Kumbhalgarh Fort runs 36 Kms along the westerly range of Aravalli Hills, in the Rajsamand district of Udaipur. Built in the 15th century by Rana Kumbha, Kumbhalgarh is also the birthplace of Maharana Pratap, the renowned warrior of Mewar.
The fort is surrounded by a wall 38 km long, considered the second largest continuous wall on the planet after the Great Wall of China and making this the largest fort in Rajasthan, second to Chittorgarh. This wall separated the warring Kingdoms of Mewar and Marwar and though long overshadowed by its lengthier neighbor to the east, it is also referred as the Great Wall of India.
The fort is a great example of Rajput architecture and its wall is one of its key elements. In its entirety, the wall extends for 36 km and is, simply put, massive. The wall is between 15 to 25 feet in height and for its width, various historical accounts mention the capacity to hold eight horses running side-by-side.
In many aspects, you might be forgiven for mistaking it for the Great Wall of China. However, many centuries and cultures separate the two. Work on Kumbhalgarh began in 1443 – under fifty years before Columbus sailed the Atlantic Ocean and discovered this side of the world. It took over a century to construct the wall, which was added to in the 19th century.
The massive fort houses 360 temples and accounts suggest that in the days of Maharana Pratap the walls held so many lamps it enabled the local farmers to work both day and night. Throughout the five hundred years of its existence, it is known that the fort was never conquered and fell to the enemy only once – when the enemy deprived all of the drinking water within the fort. Neelkanth Mahadev Temple is a famous Shiva temple. It has a six feet high Shivling which is one of the largest in India. Previously a heavily fortified settlement, it is now a museum open to public and testament to the illustrious history it has experienced. A sound and light show takes place in the evenings.