Everyone have heard about the Great Wall of China, the longest wall in the world. But it is not the only longest wall in the world, which is in the Asian subcontinent. Yes, you heard me right. The second longest wall in the world also lies in Asia and that too in our very favourite country India. The wall of the fort of Kumbhalgarh, Rajasthan which is around 38 km long is the second longest wall in world, after “Great wall of China”.
History of the Fort
Kumbhalgarth fort was built in the 15th century by the Mewar ruler Rana Kumbha, located at around 64 kms from Udaipur in Rajasmand district. The fort situated on the Aravali ranges in the heart of a forest which later turned into a wildlife sanctuary, is a massive, stunning and an invincible fort. It is said that Rana Kumbha built around 32 forts during his period and out of which, Kumbhalgarh is the biggest and most highly structured fort. Kumbhalgarh Fort which extends to the length of around 36 km is the second largest fort in Rajasthan followed by Chittorgarh. This fact has made the Kumbhalgarh fort included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites along with 5 other forts in Rajasthan.
The fort is of immense significance for the citizens as being the place of birth of legendary king of Mewar – Maharana Pratap.
The fort is built on the top of mountains, at a height of around 1,100 m from the sea level. It was not easy for Maharana Kumbha to build such a massive fort and he encountered several construction difficulties. The front walls are 15 ft thick. During the time of threat, the fort was a refuge for the Mewar’s rulers.
The fort has 7 fortified gateways, namely Arait Pol, Ram Pol, Hanuman Pol, Nimboo Pol, Bhairon Pol, Danibatta and Paghara fort. There are around 360 temples built in the fort out which 300 are old Jain temples are remaining are Hindu temples. A shrine of an unknown volunteer can be found near the main gate of the fort, who agreed to sacrificed his life for the successful construction of fort.
Some of the main temples in the fort are:
These are the famous Jain Temple –
Mamadev Temple – The temple is also known by the name Kumbha Shyam Temple. It is the place where king Rana Kumbha was kneel down down and praying for god and was assassinated by his son.
Bawan Devi Temple – The Bawan Devi Temple have 50 idols in a large single complex and hence got its name as “Bawan Devi” which means fifty-two goddesses.
Vedi Temple – Vedi temple has three storeys and was constructed in octagonal shape. The temple is located near Hanuman Pol and it was built by Rana Kumbha.
These are the well-known Hindu Temples –
Ganesh Temple – Rana Kumbha built the Ganesh temple during his reign near the palaces. The main idol in the temple is of god Ganesha.
Neelkanth Mahadev Temple – The temple is built on high stage and accessed by steps. The Shiva Linga is the main idol in the temple is around 5 ft tall.
The fort has several palaces constructed by various rulers. Some major of these are-
Rana Kumbha Palace –
Rana Kumbha Palace was dedicated to king Rana Kumbha. The two storeyed structure is based on Rajput styled architecture. The huge and stunning blue colored darbar (hall), two rooms and some open space attracts one’s mind.
Badal Mahal –
Rana Fateh Singh built the Badal Mahal or the palace of clouds. The palace is situated at the highest in the fort and hence got its name as badal mahal. The view of outside from Badal Mahal is breathtaking.
Jhalia ka Malia –
Jhalia ka Malia or the Queen Jhalia’s Palace is situated near Paghara Pol. The legendry Maharana Pratap Singh was born in the Jhalia ka Mahal. The palace is constructed using rubble stone and the traces of some old painting can still be found on the wall.
How to Reach to the Fort:
By Air – Nearest airport is in Udaipur city
By Rail – Nearest railway station is in Falna town.
By Road – Kumbhalgarh is well connected from all the nearby cities. One can reach by public transport or by hiring cab or taxi.
Photo by Tomas Belcik
Photo by Tomas Belcik