a cluster of 13 mountain peaks of the Aravalli ranges, the formidable
medieval citadel - Kumbhalgarh stands a wary sentinel to the past.
Rising from a prominent ridge,
1914 meters high from the sea level, the fort was built in by Maharana
Kumbha (1419-63 AD) and is the principal fortification after Chittorgarh
lying 90-kms north-west of Udaipur.
is known for the 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.
Castle in the sand !
Rana Kumbha of Mewar built this great defensive fortress on an 1100 m
high hill overlooking the approaches from Ajmer and Marwar in 15th
century. Today, precisely because it is within easy reach of Udaipur,
Jodhpur, Ajmer, and Pushkar- yet off the well-trodden tourist-
Kumbhalgarh is an attractive destination.
Kumbhalgarh is the second most important bastion in the Mewar region,
after Chittorgarh. Where it now stands, was once the site of an ancient
citadel dating back to the 2nd century AD. That citadel belonged to a
Jain descendant of India's Mauryan emperors. Rana Kumbha founded the
fort of Kumbhalgarh in the 15th century. Kumbhalgarh in Rajasthan, India
is one of the few forts in India that remain unconquered till date. One
of the reasons behind this is the inaccessibility and hostile topography
of the fort. Maharana Fateh Singh got the fort renovated in the 19th
The massive fort, encompassed by a 36-km long wall, has seven majestic
gates and seven ramparts, one within the other. Rounded bastions and
strengthen the crenallated walls of the fort making it an impregnable
Fascinating chambers are built on the western side of the last gate -
the 'Nimboo Pol'. According to history, the infant Udai Singh was
smuggled from Bundi and hidden in these chambers by his faithful maid
Panna Dai to save him from the murderous intentions of his uncles who
desired the throne.
Udai Singh ascended the throne of Mewar with Kumbhalgarh as his
residence and later established Udaipur - the beautiful Lake City.
Within the fort are many magnificent palaces and an array of ruined
The most picturesque of the palaces is the 'Badal Mahal 'or the palace
of the cloud. The palace has got its name for being the highest of all
the structures. It offers a superb bird's eye view of the countryside
surrounding the fort as well as of other ruins within the fort.
The ancient ruins of the temples within the fort date back to the
Mauryan period built during the reign of the grandson of the Mauryan
Emperor Ashoka who belonged to the Jain community. Most of the ruins in
Kumbhalgarh are of the Jain temples of various periods.
As one moves to the East, Kali Temple and the Namadev Kund with royal 'Chhatris'
can be seen. Another noteworthy temple, a little further; enshrines a
fine black marble 'lingam'. The 'mandap' or the hall of the temple has
beautiful pillars, finely fluted and having a tapering shape.
Prime Attractions of Kumbhalgarh, India
Three Jain temples, dedicated to Lord Shiva, Lord Hanuman and Navi Mata
are among some noteworthy temples at Desuri. A temple dedicated to
Parsurama Mahadeo, nestled in the hills, is also closeby. It is situated
in the Kumbhalgarh tehsil of Rajsamand.
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 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.
Excursions from Kumbhalgarh
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. The town of Kankroli nearby with a
marvellous temple and a pretty palace on the hill top offers a scenic
Ranakpur Temples (50Km.)
These beautiful Jain temples are fine examples of temple architecture.
Kankroli Rajsamand, located nearby are known for their scenic beauty.