Udaipur

Located 64 kms north of Udaipur in the wilderness, Kumbhalgarh is the second most important citadel after Chittorgarh in the Mewar region. Cradled in the Aravali Ranges the fort was built in the 15th century by Rana Kumbha. Because of its inaccessibility and hostile topography the fort had remained un-conquered.

It also served the rulers of Mewar as a refuge in times of strife. The fort also served as refuge to the baby king Udai of Mewar. It is also of sentimental significance as it is the birthplace of Mewar's legendary King Maharana Partap.The fort is self-contained and has within its amalgam almost everything to withstand a long siege. The fort fell only once that too to the combined armies of Mughal and of Amber for scarcity of drinking water. Many magnificent palaces an array of temples built by the Mauryas of which the most picturesque place is the Badal Mahal or the palace of the clouds.

The fort also offers a superb birds view of the surroundings. The fort's thick wall stretches some 36 kms and is wide enough to take eight horses abreast. Maharana Fateh Singh renovated the fort in the 19th century. The fort's large compound has very interesting ruins and the walk around it can be very rewarding.

The Kumbhalgarh Fort also has a great significance by being the birthplace of Maharana Pratap and as the finest examples of defensive fortification in Rajasthan. The most interesting part is that this fort has a fort within itself. Named Kartargarh, the inner fort has a palace built by Maharana Fateh Singh after he had pulled down the old palace built by Rana Kumbha.

Some remains of the old palace are still there below the new one which includes the portion that had been occupied by Prithvi Raj. Kartargarh has 365 temples and shrines including one with a huge Shivlinga dedicated to Lord Shiva. The sanctuary is famous for it's wildlife which includes- wolf, leopard, jackal and a variety of birds. The sanctuary is one of the few parks that allows people on horseback.