Kumbhalgarh Fort - Quick Guide
Kumbhalgarh Fort - Overview
Kumbhalgarh Fort was built by Rana Kumbha in 15th century. This fort is second largest fort in Rajasthan. Like other hill forts of Rajasthan, this fort was also built on Aravalli ranges. The wall of the fort is 38km long and is second largest wall after Great Wall of China. The fort has now been named under UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Rasamand is a small town in Rajasthan and is a district headquarter. The city is named so as there is an artificial Rajsamand lake created by Rana Raj Singh of Mewar. Previously the district came under the district headquarters of Udaipur. Later, in 1991, it became an independent district.
The fort is opened for the tourists from 9:00am to 6:00pm. The fort is very big and it takes around two to three hours to visit the whole fort. Light and sound show is also arranged daily at 6:45pm whose duration is 45 minutes. In this show, history of Kumbhalgarh can be viewed through music, sound, and light.
Tourists have to pay an entry fee to visit the fort. Tourists from India, SAARC countries, and BIMSTEC countries have to pay Rs. 15 while the tourists belonging to other countries have to pay Rs. 200. Tourists also have to pay Rs.100 to watch the light and sound show which is conducted only in Hindi language.
Best time to visit
The best time to visit Kumbhalgarh Fort is from October to March. In this period, the climate is pleasant though December and January are chilly. In the rest of the months that is from April to September, the climate is very hot as is not suitable to visit the fort.
Where to Stay?
There are around 29 hotels in Rajsamand district. No five-star or four-star hotels are there but three-star, two-star, and budget hotels are there where people can stay. Some of these hotels are as follows −
Deogarh Mahal located at Madaria
Gajanan Hotel located near Anuvrat Vishwa Bharti
Palace Anjali located nearby Rise Institute of Technology
Sardargarh Heritage Hotel located at a distance of 42km from Kumbhalgarh
People can also stay in the hotels in the nearby cities like Udaipur, Jodhpur, Nathdwara etc.
Kumbhalgarh Fort - History
Rana Kumbha constructed the Kumbhalgarh Fort in 1458AD. It took around fifteen years to compete the construction. The fort was built on the ruins of Jain king Samprati, the grandson of Ashoka. The construction of the fort separated Mewar from Marwar. The Rajput kings used the fort as a refuge if they feel danger in their forts or palaces.
Kumbhalgarh Fort under Rana Kumbha
Rana Kumbha belonged to the Sisodia Rajput clan and gave the task to Mandan to design the architecture of the fort. The kingdom of Rana Kumbha was extended to Gwalior from Mewar which also included a large part of Madhya Pradesh. Besides Kumbhalgarh Fort, Rana Kumbha built 31 more forts to protect his kingdom.
Kumbhalgarh Fort under Rana Uday Singh
When Rana Uday Singh was a baby, he was brought to this fort during the siege of Chittorgarh Fort in 1535. Panna Dhai brought after the death of his father. He was the king who founded the city of Udaipur during his reign.
Attacks on Kumbhalgarh Fort
Alauddin Khilji attacked the fort and invaded it in 1303. Another attack was done by Ahmed Shah of Gujarat but it was made unsuccessful. Ahmed Shah destroyed the Banmata temple as it was believed that the deity saved the fort from attacks. Mahmud Khilji attacked the fort in 1458, 1459, and 1467 but could not succeed in winning the fort.
The combined forces of Emperor Akbar, Raja Uday Singh of Marwar, Raja Man Singh of Amer, and Mirzas of Gujarat also attacked the fort. The Rajputs surrendered due to shortage of water. Shahbaz Khan, a general of Emperor Akbar, took control of the fort. In 1818, Marathas took over the fort.
Kumbhalgarh Fort - Gates
Kumbhalgarh Fort was constructed amidst Aravali hills by Rana Kumbha. The fort consists of gates, temples, palaces and many other structures which the tourists can watch during their visit. The fort originally was constructed by Rana Kumbha but later Rajput rulers added many structures to the fort.
Tourists can enter the fort through Arait Pol, Hanuman Pol, and Ram Pol. Arait Pol is situated in the south while Ram Pol is in north. Hanuman Pol has the image of Hanuman which Rana Kumbha brought from Mandavpur. The fort complex can be accessed through Bhairon Pol, Nimboo Pol, and Paghara Pol. Danibatta is another gate in the fort situated on the east side.
