The world heritage Kumbhalgarh fort is undoubtedly Rajasthan’s pride and treasure. Kumbhalgarh Fort is amongst the five hill forts of Rajasthan that were declared UNESCO’s world heritage site in 2013. Possessing the second largest wall after the Great Wall of China, Kumbhalgarh fort continues to leave the onlookers spellbound with its architectural genius and captivating beauty. It is tucked between the foothills of the Aravalli ranges, bound by 13 hill peaks. Constructed at an elevation of 1914 meters, the view below from the fort is simply mesmerizing. There are a few experiences that should not be missed if you ever visit this iconic location. Here are a few of those.
Things to do at Kumbhalgarh Fort
Visit Badal Mahal
Badal translates to clouds in Hindi. Anyone who visits Badal Mahal truly understands the name suits this splendid fort. The fort is located at a height that you could feel the clouds floating under your feet. A view of the Badal Mahal gives the impression that the clouds surround the fort. Badal Mahal is essentially a part of the main fort. Architecturally, it has 2 sections-Zanana, a hall for ladies and Mardana, the hall for men.
The fort is undoubtedly a feast for the photographers. Several tourists come here to capture this true beauty in their frames.
Visit To Neelkanth Mahadeo Temple
Neelkanth Mahadeo temple is a Hindu temple located very near to the fort. Anyone who visits the Kumbhalgarh fort must visit the temple which is dedicated to Lord Shiva. The rustic beauty of the structure will enthrall you without a doubt. Built between the 6th to the 9th century CE by Maharajadhiraja Mathanadeva, a local Pratihara feudatory, the temple holds a lot of meaning for the locals. The locals believe that Lord Shiva would come down to their lands to defeat the unknown devil.
But it’s just not the old fables and architectural splendor that sets the Neelkanth temple apart, it is the number of sculptures in the temple. There are statues within the temple which almost deserves a poetic appreciation. The skill of the sculpture that exuberates of these statues will leave you spellbound.
Visit Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary
Stretching at 578 square kilometers, the Kumbhalgarh wildlife sanctuary encompasses the historic Kumbhalgarh and, hence the name. Initially a royal hunting ground, it was converted to a wildlife sanctuary in 1971. Kumbhalgarh wildlife sanctuary is famous for its wolf pack, indigenous to the area. Moreover, it houses different types of endangered species and nearly 200 distinctive species of birds.
The monsoons within the Kumbhalgarh Natural life sanctuary brings on the excellent vegetation, and the harvest time brings out russet colors. The sanctuary moreover offers arrangements for other activities such as jeep safari, horseback safari, and trekking. Numerous Garasia and Bhils tribals can be seen here, living in their conventional huts. The natural magnificence of the sanctuary draws in sightseers from all over the world.
The Light And Sound Show
Be a part of and enjoy the special light and sound show which starts at 6:45 PM depicting the story of the Rajput Royals. The show is in the Hindi language and is worth being a part of. The tickets cost INR 100 for Indians and INR 250 for foreigners. The duration of the show is 45 minutes. The show is a feast for your eyes and will give you an insight into the rich history of the fort.
Histories And Fables Of Kumbhalgarh Fort
There is an interesting story behind the construction of the fort. Rana Kumbha, the man who built the fort had decided to give up the building after he faced several difficulties that he faced along the way. One day, he met a holy man who told him the only way to build the fort was to offer the life of a pure-hearted man. The king got disappointed on hearing this
However, the holy man offered to give up his own life for the cause. He told the king to build the entrance of the Kumbhalgarh Fort. Where he was going to get beheaded and palaces where all his body would fall. Following his advice, Rana Kumbha did exactly what he was told and built the majestic fort successfully.
Kumbhalgarh marks different territories between Mewar and Marwar. And, it acted as an escape passage during an attack. Prince Udai ruled the Kumbhalgarh fort as well and was the founder of the city of Udaipur. The fort remained unconquerable throughout its existence.
How To Reach Fort
Kumbhalgarh does not have an airport or railway station. The nearest railway station is Falna and the nearest airport is Udaipur. Both the cities are well-connected with Delhi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, etc. Tourists can reach Udaipur or Falna and hire a taxi to reach Kumbhalgarh. Kumbhalgarh is about 95 kilometers from Udaipur by road.
You can reach the city via roadways as there are regular buses of Rajasthan State Government Roadways which connect Kumbhalgarh to various cities. Maharana Pratap Airport at Dabok, Udaipur, is the nearest airport to Kumbhalgarh if you plan to travel by air. Taxi services are available from the airport that will take you to the fort.
Few Tips Before The Visit
Kumbhalgarh is located in Rajasthan and the summers here can be unforgiving. The best time to visit the Kumbhalgarh fort is during the winter season. Hence anywhere between October and March would be the best time to visit the fort.
Another tip to keep in mind before the visit is to have a pair of comfortable footwear. Exploring the fort and the nearby areas requires walking for quite a bit. Hence it is of utmost importance to have the proper footwear to enjoy the experience.
Also, never miss the light and sound show, it’s incredible.
A visit to the Kumbhalgarh fort is one of a kind experience. Add this iconic location to your bucket list. While you’re at it, start preparing to strike it off too.