Majestic. And sprawling across about 40 kilometers Built on a hill amidst the Aravalli ranges, you will not sight this fortress until you are standing almost underneath it. Our guide told us, this was because, the fort was built in order to be a strategic point of defence for the rulers of the then Mewar. He also added that the walls of the Kumbhalgarh Fort were second only to the Great Wall of China. We aren’t sure about that though. But they sure looked encompassing a very wide area.
Besides being massive and majestic, Kumbalgarh’s another claim to fame is the fact that Maharana Pratap, one of Rajasthan’s most loved heroes, was born in this fort. The Fort is beautiful and the grounds have been well kept, although some of the walls in the higher reaches are smeared with paan-spits.
And it truly is a photographer’s delight. We absolutely loved it there. We strolled the grounds at leisure, marvelling at the imposing structure and also the beautiful Aravalli ranges surrounding it so completely. Our guide told us that they organize a light and sound show there every evening. Must be a awesome experience to see the sunset from here and then the show on the fort’s history.
It is quite a trek up. Make sure you are carrying enough water or fruit juices with you, particularly if you are there on a hot day. Note that you won’t get any eatables up at the fort. There is a small shop right at the foot of the fort. Buy you stock of chocolates, biscuits, wafers and water here. And make sure, you throw the empty wrappers, packets, bottles only in the bin provided at every corner. Remember, you keep it clean, the other fellow sees it clean. The other fellow keeps it clean, you get to see it clean. Responsible Tourism!!
Should you take a guided tour of the Kumbalgarh Fort? Yes, we’d strongly recommend it. For, it takes a minimum of two hours to tour the fort when accompanied by a guide. And he is the best guy to tell you about the fort’s history and folklore.
How To Reach Kumbalgarh Fort? Take a taxi. That’s the easiest and fastest way to reach the fort. If you are a large group, the bus of course, is your best option.
How long does it take to reach Kumbalgarh Fort? Our driver told us that Kumbalgarh would be about 90 kms from Udaipur. A quick calculation, and we thought that if we left the hotel after breakfast, around 8.30 am, we’d be able to make it by 10.30 am. Wrong. For we had no idea about the bad roads. It took us more than 2 hours to reach the fort!!
Surprisingly, while the Udaipur Highway is in such fantastic condition, the govt hasn’t done much about the roads that connect some important tourist points around Udaipur. The road to Kumbhalgar is narrow and patchy ensuring a bumpy drive for most part of the journey. Sad. For so many people go to visit it every day.
Is Kumbalghar Fort Kid-Friendly and Disabled-Friendly? No. It’s a long walk to the top and after about one and a half hours, my little daughter declared that she couldn’t walk anymore. Couldn’t blame her, for we too were quite out of breath towards the end. Key is to halt and tour the fort. You won’t feel the effort so much then.
Final Word on Kumbalghar Fort: In one word, it’s ‘worth’ it. Every bit of it. By the time you have toured it completely, you would have forgotten the skepticism you had while on your way to the fort.