Kumbhalgarh Fort, located in between the peaks of Rajasthan's Aravalli range, is a comfortable two-hour journey outside Udaipur. Kumbhalgarh’s outer wall-length measures up to 36 kilometres, making it the world's second-longest wall, after the Great Wall of China. The fort, situated 80 kilometres from Udaipur, is Rajasthan's second-biggest fort after the Chittorgarh Fort in the Mewar area.
Built in the 1500s, the Kumbhalgarh Fort was captured by Mughal soldiers by deceit when they contaminated the fort's water supply. Today it is a UNESCO’s World Heritage Site and is known for its magnificent monuments, lavish mansions, a plethora of temples, and colourful chattris. Aside from having diverse flora and fauna, the area also has a splendid history that has been brought to life with monuments that adorn the city.
How to reach Kumbhalgarh Fort?
The nearest airport to reach Kumbhalgarh is 66 kilometres away i.e the Maharana Pratap Airport in Dabok in Udaipur, Rajasthan. The nearest railway stations are Rani (RANI) and Khimel (KZQ), Rajasthan. The nearest bus stop is 36 kilometres away in Nathdwara (Shrinathji).
The entry fee to the fort is 40 rupees for Indian nationals and 600 rupees for foreign citizens. There is ample parking space, and parking is free of cost. The fort is on a cliff and requires a 500-meter climb, but the view from the vantage point is spectacular. Kumbhalgarh’s grounds include several temples and ancient ruins along with hand-carved figures and murals that adorn the walls. There is a Shiva temple with a Shivling that stands over five feet tall. The fort has a rich historical background, and local guides narrate it beautifully at an extra cost.
Light and sound show
Every evening at 6:45 PM, there is a light and sound show that you should not miss. The 45-minute show is a captivating experience that helps bring out the fort's history to life. The cost of the show is an additional 100 for adults and 50 for kids. The show begins at 6:45 PM sharp, and it gets fairly dark by the end, so keep your mobile torch ready to find your way out. Following the show, the entire fort is illuminated, creating an enchanted atmosphere.
The history of the famous wall
The fort was built in the 15th century by Rana Kumbha, the ruler of the Mewar Empire. It is 1100 metres above sea level. Apart from its 36-kilometre wall length, the fort is also notable for its 360 temples—the majority of which are reported to be Jain temples. There are also stepwells, castles, gardens, and 700-gun bunkers within the compound.
During times of crisis, the fort was one of the principal sources of hope for the region's rulers. It has penetrated only once since its creation. Some sections of the wall are fairly wide, allowing eight horses to go through. The fort also houses a renowned Ganesh temple, which is regarded to be one of the oldest temples in the region. There is also a Shiva temple named Neel Kanth Mahadeva Temple, which was constructed in 1458 CE.
Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary
The Kumbhalgarh Sanctuary stretches across the Aravalli Range and includes parts of the Rajsamand, Udaipur, and Pali districts. Many endangered species call this sanctuary their home. Animals such as wolves, leopards, sloth bears, hyenas, jackals, jungle cats, sambhar, nilgai, chausingha (four-horned antelope), chinkaras, and hares are found in this sanctuary. Kumbhalgarh is Rajasthan's sole sanctuary where visitors can observe wolves at work.
The Kumbhalgarh sanctuary is home to more than 40 wolves. During the summer, it is common to see a pack of wolves wandering around the sanctuary's water sources. For all you bird lovers, there is a wide range of bird species that are truly unmissable. The grey jungle fowl is also a sight to behold. Apart from that, birds such as red spur owls, parakeets, golden orioles, bulbuls, doves, peacocks, grey pigeons, and white-breasted kingfishers may be found around the lakes and streams at Hotel Fateh Safari Resort in Kumbhalgarh.