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Kumbhalgarh

Renowned in the history of Rajputana as the birthplace of its greatest son Rana Pratap. It is also home to the virtually inaccessible and impregnable fortress built in the 15th century by the great warrior Rana Kumbha of Mewar. The fortress stands on a 3,500 feet high hill overlooking the approach routes from Ajmer and Marwar. Today Kumbhalgarh is a fascinating destination that combines a magnificent fort and a wildlife sanctuary.

Around 80 km from Udaipur in the Aravalli wilderness, the mighty Kumbhalgarh Fort is a fascinating martial architecture that uses the rugged Aravalli hills and valleys to its best advantage. Kumbhalgarh stands on the site of an ancient citadel dating back to the second century AD; it belonged to a Jain descendant of India's Mauryan emperors. The imposing fort walls curving across the hills seem to be emerging from the granite rock.

The fort is guarded by seven enormous gates and seven ramparts, strengthened by rounded bastions and immense watchtowers. The 36-km long wall of the fort is often compared to the Great Wall of China. The  fort largely remained unconquered in history, probably due to its inaccessibility, hostile topography and the steep hike up to the fort, which would've left invading armies tired and exposed to an assault from the fort.  

It fell only once in its history, to the combined forces of Emperor Akbar, Raja Man Singh of Amber, and Raja Udai Singh of Amber, and Raja Udai Singh of Marwar.

The first glimpse of the fort from the foothills is massive and majestic. A climb to the top of the huge fortress though arduous, offers a spectacular panorama of the Aravalli hills, forests and the walls of the fort snaking the hill tops. At the top of the steep climb is Badal Mahal - built in 1889, it is an fusion of Mughal, British and Rajasthani architectural influences. 

Kumbhalgarh Fort is situated at the end of the Aravalli range in Mewar. It was built during 15th century by Rana Kumbha and later expanded up until 18th century.

British Colonel James Todd mentioned the fort in his 1829 AD book 'Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan'. He wrote "the fort rises, like the crown of Hindu Cybele, tier above tier of battlements to the summit, which is crowned with the Badal Mahal or the 'Cloud Palace' of the  Ranas."

Kumbhalgarh is also the birthplace of Maharana Pratap, the legendary brave warrior of Mewar. He was born here in 1549 AD. His father of Maharana Pratap Udai Singh was smuggled to Kumbhalgarh by his nanny Panna Dhai to save him from enemy Banbir. He was crowned the King of Chittaur at Kumbhalgarh and his son Rana Pratap was born here. The bravehearts of Mewar never bowed to the Mughals.

The wildlife sactuary at Kumbhalgarh is spread over an area of 578 square km. The sanctuary is home to a large variety of fauna, it is a place for wildlife and nature lovers.

From Ghanerao, treks can be planned to Kumbhalgarh Fort through the sanctuary.
Kumbhalgarh Fort
Built at 1900m on top of a hill by Rana Kumbha, this fort offers sweeping views of the Marwar and Mewar. This magnificent fort has 36 km wall surrounding it. It is believed to be second longest wall after the Great Wall of China. The highest point inside the fort is the Badal Mahal providing commanding views of the surrounding hills and valleys. This place was built by Rana Fateh Singh I in 19th century. Pastel coloured murals adorn the apartments here. Rooms are painted in turquoise, green and white. Kumbhalgarh fort stood at the boundary of Mewar and Marwar and provided refuge to Mewar rulers at the time of strife and danger. Out of the 84 forts built in Mewar, 34 were designed by Rana Kumbha. Kumbhalgarh is the biggest and most expansive. It is maintained by Aechaeological Survey of India. This massive fort has 360 temples inside it. Of these 300 ancient Jain temples and the rest Hindu temples.The fort has many gateways. These are Hulla pole, Hanuman pole, Arait Pol, Ram Pol, Bhairav Pol, Paghra Pol, Top- khana Pol, Nimboo Pol. Kumbhalgarh was captured by Mughal Emperor Akbar and his allies, the ruler of Amber and Marwar, for a short period. Kartar Garh: Located inside the Kumbhalgarh Fort, this small fort has a palace built by Fateh Singh. Within the palace there are 360 temples - one of these is a Shiva temple with a huge Shivalingam. Fateh Prakash Palace: The palace is famous for its Durbar Hall decorated with paintings. The 'Ladies Complex' or 'zanana' walls have paintings of flowers and fauna. There is a Ganesh temple in the courtyard and visitors can enjoy panoramic views from this palace. Other palaces inside the fort are Jhalia ka Mahal and Tara Burj. The Temples of Mamdeo and Neelkantha are also interesting.
Kumbhalgarh Wildlife sanctuary
The Kumbhalgarh Wildlife sanctuary is a major attraction for tourists coming to Kumbhalgarh or Udaipur. Sprawled across an area of 578 sq km at an altitude varying from 500-1300m, Kumbhalgarh Sanctuary encircles the massive fort of Kumbhalgarh. This wildlife park has imbibed its name from the same fort. The sanctuary ishome to various endangered species; it lies in the jungle close to the fort. The fauna found here includes four horned antelope, panther, jackal, leopard, sloth bear, hare and chinkara. There are crocodiles in the lake and a breeding farm of crocodiles. Kumbhalgarh is one of the very few sanctuaries, where you can trace wolf in their habitat. The avian species include partridge, parakeets, red spur owl, dove, white breasted kingfisher, oriole. In winter migratory birds like flamingos and spoonbills flock to the century. The best way to explore the sanctuary is by safaris or horse rides. A safari drive into the Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary is thrilling experience with the jeep struggling through the narrow, sharply winding road that spirals into the valley. Summer is the best time for animal sighting when they frequently venture around the waterholes.
Ghanerao
This village is famous for 11 Jain Temples. These include the Muchhal (Moustachioed)Mahavir Temple. This is the only temple which has the lord Mahavira wearing a mushtache. The story behind the name is that when a priest offered 'prasad' or the sacred food of Lord Mahavir to the Rana of Mewar he found a strand of white hair in it. Mockingly he asked if it is the hair from Lord's moustache and that he will only accept the 'prasad' when Lord grows a moustache. To appease him Lord appeared in a moustache and beard for a while. Rana repented his joke and asked for forgiveness and hence the name. A 'math' called Girija ki Dhani and Hindu temples of Laxmi Narayan, Gajanand, Murlidhara and Charbhujaji are also present.
Nearby places Train stations Airports
UDAIPUR 115 Km 01H 40m
Udaipur City 102 Km 01H 27m
Nearby major cities
Name Distance Duration
9 Km 00H 09m
51 Km 00H 45m
102 Km 01H 29m
9 Km 00H 09m
Ranakpur is famous for its magnificent Ranakpur is famous for its magnificient Jain temples supported by 1,444 intricately detailed marble pillars. Lying in a remote valley on the west of the Aravali range in Pali district, Ranakpur is the largest and one of the most important pilgrim site of Jains.
51 Km 00H 45m
Nathdwara is one of the most famous pilgrimages of adherents of the Pushtimarg Hindu sect of India. It is popular for its Sri Nathji Temple devoted to Lord Krishna and Pichhwai paintings.
102 Km 01H 29m
Surrounded by the Aravali hills and regarded as one of the most attractive cities in India, Udaipur is a city of beautiful palaces and lakes that add immensely to the grandeur and romance of royal Rajputana.
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Weather
Season Min. Temp. Max. Temp.
Summer 22 °C 43 °C
Winter 12 °C 26 °C
Very hot in Summer with the mercury shooting up to 43°C at times. Starting from pre Winter months till the Summer arrives (October - March ) is the best time to visit.
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