Kumbhalgarh Fort is situated near Udaipur city in Rajsamand district of Rajasthan. This fort is synonymous with strength, massiveness, and invincibility. Kumbhalgarh fort is situated at a distance of about 84 km the lake city Udaipur. The Kumbhalgarh fort is considered second in importance after the Chittorgarh Fort.
This colossal Kumbhalgarh fort is perched on top of the hill of Aravali range. 13 hills of Aravali range stand as protectors of this fort. From the fort one gets a breathtaking view of the surrounding, This visual alone is worthy of all the efforts taken to visit this mighty monument.
Kumbhalgarh fort was built by in 15th by Rana Kumbha, a King under whose leadership Mewar’s army grew stronger and stronger and the region prospered.
Kumbhalgrah Fort has massive walls spreading across in an area of about 36 km. These walls are second only after the Great Wall of China.
History Kumbhalgrah Fort:
This site already had a fort hosted on it, which was built during Mauryan times. The older fort was built by a Maurya dynasty emperor called Samprati who was the grandson of Ashoka the great.
Kumbhalgarh is named after Rana Kumbha of Mewar who started construction of this fort on the remains of a previously existing Samprati Fort to make this place and alternate capital of Mewar.
Construction of Kumbhalgarh fort was completed in 1458.m It took over 15 years to build this fort; it was constructed under the supervision of a very famous and talented architect of that era called Madan.
The planning of this alternate capital was done mindfully by Rana Kumbha and his team. The wall built protects the fertile land and include it within the fort walls. There are seven ponds inside the fort. This allowed the city to be able to produce and meet the needs even if the supply of food was stopped from outside by the enemy.
Maha Rana Kumbha being a very strategic and intelligent warrior made sure that this premises did not lack in anything that was needed by the inhabitants. He, in fact, had a simple and not that grand palace built for himself, this shows the kind of simple warrior like life Rana Kumbha led.
Kumbhalgarh fort was used as secondary capital in the times of distress/strife. Rana Udai also took refuge in the fort in his early childhood when Banbir usurped the royal seat after killing Vikramaditya.
Another fact that makes this monument extremely important is that the legendary Rajput King of this land ‘Maharana Pratap’ was born here. Because this place is the Birthplace of legendary Maharana Pratap apart from historic it also holds sentimental values for the people.
Within the walls of the fort are many villages belonging to tribal communities. Maharana Pratap had great relationships with these tribes. And they also held him in high regard. These people also helped Maharana by also keeping him updated when the Mughal army came to attack them. The details like where the army is, how many people etc were shared by these tribal people to Maharana Pratap
About Rana Kumbha:
Rana Kumbha was one of the strongest rulers of the Rajput clan. During his reign about 32 out of 84 forts of Mewar were either built or improved upon.
His reign is considered the golden era of the Rajput dynasty. He fought many battles and never backed down. Never in his lifetime was anyone who could conquer his fort.
Sultans of Malwa and Gujrat used to continuously attack Mewar. They even came together to fight the very powerful Maharana Kumbha but they were no match to him even as a collective army.
Rana Kumbha was not only a very brave and skillful soldier himself, but he was also an accomplished wrestler, a patron of art, architecture, literature, and music. He also wrote and composed music. His work consisting of 16000 couplets is the largest piece of music work.
Perhaps the most unfortunate part of Rana Kumbha’s life is how his life ended. The King who never surrendered or bowed to his enemy was killed by his own son in the greed of power and throne.
About Maharana Pratap
Maharana Pratap spent a considerable part of his life in Kumbhalgarh fort. He chose to stay here as this fort was much stronger and could keep enemies from reaching the complex.
Maharana Pratap is held in very high regard not just by the Rajput community but everyone in India. He was the man of principles who tirelessly fought for the security of his people and kingdom. No matter how powerful the enemy was he refused to bow down to anyone.
One of his greatest enemy was Akbar, who was the most powerful ruler of that era. Maharana Pratap fought with Akbar his entire life and refused to give in.
The Kumbhalgarh fort was taken over only once by combined armies of Amber and Mughals when Maharana Pratap had temporarily left the fort because the source of drinking water of the complex was polluted. Some say it was accidentally polluted while others believe that Mughals did so in order to get the fort in their control. However, soon after the fort was regained by Maharana Pratap.
Kumbhalgrah Fort Architecture:
This massive Kumbhalgarh fort is built in very large expanse. There are seven gates in the fort and 36 km long walls built around for its protection. The width of these walls varies from 15-25 feet at different places.
Fort’s ramparts are wide enough to allow 8 horse riders to march simultaneously on it at one time.
Many factors such as the fact that it is situated on a hilltop, surrounded by walls and forests around the fort added to its security. All this makes it extremely hard for it to be infiltrated in. If anyone tried to invade the fort the wild animals of the jungle were still a great threat. However, Kumbhalgarh fort, remained protected from dangerous animals of the forest due it fortified walls.
It is said that there is also a secret underground passage inside the fort that was meant to be used in the event of an emergency.
Major Attraction of Kumbhalgarh Fort Complex
The complex has a lot of structures worth exploring including palaces, other structures, and temples. Many of the structures of this complex are in ruins today but there are still a lot of significant structures that are worth exploring.
The main attraction of the fort is Badal palace, Kumbha Palace, over 360 Hindu and Jain temples and birthplace of Maharana Pratap etc.
The temples of the complex are crafted beautifully. These bear intricate designs, images etc carved on its structure.
Kumbhalgarh fort complex has a number of magnificent Hindu and Jain temples. One such exquisite temple is a beautiful temple built on 24 strong and beautifully crafted pillars. This stunning temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva.
The main entrance of the temple is guarded by a statue of Nandi the bull, its sanctum, or the garbha graha houses a massive 5 foot tall Shiva lingam. As Rana Kumbha was very tall this massive Shiva lingam was built specially to suit the king’s height.
Badal Mahal or The Cloud Palace is one of the most stunning structures of the complex. It is called so because from this point the clouds seem closer. It was built in the 19th century by Maharana Fateh Singh it is also called Fateh Prakash.
Kumbha Palace is an elegant two storey structure. This palace also has a Darbar Hall.
One the most iconic site of the Kumbhalgarh fort complex i.e. the Birthplace of Maharana Pratap is known as Jhalia Ka Malia is something no visitor can afford to miss.
Another very important place of the fort is a spot near Nimbu pol. This place tells us about the sacrifice of a woman call Panna Dhai who sacrificed her son’s life to save the life of young price who later became Maharana Udai Singh.
Kumbhalgarh Fort is one of the most stunning monuments of the state of Rajasthan. It is a renowned UNESCO world heritage site.
You will get the glimpse of Rajasthan its heritage, culture, history and a lot more while you are on the tour.
A tour of Kumbhalgarh not only will give a nice and fun filled vacation but it will also impart you a lot of historical knowledge as you will get to some of the most amazing stories of the biggest personalities from the history.
Kumbhalgarh is definitely a must visit site, we thoroughly enjoyed exploring it for you guys. Once you go there I am sure you will enjoy it too.
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Must visit places of Rajasthan Also read about the other amazing places of Rajasthan Chittorgarh Fort, Jal Mahal , Amer Fort, Mehrangarh Fort , Jaislmer Fort, Ranthambore Fort. Bhangarh fort,