(Birthplace of a Warrior, Maharana Pratap)
Kumbhalgarh is famous for UNESCO World Heritage Site Kumbhalgarh Fort, which is the second citadel of the Mewar region after Chittorgarh. Not visible from far, this place served as the refuge for the kings of Mewar during the time of wars. Popularly known as the birthplace of the legendary king of Mewar, Maharana Pratap, Kumbhalgarh has now become a tourist spot with various hotels and resorts. Having the ‘second largest wall’ in the world (38 kms) after the Great Wall of China, this fort was always a safe place to be for Mewar kings. Located just 84.2 kms from Udaipur and 344 kms from the state capital, Jaipur, Kumbhalgarh is a good place to spend some quite time away from the city.
Amidst the Aravalli Hills, Kumbhalgarh Fort was built near Udaipur for the safety of the rulers at the time of war. The Fort was built back in the 15th century AD by Rana Kumbha and holds a significant spot in the history since then and is named after him. Used by the royal family until the 19th century, Kumbhalgarh Fort was made open for public later that resulted in the building of a number of hotels and resorts in the area. It is believed that this fort was designed by a famous architect of that time, Madan. In the whole region of Rana Kumbha from Ranthambore to Gwalior, this was the largest fort built by him and the safest one too. Kumbhalgarh Fort has been useful several times when the Mewar rulers had to save themselves from danger.
PLACES TO VISIT:
- Kumbhalgarh Fort – The fort for which the place is famous for, Kumbhalgarh Fort is one of the most beautiful and largest built forts of the region. In the 9th century, the fort was made open for tourist visits and since then the place has gained more popularity as people from around the world come to see the fort. The fort has the second largest wall in the world (38 kms) and is made keeping in mind the safety of the kings.
- Neelkanth Mahadeo Temple – A Lord Shiva Temple located near Kumbhalgarh, Neelkanth Mahadeo Temple features a six ft. tall Shivling made of stone. It is said that Rana Kumbha used to worship Lord Shiva and the Shivling was made so tall because of the king’s tall height, so that when the king stands, he can see the Shivling in front of his eyes.
- Badal Mahal – Badal Mahal is the highest part of Kumbhalgarh Fort and was built by Rana Fateh Singh in the 19th century. Divided into two parts (The Zanana and The Mardana Mahal), the place is decorated with beautiful wall paintings.
- Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary – The 578 sq. km of area surrounding the Kumbhalgarh Fort is a part of Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary. If you are a nature lover, this is one of the best places for you to visit in Kumbhalgarh. You can spot various animals at the Wildlife Sanctuary like Wolves, Leopards, Sloth Bear, Hyena, Jackal, Jungle Cat, Sambhar, Nilgai, Chausingha, Chinkara and Hare.
- Ranakpur Jain Temples – Spread across 48,000 sq. ft. area, the Jain temples were built back in the 15th century and are very popular in Ranakpur and nearby areas like Kumbhalgarh, Chittorgarh and Udaipur. The main temple among them is the Chaumukh (four faced) temple. This is a must visit place to see the architecture and beauty of the temple.
FAIRS & FESTIVALS:
Occurring annually in the last week of January, this festival has various classic musicians and dancers performing. The daytime features performances from the Indian folk artists along with some competitions for the tourists to keep them involved. At night, there are performances from local artists and you will get to know the customs, traditions and people of Rajasthan. There are small games and activities for children as well.
- Indulge in outdoor activities like trekking, jungle safari, horse riding and bird watching
- Go sightseeing to various nearby places and do visit the Kumbhalgarh Fort and Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary
BEST TIME TO VISIT:
Winters (October – February) are the best time to visit Kumbhalgarh. The temperature in the winters ranges from 10 to 25 degree celsius and the day time is the best for sightseeing. You can also plan a trip to Kumbhalgarh in rainy season as the rainfall in the region in quite good and it adds to the beauty of the location. The months of July, August and September mark the monsoon season here. Summers in Rajasthan are hot and the temperature ranges from 35 to 45 degree celsius. Hence, visiting Kumbhalgarh in summers is not a good idea.
HOW TO REACH:
- By Air – The closest airport to Kumbhalgarh is Maharana Pratap Airport of Udaipur (96.3 kms). You have to take a cab from the airport to reach your destination. Other nearby airports is Jodhpur Airport (183 kms) and Jaipur International Airport (350 kms).
- By Rail – The nearest railway station from Kumbhalgarh is Udaipur (86.9 kms). It has daily trains from Delhi, Jaipur and other parts of Rajasthan. If you are traveling Rajasthan on ‘Palace on Wheels’ (luxurious train), Udaipur will be one of the stops on the 8-day tour.
- By Road – Either you can come via cab or bus by road. The only major city near Kumbhalgarh is Udaipur and the bus stop of Udaipur is 89.4 kms from there. You can take a cab from the bus stop of Udaipur if you want to go Kumbhalgarh from there. Udaipur has a good connectivity by road and you will get direct buses to Udaipur from all the major cities including Jaipur.