Kumbhalgarh Travel Guide
Kumbhalgarh is a famous 15th century fort at a distance of around 84 km from Udaipur in the northwestern Indian state of Rajasthan. The fort city is well connected to the other parts of Rajasthan by road.
History of Kumbhalgarh
Cradled amidst a cluster of thirteen mountain peaks of the Aravali range, the formidable medieval citadel of Kumbhalgarh stands a wary sentinel to the past glory of its kings and princes. Rising from a prominent ridge, 1,914 m above the sea level, the fort was built in 15th century AD by Maharana Kumbha (AD 1419-63) and is the principal fort after Chittaurgarh, lying 90 km northwest of Udaipur. A unique fact about Kumbhalgarh fort is that it was taken by the Mughals only once in its entire history. And even at that time, it took the combined armies of Delhi, Amber, and Marwar to breach its defense. This was the place where the rulers of Mewar retreated during times of danger.
Places of Interest (Kumbhalgarh)
The scene of the famous battle of 1576 AD fought between Rana Pratap, the heroic son of Udai Singh and the massive forces of the Mughal Emperor Akbar. A beautiful 'Chhatri' with white marble columns, dedicated to Rana Pratap stands here.
Kumbhalgarh Fort was built by Maharana Kumbha in the 15th century. Perched on the Aravallis, this is the second most important fort in Rajasthan after the Chittaurgarh Fort. Nearby is the Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary.
Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary
The 286-sq-kms sanctuary supporting a rich variety of wildlife like the Panther, Sloth Bear, Wild Boar, Four-horned Antelope and scientifically bred crocodiles in the lake are the major attractions. The Sanctuary is also noted for Flamingoes, Cormorants, Spoonbills and Egrets, which are usually seen in winter.
On the way to Kumbhalgarh lies the magnificent dam - the Rajsamand Lake. The royal lake, was built in 1660 AD by Rana Raj Singh. From here, one can have a spectacular view of the sunset with beautiful 'torans' or arches and 'chhatris' adorning the embankment. The lake has a Rest House of the Irrigation Department on the embankment below. The Rest House has a beautifully laid out garden interspersed with exquisite sculptures excavated from the ruins nearby.
Nearby Places (Kumbhalgarh)
The Ranakpur Temples are situated around 50 km from Kumbhalgarh. These beautiful Jain temples are a fine example of the north Indian style of temple architecture, especially the Jain style, which stresses on extensive use of marble and elaborate decorative carvings.
On the way to Kumbhalgarh from Udaipur lies a magnificent dam, the Rajsamand Lake. Rana Raj Singh built this royal lake in 1660. From here one can have a spectacular view of the sunset with beautiful torans or arches and chhatris adorning the embankment. The lake has a rest house of the state Irrigation Department on the embankment below. The rest house has a beautifully laid out garden interspersed with exquisite sculptures excavated from the ruins nearby.
The town of Kankroli nearby with a marvelous temple and a pretty palace on the hilltop offers a beautiful hideout away from the hustle and bustle of towns and cities.
Fair and Festivals (Kumbhalgarh)
Celebration of the Gher Ghoomer festival before the Chamunda Devi Temple has been a tradition of the local tribes for the last six centuries. Colourful crowds from all the surrounding villages congregate at this place to celebrate the festival with much enthusiasm. As part of the traditional celebrations, in one circle, young men belonging to the tribes inhabiting the region like the Bheels, Garasias, and Rawats dance to the mesmeric beat of huge drums. In another circle, village girls of these tribes spray and splash each other with colored water, singing songs replete with double entendres. A euphoria-inducing local brew laced with bhang is offered to anybody who is willing to accept the customary manwar (friendship cup).
Travel Information (Kumbhalgarh)
By Air : Udaipur is the nearest domestic airport. One can take flights to other important tourist destinations of the region like Jaipur, Jodhpur, Aurangabad, Mumbai, and Delhi. The nearest international airport is in Delhi.
By Rail : Udaipur is also the nearest railway station from Kumbhalgarh. There are trains for Delhi, Chittaur, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Ajmer, and Jodhpur from Udaipur.
By Road : There are several buses from Udaipur to Kumbhalgarh. From Udaipur buses for many important places to its north and west can be taken.