Kumbhalgarh Fort is not really on the popular tourist circuit in Rajasthan, but it is enchanting because of few things. It is one of the rare forts that has never been attacked and hence never been captured by any enemy. It has the longest wall surrounding it almost 36 km’s encompassing few hills, a lot of step wells and a group of temples. This fort wall is second only to Great Wall of China. Wait for a few years and you will be able to take a ride on top of this wall. It is also the birthplace of the most famous king of Mewar Maharana Pratap.
Kumbhalgarh Fort – Places to visit in Rajasthan
The fort is located about 85 km’s from Udaipur in Rajsamand district. Built in the 15th century this is said to be inhabited till late 19th century. The legend behind the fort says that Rana Kumbha wanted to build this huge fort as the biggest fort. And a place from where he can see Chittorgarh. But as he started the construction, he could not move ahead with it.
Folklore & Mysteries of Kumbhalgarh Fort
Whatever construction work was carried out during the day, it used to get mysteriously destroyed during the night. One night the king got a dream, and the family goddess or Kuldevi told him that he needs to sacrifice a human to go on with the construction of the fort. When king as ready for the sacrifice, he got another dream where the Goddess demanded that the sacrifice should be voluntary. And not forced upon the person sacrificed.
King announced this to the public. A man named Mer (or Mehar) volunteered to sacrifice but had three conditions. He wanted the fort to be named after him and initially, the fort was called Kumbhalmer fort. Next, he wanted that after the sacrifice wherever his head falls a temple should be built. And wherever his body falls, the palace should be built and that is how the fort was built.
You can climb the fort, and as with most of the forts, as you keep climbing the view that you get keeps changing. In this fort particularly, your view of the wall surrounding the fort gets clearer and you keep getting amazed at the extent of the fort. There are two parts of the palace on top of the fort, one meant for men and the other meant for women, both with inner courtyards and domes above them.
Badal Mahal Palace
The palace is called Badal Mahal as it is so high that the clouds can enter the palace. You can climb to the highest roof along the domes and get a birds’ eye view of the fort. There are various step wells, some of which are old and some are being built. Then men’s part of the palace is being converted into a museum. If you visit this fort sometime down the time, you should be able to visit the museum and go around the fort wall. There is a victory gate, which has never been broken as the fort remains unconquered. There is a Yagnya Shala or the place where yajnas used to be performed by the royal family. And a Shiva temple, both of which must have been built along with the fort. There is another group of temples that you can see from the fort top.
There are resorts and hotels around the fort including a Club Mahindra property. A jungle safari that you can take to explore the wildlife. There are trekking options as well. But I guess you can do that for a very limited time during the year as the area is very dry and hot. Combined with Ranakpur, it makes an interesting day trip from Udaipur.
I recommend a visit to this fort in case you are in and around Udaipur.
Recommend you to read following Places to visit in Rajasthan.