The Legend of Maharana Pratap
The walls of Kumbhalgarh Fort, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are the second longest in the world, after the Great Wall of China. Sadly, only about 38 kms of this wall survives now. Situated in the Aravalis, these walls ensured the Fort remained impregnable even during the worst of attacks by Mughals.
Though the Fort is believed to be in existence since the 6th century, the Fort in it’s current form was built by Rana Kumbha in around 13th century. The perimeter walls extend upto 36 kms making it the largest continuous wall in India and 2nd largest in the World. The wall could not be constructed initially and kept collapsing. Only once a human sacrifice was offered, could the construction be completed. The Rajput Mewar King Maharana Pratap, most widely known for the Battle of Haldighati was born here.
The Fort was, technically, never conquered. Even when the invading forces of Akbar, did manage to penetrate the Fort, Maharana Pratap had already escaped, making this victory inconsequential.
From Udaipur, Kumbhalgarh is about 100kms. ~ 50kms on super smooth 4 lane National Highway 27 and ~ 50 kms on narrow winding village roads with occasional bad patches. It takes around 1.5 – 2 hours by private car/taxi. Since it is not on the main highway, public transport is limited to shared Jeeps which run between the nearby villages.
The Fort and its perimeter wall
The most striking structure of the Fort, is obviously it’s perimeter wall. Though you cannot really walk on it, you can certainly enjoy the views from the top of the Fort.
The Royal living quarters are in somewhat dilapidated state now, with certain sections being completely inaccessible.
The 2 prominent gates of the Fort are – Hanuman Pol and Ram Pol. Ram Pol is where the vehicles are parked, entry tickets are sold. You will enter from here.
There are 3 temples inside the Fort – 2 Hindu (1 dedicated to Goddess Kali, the other to God Shiv) and a Jain. Unlike other forts in Rajasthan, Kumbhalgarh, does not really have a bustling population living inside its premises.
Light & Sound Show
Don’t miss the light and sound show at Kumbhalgarh Fort. It happens everyday ~7 pm. The Fort is lighted up beautifully during and after this show.
The Kumbhalgarh Fort is inside a wildlife sanctuary, and there are jungle safaris offered by a few operators. You can take it for the experience, but don’t get your hopes too high.
Ranakpur Jain Temple
A true engineering marvel, this Jain Temple, is only about ~50 kms from Kumbhalgarh (via Sayra Village). If you plan to visit Kumbhalgarh, you should visit Ranakpur too.
The temple also offers a simple meal at a nominal fee. If you like homely, simple food, do give it a shot. There are not many eateries along the way from Udaipur, so it might be the only place you will get a full meal.
I would love to recommend a property here, but, my own experience wasn’t that great in the one I stayed at. So, please look through the options and reviews on TripAdvisor and choose as per your liking.
To Sum Up
Kumbhalgarh is an ideal destination away from the crowds that throng the popular destinations like Udaipur, Jodhpur, Jaipur etc. Apart from the joy of exploring Maharana Pratap's place at peace, you also experience wonderful sunrises and sunsets. Being at an elevation also has an effect on the weather and it remains pleasant for most parts, even turning cold during early mornings/nights.
Keep Rocking, Keep Roaming!