Kumbhalgarh is a Mewar fortress on the western range of Aravalli Hills, in the Rajsamand district near Udaipur of Rajasthan. In 2013, It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Kumbhalgarh is situated 82 km northwest of Udaipur by road. It was the most important fort in the Mewar region after Chittorgarh Fort. The fort is among the largest fort complexes in the world, and the second-largest fort in India after Chittor Fort, which makes it India’s own Great Wall of China. The fort’s massive wall stretches 36 km approx. with a width enough to take eight horses’ side by side. Maharana Fateh Singh renovated the fort in the 19th century.
It is of great sentimental significance for the people in Rajasthan and holds a very special place in history and in the hearts of the Rajputs, being the birthplace of Mewar’s legendary king Maharana Pratap. Though this fort never conquered in battle, it was captured only once by the Mughal army by trickery, they poisoned the water supply of the fort.
There is a magnificent array of temples built by the Mauryas of which the most picturesque place is the Badal Mahal or the palace of the clouds. The palace at the top of the cliff, known as Badal Mahal is a two-storied structure divided into two interconnected distinct portions i.e., the Zanana and the Mardana Mahal, and elaborately decorated with oil paintings.
The Zanana Mahal is provided with stone jalis which facilitated the queens to see the court proceedings and other events in privacy. Most of the rooms are currently restored by the Government of India and are locked, the views over the walls to the jungle-covered hillsides and across the deserts of Marwar towards Jodhpur, are simply stunning.
The fort also offers a superb bird’s eye view of the surroundings. The fort’s large compound has very interesting ruins and a walk around it can be very educative.
Kumbhalgarh Fort Entry Fees: There is an entry fee of INR 15 for citizens of India and visitors of SAARC and BIMSTEC countries. For foreigners, it is INR 200.
Kumbhalgarh Fort Timings: 9 AM to 6 PM every day.
Tips for Kumbhalgarh Fort:
– Visiting Kumbhalgarh Fort is a long steep trek, comfortable footwear and water bottles to keep are a must to carry.
– The timings for the Light and Sound is 6:45 PM every evening that one must not miss. It is a 45-minute show depicting tales of the Rajput dynasties of Mewar and the fort’s history.
– Show tickets: INR 100 for adults and INR 50 for children.
– After the show, the whole fort is illuminated for an hour. This is a great time for clicking spectacular shots.
Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary
Spread in an area of 578 sq km, Kumbhalgarh Sanctuary encircles the massive fort of Kumbhalgarh. Kumbhalgarh sanctuary covers parts of Rajsamand, Udaipur, and Pali districts. The sanctuary makes a home to many endangered species of wildlife. The sanctuary provides natural habitat to many creatures like Wolf, Leopards, Sloth bear, Hyena, jackal, Jungle cat, Sambhar, Nilgai, Chausingha (the four-horned antelope), Chinkara and Hare apart from these animals’ birds like Red Spur Owls, Parakeets, Golden Oriole, Bulbul, Dove, Grey Pigeons, and White Breasted Kingfisher can be spotted near the water holes.
Haldighati is a mountain pass between Khamnore and Bagicha village situated at Aravalli Range of Rajasthan in western India which connects Rajsamand and Pali districts. The pass is located at a distance of 40 kilometers from Udaipur. The name ‘Haldighati’ is originated from the turmeric-colored yellow soil of the area. The historic Battle of Haldighati has been fought on 21st June 1576 between Maharana Pratap, the Mewar King, and Emperor Akbar, a Mughal ruler. Maharana Pratap’s horse Chetak played a pivotal role in the Battle of Haldighati. Chetak was fatally wounded in this battle and died on 21 June 1576. Maharana Pratap erected a small monument for his horse at the place where Chetak fell.
Ranakpur Jain temple or Chaturmukha (The temple is called Chaumukha Temple – Chau meaning four and Mukha meaning faces.) Dharana Vihara is a Śvētāmbara Jain temple at Ranakpur is dedicated to Tirthankara Rishabhanatha. The temple is located in the village of Ranakpur near Sadri town in the Pali district of Rajasthan.
The construction of the temple started in the 15th century by Darna Shah, a local Jain businessperson following a divine vision.
The temple honors Adinath, the first Tirthankar of the present half-cycle (avasarpiṇī) according to Jain cosmology. It is one of the five most important pilgrimage sites for Jains and is also the largest temple among them. The campus includes various temples such as Chaumukha temple, Surya temple, Suparshvanatha temple, and Amba temple.
This temple was even invaded by the Mughals and was once used as a home for dacoits. After a few years, it was re-discovered as made as a tourist attraction for everyone to see.
Entry Fee: There is no entry fee for visiting Ranakpur Jain Temple. However, this is a small fee for cameras and cell phones which is around Rs 100.
Best Time to visit October to March
Note: Leather items like wallets, shoes, etc are not allowed inside the temple. There are lockers for keeping them safe, or you can leave them in your vehicle. bare shoulders and shorts are prohibited from the temple. One should be fully or semi-fully covered as it is a place of God. Scarves are available for a small fee at the ticket counter.