Kumbhalgarh Fort Rajasthan - Second Largest Wall of the World

Kumbhalgarh Fort Rajasthan - Second Largest Wall of the World, it tells about the hidden secrets and facts about Kumbhalgarh fort located near Udaipur.


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Today we introduce you to the heritage, which is so famous for its architecture and craft as well as its strategic and historical importance that UNESCO had to declare it a World Heritage Site in 2013.

This is the place where the world's second-largest wall is built. Apart from being the birthplace of the self-respecting brave warrior Maharana Pratap, this heritage was also the place of refuge during the days of his struggle with the Mughal Emperor Akbar.

In this heritage, Kunwar Uday Singh, the father of Maharana Pratap, was rescued from Banveer as a young child and brought from Chittorgarh by the sacrificial Panna Dhai.

The childhood of Kunwar Sanga (Rana Sanga) and Kunwar Prithviraj, the grandson of Maharana Kumbha and son of Rana Raimal, passed in this heritage.

In this heritage, the invincible Maharana Kumbha was killed by his son Kunwar Uda Singh (Uday Singh I), who was enamoured with the idea of inheriting the throne.

This world-famous heritage is a huge fort located in the middle of the Aravali hills in Rajsamand district, which is known as Kumbhalgarh and is also known by the names Kumbhalmer, Mewar's Eye, Ajaygarh, etc.

For the height of this fort, Akbar's Navratna Abul Fazl has written that this fort is built at such a height that the turban falls down from the head when looking up.

Kumbhalgarh Fort location and how to reach


This fort is located near Kelwada town, about 85 km from Udaipur and about 45 km from Rajsamand. The road through which one can reach here passes through many valleys, due to which the journey until reaching the fort becomes very thrilling.

Lakhela talab or lakhola kund


As soon as we move from Kelvada towards Kumbhalgarh, we come across a reservoir spread over a length of about 5 kilometres, which is known as Lakhela or Lakhola Talab. It was built by Maharana Lakha, the grandfather of Maharana Kumbha.

This fort is situated at an altitude of about 1100 metres above sea level. Along with this, it is surrounded by mountains and dense forests from all sides, in which many types of wild animals reside.

One of the great features of this fort is its location. The fort's structure has been designed in such a way that, even from a very close distance, it is not visible due to the hills surrounding it.

Probably for this reason, it is also called Hidden Gems. In the mediaeval era, this structure provided protection from enemies.

Construction of Kumbhalgarh fort by architect Mandan


This present fort was built by Maharana Kumbha between 1443 and 1458 under the supervision of his famous craftsman and architect, Mandan.

Just as the Chittorgarh Fort, the Kumbhalgarh Fort also has a relationship with the Mauryan Emperors.

Kumbhalgarh fort relation with Maurya dynasty and its rulers


It is believed that Samprati, the grandson of the Mauryan dynasty's emperor Ashoka and a Jain believer, built a fort at the exact place where the Kumbhalgarh fort is located today. At that time, its name was Machindrapur.

By the time of Maharana Kumbha, this fort had no more importance, due to which it gradually turned into ruins.

Maharana Kumbha understood the importance of this place and built a new fort on the ruins of this Mauryan-era fort for use in adverse circumstances. Later on, from time to time, more construction was done in it.

Various attacks on Kumbhalgarh fort


Akbar's Mughal army, including Sultan Ahmed Shah of Gujarat and Sultan Mahmood Khilji of Malwa, attacked this fort many times, but except once, it did not come under anyone's control.

Akbar's general Shahbaz Khan captured this fort in 1578 AD, but by 1585, this fort again came under the control of Maharana Pratap.

Kumbhalgarh fort wall is second largest wall in the world after wall of China


This fort is surrounded by a huge rampart (wall) from all sides, in which there are several bastions in the form of pots at regular intervals.

The length of this rampart is about 36 kilometres, and the width is about seven metres. Four horsemen can walk on this wall simultaneously.

