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Due to its charming, compact, and fortified charms, Kumbhalgarh is a well-liked tourist site. The Kumbhalgarh fort, which was constructed by the Mewar king Rana Kumbha, is how the town derives its name.
The town’s main draws include the Kumbhalgarh Fort, the temples in the surrounding area, and the royal cenotaphs. After the well-known Great Wall of China, it is the longest continuous wall.
Apart from the fort, Kumbhalgarh’s jungle safaris and the town’s wildlife sanctuary draw visitors to the city. The fort, which is the highest point, is surrounded by a thick forest, providing a welcome contrast to Rajasthan’s predominantly arid landscape.
The magnificent Badal Mahal, the connected Mardana and Zenana Mahal, the Vedi Temple, the Parshuram Temple, and the Neelkanth Mahadeo Temple are just a few of the must-see locations.
Kumbhalgarh, which is surrounded by the lush and majestic Aravalli hills, is a picturesque location ideal for photographers and environment enthusiasts. However, given the lengthy history of a knowledgeable and valiant king like Rana Kumbha, it also appeals to history buffs.
Nearest Airport: Udaipur Airport
How to reach: By road from Udaipur
Famous for: Forts
Best time to Visit: October to March
WHAT TO SEE
Kumbhalgarh fort, Ranakpur Jain temples, Neelkanth Mahadeo Temple,
Kumbhalgarh wildlife sanctuary, Badal Mahal, Vedi Temple,
Mammadev Temple, Muchhal Mahavir Temple,
Parshuram Temple, Royal Cenotaphs
Ranakpur Temples: The Chaumukha Temple, Parsavananth Temple, Amba Mata Temple, and Surya Temples are part of a huge complex of exquisite architecture that is located in the Ranakpur village. These four collectively make up the Ranakpur temples, one of the five main Jains’ pilgrimages. Some of these temples’ highlights are the pillared halls with domed ceilings and ornate designs that are supported by columns. However, this architectural masterpiece also draws visitors for a variety of other reasons. Some of them are the column’s morning color change from golden to light blue and the distinctive designs on each of the temple’s 400 columns.
Rajsamand Lake: Built by Maharana Raj Singh in 1660, Rajsamand Lake drips with a rich history spanning from the Rajputana days to the World War II period. The lake stretches to 4 miles in length and 1.75 miles in breadth with its main supplier being River Gomti. Rajsamand Lake’s embankment, situated on the lake’s southern end, has a historical significance of its own. It is where Maharana Raj Singh and his descendants conducted his Tuladan rituals. Aside from the white marble embankment, the lake boasts a magnificent dam.
Nathdwara Temples: Known as the “Haveli of Shrinathji,” the architecture of the Nathdwara temple is simple, but its appeal to tourists remains unbounded and ceaseless. Shrinathji is the form of Lord Krishna when he lifted the hill Govardhana and his image in the temple inspires devotion and admiration. There is an interesting and heroic story behind the establishment of the temple in the 17th century. The image of Shri Nath Ji is said to have been rescued by Rana Raj Singh from the clutches of Mughal ruler Aurangazeb. However, the image refused to move from the place where the temple stands, and therefore, the priests decided to build a temple around the image.
Narlai: Narlai is a small idyllic village situated in the heart of the Aravalli Hills. Surrounded by forested hills, the village is one of the most scenic and charming rural locations in Rajasthan. Its location between Jodhpur and Udaipur makes it the best candidate for a one-night stay. Moreover, it is just one hour away from the Kumbhalgarh fort. Tourists can enjoy the Narlai horse safari, walking village tour, and stepwell dinner among other things in this location.
Ghanerao VillageFormerly a part of the Mewar district, Ghanerao is a small village in the Pali district of Rajasthan. The cultural heritage and wildlife attract tourists to this quaint little village. It was once a prosperous village, an economic center during the era of Mewar rulers. Ghanerao houses several Hindu and Jain temples with the Mucchal Mahavir temple being the most renowned among them. The Ghanerao castle, built in the year 1606, is a must when visiting this small village.
Kumbhalgarh Festival -The annual Kumbhalgarh festival, held in the first week of December, is a sight to see for anyone visiting the culturally and historically rich state of Rajasthan. The three-day festival attracts artisans and performers from all over the world. Set against the backdrop of the Kumbhalgarh Fort, the event commemorates Maharana Kumbh’s contribution to the development of art and culture. As such, the festival features performances of several Indian classical and folk art forms from all over India. During the festival, the formidable fort is adorned with the finest decorations and illuminated, making it an unforgettable spectacle. In the crisp December air, the festival charges up the energy of the spectators with its display of some of the amazing talent of the country.
On the first day, you get to see traditional dance performances like Ghoomar, Kalbeliya, and Kachhi Ghodi. On the second day, witness fun competitions between the native and foreign guests like Pagdi Bandi, Tug of War, musical chairs, and many more. The final day of the festival is when one can enjoy the beauty of Rajasthani folk songs along with the enthralling Sufi performances. Together, the three days constitute fun, laughter, and bonding which is an experience one would never forget.
Where to stay:
Very much like the city itself, the accommodation in the area has something for every traveler. Nature and royal life lovers have the Mewar royal family-owned The Aodhi, whereas for the outdoorsy type Fateh Safari Lodge will be more appealing. Those traveling with their families have the option of Club Mahindra Kumbhalgarh resort. However, if you want an authentic palace life experience, why not live in an actual palace at Hotel Fateh Bagh?
The AodhiOwned by the Mewar royal family, The Bodhi is one of the closest hotels to the Kumbhalgarh fort. The hotel is nestled in the jungle and offers a scenic view to its guests along with horseback riding and outdoor pool services.
Fateh BaghFateh Bagh offers guests authentic palace life with arresting architecture and ethnic decor. The period furniture inside the palace-turned-hotel takes one, or two centuries back in time, with each room conveying a story lost in time.
Fateh Safari LodgeAs suggested by its name, Fateh Safari Lodge offers its guests a wildlife safari to the Kumbhalgarh wildlife sanctuary. Situated on the edge of the Aravalli Hills, the hotel is the best place to admire the Mewar plains, perfect for those who love photography and the outdoors.
Club Mahindra KumbhalgarhClub Mahindra’s Kumbhalgarh resort is one of the best accommodation options for a family trip to the fortress town. Situated on top of a hill overlooking the Kumbhalgarh valley, the resort offers individual balconies for each room with a splendid view of the UNESCO heritage site.