Kumbhalgarh Fort is one of the five hill forts of Rajasthan that received the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage Site status in 2013.
Nestled in the Rajsamand district of Rajasthan, about 82 km away from the city of Udaipur, this magnificent fort is situated in the middle of a lush forest, which has now been turned into a wildlife sanctuary, surrounded by thirteen hill peaks of the Aravalli ranges.
Perched at an elevation of 1,914 meters above sea level, the fort offers a panoramic view of its surroundings.
Built in the 15th century by Rana Kumbha, under the direction of the renowned architect Mandan, Kumbhalgarh Fort was the second-largest and most important Mewar fort in Rajasthan after Chittorgarh Palace. The fort was constructed in the exact same place where an old castle once existed, attributed to Jaina prince Samprati of the second century BC.
Named after King Kumbha, this fort was cleverly designed on a hilltop to provide the Mewar kings with a strategic position to protect themselves against enemy attacks. The fort is also the birthplace of Maharana Pratap, one of the most powerful Mewar kings.
Inside the fort, you’ll find Badal Mahal, built by Rana Fateh Singh, one of the most famous builders of the time. Other notable buildings include Kumbha Palace, Jain Temples, Baoris, Chhattris, water reservoirs, and Brahmanical temples.
With its humongous gate, known as Ram Gate or Ram Pol, and seven gates in total, Kumbhalgarh Fort boasts 360 temples within its walls, 300 of which are ancient Jain temples, and the rest Hindu. There’s even a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva, showcasing a massive Shivalinga. From the fort, you can also get a breathtaking view of the dunes in the Thar Desert.
The walls of the Kumbhalgarh Fort are a true marvel, measuring 36 km in diameter, making them one of the longest walls in the world. The frontal walls of the fort are thick, measuring 15ft, and there’s a Lakhola Tank inside, built by Rana Lakha between 1382 and 1421 CE, which has a depth of 18 meters. The major gates of the fort are Aaret Pol, Halla Pol, Ram Pol, and Hanuman Pol, with the latter having an inscription at its foot indicating its detailed construction.
Kumbhalgarh Fort is a must-visit for all history and travel enthusiasts. The fort is open from 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM and the entry fee for Indians is just INR 10.