- Country: India
- State: Rajasthan
- Ideal Trip Duration: 3 to 4 days
- Nearest City: Rajsamand
- Best Time to Visit: October to March
- Peak Season: December to January
Kumbhalgarh Fort, located in the wilderness, is at a distance of 84 km north of Udaipur, Rajasthan. It is one of the important citadels in the region of Mewar.
During the 15th century AD, the Kumbhalgarh Fort was built by Rana Kumbha, which the Aravalli Ranges surround. He had built almost 32 forts in various places, but Kumbhalgarh fort is the biggest.
The locals recognize this fort as a meaningful place since it is the birthplace of the legendary king of Mewar, Maharana Pratap.
The fort also served as a shelter to King Udai and the rulers of Mewar. In 2013, this fort was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The district in which the Kumbhalgarh Fort is located is called Rajsamand.
The wall with 38 km length makes this fort the second largest wall in the world, and the width of the wall is gigantic enough to take eight horses side by side.
Moreover, the thirteen mountains of the Aravalli Ranges enhance the exquisiteness of the fort.
The fort is constructed in the middle of a forest, a wildlife sanctuary now and is at an elevation of about 3,600 feet above sea level.
It is also recognized as the second-largest fort in Mewar in the state of Rajasthan.
During the second century BC, there was an old castle at the same place, which was endorsed to a Jaina Prince, Samprati.
The Kumbhalgarh fort is built in the same location as the old castle. The fort’s construction was skillfully crafted on a hilltop to have a perfect position for the Kings of Mewar to protect them against the enemy attacks.
A delightful group of temples built by Mauryas can be seen here, out of which the most charming one is the Badal Mahal, also known as the Palace of the Clouds.
When you are on top of the fort, it gives you a bird’s eye view of the environment around you. During the 19th century, the fort was renovated by Maharana Fateh Singh.
The Kumbhalgarh Fort was attacked by Ahmed Shah I of Gujarat in 1457. But the effort he took to attack was futile.
It was believed that the Banmata deity placed in the fort protected them from all the attacks hence Ahmed Shah I of Gujarat destroyed that temple.
Many other attacks on the fort were attempted during 1458, 1459, and 1467 by Mahmud Khilji. But none of the attacks on the fort were successful.
Later in 1576, Shahbaz Khan, the general of King Akbar, took control of this fort.
Nevertheless, the fort was taken back in 1585 by Maharana Pratap. The fort’s architecture is very well planned, and the walls in the front area are 15 feet thick.
The fort consists of seven fortified gateways, and you can find over 360 temples inside the premises, of which 300 are ancient Jain temples, and the rest are Hindu Temples.
The magnificent views from the top of the fort include the sights of the Aravalli Ranges and the dunes of the Thar Desert.
One of the attractive occurrences in the fort, according to folklore is, many massive lamps were burned by Mahara Kumbha using 50 kilograms of ghee along with 100 kilograms of cotton to offer light to all the farmers working during the nights in the valley.
Nowadays, Rajasthan Tourism Department conducts a 3-day annual festival in the Kumbhalgarh Fort to commemorate the passion for art and architecture of Maharana Kumbha.
Several events like sound and light shows, concerts, dances are all organized. During this festival, various other events like Heritage Fort Walk, tug-of-war, Mehendi ma(henna), and turban tying are exceptional.
Interesting Facts about Kumbhalgarh Fort
1. The fort has the second biggest wall globally, after the Great Wall of China.
2. The width of the wall is big enough for two cars to run parallelly at a time on the wall.
3. It is believed that Maharana Kumbha failed many times in constructing the fort. Then ‘Baid Baba, the saint, suggested sacrificing a human as a solution. Since nobody came up for the sacrifice, the saint willingly volunteered to the sacrifice.
The saint also asked Maharana Kumbha to follow him to the hill and asked him to build the main entrance of the fort, where he stops first.
He said he would climb further and stop at a point where he should be beheaded. The second spot is the place where he asked to build a temple.
4. There are about 360 temples inside the premises.
How to Reach
By Air: The nearby airport to Kumbhalgarh Fort is Maharana Pratap Airport, Udaipur. The distance is about 110 km to reach the fort. From the airport, you can take a pre-paid taxi to reach Kumbhalgarh.
By Train: Falna Railway station, the nearest junction railway station that is well-connected to major cities like Mumbai, Ajmer, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Jodhpur, and many more. From the station, taxis are available to reach Kumbhalgarh.
