon Pol, Nimboo Pol and Paghra Pol. The Danibatt Pol in the east connects Mewar from Marwar.
The ramp inside the fort takes you straight to the top of the hill and you will probably have an adventurous experience as you walk past the zig-zag path.
The hurdles are made intentionally to make it difficult for the enemy’s elephants and horses to run fast. There were many traps on the way made to catch hold of the invaders.
Dedicated to Lord Shiva, the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple located in an isolated hill in Alwar, which is another eloquent temple with its epic round-shaped dome, carved ceiling aloft 24 pillars, 5-feet high lingam. It is a treat to the eyes and an elixir for the soul.
The fort has so much to it, which is still untouched. The picturesque Kumbha palace, Badal Mahal, temples that speak about the bravery and the unblemished legacy left behind by the early Rajputs. After this, let’s take you on a trip to the Badal Mahal.
A Walk through the ‘Mansion of Clouds’
Built by Rana Fateh Singh, this spectacular palace is the highest point of the fort. The two-storeyed floating palace is divided into two interconnected distinct portions- Zenana Mahal and Mardana Mahal.
While the Zenana Mahal or women’s quarter has small sandstone screens (jalis) through which you can watch the outside world. If you are an artist, then you will be thrilled to watch the beautifully decorated wall paintings hung on the old walls.
It would not be more than an adventure to climb up to the terrace through narrow stairs and then finally experience the cloud covered mahal. The rooms still retain its 19th-century charm with pastel-coloured murals and beautifully textured turquoise, green and white schemed walls.
Some of the rooms might be in shambles but the view there is epic. If you have been lucky enough to reach there in the evening, then you would be able to see the sunset as it dooms over the landscape and makes it look so unreal.
The palace is not as huge nor ostentatious as the other palaces in Jodhpur and Udaipur, but when you enter the central courtyard with large windows, you will find yourself in heaven. The fresh lush green valley coupled with the glow of the setting sun will surely give you the best selfies.
Kumbhalgarh has many viewpoints to enjoy the forested, sun-kissed Aravallis but the best one is from the Badal Mahal.
Finding your ideal hotel near Kumbhalgarh Fort is not difficult. Plan your trip now!
Try these routes to Kumbhalgarh Fort!
By road: Kumbhalgarh is 48 Kms from Rajsamand, Nathdwara (51 km), Sadri (60 km), Udaipur (105 km), Bhilwara (157 km), Beawar (160 km), Jodhpur (207 km), Ajmer (207 km), Jaipur (345 km), and is connected through domestic bus services like Rajasthan state road transport corporation (RSRTC) and other private travel services.
By rail: The Falna railway station is the nearest railway station situated at a distance of 84 km from Kumbhalgarh and is well connected to many major cities.
By air: The nearest domestic airport from Kumbhalgarh is Udaipur Airport i.e. two-hour drive from Kumbhalgarh. Connecting flights to Delhi, Mumbai and Jaipur can be taken from here. The nearest International Airport is Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport; Ahmedabad, a roughly five-hour drive from Kumbhalgarh.
Try these routes to Badal Mahal!
By road: The Badal Mahal is about 100 km away from Udaipur and can be easily reached by bus or taxi.
By rail: The local railway station Falna and Rani railway station are well connected to many cities including Delhi, Mumbai, Agra, Jodhpur, Jaipur, Bikaner, Ahmedabad.
By Air: Reach to the nearest Udaipur airport from a regular domestic flight.
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