Arait Pol is the first gate from where tourists can enter the fort. The gate is the southern gate of the fort. If there was an emergency, then mirror signals were used to inform all the gates. The area where the pol is constructed has forests surrounding it which has tigers and wild boars. Ganesh temple is there at the entrance from this gate.
Hulla Pol or Disturbance Pol was named so due to the successful invasion of the fort by the Mughal army in 1567. From this gate, tourists can see the beautiful view of the surrounding area.
Nimbu Pol or Lemon Gate was a place where Panna Dhai took baby Uday Singh to a safe place after the death of his father Prithviraj. She substituted her son instead of the prince and took the prince away as his uncles wanted to kill him.
From Hulla Pol tourists can enter Hanuman Pol. This gate has an image of Hanuman which was brought by Rana Kumbha from Mandore in Marwar. Bhairon Pol is the gate through which tourists can go to the top of the fort. Paghara Pol is the gate where cavalry was assembled. Another gate of the fort is Top Khana Pol or Cannon Gate where there was a secret passage. Another gate through which tourists can enter the fort is Ram Pol.
Kumbhalgarh Fort - Temples
There are 364 temples in the fort out of which 300 are Jain temples. Some of these temples are as follows −
Ganesh temple was built during the reign of Rana Kumbha. It was built near the palaces so that royal people can come and worship Lord Ganesh whose image was established in the temple. Inscriptions of Kirtistambha of Chittorgarh Fort can be found here.
Vedi temple is a Jain temple which has three storeys and was built in octagonal shape. The temple was built by Rana Kumbha and is situated near Hanuman Pol. People have to go to the temple through the stairs as it was built on a raised platform. The ceiling is supported by 36 pillars and it has a dome at the top. Rana Fateh renovated this temple during his reign.
Neelkanth Mahadev Temple
Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is situated to the east of the Vedi temple. There is a Shiv Linga whose height is five feet. The temple can be accessed through a series of steps as it is built on a high platform.
Parsvanath was a Jain Tirthankara and in order to worship him, a temple was built by Nar Singh Pokhad. The statue of Parsvanath has been established here whose height is three feet.
Bawan Devi Temple
Bawan Devi Temple has 52 shrines in a single complex and that’s why it is named so. There is only one gate through which the devotees can enter. Out of 52 statues, two are big and rest are small and are placed all around the wall. An image of a Jain Tirthankara can also be found on the lalatabimba of the gate.
Golerao Group of Temples
Golerao Group of Temples is located nearby the Bawan Devi Temple whose walls are carved with the images of gods and goddesses.
Mamdeo Temple is also known as Kumbha Shyam Temple. It is the same place where Rana Kumbha was assassinated by his son when he was kneeling down and praying. There is a pillared mandap in the temple and a flat roof sanctum. Along with this, the idols of gods and goddesses are carved in the walls. There is a carving in which Rana Kumbha has given the details of the history of Kumbhalgarh.
Pitalia Dev Temple
Pitalia Dev Temple is a Jain temple built by Pitalia Jain Seth. There is a pillared mandap and a sanctum and people can enter here from all the four directions. The statues in the temple are of gods, goddesses, apsaras, and dancers.
Kumbhalgarh Fort - Palaces
There are many palaces constructed by different rulers. Some of these palaces are as follows −
Rana Kumbha Palace
Rana Kumbha Palace was built on the basis of Rajput architecture. Tourists can reach there through Paghara Pol. There is a blue coloured durbar hall inside the palace. In order to separate the men’s palace from women’s palace, a corridor was built in between them. In some of the women palaces, the walls were painted with elephants, crocodiles, and camels.
Badal Mahal was built by Rana Fateh Singh who ruled from 1885 to 1930. There is a narrow staircase from where people can go to the terrace of the fort to reach the palace. This palace has two storeys and there is a corridor which separates men portion from women portion. The walls are decorated with paintings of 19th century. The women palace has jaali screens built up of stones so that they could see the proceedings going on in the court.
Jhalia ka Malia
Jhalia ka Malia was the palace of Queen Jhali. The palace is situated near Paghara Pol and is constructed by using rubble stone. The walls of the palace are plain and the roof is flat. This is the same palace in which Rana Pratap was born.
Kumbhalgarh Fort - How to Reach?
