History of Kumbhalgarh FortTill the 19th century, the Kumbhalgarh Fort remained occupied but at present the fort is open for the general public and it remains illuminated every evening for only a few minutes. Kumbhalgarh is located at a distance of 82 kilometers from Udaipur and the Kumbhalgarh Fort is considered to be a significant fort in the district of Mewar after the Chittorgarh Fort. The fort remains protected by thirteen mountains of the Aravalis and also possesses seven gateways that stand in the form of sentinels at the beautiful approaches of the fort.
The seven ramparts are folded one within another and they are surrounded by crenulated walls that possess massive watch towers and rounded bastions. The 15 kilometers long serpentine wall of the fort is also very broad and thick and it can occupy eight horses at a time. The fort is located at an altitude that varies from 1150 m to 1200m above the level of sea.
Architecture of Kumbhalgarh FortThe Kumbhalgarh Fort is built on an unassailable hilltop that is 1100 meters above the level of sea. The large gate of the fort known as Ram Pol or Ram Gate is quite massive and it forms one of the unique pieces of attraction at the fort. The fort also possesses perimeter walls with an extension of 36 kilometers. Frontal walls of the fort are very thick and they measure approximately fifteen feet. There are seven equipped gateways in the Kumbhalgarh Fort and around 360 temples within, out of which 300 temples are ancient Jainand and the others are Hindu temples. Among the 360 temples located within the fort, the Shiva Temple that possesses a very huge Shivalinga is considered to be the best. The Aravalis are very clearly visible from the top of the fort and from the walls of the fort one can get the view of the sand dunes in the Thar Desert.
Legend has it that in 1443, Rana Kumbha who was the then Maharana of Kumbhalgarh was unsuccessful in his repeated attempts of constructing the walls of the fort. Thus, he consulted a religious preceptor regarding the problems that he was facing during the construction and he was advised by the preceptor that only human sacrifice could solve the problem that was being faced in the construction of the fort. The religious preceptor also advised the Maharana that he should build a temple at the place where the head falls and the walls of the fort should be built on the place where the rest of the body falls. As expected, there was not a single person who volunteered this sacrifice but one day a person volunteered it which according to stories was the preceptor himself and the sacrifice was decapitated. The main gate of the Kumbhalgarh Fort which is called Hanuman Pol consists of a shrine at present in order to commemorate the sacrifice that was done.
According to folklore, Maharana Kumbha practiced the habit of burning massive lamps that used cotton that measured hundred kilograms and ghee that measured fifty kilograms so that he could provide light to the farmers who carried out their work in the valley during the night. The wall of the Kumbhalgarh Fort Udaipur is second largest in Asia.
The Kumbhalgarh Fort separated the kingdoms of Mewar and Marwar and it was basically used as a refuge place for the Mewar rulers in times when they had their lives at risk and in danger. A noticeable example about the fort dates back to 1535 when the infant ruler of Mewar, Prince Udai was smuggled in the fort while Chittor was under siege. Prince Udai was the ruler who later succeeded the throne of Mewar and he was also the founder of the city of Udaipur. The fort could not be attacked in any circumstances except once when the fort fell to the assimilated forces of Raja Man Singh of Amber, Mughal Emperor Akbar, Sultan of Gujarat and raja Udai Singh of Marwar due to the utter dearth of drinking water.
The Wall of the Kumbhalgarh Fort UdaipurA very majestic and thick wall surrounds the Kumbhalgarh Fort and this wall is 15 kilometers long. The wall possesses seven massive gates and is the second largest in Asia. The wall width is approximately 15 to 25 feet and according to stories it is believed that eight horses could ride side by side on this wall during the ancient times. The wall of the Kumbhalgarh Fort runs through the mountain cliffs of the Aravalis and it stands as the greatest example of brilliant architecture and style that existed during the era of the Rajputs in Rajasthan. A clear proof of the magnificence and the brilliant architecture of the wall is that it still stands strong, intact and in very good shape inspite of being 700 years old.
There is not a straight pattern followed while building the wall which runs through valleys and mountain cliffs. The ascend and the descend of the wall are very steep and the walls also consists of a walk ways and even stairs that look very majestic. On the way towards Kumbhalgarh Fort, just a few kilometers ahead of the fort, one would find a criss-cross road running through thick forests and deep ravines belonging to the Kumbhalgarh National Park which is an abode of numerous varieties of fauna and flora.
The palace at Kumbhalgarh Fort is equally popular because of its beauty and also because of the fact that is resides at the top of the fort. The palace is called ‘Badal Mahal’ meaning the Palace of Cloud. This palace also boasts of being the birth place of Maharana Pratap, the great warrior and the kind of Mewar. The palace contains beautiful rooms with great color combinations of turquoise, white and green that serve as a contrast to the earthy combination of color found in the fort. Being to this palace might make a person people wandering in the clouds along with the majestic view of the countryside.
Rana Fateh Singh of Mewar took the great initiative of enlarging the fort in the 19th century and he was quite successful in his attempt. There are ancient remnants offered by the huge fort complex and these remnants can be explored very well by the tourists. People can also plan to spend an evening in pleasure by walking through the Kumbhalgarh Fort Udaipur. Planning a walk around the Kumbhalgarh Fort can serve to be very educative because of the ruins contained in the large compound of the fort.
How to Reach Kumbhalgarh Fort UdaipurGetting to the Kumbhalgarh Fort Udaipur is not a very big deal because its close proximity with the cities and towns of Rajasthan and also because of its easy access by road, rail and air.
- Kumbhalgarh lies at a distance of 335 kilometers from Ahmedabad.
- Kumbhalgarh lies at a distance of 625 kilometers from Delhi.
- Kumbhalgarh lies at a distance of 345 kilometers from Jaipur.
- Kumbhalgarh lies at a distance of 877 kilometers from Mumbai.
- Kumbhalgarh lies at a distance of 235 kilometers from Jodhpur.
- Kumbhalgarh lies at a distance of 981 kilometers from Chandigarh.
- Kumbhalgarh lies at a distance of 625 kilometers from Surat.
- Kumbhalgarh lies at a distance of 445 kilometers from Vadodara.
Udaipur railway station is the nearest railway station to Kumbhalgarh Fort which lies at a distance of 80 kilometers. Another railway station that lies at a distance of 80 kilometers from Kumbhalgarh is Falna which is very well connected to New Delhi, Mumbai and Jaipur.
The nearest airport to Kumbhalgarh Fort is Udaipur airport which lies at a distance of 95 kilometers from Kumbhalgarh.