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Isolated and serene, this formidable fort was a refuge for Mewari rulers in times of strife. Although there's less to see here than at Chittaurgarh, the grandeur is stunning and the countryside that separates it from Udaipur makes for a beautiful, and not too bumpy, drive. It's also close enough to Ranakpur to visit both in one day.
Built by Maharana Kumbha in the 15th century, the fort ramparts run 4 km (2½ miles) and the outer wall encloses an area of 83 square km (32 square miles). At one time its ramparts nearly encircled an entire township, self-contained to withstand a long siege. The fort fell only once, to the army of Akbar—whose forces had contaminated the water supply. The fort was also the birthplace of Maharana Pratap. The Badal Mahal (Cloud Palace), at the top, has an awesome view of the surrounding countryside. There's a small café at the fort that serves light snacks and tea.
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