We all know about The Great Wall of China since it is the longest wall in the world. But did you know that the second longest continuous wall in the world is in India?
Kumbalgarh is located in Rajasthan and can be reached via road from Jodhpur and Udaipur. Kumbalgarh Fort was built in the 15th century by Mewar king, Rana Kumbha. The fort is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
How to reach: The fort is a short drive away from Udaipur & Jodhpur and can be covered in a day trip.
How much time is needed: We spent around 5 hours in the fort (including a short lunch break). Ideally, you’d need at least 3 hours to comfortably explore the fort. There is also a light and sound show that happens every evening.
Timings: 9AM-5PM (light and sound show happens at 7PM)
Entry fee: Rs.40 (for Indians); for foreigners, I think it is Rs.200 (5 USD)
Guide Cost: Rs.725 (I definitely recommend hiring a guide so that you get an in-depth historical tour of the fort. Ask to check their ASI ID before hiring one. There many guides who speak an array of foreign languages but Hindi and English will be the most popular languages.)
Best time to visit: October – March
Interesting facts about Kumbalgarh Fort:
- Even before the fort was built here, there existed centuries-old Jain temples in the area. They are still within the Fort complex.
- Aided by its topography on top of a hill and the way the fort was built, this fort was invincible. Falling into enemy hands only once due to an acute water shortage inside the fort.
- It took Rana Kumbha 15 years to finish constructing the fort.
- Apparently, when they started building the fort, the walls would keep falling. The king approached a saint who advised that sacrificing a willing human would help ward off the problems faced while building the fort. The King was unable to find any such person and so the saint offered to sacrifice himself and advised to build the fort wherever his dead body falls. There are two memorial temples in the fort for him.
- Rana Kumbha was eventually murdered by his own son.
- Prince Udai Singh II was brought to this fort by his wet nurse, Panna Dai to save his life from his uncle. She left her own son in the prince’s crib, sacrificing him to save the future King. Rajasthan is known for such valour stories.
- The great warrior king Maharana Pratap was born in the fort. He is well known for this battle against the increasing dominance of the Mughal empire in India. His antics against Mughal Emperor Akbar inspired other kings from around India to also fight against Mughal supremacy. He is also well known for his horse, Chetak, who fought bravely alongside the king and brought him to safety on multiple occasions.
- The massive wall along the fort is 38kms long and wide enough for 8 horses to walk alongside.
- Some people to date live within the fortress walls.
If you visit Rajasthan, definitely check out this fort which is an engineering marvel. If you visit India, keep the Great Wall of India on your itinerary too and you won’t be disappointed.
- Carry your own water in reusable bottles to avoid buying plastic bottled water
- Wear sunscreen, since the fort is at a height, the Rajasthan sun is not kind
- Wear walking shoes since it is a long walk up to the fort and around the complex. Wear comfortable clothes as well.
- Carry your own food if you are too picky since there are only 2-3 eateries inside the fort and they aren’t the best (having instant noodles is a safe option)
- Take the walking trail past the temples at the beginning of the Fort complex to go explore the Jain temples. You will not be disappointed. It may not feasible to explore all the temples, but try to cover as many as possible
- Please use dustbins and DO NOT LITTER
- There are a lot of langurs around so beware of opening food packets around them
- Walk along the wall to feel the opulence of the wall
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