August 7, 2014

My TripAdvisor Review No.36: Kumbhalgarh Fort

“Majestic Hill Fort, A UNESCO World Heritage Site.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed 7 August 2014 NEW
Kumbhalgarh Fort is located in the Aravalli hills in the Mewar region of Rajasthan, about 85 km north-west of Udaipur. It was built in the 15th century by Rana Kumbha and is also the birthplace of Maharana Pratap, the great warrior king of Mewar. It is the 2nd largest fort in Mewar after Chittaurgarh, and also has the 2nd longest wall in the world (after the Great Wall of China), running along its boundary for 36 kms.

The fort is built on a hill at a height of 1100 metres and requires a considerable effort to climb to the top. But once you are in the palace at the top of the fort, also known as ‘Badal Mahal’, you are rewarded with awesome views of the forested Aravalli hills, with the Mewar region on the eastern side and Marwar region on the west. The forests surrounding the fort comprise the Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary which is home to leopard, sloth bear, monkeys, wolf, jackal, sambar, peacock, jungle fowl and a host of other birds and animal species.

It is worthwhile for a tourist to spend at least one day at Kumbhalgarh. He can arrive here from Udaipur or Ranakpur and have some refreshments at one of the two restaurants at the base. There is a nominal entry fee and parking charges to be paid before entering. Guides can be made available for a fee, if you ask at the counter. There are many Jain and Hindu temples near the base of the fort. It takes between 30 to 60 minutes to reach the top of ‘Badal Mahal’, depending on how much time you spend at each of the many sights and views on the way up. It is a stiff climb but there are benches and boulders beneath shady trees, where you can sit and catch your breath. When you reach the top you are literally blown away by the views and the wind!

Every evening there is a Light and Sound show (chargeable) where the story of the fort and its erstwhile rulers is recounted in an open air amphitheatre. You are transported into the past and the old history and events of Kumbhalgarh Fort comes alive. It is quite impressive, and worth waiting for at the end of the day. But to witness this show one must spend the night in a nearby hotel, or drive back to Udaipur in the dark.

There are a number of good hotels on the road from the fort to the nearest town, Kelwara, where one can put up for the night.
Visited July 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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