Pols or gates of Kumbhalgarh fort


There are many doors made from the ramparts to enter the fort, which are known as Pol. Tourists have to come through Kelvada town to reach this fort. To come from Kelvada to Hanuman Pol of fort, one has to pass through Aaret Pol and Halla Pol.

The ancient statue of Lord Hanuman is situated on Hanuman Pol. This statue is the symbol of Kumbha's victory over Mandore and was brought from Mandore itself.

Ram Pol is located ahead of Hanuman Pol. The ticket window is located next to it. A ticket has to be taken to enter the fort, and the fort is entered through Ram Pol.

In the outer part of the fort, Vijay Pol comes after walking a little further from Ram Pol in the east direction, next to the ramparts. This gate was used in ancient times.

Kumbhalgarh fort separates mewar from marwar.


On the east side of the fort, there is an entrance on the side of Hathi Gudha's naal, which is known as Dhani Batta. This gateway connects Mewar with Marwar.

The pedestrian path on the north side of the fort is called Tutya Ka Hoda, and the western path of the fort is called Hira Bari.

Apart from the world-famous ramparts in the fort, there are palaces, entrances, temples, dams, sacrificial altars, cenotaphs, stepwells, etc. many places of interest.

Many of these, despite being in ruins, are so attractive that we involuntarily have to bow down before the craftsmanship of the craftsmen of that era.

It is said that during the period of Maharana Kumbha, there were more than 360 temples inside the fort, of which more than 300 were Jain temples. Now only the remains of most of the temples are left.

Various tourist places in Kumbhalgarh fort


At present, the major places of interest here are Badal Mahal, Kumbha Mahal, Birth Place of Maharana Pratap (Jhali Rani Ka Mahal), Topkhana or artillery, Ganesh Temple, Charbhuja Temple, Vedi Temple, Neelkanth Mahadev Temple, Parshwanath Temple, Kheda Devi Temple, Bawan Deori Temple, Juna Bhilwara Temple, Pitaliya Dev Temple, Sun Temple or Surya Mandir, Mamadev Temple, Golerao Temple Group, Jain Temple Group, Prithviraj's cenotaph, Badshahi Bawdi, etc.

Ganesh temple


On entering the fort from Ram Pol, the Ganesh temple is situated on the left side. This temple was built by Maharana Kumbha. The temple is built on a high platform, to which there are stairs in the south direction.

In the ground layout plan, this temple has a sanctum sanctorum, antarala, and mandap. The sanctum sanctorum is built in the form of Rekha Shikhar, made of bricks. There is a domed roof on the mandap and mukhamandap.

Charbhuja mandir or lakshmi narayan mandir


There is a Charbhuja temple near the Ganesh temple, whose entrance is in the east. It is also known as Lakshmi Narayan Temple. In the horizontal plan, it has a sanctum sanctorum, antarala, and pillared rooms with mandapa and mukhamandapa.

Its Rekha Shikhar is equipped with Urushrangas, or subsidiary shikhars, from all sides. There is a domed roof over the mandap and mukhamandap.

Katargarh on highest point of the Kumbhalgarh fort


Inside the fort, there is another fort built on the top of the hill, which is called Katargarh. This fort is also protected by ramparts and gates.


To go up to Katargarh, one has to pass through the gates named Bhairav Pol, Nimbu Pol, and Chaugaan Pol.

Top Khana


On going ahead of Chaugan Pol, a big ground comes up, next to which artillery is situated. Many types of cannons are kept in this artillery.

From here on, after passing through the Paagda pol, horse stables are visible on the left side in front.

Kumbha Palace or Kumbha Mahal


A little ahead of this is the palace of Maharana Kumbha. This pillared palace is very simple, and the temple of Mother Goddess is also situated in it. There is a ruined room in front of it. Kumbha Mahal is divided into two parts, Mardana and Janana.

