Kumbhalgarh Fort: the Great Wall of India?
The hike to the fort is steep, but the views of the mountainous Rajasthan landscape are stunning — and something most people don’t see. There’s also a wildlife sanctuary for leopards, jackals and other animals near the fort.
The walls of the fort of Kumbhalgarh extend over 38 km, claimed to be the second-longest continuous wall after the Great Wall of China.
Location in Rajasthan, India
|Elevation||1,100 m (3,600 ft)|
|Time zone||IST (UTC+5:30)|
|Vehicle registration||RJ 30|
|Hill Forts of Rajasthan|
|Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List|
|UNESCO region||South Asia|
|Inscription||2013 (36th Session)|
Kumbhalgarh Fort is a Mewar fortress in the Rajsamand Districtof Rajasthan state in western India. It is a World Heritage Siteincluded in Hill Forts of Rajasthan. Built during the course of the 15th century by Rana Kumbha and enlarged through the 19th century, Kumbhalgarh is also the birthplace of Maharana Pratap, the great king and warrior of Mewar. Occupied until the late 19th century, the fort is now open to the public and is spectacularly lit for a few minutes each evening. Kumbalgarh is situated 82 km northwest of Udaipur by road. It is the most important fort inMewar after Chittaurgarh.
In 2013, at the 37th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Kumbhalgarh Fort, along with 5 other forts of Rajasthan, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Siteunder the group Hill Forts of Rajasthan.
Built on a hilltop 1100 metres above sea level, the fort of Kumbhalgarh has perimeter walls that extend 36 kilometres, it is the second longest wall in the world.The frontal walls are fifteen feet thick. Kumbhalgarh has seven fortified gateways. There are over 360 temples within the fort, 300 ancient Jain and the restHindu. From the palace top, it is possible to see kilometers into theAravalli Range. The sand dunes of the Thar desert can be seen from the fort walls.
According to legend, in 1443, the Maharana of Kumbhalgarh, Rana Kumbha, was initially repeatedly unsuccessful in attempts to build the fort wall. A spiritual preceptor was consulted about the construction problems and advised the ruler that a voluntary human sacrifice would solve whatever was causing the impediment. The spiritual advisor advised building a temple where the head should fall and building the wall and the fort where the rest of his body lay. As can be expected, for some time no one volunteered, but one day, a pilgrim (some versions suggest a soldier, and some, that the spiritual preceptor and the pilgrim were one and the same) volunteered and was ritually decapitated. Today the main gate of the fortress, Hanuman Pol, contains a shrine and a temple to commemorate the great sacrifice.
According to popular folklore, Maharana Kumbha used to burn massive lamps that consumed fifty kilograms ofghee and a hundred kilograms of cotton to provide light for the farmers who worked during the nights in the valley.
Its wall is the second largest wall in the world, after the Great Wall of China and is known as the Great Wall of India.