Kumbhalgarh Fort, the massive construction surviving the test of time through centuries is situated to the northwest of Udaipur city(around 82 Km). Famous for its gigantic structure, magnanimity, a surrounding wall that is largest in Asia after the great wall of China, witnessing the birth of Rana Pratap, one of the most powerful rulers of India, Kumbhalgarh Fort guards a gargantuan archive of history, mysterious legends, tales of expansive empires, valorous rulers, adventures, civilization, murders, death and brutal power-play.
Things seem molecular in size if you are facing this brilliance. The vibe and valor, history and power, exoticism and colors of Rajasthan are defined and embodied by this fort. So if you are new or unfamiliar with Rajasthan, the state India is proud of, start with Kumbhalgarh. People suffer from several wrong notions. They think it is some abandoned fort with incomprehensible magnitude but let me tell you once you reach Kumbhalgarh you will see it to be the hub of all delights. In the evening spectacular lights dazzle throughout the fort, enough to bewilder every tourist.
The brick and sandstone structure has numerous tales inscribed in it, take a tour around and enrich yourself. I bet some stories are sure to leave you speechless,imbued with thoughts and awe. Feel the pages of fat Indian history books come alive when you peep through the window into the birth chamber of Rana Pratap or unwind yourself with the unbelievable view from the top spots of the fort. See the great walls of Kumbhalgarh reach and blend into horizon or revel in the thrill of Thar as you get a blurry glimpse of the great Indian desert.
You can take either route up to the roof of the fort. The spiral hill which clambers round and round up till you get there has the grand kitchen, the palace stable, more than 360 temples (300 ancient Jain temple and 60 Hindu ones) surrounding it. You can take the rock cut steps up there too if hiking up the hill is heavy for your lungs. Imagine experiencing the gorgeous sunset from above 3000 feet and more! Allow fresh oxygen and pale golden light of the setting sun to replenish your spirit before you take a trip down and prepare yourself for the spectacular light and sound show pulling you through the lanes of history. From the foundation and expansion of the fort by Rana Kumbha of Mewar to the living legions of the royal ancestry, it tells you every story.
I wish to share a tale that still manages to send chills down my spine. This goes back in time when Rana Kumbha was unsuccessful in expanding the fort wall. A spiritual master, Rana Pratap trusted immensely prescribed a voluntary human sacrifice as a solution to the hitch. Quite naturally, no one agreed and the master himself volunteered for deed. The main entrance or Hanuman Poll has a shrine beautifully carved out of stones commemorating this ageless sacrifice. The fort has seven fortified entrances that rendered it impregnable to every gallant intruder including the great king Akbar. Who knows perhaps every gate protects a blood-curdling tale like this one. To find out more, visit Kumbhalgarh fort and witness the power, beauty and history of India that it has been symbolizing through time.
- Easiest way to reach Kumbhalgarh- reach Udaipur, one of the main cities of Rajasthan and hire a car. Kumbhalgarh fort is 82 Km away from the city.
- Attempt to reach Kumbhalgarh by 4 in the evening, so that you can take a fast tour around the fort up to the roof and down and enjoy the light and sound which is scheduled late evening.