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Road travel with family has always been a pleasurable one, as it allows us to stay in touch with people and their surroundings. We make it a point to stay in villages, partake food with them and also observe closely their professions, avocations and life.

We took a quick, one week trip when our daugher had winter break to cover the Palace-fort-temple circuit of Rajasthan covering Chittorgarh, Udaipur, Nathwarara, Kumbhalgarh and Ranakpur. In this posting I am covering the Kumbhalgarh story with a few magnificient pictures captured. For the Udaipur and Chittorgarh stories, visit the previous two postings.

I drove all the way from Delhi to Kumbhalgarh, a distance of little less than 1000kms. I travelled via Jaipur, Chittorgarh and Udaipur on the way to Kumbhalgarh. Stayed at Jaipur overnight as I started late afternoon from Delhi, then a day at Chittor, two days at Udaipur before reaching Kumbhalgarh visiting Eklingji and Nathdwara, temple towns of signficance and Devigarh fort on our way from Udaipur.

Kumbhalgarh is a Mewar fortress in the Rajsamand District of Rajasthan state in western India. Built during the course of the 15th century by Rana Kumbha, and enlarged through the 19th century, Kumbhalgarh is also the birthplace of Maharana Pratap, the great king and warrior of Mewar. Occupied until the late 19th century, the fort is now open to the public and is spectacularly lit for a few minutes each evening. Kumbalgarh is situated 82 km northwest of Udaipur by road. It is the most important fort in Mewar after Chittaurgarh.

The Kumbhalgarh was built and ruled by Kumbha and his dynasty who were Sisodia descendents.

Kumbhalgarh in its present form was developed by, and said to be personally designed by Rana Kumbha. Rana Kumbha’s kingdom of Mewar stretched from Ranthambore to Gwalior and included large tracts of erstwhile Madhya Pradesh as well as Rajasthan. Out of the 84 forts in his dominion, Rana Kumbha is said to have designed 32 of them, of which Kumbhalgarh is the largest and most elaborate.

Kumbhalgarh also separated Mewar and Marwar from each other and was used as a place of refuge for the rulers of Mewar at times of danger. A notable instance was in the case of Prince Udai, the infant king of Mewar who was smuggled here in 1535, when Chittaur was under siege. Prince Udai who later succeeded to the throne was also the founder of the Udaipur City. The fort remained impregnable to direct assault, and fell only once, due to a shortage of drinking water, to the combined forces of Mughal Emperor Akbar, Raja Man Singh of Amber, Raja Udai Singh of Marwar, and the Sultan of Gujarat.

I am using a few of the photos here from Incredible !ndia : Rajasthan – Kumbhalgarh, a set on Flickr. Kindly visit the FLICKR stream for many more.

Take your mouse on each of the photo, to get greater details about the photo.

Incredible India! Rajasthan - Kumbhalgarh

Incredible India! Rajasthan - Kumbhalgarh

Incredible India! Rajasthan - Kumbhalgarh

Incredible India! Rajasthan - Kumbhalgarh

Kumbhalgarh Fort was built under the rule of Rana Kumbha and is equally accessed through a series of seven gateways, here named Aret Pol, Halla Pol, Hanuman Pol, Ram Pol, Vijay Pol, Nimboo Pol and Bhairon Pol. Only five of these gates are located inside the property boundaries; the outermost, Aret Pol, is excluded and Halla Pol is situated in the buffer zone. The outer walls of Kumbhalgarh Fort were constructed between 1443 and 1458, on the base of pre-15th century wall structures. The complete perimeter extends to a length of 14km, most of which consists of ramparts between 3-5m in height, enforced by circular structures constructed in rubble and brick masonry laid in lime mortar, which are plastered in some parts. All gates leading towards the palace compound on the western side of the fort are roofed and flanked by additional structures

Incredible India! Rajasthan - Kumbhalgarh

Incredible India! Rajasthan - Kumbhalgarh
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Incredible India! Rajasthan - KumbhalgarhIncredible India! Rajasthan - KumbhalgarhIncredible India! Rajasthan - KumbhalgarhIncredible India! Rajasthan - KumbhalgarhIncredible India! Rajasthan - KumbhalgarhIncredible India! Rajasthan - Kumbhalgarh
Incredible India! Rajasthan - KumbhalgarhIncredible India! Rajasthan - KumbhalgarhIncredible India! Rajasthan - KumbhalgarhIncredible India! Rajasthan - KumbhalgarhIncredible India! Rajasthan - KumbhalgarhIncredible India! Rajasthan - Kumbhalgarh

I am using a few of the photos here from Incredible !ndia : Rajasthan – Kumbhalgarh, a set on Flickr. Kindly visit the FLICKR stream for many more

About four hours away from Udaipur by road, we reached in time in the evening to catch the fort lit. It is lit for about 15 minutes during the twilight. The place is completely off any main route, hence you need to keen to go there. Many visit Udaipur and Jodpur, but let go Kumbhalgarh that is in between. But is a place worth visiting to.

Very intersting fact is that the walls of the fort run around the hilly terrain for 36kms, with a width that can accommodate seven horses. It is the longest wall after great wall of china. Every year in the month of Jan, a marathon run is conducted that goes on the ramparts of the fort.

If you are keen on historic monuments and palaces, you may spend a week here exploring every temple complex, old advanced irrigation projects that kept the entire fort live and thriving.

As the palace is completely off the main highway, kindly pack yourself with all the stuff you need for your stay. There are about four good hotels (luxury to modest), where you can stay comfortably, with only a few tea stalls by the road, but no grocery or large stores in the vicinity.

If you really enjoy more of these historic places, go ahead and visit Ranakpur, about 60 kms away, the ancient jain temples that are known for their architectural spleandour. I will cover it in my next posting.

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