Maharana Pratap's birth place as Jhali Rani Ka Mahal


Jhali Rani Ka Mahal or Jhali Rani Ka Malia is also present on the premises, which is believed to be the birthplace of Maharana Pratap.

Maharana Kumbha constructed this palace for Jhali Rani. Along with this, a stepwell was also built, which is known as Jhali Bav.

Badal Mahal is divided into Mardana Mahal and Janana Mahal


Ahead of Kumbha Mahal, Badal Mahal is situated, which was built by Maharana Fateh Singh. Badal Mahal is the newest construction on these premises.

Badal Mahal has been given a little grandeur by not keeping it simple like Kumbha Mahal. It is also divided into two parts, like the Kumbha Mahal: mardana, or masculine, and janana, or feminine.

First comes the Mardana Mahal, in which a big chowk is present as soon as you enter. This palace seems to have taken on a bit of simplicity.

Janana Mahal comes ahead of Mardana Mahal, where there is a chowk on entering. Bhairav temple is situated in a cenotaph on one side of this chowk.

Architecture of Janana Mahal


In the inner chambers of the Janana Mahal, there are lattice windows carved out of stone, through which the cool air keeps coming in rapidly. The air comes in so fast that a strange kind of sound is created when it comes in.

Carvings and mural paintings are also present in abundance in these chambers. The Janana Mahal has a lot of grandeur. A path connects the two palaces.

On going up, one can go to the roof of both palaces. Apart from the domes of both palaces on the roof, the pinnacle of the cenotaph present in the rear part of the Mardana Mahal is visible.

From the roof of Badal Mahal, a very beautiful view of far and wide is visible. A panoramic view of the Kumbhalgarh fort is visible from here. Behind the palace, along with the dense forest, the state of Marwar and sand dunes are also visible.

Vedi mandir samooh and trikoot mandir


The Vedi temple group is present in the eastern part of Suraj Pol. This temple group was built by Maharana Kumbha in 1457 AD after the construction of the fort was completed to perform Yajna, due to which it is known as Yajnavedi.

It is surrounded by a high wall on three sides. In this complex, there is a three-story, pillared Sarvatobhadra Vedi in the front, a Trikuta temple group in the back, and a square cenotaph in the middle.

The floor of the Yajnavedi is octagonal, in which the rooms are open, but the rooms on the upper floor are covered by ornate stone nets. A space has been left in the altar for the exit of the smoke generated from the yagya.

In Trikut temple, the architecture of all three temples and mandap is very special in the layout plan.

Its biggest feature is that the sanctum sanctorums of all three temples are separate, but their mandap and mukhamandap are combined.

In these Trikuta temples, only one temple has an idol of six-armed Vishnu sitting in Lalitasan, on both sides of which idols of Garuda in human form are situated.

The canopy-like platform located between the altar and the Trikuta temple was probably built for animal sacrifice.

Parshvnath temple


On going ahead of the Vedi group, the Parshwanath temple is visible. This temple was built in the year 1451 by Nahar Singh Pokhar. The temple is situated inside a high wall.

Above the sanctum sanctorum is a stone-made shikhara, and above the mukha mandal is a domed roof. The statue of Ganesha is engraved on the frontal image of the sanctum sanctorum, and the statue of Parshwanath is located inside.

Neelkanth Mahadev Temple


Neelkanth Mahadev's west-facing Sarvatobhadra temple is located near Parshwanath temple, which was built in 1458 AD by Maharana Kumbha. This temple is rectangular in its ground
configuration.

Its roof is covered with seven domes of different types and rests on 26 huge stone pillars. The dome in the centre of the temple is the largest, and its pinnacle is decorated with an urn containing a lotus.

In the central part of the sanctum sanctorum, a huge Shivling is installed on the huge Yonipeeth of black stone. According to the inscription engraved on the temple wall, it was renovated by Rana Sanga.