By Road: There are many deluxe and ordinary buses provided by the Rajasthan State Government Roadways, offering stops at Kumbhalgarh from many cities like Udaipur, Ajmer, Pushkar, and Udaipur.
Best Places to Visit / Other Tourist Attractions
1. Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary
Situated in the Rajsamand district of Rajasthan, this wildlife sanctuary covers an area of about 578 sq. km.
As said earlier, this sanctuary encompasses the Kumbhalgarh Fort, and it got its name from this fort. The prime source of water in the sanctuary is the River Banas that adds beauty to it.
Also, the greenery of the Aravalli Ranges will surprise you, as the state is known for its deserts. The Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary is famous for the strong wolf pack of 40 numbers, which is rare to see elsewhere.
There are many other animals in the sanctuary, including various endangered species. Almost 200 varieties of bird species are recorded in this beautiful sanctuary.
During monsoon season, the sanctuary looks fully green, and during autumn, it gives a russet look.
Some of the activities in the Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary include a jeep safari, horse ride, and trekking. Moreover, you can see tribes like Garasia and Bhils living their old-style life.
2. Badal Mahal
This is the highest point in the Kumbhalgarh Fort, and the view from there is mesmerizing with thick clouds around, known as the Palace of Clouds.
There are two sections in this two-story Badal Mahal known as Zanana and Mardana Halls dedicated to women and men.
Using a narrow staircase, you can reach the top of the fort to view the mountains and the clouds. The rooms in this palace are decorated with exotic murals in pastel shades that depict the 19th century.
A combination of white, green, and turquoise colors is used to paint the walls of the rooms in the fort.
You can find the stone jalis (lattice stonework) in the Zanana Mahal for women through which the queen watches the events and court proceedings.
3. Neelkanth Mahadev Mandir
Within the vicinity of the fort is the Neelkanth Mahadev Temple. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and there is a Shiva Lingam of 6 feet in size made from a single black Kasoti stone.
It has four entrances facing all four directions. One of the pillars on the left-hand side can be seen with engravings about the restorations done by Rana Sanga.
All the tourists who visit here are awe-struck with the history, architecture, and natural beauty.
4. Mammadev Temple
Right below the Kumbhalgarh Fort, the Mammadev Temple is located. The four big slabs in this temple with inscriptions are moved to the Udaipur Museum now.
At present, there are only a few cenotaphs in the reminiscence of Rajas of the fort. Next to this temple is a massive reservoir where water is stored.
5. Vedi Temple
You can see this temple in Hanuman Pol inside the premises of the Kumbhalgarh fort.
The deity you can find in this temple is the Jain Goddess Vedi. The shape of the temple is octagonal, and there are 36 pillars on which the temple stands.
Built by Rana Kumbh, this temple is preserved and protected by the Archaeological Survey of India.
6. Parashuram Temple
Enshrined by Lord Shiva, this cave temple is where the Hindu sage Parusharam stayed and meditated here.
Apart from the idol of Lord Shiva, an idol of Lord Ganesh has also been erected in the temple.
The most interesting factor here is nine kunds (small ponds) that never dries up.
There is a trail of 500 stairs to the temple, and it offers a captivating view of the Aravalli Hills.
Conclusion: These are not just the places of attraction in Rajasthan. You can visit many deserts, the pink city, Jaipur, Hawa Mahal, Jal Mahal, Amber Fort, Pushkar, which is the town of fairs and festivals, Kota – the land of Chambal, Nagaur – the home of India’s largest saltwater lake, Ranthambore, Bharatpur National Park, and so many forts, palaces, and several historical places. The biggest state in India with a rich heritage and culture, you will not feel like going back before experiencing the values, traditions, and lifestyle of each district in Rajasthan.
- STD Code: 02954
- Languages Spoken: Hindi and Mewari
- Major Festivals: 3-day annual festival.
- Notes/Tips: Other festivals like Cattle Fair, Jhaljhooni Ekadashi, Annakoot, Karnimatha Fair, etc., are celebrated in Rajsamand.
- Nearest Tourist Information Center: Contact – 0294-2411535, 2521971/1364
- Nearest Hospital: Sharma Hospital | Contact – +912952221446
- Nearest Police Station: Rajsamand Police Station |Contact – 02952 220 563