Kumbhalgarh does not have airport or railway station. The nearest railway station is Falna and nearest airport is Udaipur. Both the cities are well-connected with Delhi Jaipur Jodhpur etc. Tourists can reach Udaipur or Falna and hire a taxi to reach Kumbhalgarh. Approximate distance of Udaipur and Falna to different cities is as follows −
Udaipur to Ajmer
By air – 227km
By rail – 290km
By road – 271km
Udapur to Jaipur
By air – 327km
By rail – 426km
By road – 412km
Udaipur to Jodhpur
By road – 258km
Udaipur to Delhi
By air – 568km
By rail – 659km
By road – 673km
Udaipur to Chittorgarh
By air – 96km
By rail – 110km
By road – 117km
Udaipur to Jaisalmer
By road – 489km
Falna to Ajmer
By rail – 206km
By road – 237km
Falna to Jaipur
By rail – 341km
By road – 371km
Falna to Jodhpur
By rail – 170km
By road – 179km
Falna to Delhi
By rail – 570 to 645(depends on route of the train)
By road – 635km
Falna to Chittorgarh
By rail – 392km
By road – 236km
Falna to Jaisalmer
By rail – 463km
By road – 412km
Kumbhalgarh fort is situated in Rajsamand district which has no direct air link. The nearest airport is Dabok nearby Udaipur which is around 85km from Kumbhalgarh. After reaching Dabok, tourists can hire taxis to reach Kumbhalgarh.
Kumbhalgarh does not have railway station. The nearest railway stations are Udaipur and Falna which are respectively 85km and 80km away from Kumbhalgarh. Tourists can hire a taxi or take a bus to reach Kumbhalgarh.
Kumbhalgarh does not have its bus station but buses from other cities have stoppage here. People can take a bus from Udaipur, Falna, Ajmer, Jodhpur, and Pushkar to reach Kumbhalgarh.
Kumbhalgarh Fort - Nearby Places
Besides visiting Kumbhalgarh Fort, tourists can also visit other nearby places like wild life sanctuary, temples, and others. Some of these places are as follows −
Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary
Kumbhalgarh wildlife sanctuary covers an area of about 600km2. Previously royal people used the place for hunting but later the place was converted into a sanctuary. Antelopes, bears, panthers, and leopards can be found here. Wolves are also found here and it is the breeding place for them.
Ranakpur Jain Temples
Ranakpur Jain Temples are 50km away from Kumbhalgarh. After visiting the fort, tourists can also go to see these temples. Rana Kumbha constructed these temples in 1438 and many shrines and statues were installed here by Jain ministers and merchants.
One of the temples is Chaumukha temple dedicated to Adinath, a Jain Tirthankara. The temple has 1444 pillars and 29 halls. There are two temples adjacent to each other. One is devoted to Neminath and other to Parasnath. Another temple is the Sun Temple in which there are carvings of horses and chariots carrying the warriors. These chariots are driven by solar deities.
Parshuram Mahadev Temple
Parshuram Mahadev Temple is situated in a cave nearby Kumbhalgarh. Tourists can go inside the cave through staircase having 500 steps. It is said that Rishi Parshuram was the sixth avtar of Lord Vishnu. The sage himself dug the cave and did the meditation. There are nine kunds in the cave which never dry.
Muchhal Mahavir Temple
The Muchhal Mahavir Temple is located in the sanctuary of Kumbhalgarh. The main feature of this temple is the statue of Lord Mahavir having moustache. There are two statues of elephants at the gate depicting the example of temple decoration.
Garasia tribe reside in a nearby village that perform dance after two or three days of Holi. On the thirteenth of Chaitra month, a fair is held every year.
There is a legend about this temple according to which rana of Mewar came here while hunting and the priest gave him some refreshment. While taking that refreshment he found a white hair. He asked the priest if the lord has moustache. The priest said yes but was very scared. The rana told that he will worship the lord after three days.
The priest prayed for two days and then thought to commit suicide rather than die with the hand of king. Then Lord Mahavir appeared and asked him to cover then idol with a cloth then ask the king to pray and remove the cloth.
When the king came the third day, the priest told him to bath and pray and remove the cloth. When the king removed the cloth after praying he saw the moustache of the lord. The king asked for forgiveness and was forgiven. From that time the temple came to be known as Muchhal Mahavir