Cradled in 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.
The massive fort, encompassed by a 36-km long wall, has
seven majestic gates and seven ramparts, one within the
other. Rounded bastions and soaring watchtowers
strengthen the crenallated walls of the fort making it
an impregnable structure.
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 temples.
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
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 view.
Ranakpur Temples (50Km.)
These beautiful Jain temples are fine examples of temple
architecture. Kankroli Rajsamand, located nearby are
known for their scenic beauty.