At a distance of 64 kms in north-west of Udaipur city of Rajasthan is Rajasmand district, where lies the great fort of Kumbalgarh, built during 15th century by Maharana Kumbha, this fort is also the birth place of Maharana Pratap, the great warrior king of Mewar. Majestically standing at a height of about 1180m, this invincible fort provides a magnificent and panoramic view of the countryside from its top. The road from Udaipur to Kumbalgarh goes zigzag, through Arravali ranges , deep ravines , thick forests ,beautiful sceneries and clean fresh air away from the hustle and bustle of city.
The fort is surrounded by thick walls which is 15 KMS long, which is supposed to be the second longest wall in the world after the great wall of China. This grand fort also has 360 temples within the walls. This wall is a great example of brilliant architecture of Rajpur era and runs through the mountains and cliff and provides protection to the fort. The fort has seven huge and magnificent gates guarding the entrances and the security of the fort was strengthened by rounded bastions and immense watch towers.
The fort was so impregnable even the great Mugals couldn’t capture it alone and they have to be assisted by armies of Delhi, Amber and Marwar to breach its defences. It is believed that after the fort of Chittorgarh, Kumbhalgarh Fort is the second most important fort of Rajasthan. Although I loved all the forts I visited in Rajasthan equally, they are so splendorous and large and beautiful, and each of them have legends behind them. The legend of Khumbhalgarh fort goes like this:
“Inspite of his repeated attempts Rana Kumbha was unsuccessful in building the wall of fort, as it falls down every time he tries to build it, desperate for building the wall, he consulted a spiritual preceptor, who advised him a voluntary human sacrifice, he also advised him to build a temple where the head falls and wall and the fort where the body falls,. According to some beliefs the preceptor offered himself for sacrifice and other says that a pilgrim or some soldier volunteered and was ritually decapitated. One can see at the main gate of the fortress Hanuman Pol, which contains a shrine and a temple to commemorate the great sacrifice.
The huge complex of the Fort has numerous palaces, temples and gardens making it more magnificent. According to popular folklore, Maharana Kumbha used to burn massive lamps at the fort to provide light for the farmers who worked during the nights in the valley.