When you set eyes on this formidable, isolated fort in a dramatic setting, you will understand its role in the history of these parts, and why it's venerated as a symbol of Rajput valor. This citadel, situated some 3,600 feet above sea level, was well equipped to withstand any kind of siege and was largely the reason the Rajasthani state of Mewar was able resist conquest by Mughal forces time and time again. Although there's less to see here than at Chittaurgarh, it's
worth a visit; the countryside that separates it from Udaipur makes for a beautiful, and not too bumpy, drive through lovely scenery. It's also close enough to Ranakpur to visit both in one day.
Built by Maharana Kumbha, one of the mightiest rulers of Mewar, in the 15th century, the fort’s massive ramparts run 36 km (22 miles) and can be seen from a distance. The outer wall encloses an area of 83 square km (32 square miles) and you enter through colossal gates (Ram Pol) that might have scared off any enemy. The views of the countryside from Badal Mahal (Cloud Palace)—the fort is one of the highest points in the state–are far-reaching. At one time its ramparts nearly encircled an entire township, with nearly 400 temples (you can still see many of them today), self-contained to withstand a prolonged attack. The fort succumbed just once—to the army of Akbar when there was a shortage of water—and was the birthplace of the much-revered Maharana Pratap. There's a small, bland café that serves light snacks and drinks. Take a hat and water—Kumbalgarh can be quite hot in the day.
Kumbalgarh, Rajasthan, India