Perched amidst the green of the Aravalli is the mighty Kumbhalgarh Fort of Mewar. An 80 km drive from Udaipur reveals the stone walls of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, but what stands out is its outer rampart snaking through the folds of the earth.
Constructed at a height of 1,100 m (3,600 ft), this peripheral wall runs for 36 km straight. This makes it the second-longest wall of the world after the Great Wall of China. It is also the highest point of escalation in the state, second only to Mount Abu.
While anecdotes about the monument sing of the glory of its king, its winding construction is testimony to the diligence of the labourers. The entire structure, including the grand facade, took only about 15 years to complete. Careful masonry has allowed the wall to overpower the undulating terrain of the ranges while surviving the ravishes of time.
A walk down the wall will greet you with steep turns and inclines that could leave you dizzy. But a panoramic view of the Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary is what really takes your breath away.
The entire site is studded with seven fortified gateways which are called Pols, and its frontal walls stand 15 feet thick. It is no wonder that the fort remained unconquered until the coming of the British Raj in the 19th century.
This extravagant monologue of architecture was built by Rana Kumbha of Mewar and became the birthplace of Maharana Pratap. But the bricks and stones of the fortress hold much more than just history – the culture of Rajasthan comes to life within these walls. The structure is known to have approximately 360 temples of various religions, palaces of ostentatious display, and diverse flora and fauna to discover.
Here’s a glimpse of the dynamic Kumbhalgarh Fort:
Image in post & feature image by Shrisheesh Parekh