One of the seven wonders of the world is the Great Wall of China – next to none, a marvellous example of fine architecture and a must-visit destination on every international traveller’s itinerary.
While the great wall of China has no other parallel in the world, I am proud to share with you a similar architectural masterpiece that exists in the royal state of Rajasthan, India: the great wall of Kumbhalgarh. Built in the 16th century, at a height of 3600 ft. above sea-level, it’s one of its own kind of fort: impregnable, strong and resilient. Being the birthplace of the mighty Rajput ruler Maharana Pratap, Kumbhalgarh fort is also popular for its clever design and a 36 kms. long wall that’s 15ft. wide, second to only Great wall of China. That’s not the only thing unique about Kumbhalgarh fort, there’s more.
In early March 2023, I decided to launch a new campaign, ‘Rediscover India, Incredible India’ at my readers’ recommendation. As part of this campaign, I choose a new theme every month that talks about the heritage and culture of Incredible India. We write one blogpost every week on the theme of the month.
The theme for March is ‘Affordable places in India that will make you forget International Dream Destinations’. This is the third blogpost in the series
Access the previous blogposts from here:
Now experience the ‘Garden of Europe, Keukenhof, Netherlands’ in the Tulip Gardens of Kashmir, India
Emerald Green Tea plantations of Munnar that are way more gorgeous than those of São Miguel, Portugal
Kumbhalgarh fort, a 16th century tale of valour
It’s believed that Kumbhalgarh fort existed even before 16th century but came into being (in its current form) when Rana Kumbha took it under his influence. Rana Kumbha was a fine Rajput warrior who built some 32 forts in his lifetime. Of which, Kumbhalgarh is the most elaborate and the largest fort.
Located at a distance of 84 kms. from Udaipur, you can reach Kumbhalgarh within 2 hours by road. A beautiful, scenic drive will refresh you to the core and you won’t know where the time went by.
It’s believed that Rana Kumbha failed miserably many times over while constructing the fort of Kumbhalgarh. When he consulted a saint, the latter advised a human sacrifice. When noone agreed or volunteered for the act, the saint himself offered to do it. A temple was built at the entrance gate of the fort to commemorate this sacrifice.
The Great Design of the Kumbhalgarh fort
Did you know that along with other forts of Rajasthan, the Kumbhalgarh Fort is recognised as a World UNESCO Heritage site. 🙂 Need I convince you more?
The most interesting aspect of the fort’s design is the extreme attention that was paid to keep it invincible. The fort has seven gates and a steep ramp of 1 km. at its entrance gate. As you enter through it, there are many sharp twists and turns that were intelligently designed to slow down the army of the enemy in case of an attack.
Even inside the fort, there are several clever traps, and such intricacies built-in that it’s not easy to access the inner chambers of the fort or to overpower it swiftly. In fact, Kumbhalgarh was never won over on pure strength or military prowess. The only time Kumbhalgarh fell to the enemy when they poisoned the water supply of the fort.
Know more about the stories of Kumbhalgarh by attending its light and sound show that’s hosted every evening. To book tickets, click here. To know more, click here.
A day well-spent,￼ exploring the world inside the Kumbhalgarh Fort
There are seven gates to the fort, and over 300 temples inside the premises. Yes, you read that right. Over 300 temples dedicated to Hinduism and Jainism.
While a day is less to explore and experience the cultural heritage of Kumbhalgarh fort, you can still try. And if you do, here are the recommendations for a day-long itinerary: Badal Mahal, Parshwanath and Neelkanth temples, Kumbha Palace, Lakhola Tank, Chhatris, Baoris and Water Reservoirs.
You can hire a guide at the location who can tell you the stories associated with each of these spots, or indulge in a conversation with a local who would talk about the influence of this place on the previous generations. 🙂 I go for the first option almost always, but I don’t let go of the second option either if that’s a possibility.
India is so huge, diverse and unique that one lifetime is not enough to showcase its culture, heritage and brilliance. But then, we sure can try. How? By exploring the country little by little and enriching our life on weekends (or weekdays). 🙂
4 Comments Add yours
My Nana Ji Track The Legend Wall of Kumbhalgarh Fort in 1973… Taken 2 Days for Completely Tracking….He was School Teacher @ Kumbhalgarh Govt School….
Lovely, Dilip! Thanks for sharing. 1973 sounds so far back. Your nanji must be an adventurous person
I visited a year back and had a really great time. We stayed at kumbhalgarh Forest Retreat, amazing place to stay.
Thanks Riya. Will definitely check this out sure