84km north of Udaipur is located the remote hilltop fort of Kumbhalgarh, the second principal fortress in Rajasthan after Chittorgarh. Perched atop the Aravalli hills it is the most formidable of the 32 forts constructed by Maharana Kumbha in the fifteenth century. It contains many fine temples, beautiful palaces and well laid-out gardens. The fort has a great historical significance and a vacation tour to Kumbhalgarh can help you in exploring and knowing more about the history and heritage of this hill top fort.
It has the distinction of never being successfully besieged but only once when the Mughal army led by Akbar poisoned the Sisodias’ water supply. The Badal Mahal or Cloud Palace offers a wonderful bird’s eye view of the surrounding countryside. Nearby is the Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary replete with a wide variety of wildlife.
The place is replete with history, which can be well explored with a planned vacation your to Kumbhalgarh. The territory of Mewar spread in all directions during the rule of Rana Kumbha. It stretched from Ranthambore to Gwalior that included vast tracts of present-day Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Mewar’s rulers were famous for giving patronage to the Indian martial and fine arts, architecture, and learning. It is said that out of the 84 fortresses defending Mewar, 32 were designed and built by Rana Kumbha. Of these, Kumbhalgarh is the most impressive.
It has 36-kilometer long wall and soaring towers. The present fort of Kumbhalgarh stands on the site of an ancient citadel of the 2nd century AD belonging to a Jain descendant of the powerful Mauryas. It defined the boundaries between Mewar and Marwar and became a refuge for Mewar’s rulers in times of conflict. Its steel gray ramparts encircle the fertile Shero Mallah Valley is encircled by steel gray ramparts. The valley is dotted with ancient monuments cenotaphs, ponds and flourishing farms. The impregnability of the Kumbhalgarh fort can be gouged from the fact that it fell only once in its history, to the combined forces of Emperor Akbar and his general Raja Man Singh of Amber.
Vacation Tour to Kumbhalgarh and Sightseeing Destinations
Ranakpur Jain Temples
While on your vacation tour to Kumbhalgarh, one of the most important attractions to see are the Ranakpur JAin temples. The famous temple complex of Ranakpur, 90 km north of Udaipur, is considered to be one of the five holiest places of the Jainas. The shrines boast wonderful marble works, which put them at a par with those of the more famous Dilwara group at Mount Abu and Shatrunjaya near Palitana in Gujarat.
The main shrine known as Chaumukha temple (four faced temple) is dedicated to Adinath, the first Jaina Tirthankar (the ford maker), whose four-faced image is enshrined in the sanctum sanctorum. It was built in 1439 on land donated to the Jainas by Rana Kumbha of Mewar.
Other temples are dedicated to Parshvanath and Neminath. Also in the compound is a contemporary Hindu temple dedicated to Surya, the Sun god.
110 km north of Udaipur, Ghanerao is a small town situated in the Pali district of Rajasthan. The place is renowned for its rich heritage, landscape and abundant wildlife and this is a must to visit place while on your vacation tour to Kumbhalgarh.
Ghanerao is replete with step wells, temples and marble archways. There are about eleven Jain temples, some of them quite old. Important places of attraction are the Murlidhai Temple, Laxmi Narainji Temple, Gajanand Temple and Chabhiya Temple. A temple dedicated to Lord Mahadev, located on the outskirts of the town, is also worth a visit. Other points of tourist interest in and around the city include the Kumbhalgarh Sanctuary (18 km), Narlai(30 km), Tapeshwar Mahadev, Charbuja and Adinath temples. You can also undertake Horse safari here.
Best time to visit the town is from October to March and this is considered as the best time to plan your vacation tour to Kumbhalgarh.
The nearest airport is at Udaipur. Falna Railway Station, on the Delhi-Ahmedabad section of the Western Railways, is just 30 km from the town.
How to Reach Kumbhalgarh
Nearest airport Udaipur (84 kilometers), and Jodhpur (102 kilometers).
Phalna is the nearest junction through which trains from Mumbai. Ahmedabad, Delhi, Jaipur, Jodhpur, and Ajmer pass.
Many Rajasthan Roadways passenger and deluxe buses pass through Kumbhalgarh from Ajmer, Pushkar, Udaipur, and Jodhpur.