We have all heard of the “The Great Wall of China”! It is considered to be the largest wall in the world. But most of them are unaware of the fact that the second largest wall is in Rajasthan. Kumbhalgarh Fort in Rajasthan has got the second largest wall in the world.
Kumbhalgarh fort is also a UNESCO World Heritage site that circumscribes hundreds of ancient temples, palaces, and endangered wildlife within its ramparts. The mighty fort is 3600 ft tall and 38km long that surrounds the area of Udaipur. It was considered to have been built by Rana Kumbha in the 15th century.
Kumbhalgarh fort was built by Rana Kumbha who was the Rana of Mewar from the Sisodia rajput clan. Rana Kumbha took the aid of the famous architect of the era, “Madan”. Rana Kumbha’s kingdom of Mewar stretched from Ranthambore to Gwalior and included large tracts of former Madhya Pradesh as well as Rajasthan. Out of the 84 forts in his dominion, Rana Kumbha is said to have built 32 of them, of which Kumbhalgarh is the largest and most elaborate.
Rana Kumbha who found the fort of Kumbhalgarh got it constructed in the 15th Century. Kumbhalgarh Fort was one of the very few forts in history, which never got conquered. A thick wall that is 36Kms long surrounds this remarkable fort. The wall stretches across the Aravali Mountains. The fort is about 1100m high from the sea level and offers a marvelous view of the surrounding area. The main attractions of the fort consist of mesmerizing palaces along with about 360 different types of temples inside it with 300 being the Jain temples and the remaining being the Hindu temples.
Kumbhalgarh separated Mewar and Marwar from each other and was also used as a place of refuge for the rulers of Mewar at times of danger, especially Prince Udai, the baby king of Mewar and it was once also the bastion which belonged to the Jain descendent of Mauryan emperors of India during the second century AD. It was only once in the entire history that Kumbhalgarh was taken or it could not defend when the combined armies of Emperor Akbar, Raja Udai Singh of Amber along with the armies of Raja Man Singh of Amber and Raja Udai Singh of Marwar attacked the fort of Kumbhalgarh.
Kumbhalgarh is the place where prince Udai was smuggled to in 1535 and this happened when Chittaur was under siege. Prince Udai who later became the successor to the throne also became the founder of the Udaipur City. The renowned Maharana Pratap, who fought against the army led by Akbar in the battle of Haldighati in the year 1576, was also born at Kumbhalgarh.
Kumbhalgarh is surrounded by 13 mountain peaks, 7 huge gates guard the fort and immense watchtowers further strengthen it. The Badal Mahal Palace is right at the top of the fort. The palace has beautiful rooms and is painted in the colours of green, white and turquoise. Kumbhalgarh is also the place where the great warrior of Mewar, the legendary Maharana Pratap was born.
The Mewar Fortress in the Rajsamand district of Rajasthan was renovated and enlarged again by Maharana Fateh Singh in the 19th Century. The fort consists of a Ganesh temple which is assumed to be one of the earliest temples built inside the fort. It also has the Neel Kanth Mahadeva temple, built in 1458 CE, the central shrine of Shiva, in which the idol is made of black stone which was renovated by Rana Sangha..
It is also said that the Maharana of Kumbhalgarh failed to build the fort’s wall for several times. Then later after they consulted a pilgrim about this problem, he advised that them to behead him and to build up a temple wherever his head fell. He also asked them to build the wall where his body laid. Following his advice the wall, which is the second largest wall in the world, was built.