We all know about the Great Wall of China which is very popular and regarded as the longest man-made structure in the world. Did you know one such wall exists in India which may not be as long as the Great Wall of China but it is probably the second largest wall in the world and known as the great wall of India?
We are talking about the wall of Kumbhal Fort in Kumbhalgarh which is a Mewar fortress on the western range of Aravalli Hills, near Udaipur in Rajasthan state. The fort of Kumbhalgarh magnetizes tourists from all across the globe for its scenic beauty and great architecture.
The fort of Kumbhalgarh has perimeter walls that extend 36 km, making it one of the longest walls in the world. The fort was built by Rana Kumbha during the 15th century. It took around 15 long years for Rana Kumbha to build the fort.
There is another story to the fort construction that when Rana Kumbha started the construction of the fort wall, The structure used to automatically break into ruins by the sunset. Then one spiritual instructor suggested to the king that one voluntary human sacrifice would be required to keep the built structures intact. King announced in his kingdom but nobody volunteered for the sacrifice as expected. Then one day one pilgrim who is also considered to a soldier from the commandment volunteered and he was ritually sacrificed. After this King was able to build massive battle walls that can protect the fortress from any attack of intruders.The main gate of the fortress, Hanuman Pol contains a shrine and a temple to honor the great sacrifice of the soldier.According to popular folklore, Maharana Kumbha used to burn massive lamps that consumed fifty kilograms of ghee and a hundred kilograms of cotton to provide light for the farmers who worked during the nights in the valley.
Kumbhalgarh is also considered the birthplace of Maharana Pratap, the great king, and warrior of Mewar. The fort was occupied until late 19th Century by the rulers of the Indian princely state of Udaipur. The fort is now open to the public and it looks spectacular when it is lit for few minutes in the evening.It is a World Heritage Site included in Hill Forts of Rajasthan.Kumbhalgarh is situated 82 km northwest of Udaipur by road. It is the most important fort in Mewar after Chittorgarh.
The fort is built on a hilltop on the Aravalli range. The fort is about 1110 meters high when measured from the sea level.The frontal walls are fifteen feet thick. Kumbhalgarh has seven fortified gateways. There are over 360 temples within the fort, 300 ancient Jain, and the rest Hindu.
(The massive gate of Kumbhalgarh fort, called the Ram Gate)
The inaccessibility and hostility of the topography make the fort invincible. It served the rulers of Mewar as a refuge in times of strife. The fort also served as a refuge to King Udai of Mewar in his early childhood when Banbir killed Vikramaditya and usurped the throne. The defense of fort could be breached only once by the combined armies of the Mughal Emperor Akbar, Raja Man Singh of Amber, Raja Udai Singh of Marwar, and the Mirzas in Gujarat due to a shortage of drinking water.
From the top of fort walls, you can observe a superb panoramic view of the surroundings. The fort is surrounded by the massive wall with a width enough to take eight horses alongside. Maharana Fateh Singh renovated the fort in the 19th century. The fort’s large compound has very interesting ruins and a walk around it can be very educative.
Kumbhalgarh is a great spot for photographers and people who have an interest in jungle safari. Trekking to Kumbhalgarh Fort is the great way to enjoy your weekend/holidays with your family or friends. Other attraction is the Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary, spread across 578 km² in area and at an altitude of 500 to 1,300 meters.
HOW TO REACH Kumbhalgarh Fort?
Kumbhalgarh Fort is easily reached by taking either regular buses or hiring a taxi from Udaipur city. The nearest airport is in Udaipur (98 km).
Please share your experiences if you ever visited the fort or planning to visit the fort.
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