Kumbhalgarh fort & its walls : epitome of royal strength

On our recent visit to Rajasthan, we stayed in Udaipur for 4 days and one of those days we devoted to visiting Kumbhalgarh. As we had heard a lot about Kumbhalgarh fort and it’s walls. So, we were quiet excited to visit here.

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Full view of the Kumbhalgarh fort along with its majestic walls

The Udaipur – Kumbhalgarh highway

Post breakfast, we started our trip from Udaipur around  10am in the morning. We hired a cab from our hotel in Udaipur for this day trip. Also, this day trip included a visit to the infamous Jain temple of Ranakpur, after a visit to Kumbhalgarh fort. Although, the total distance from Udaipur to Kumbhalgarh is only about 85km. However, the road is mostly single lane. Thus, vehicles from both the sides use this single lane to commute. Thus, often one vehicle has to slow down to give way to the other one coming from opposite side. So, ideally this distance should be covered in max of 1.5 hrs. But it took us a little over 2.5 hrs to reach here. Nevertheless, the scenic route more than makes up for the time lost in travel

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Highway to Kumbhalgarh.

The great walls of Kumbhalgarh fort

The forts of Rajasthan are very strategically located. As a testimony, you won’t get a glimpse of the Kumbhalgarh fort until you are quiet inside it’s radar. We reached the fort around 12:30pm. As soon as we were out of our vehicle, the majestic walls of the fort immediately held our attention. No doubt they are fondly called “The Great Walls of India“. Actually, you can walk amidst these walls to a certain extent. They are broad enough that a full size horse cart can easily run on them.

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The first glimpse of the great walls of Kumbhalgarh fort


Into the Kumbhalgarh fort

We took our tickets and entered through the main entrance gate that hovers like a giant and makes the visitors feel like tiny bubbles. As you step inside the fort, on your left hand side lies the main fort. And, on the right hand side lies a few temples. Also, there is a light and sound show held in the evening, on the grounds near the temple on right hand side of the fort. Finally, in the center, just near the entrance door is an info board with details about the fort engraved on it.

The guide board

Here’s an excerpt from the guide board that you come across near the entrance :

Attributed to Rana Kumbha, this fort was built between 1443 – 1458 AD under supervision of famous architect Mandan. It is believed that the fort was built over the remains of the earlier structure associated to Jain Prince Samprati of the second century BC. This fort is defended by a series of Bastions at regular intervals. Entered through AARET POL, HALLA POL and HANUMAN POL from the south one can reach to the RAM POL and VIJAY POL, the main entrance of the fort. The palatial complex at the top of the fort is approached through BHAIRON POL, NIMBU POL, PAGHRA POL. There is another entrance on the east known as DHANIBATTA which connects mewar from marwar region. Important brahmanchial and jain shrines within the fort are VEDI TEMPLE, NEELKANTHA MAHADEV TEMPLE, CHARBHUJA TEMPLE, GANESHA TEMPLE, BAVAN DEVRIS, PITALIYA SHAH TEMPLE, PARSHVNATH TEMPLE, GOLERAO GROUP OF TEMPLES and other miniature shrines. The other important buildings are the birthplace of Maharana Pratap, ruins of the kumbh palace , badal mahal, royal chhatris, baoris and water reservoirs.”

Food first

Towards the left, just at the foot of the fort structure is a small food outlet. Since we were not very hungry at this point, we decided to take some juice and water bottles from here on our onwards journey. There was an old lady sitting on the foot steps, chatting merrily with the owner of the food outlet. Also, she acted as our temporary guide, showing us the way to start off our journey towards the fort. (Since, the fort is so huge, we were feeling a little lost deciding were to start off from).

Starting with the temples

Just adjacent to the food outlet stands the first temple. This is a Ganesha temple. Alas, we had arrived post noon and hence the temple was closed to visitors. Nevertheless, we still climbed the stairs and went atop to admire the architecture and the beautiful dome of the small temple. Then we trekked further up the stairs besides the temple, to arrive at the entrance gate of yet another temple, the Lakshmi Narayana Temple. However, this one was completely locked, so, we had to satisfy ourselves from outside only.

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Ganesha Temple


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Lakshminarayana Temple

Trek towards the fort

From here you can begin a proper trek towards the main fort. There is a beautiful cobbled pathway that leads uphill through different sections of the fort. On one side of the pathway runs the majestic wall of the fort. In this wall, you will see holes made to hold the guns and barrels in the past. Adjacent to the wall, at times, you will also encounter ruins of some structures that were once part of the fort.