Kheda Devi Temple


The west-facing temple of Kheda Devi is located a little ahead of Neelkanth Mahadev Temple. The ground layout of the temple has a sanctum sanctorum and an antarala, whoserekha shikhara is made of bricks.

Juna Bhilwara Temple


Ahead of Kheda Devi, a temple named Juna Bhilwada is located on the road leading to the Golerao group of temples. In its ground configuration, this temple has sanctum sanctorum, antarala, and mukhamandal.

Presently, this temple is in a completely ruined state, of which only the lower part is available. Artistic idols of gods and goddesses in different postures are engraved on it.

In these statues, the statue of Chaturbhuj Tirthakar on the balcony of Bhadra Rathika and the statues of dancers on Karna Rathika are engraved.

Golerao temple


On going to the northern part ahead of Juna Bhilwara temple, the Golerao temple group comes. A total of nine religious places are located here, most of which are either circular in shape or situated on a circular platform. Beautiful idols of gods and goddesses are engraved in all the places.

Golerao Temple Group is a construction from the time of Rana Kumbha and looks much grander than Badal Mahal.

Bawan Devri Temple


In the eastern part of the fort, a little further from the Vijay Gate, the Bawan Deori Jain Temple is located. There are 52 small temples built around the main temple in a rectangular shape.

The main temple has a sanctum sanctorum, a mandap, and an antarala. The statue of the Jain Tirthankara is engraved on the frontal part of the entrance.

Just in front of the Suraj Pol, there is a pedestrian path towards the north, on which there are many places of interest ahead. These include Mamadev Temple, Sun Temple, Pitaliya Shah Temple, Prithviraj's Cenotaph, Dam, Stepwell, etc.

Mamadev temple or Kumbh Shyam temple


Next to Suraj Pol, Mamadev Temple is situated on the low ground in the north and is also known as Kumbh Shyam Temple. There is an open verandah with pillars on the platform of the temple.

Many grand statues have been found here. Maharana Kumbha had a stone plaque engraved here with the history of Mewar on it.

Kund, dam, and stepwells


There is a Kundat a little distance from here. It is said that Kumbha's son, Uda (Uday Singh), killed Kumbha near this kund.

There is also a dam built here, in which water gets filled during rains. Agriculture is done here on other days. The Bawdi, like Kund, is situated nearby.

Sun temple


The Sun Temple is situated on the top of the hill. This west-facing temple is situated on a high platform. The sanctum sanctorum, antarala, a mandapa, and a mukha mandapa are present in this temple.

The sanctum sanctorum is situated on a pedestal that is ornamented by murals, hoofs, Kumbhs, Kalash, or urns, and Kapot plaques. It seems that the spire, or shikhar, of the sanctum sanctorum was made of bricks.

Pitaliya Shah Temple


Pitaliya Shah's temple is built on the hill ahead of the Sun Temple. It was built by a Jain merchant named Pitaliya Shah during the time of Maharana Kumbha. There is a pillared mandap along with the sanctum sanctorum.

Prathviraj's chhatri


The fort is said to have two cenotaphs for Rana Sanga's brother, Prithviraj. One cenotaph is in the western foothills of the fort where he died, and the other cenotaph is near the Kund near Mamadev Temple, where he was cremated.

Prithviraj's cenotaph, made of 12 pillars, is very famous for its craft. Prithviraj was known as Udna Prithviraj because of his fast running speed.


Ruins of Jain temples


The remains of many Jain temples are present in the entire fort as ruins. If you want to see Rajasthan, the land of Ranbankurs, closely, then you must visit Kumbhalgarh Fort once in your life.

Map Location of Kumbhalgarh Fort



Images of  Kumbhalgarh Fort


Kumbhalgarh Fort Rajasthan 1

Kumbhalgarh Fort Rajasthan 2

Writer

Ramesh Sharma {M Pharm, MSc (Computer Science), PGDCA, MA (History), CHMS}

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