It took me around two and a half hours to reach the Kumbhalgarh Fort from Udaipur. I reached there at around 6:15 pm There is a sound and light show in the fort premises that begins at 6:00 pm every evening. I managed to make it to the show and missed just 15 minutes of it. It was all pitch dark and there were certain focus lights, which were focusing on different angles of the fort, while there was a background score along with the light show that was narrating the story of Kumbhalgarh and it's rulers.
The Kumbhalgarh Fort is a Mewar Fortress on the Aravali Hills, in Rajsamand District near Udaipur, Rajasthan. It is a World Heritage Site and was built by Rana Kumbha. Kumbhalgarh is also known to be the birth place of the great warrior of Mewar, Maharana Pratap.
With a wall that extends more than 38 kms, Kumbhalgargh Fort is among the largest wall complexes in the world. Kumbhalgarh seperates Mewar and Marwar and it used to be a place of refuge at the time of battles. The fort wasn't clearly visible at night and so I returned back to my hotel for the day. I planned to come back here again the next morning, to witness this Heroic Wonder.
I booked Kumbhalgarh Forest Retreat, a resort which was almost 6 kms from the fort. It was a wonderful place. The ambiance and the food both were great. The rooms were pretty spacious and had these big balconies. The view from my room was beautiful. It was surely a value for money stay.
I checked out from the hotel in the morning and feasted upon the complementary breakfast which was included in the tariff. I was all set to see the architectural excellence of the Kumbhalgarh Fort.
I drove to the fort and on the way, I saw the huge wall of the fort which extends for over 38 kms. Whenever I see such distinguished characteristics of a historical architecture, I am amazed to see it. My thoughts go back to their era, where I think about the efforts and hardships it would have taken for them to build such a huge structure and majestic on the top of a hill. All this and that too in an era when availability of material and transportation wasn't easy at all, makes me respect the people of history even more.
I reached the parking and then entered the fort from its's huge gate. As I entered the gate, into the fort premises, I wondered for how would I climb the stairs of the fort. Even the sight and a thought of climbing it made me feel tired. I collected myself and managed to clim it, after drinking two bottles of lime juice.
There was a ramp uphill and then there were stairs that takes one to the top of the fort. People could be seen all around, taking rest in between on the benches. I finally reached the top. Man!! it was beautiful. One could see the whole Kumbhalgarh from the top. Not just the city but the view of the 'Great Wall of India" was an amazing experience. It felt like, the wall had no end, it was stretching to infinity. There were a number of temples all around. It is said to have 360 temples within the fort, 300 ancient Jain and the rest Hindu.
While I was standing at the top of the fort cliff, I asked a friend of mine to click a few of my photographs as I wished to keep some memories of this trip.
I saw a photographer capturing the beauty of the fort and its surrounding from another end. He appeared to be a traveler from some other country as he had a guide with him, who must be narrating him the stories of the fort.
After staying there for more than half an hour and breathing in the fresh air from the top, I got down the ramp. There were some broken doors and small gardens in the way. I captured a few clicks and then moved ahead.
I went down the fort and then again climbed the stairs to the great wall that extends to a vast 38 kms. It was a beautiful sight. There were temples and beautiful landscapes all around. The beauty of the Kumbhalgarh Fort was worth a capture. I was startled to see such a majestic structure and to hear the historical stories of bravery, sacrifice and conspiracies around the Fort of Kumbhalgarh.
The trip back in 2004 was as amazing as this one. It was a close knit group of friends, many of us are still in touch.
The trip to the Kumbahlgargh Fort was an amazing experience. Specially the view and the fresh air from the top of the fort were among the best things I loved about this trip of mine. Not just this but the great wall, which almost appears like extending to infinity was something to be falling in love with.
I would surely wish to visit this place again and to walk through the entire 38 kms to see what falls in the way and what exists at the end of it.