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Cobbled pathway leading towards the main fort from besides LakshmiNarayana Temple


Almost every turn has a couple of benches. Hence you can rest your feet before you climb further. (And we made ample use of these!!) Even the little one loved the trekking and then resting on these rusty benches it seems.

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On the way towards the fort, besides the cobbled pathway

The Pols

Also, there is a POL or gate after every few meters, guarding the entrance to the next section of the fort. Further up, you will reach a big courtyard covered with green grass. At one end of this courtyard lies a building housing several of the “topes” (Canons) that once decorated and protected the fort across its walls.

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One of the majestic pols aka gates inside Kumbhalgarh fort


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The canon house


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One of the many canons housed here

Birthplace of Maharana Prathap

Next, crossing the ruins of the fort, admiring its architecture, you will soon arrive at the birth place of Maharana Prathap. However, the view of the aravali hills and forests beyond, as seen from this point in the fort,are sure to hold you here for a while. Since, it is stunningly green and scenic as far as you can see. From here, you will see layers of green mountains stretching far and wide beyond the fort of Kumbhalgarh , till the point your human eye will be capable of seeing.

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The birthplace of Maharana Pratap


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Aravali views from the fort

Badal Mahal

Next, arrive at Badal Mahal. Badal Mahal is one of the most prominent structures of Kumbhalgarh fort. The palace is built in a simple and prominent architectural style. With rooms standing on all sides of a simple courtyard. However, every section (a set of rooms) has a very narrow flight of stairs leading to the next floor. I felt it a little bemusing. I was climbing a flight of stair, forgetting which one I exactly used. And was getting down the other. In short, it very much feels like a bhool bhulaiya ( a maze where you can easily loose yourself).

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Badal Mahal courtyard

From atop the first floor of Badal Mahal, again you will find a mesmerizing view of the Aravalis beyond. Also, there seems to be a natural AC at work here. As, you will get ounces of fresh air blowing off the jharokhas (windows) constructed on this side of the palace.

Kul-devi temple

Next, crossing some ruined parts of the palace, you will arrive at a temple with a very dark room. Here, we met the same old lady who had earlier greeted us near the restaurant at the entrance. Here, we discovered, is housed the temple of Kul-devi of King Kumbh. The old lady is in-charge or caretaker of the temple. With great enthusiasm, she tells the visitors about the significance of this temple. Also, she helps the visitors offer their prayers here. It seems, the king and his kins dare not leave for anywhere outside of the kingdom without paying a visit to the Goddess in this temple. Thus, it is the temple of utmost importance within the fort premises.

The Akhand Deep

The inside of the temple where the deity is placed, is quiet dark with just a diya (a wicker oil lamp) glowing into the darkness. You will be stumbled to discover that this is an “akhand deep” (a wicker lamp that is never allowed to go off. It is refilled with oil before it can run out of supply). As per the old lady, this lamp has been burning continuously for the past 700 plus years!!

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Kuldevi Temple and Akhand Jyot at the temple

Parshwanath and Neelkanth Temple

After offering our own prayers at the ancient temple of Kul Devi of the kind of Kumbhalgarh, we next headed towards the other side of main entrance. Towards this side are located the Parshwanath and Neelkanth Temple. But, it was already afternoon. So, we decided to first have our lunch. Thus, we had lunch at the same small restaurant near entrance. Although, the food here is good, it is overrated. As the owner knows very well that there is no other option for visitors, he is cashing on it. Anyways, we had quick bytes of hot Parathas and then we headed for the temples on the other side.

These temples are bigger than the other ones. Also, they have very nice architecture. Since, they are almost located on a cliff, they can be viewed from far and wide. The temples are quiet renowned in the region. It is said, a wish made here is granted for sure 🙂 . From these temple premises you can see all around the valley. Although, there is very less population on this side. However, the greenery extending far and wide once again soothes the eyes.

