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ABOUT KUMBHALGARH

Kumbhalgarh is very popular tourist destination, located in the south of Rajasthan. With its important historic significance, beautiful natural settings, wildlife sanctuary and convenient location, it has become a must visit destination. Kumbhalgarh has so much to offer to everyone from leisure & business travellers to nature & adventure lovers. It is world renowned for the massive Kumbhalgarh Fort with the second largest wall in the world after great wall of China. Recently Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary got the title of National Park.   


Location
Its location had always been Kumbhalgarh's greatest advantage. Because it was virtually inaccessible in the 15th century, Rana Kumbha of Mewar built this great defensive fortress on a 3,500 feet (1,100 meters) high hill overlooking the approaches from Ajmer and Marwar. Today, precisely because it is within easy reach of Udaipur, Jodhpur, Ajmer, and Pushkar-yet off the well trodden tourist routes-Kumbhalgarh is an attractive destination.


How to Reach
By Air - Nearest airport is Maharana Pratap Airport, Udaipur (84 km/2.5 hrs). Government and private buses run practically every hour from the Chetak Bus Stand.

By Rail - Nearest railhead is Falna (80km/2.5 hrs).

By Road - From the north of Udaipur, take NH76 for about 25 km till Iswal; turn right o the main Losingh Crossing from where you turn left for Barwarha, Auda and Kelwara and on to Kumbhalgarh.


Kumbhalgarh - History
In Kumbha's time the kingdom of Mewar spread from Ranthambore to Gwalior, including vast tracts of present-day Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Mewar's rulers became patrons of all that was best in Indian martial and fine arts, architecture, and learning. Of the 84 fortresses defending Mewar, 32 were designed and built by Rana Kumbha. Of these, Kumbhalgarh with its 36-kilometer long wall and soaring towers is the most impressive. Kumbhalgarh stands on the site of an ancient citadel dating back to the second century AD belonging to a Jain descendant of India's Mauryan emperors. It defined the boundaries between Mewar and Marwar and became a refuge for Mewar's rulers in times of strife. Its steel gray ramparts encircle the fertile Shero Mallah Valley, with ancient monuments cenotaphs, ponds and flourishing farms. Kumbhalgarh fell only once in its history, to the combined forces of Emperor Akbar, Raja Man Singh of Amber, and Raja Udai Singh of Amber, and Raja Udai Singh of Marwar.


Kumbhalgarh - Tourist Attractions
A priest is still employed by the present Maharana to care for the shrines of his ancestors. And twice a day the Pandit's family makes the stiff uphill climb to the castle to light the sacred lamps before vermilion-daubed images of Hanuman, Chamunda, and Ekling. There is an octagonal room in which Rana Pratap was born, apart from, the hall in which his grandson Prince Karan entertained the future Mughal Emperor Shahjahan, the beacon tower from which a flame summoned Mewar's chieftains to war. The austere chambers, the vast reservoirs kept full by elephant relays, the simple garden court for the royal ladies, the easily defendable narrow staircases all declared that this was primarily a warrior's hideout, not a palace for princely pomp and show.
The imaginatively designed Aohdi nearby belongs to a descendant of one of those great warrior families, the Rathores of Ghanerao, who enjoyed the distinction of having the only hereditary seat among the premier nobles of both Mewar and Marwar. The Aohdi's castle-type cottages provide comfort and privacy for those seeking a peaceful retreat, plus a base for horse safari and trekking enthusiasts.

Horse lovers and adventure seekers can enjoy the thrill of riding and camping in the Reserve Forest around Kumbhalgarh. Each group is accompanied by experienced sawars. Horses, tents, food and fodder are provided by the Aohdin on prior notice at a very reasonable cost compared to a hacking holiday in Europe or America.

A hazardous, barely jeepable track takes you to the 586 square kilometer Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary. The main attraction here would be panther, sloth bear, wild boar, four-horned antelope or crocodiles, "scientifically bred" in the lake.

The Crocodile Farm has a guesthouse belonging to the Forest Department and overnight stays are possible. Good forest cover, jungle berries, fruits and nuts, water grasses, algae, and fish provide sustenance for thousands of flamingoes, sarus cranes, spoonbills, painted storks, cormorants, purple heron, egrets, duck, and rosy pelican in winter. One also finds plenty of chakor partridge, crow pheasants, jungle warblers, golden orioles, gray jungle fowl, and the usual peacocks; parrots, pigeons, and doves.


Kumbhalgarh - Places Nearby

Ranakpur Jain Temples
The famous Ranakpur temples are just 50 kilometers from Kumbhalgarh by the scenic route through Vanpura and Saira. Begun in 1438 by Rana Kumbha, Ranakpur became a strangely tranquil meditation center in a frequently war ravaged land. It also became a magnificent sculpture museum to which wealthy Jain merchants and ministers kept adding shrines and statues. The central Chaumukha Temple is dedicated to the venerated Tirthankara Adinath. With its 29 halls and 1,444 distinctly different carved pillars, this is an astounding monument. Two temples dedicated to the Jain saints, Parasnath and Neminath have beautiful erotic carvings very similar to those which have made Khajuraho famous. And truly worth visiting is the much earlier, probably 6th century, Sun Temple close by, which has polygonal walls richly embellished with warriors, horses, and booted solar deities driving splendid chariots.


Ghanerao is the place where Thakur Sajjan Singhji and his gracious wife have recreated a charming old-world ambience by opening this castle constructed in 1603 to paying guests. The genuine warmth of his greeting as he strode across the courtyard towards us, the bright wall frescoes, hunting trophies, turbaned retainers, peeing maids, carved jharokhas, drawing rooms full of colored windows and chandeliers, Rajput miniatures, ostrich eggs hand printed by the owner in Mayo College, all those old photographs


Parshuram temple
If you want to go back further in past in history then this is a must visit place. A secluded very inconveniently located ancient cave where 'Rishi' parshuram did his sadhna, from era of Ram and Sita. It has almost 500 steps which take you down to the cave. You would definitely get moved by the atomosphere inside the cave. The priest would tell you lot of history along with the formations which are called 'Kamdhenu' if you donate meager 100 Rs, which indeed is a big help for people over there to maintain and sustain themselves in such adverse geographical location.
 

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