Kumbhalgarh in Rajasthan was once the seat of Prince Samprati, who was the Jain descendants of the erstwhile Mauryan Dynasty, who ruled here in the 2nd century.
Under the rule of the king Rana Kumbha, the kingdom of Mewar stretched right from Ranthambore to Gwalior. The kingdom also included vast tracts of Madhya Pradesh as well as Rajasthan. About 84 fortresses have been defending Mewar from its enemies. Out of the 84, Rana Kumbha, himself, has designed about 32 of them. Of all the fortresses, which have been designed by Rana Kumbha, Kumbhalgarh has been the most impressive, famous and the massive one with a wall of the length 36Km. The fort lies at about 90Kms away from Udaipur towards its Northwest. It is situated at about 1914m above the sea level and is the most important fort after Chittorgarh.
It also separated Mewar and Marwar from each other and was also use as a place of refuge for the rulers of Mewar at times of danger, especially Prince Udai, the baby king of Mewar. It was only once in the entire history that Kumbhalgarh was taken or it could not defend or breach its defense when the combined armies of Emperor Akbar, Raja Udai Singh of Amber along with the armies of Raja Man Singh of Amber and Raja Udai Singh of Marwar attacked the fort of Kumbhalgarh. That too happened because of the scarcity of drinking water.
Kumbhalgarh is the same place where prince Udai was smuggled to in 1535. This happened when Chittaur was under siege. Prince Udai who later became the successor to the throne also became the founder of the Udaipur City. The renowned Maharana Pratap, who fought against the army lead by Akbar in the battle of Haldighati in the year 1576, was also born at Kumbhalgarh.
Kumbhalgarh Fort is the second most important fort in Rajasthan after Chittaurgarh. It is located at a distance of 64 kms from Udaipur in Kelwada tehsil of district Rajsamand of Rajasthan State. Built in 1458 by Maharana Kumbha, a Mewar king, the fort derived its name from the same factor. Later, Maharana Fateh Singh renovated the fort in the 19th century.
Encircled by thirteen elevated mountain peaks, Kumbhalgarh fort stands on the site of an ancient citadel which is ascribed to Samprati, a Jaina prince of the second century BC. History says that he built around 300 temples at this place. Later Rana Kumbha, added to this. At present, few of these are left, fewer with idols inside.Covering over 12 sq km, the walls of the fort stretch about 36 km and stands about 1,087m high from the sea level. Located amidst the hills of Aravali, the fort offers a marvelous view of the surrounding areas and sandy dessert of Marwar for miles around. The fort is commanding a great strategic location on the border between the Rajput Kingdoms of Udaipur and Jodhpur.
There is a folklore behind the construction of this fort that, Maharana of Kumbhalgarh failed to build the fort's wall for several times so he consulted a sage about this problem. And on the advice of this sage, the sage came up with a bizarre proposition — he was to stand at a point and chop off his own head, and the place where his body fell would be the main entrance of the fort and the point where his head fell would be the second main entrance.
The perimeter of the fort's wall is assumed to be the longest in the world after the Great Wall Of China. Surrounded by 13 mountain peaks, the fort encloses royal apartments, temples - dedicated to different gods, 252 palaces - great and small, seven massive gates or pol (Arait Pol, Hanuman Pol, Ram Pol, Bhairava Pol, Paghra Pol, Top Khana Pol, Nimboo Pol), seven ramparts and huge watch towers, storerooms, houses and water tanks. The wall of fortress is wide enough to take eight horsemen one at a time.
The main buildings inside this magnificent citadel are Badal Mahal, Kumbha Palace, Brahmanical and Jain Temples, baoris, chhattris etc.
The fort approach is across deep ravines and through thick forest, in addition to the seven massive gates. There are seven ramparts, one within the other, reinforced by rounded bastions and huge watch towers. The climb will take about an hour. There is a light and sound show every evening between 7:30 and 8:00PM at this fort.
Things to Do
Relax... spend time with your family.
Enjoy being unreachable from the rest of the world!! Most cellphones don's have a good network here,so you will really be unreachable...So, go on, make the most of it!!!
Trekking- just go walking on these mountains.... The club Mabhindra people are looking up good trekking routes, and believe me, if you are the adventurous kind, you will find many!!!
Take your family to see the fields... If your children have never been to a village before, they will enjoy the sights, especially the water wheels, which my son particularly enjoyed...
Go for the jungle safari... dont expect lions or tigers, or any animals for that matter... just enjoy the sights and sounds of the jungle....
Go horse riding and camel riding near the fort.....
Talk to the locals... They will have interesting stories for you....
Have sugarcane juice made from fresh sugarcane from the fields......
How to Reach
Located in the southern part of Rajasthan (close to Udaipur), Kumbhalgarh is an interesting tourist destination. Some of the tourist attractions worth visiting at Kumbhalgarh are Haldighati, Muchchal Mahavir, Kumbhalgarh Fort and the Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary.
Udaipur is the nearest airport from Kumbhalgarh, which is serviced by regular flights to and from cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Jaipur.
Kumbhalgarh is well connected to Udaipur, which in turn is linked to other major cities in Rajasthan, Gujarat and other neighboring states.
The nearest Railhead from Kumbhalgarh is Udaipur. The railway network links Udaipur to Delhi, Mumbai, Jaipur and other cities of India.