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Neelkantha temple at the fort


From here, we decided to head back out of the fort . Although it was quiet hard to leave the premises. Even after visiting most of the important parts, the trip still felt incomplete. One thing that I very much wanted to do but couldn’t is to climb on those great walls and walk as far off as the terrain would allow…next time for sure…

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Parshwanath temple

Tips to visit Kumbhalgarh fort

  1. Start early from Udaipur. Try to have early breakfast and reach here by 10:30am.
  2. Carry snacks and if possible lunch as well. There are hardly any food or water options on the way.
  3. Wear comfortable shoes. There will be lots of walking to be done
  4. Don’t forget to carry your sunglasses and sunscreen along.
  5. Carry inside the fort only as much item (food or otherwise) as you are comfortable carrying all the while as there is no option to deposit them anywhere.
  6. Guided tours at this fort are little costly as the fort is quiet huge. If you go for it, you will definitely enjoy. Or else, you can try exploring on your own. There are enough boards around with details engraved on them.




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120 Responses

  1. Abhinav Singh

    I have heard a lot about Kumbhalgarh Fort. It’s a pity it’s still not on radar of most tourists. Who knew there is this Great Wall of India. Definitely a wonder.

    • Neha

      hope with time more people come to know about it. It’s definitely one of the best forts that I visited in Rajasthan

  2. cathy

    Great wall there is like the Great Wall of China and the temples are similar to the ones in Cambodia? I mean, same same but different. But the Aravali views from the Fort is just awesome! Looks relaxing! I love mountains!

    • Neha

      Right Cathy, the temple architecture is comparable. These are also very old temples and so is the fort

  3. Jerny

    Kumbhalgarh fort looks like an incredible day of sightseeing and history of the region. I can imagine it’s a really amazing place to visit. I didn’t know there are forts in India too. Our own histories are really rich.

    • Neha

      There are numerous forts and palaces in India Jerny..and this one is indeed an incredible one. So was the journey.

  4. Ami Bhat

    I loved this particular fort and that lady in the akhand deep gave me a scare. I entered without expecting anyone and she just called out to me in the dark. Gave me a fright. And I ended with goosebumps for the next few minutes. I would love to explore this place again. Nice pics!

    • Neha

      Oh..is it!! I can understand. The room is too dark with just the akhand deep glowing in the dark. Definitely, I would have the same reactions in that situation Ami 🙂

  5. Adam, Bite of Iceland

    Great pictures and very interesting post 🙂 Mystic and majestic! I would love to visit Rajasthan one day 🙂

  6. travelscoutadventure

    I was sold on your shot of the towers lining the walls! There is something I find so interesting about ancient walls. Thanks for the tips, it is always handy to have an inside idea 🙂

  7. Mar Pages

    wow the structures are impressive, I could spend all day exploring it and its surroundings, it just looks so interesting. Thanks for sharing the tips and this place, wouldn’t have known it otherwise!

  8. sensubhadrika

    The Kumbalgarh Fort looks beautiful and mesmerizing. I can spend all day, even more than a day staring and walking through the entire plot of land. The photograph of the full view of the fort definitely defines it majestic nature. I have not been here though it is in my bucketlist. Hope to see it soon someday.

  9. Kreete

    I have recently been reading a lot about india and I am surprised by the about of travel bloggers that cover this country. It’s great as I have always wanted to visit and it makes my planning a lot easier. Thanks for introducind us the Kumbhalagarh fort, It looks and sounds amazing. Can’t wait to visit!

  10. FS Page

    I have been to Rajasthan thrice but never to Kumbhalgarh. Will surely try to make it the next time. Have heard many good things about the place.

  11. Soraya @ Hello Raya

    Wow this area looks so rich in history and culture. It looks well preserved, and the views you have shown look amazing. Great tips – good to know that there aren’t too many food and drink options along the way so best to bring our own. Would love to visit one day.

    • Neha

      Thank you! The day we traveled to this fort was one of the most cherished ones during this trip. Supportive weather, wonderful road trip and an amazing fort…

  12. snigdhabhowmick

    I’ve been to Rajasthan but never been to Kumbalgarh before.Great coverage ,especially the temples of this place.Thanks for sharing 🙂

  13. Passports and Pigtails

    I have fallen in love with the history and architecture of this area. It is so rich on both! This place is massive, I think with the kids we would opt for a tour, as we have learned they are helpful when exploring such a large are we are unfamiliar with. Unfortunate the temple was already closed, but you still took in some amazing sites and views. Would love to visit someday!

    • Neha

      Guided tour definitely helps at historical places since you come to know so much in depth about the place

  14. Trisha Velarmino

    Fantastic place embedded in a beautiful landscape. One of the most impressive forts I’ve ever seen online. Boasting as the 2nd largest wall after the Great Chinese Wall only shows how powerful India was. I love it that you can just walk around freely and explore.

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