Things to do in Kumbhalgarh – A Complete Guide
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On our recent trip to Udaipur, we visited Kumbhalgarh. We were so smitten by its stupendousness that we decided to write a full-fledged post on things to do in Kumbhalgarh.
Kumbhalgarh History and Facts
For those of you who don’t know, Kumbhalgarh is one of the largest forts in Rajasthan. It is constructed by Rana Kumbha in the 15th century and is the birthplace of the greatest king of Mewar, the brave warrior – Maharana Pratap. The highlight of Kumbhalgarh is the Kumbhalgarh wall i.e. the boundary wall of the fort. This fort wall is the second largest wall in the world and the longest wall in India. The wall is 38 kilometres long. It is famously called the ‘great wall of India.’ The Kumbhalgarh fort is built at a height of 3,600 feet above sea level and is surrounded by the beautiful Aravali range. The Kumbhalgarh fort is so huge that it houses over 300 temples.
How to reach Kumbhalgarh?
Kumbhalgarh is accessible from numerous cities and towns of Rajasthan by road. Given below are a few places from where you can reach Kumbhalgarh easily.
Udaipur to Kumbhalgarh distance and time: approx. 110 kilometres – 2.5 hours
There are numerous options for going from Udaipur to Kumbhalgarh. You can book a private car which will cost you approx. Rs. 2,000-2,500. You can take a shared taxi from Jagdish Mandir which will cost you around Rs. 500 for a return journey. You can even travel to Kumbhalgarh by the state transport buses for a fare of Rs. 150.
Ranakpur to Kumbhalgarh distance and time: approx. 33 kilometres – 1-1.5 hours
Ranakpur falls on the way to Kumbhalgarh when going from Udaipur. However, Ranakpur being a very small town, hiring a cab from Ranakpur is difficult. It is best to stop at Ranakpur on your way from Udaipur to Kumbhalgarh. Alternatively, you can use the state transport buses to travel from Ranakpur to Kumbhalgarh.
Jodhpur to Kumbhalgarh distance and time: approx. 90 kilometres – 4 hours
Even though a guide to Jodhpur will not include a visit to Kumbhalgarh, you should include it in your itinerary if you have an extended stay planned for yourself in Rajasthan.
Booking a private car is the most convenient option for travelling from Jodhpur to Kumbhalgarh. A private car will cost you around Rs. 4,000 Rs. 4,500. However, for those of you looking at other options to reach Kumbhalgarh, please see below information about the nearest airports and train stations:
Nearest Airport: Maharana Pratap Airport, Udaipur (115 kms away)
You can book a cab to take your from the airport to Kumbhalgarh at the prepaid taxi counter at the airport itself.
Nearest Main station: Falna (49 kms away)
A local cab from Falna Station to Kumbhalgarh will cost you Rs. 1200 to 1500 and will take you around 1.25- 1.5 hours.
Nearest passenger train station: Rani (35 kms away)
From Rani Station you can hire a cab or a rickshaw to go to Kumbhalgarh. However do note that finding a cab at this station is extremely difficult. Hiring a rickshaw too can turn out to be an overly priced affair involving a long wait.
Basic Tourist Information about Kumbhalgarh
Fort Timing: 9 am to 6 pm every day
Entry Fee: Rs. 10 for Indians and Rs. 100 for foreign nationals exclusive of parking charges.
Best time to visit Kumbhalgarh: November to February. The scorching summers of Rajasthan and the heavy monsoons in the areas surrounding Kumbhalgarh will make it impossible for you to visit Kumbhalgarh in summer or the rainy season. Kumbhalgarh temperatures in winters range between 28 degrees Celsius and 35 degrees Celsius.
Things to do in Kumbhalgarh
Given how enormous Kumbhalgarh is, there are plenty of things to do in Kumbhalgarh.
Kumbhalgarh Fort tour
Of all the things to do in Kumbhalgarh, this has to be the obvious one and most important! From the main entrance or Ram pole, start climbing towards the absolute top of the fort – i.e. the Badal Mahal. It is advisable to hire a guide to get a better understanding of the rich Kumbhalgarh history. A guide will also explain the architectural significance of various areas within the fort.
The main Kumbhalgarh Palace or the Badal Mahal which sits right on top of Kumbhalgarh is divided into two parts – Zanana and Mardana both bearing distinct styles of stone carvings, walls and windows. From the dome here, you will be treated to a phenomenal view of the Aravali ranges, the Thar desert and the Kumbhalgarh fort wall. Ensure you have a camera to capture these stunning views.
When you visit Kumbhalgarh, consider visiting the following temples:
Neelkanth Mahadeo Temple
This temple boasts of a 6 feet tall stone Shivlinga and is the most popular temple among localites.
This is the temple of Kuber and is located below the Kumbhalgarh fort. It has also erected two cenotaphs in memory of Rana Kumbha and Prithviraj Chauhan.
Muchchal Mahavir Temple
This is a unique temple located inside the Kumbhalgarh sanctuary that has a statue of Lord Mahavira with a moustache.
Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary
Of all the places to visit in Kumbhalgarh, the one that tourists find the most exciting is the Kumbhalgarh wildlife sanctuary. The Kumbhalgarh sanctuary boasts of a wide variety of animals such as wolves, Nilgais, sambar, sloth bears and more importantly a number of leopards and panthers. Many rare species of birds are also found here.
Many places near the fort offer the popular ‘Kumbhalgarh Safari’ i.e. a jeep ride costing Rs. 800- Rs. 1,200 which takes you through the Kumbhalgarh wildlife sanctuary. Although spotting a leopard or a panther during the day is rare, you will be able to see a number of other animals. Taking the safari will be the highlight of your Kumbhalgarh sightseeing experience.
The light and sound show
We personally did not see it as we were not staying overnight near Kumbhalgarh. This show is not a daily show and you need to enquire about the dates and timings of this show in advance. Try and see if you can watch this show if you plan on staying overnight near Kumbhalgarh.
Related Post: Top things to do in Udaipur
Places near Kumbhalgarh
This famous Jain temple is just 34 kms away from Kumbhalgarh and can be on your way to Kumbhalgarh from Udaipur.
Haldi Ghati is the strategic entrance to the battle-field where a war was fought between the forces of Maharana Pratap and Akbar’s troops led by the traitor of Jaipur, Man Singh I of Amber on 18th June, 1576. Eventually, it rained here and the blood of the wounded soldiers mixed with the rainwater. That’s why this place is referred to as Rakhta Talai. (See, we told you our posts are loaded with information!)
Although not visually appealing, history lovers passionate about the Mewar dynasty must visit this place.
The famous Shrinathji temple situated in the town of Nathdwara is the key attraction here. The beautiful temple has a 12th century idol of an infant Krishna and is highly regarded by locals and tourists alike. Beware of touts offering quick darshans and shorter queues.
Important Tips for your Kumbhalgarh Trip
- You can either go to Kumbhalgarh from Udaipur via Ranakpur or via Nathdwara. Thus, you cannot combine both these destinations on your day trip to Kumbhalgarh. The route via Nathdwara will allow you to also visit Haldi Ghati.
- There are plenty of places to stay near Kumbhalgarh. However, they may not have the best facilities. Staying near Kumbhalgarh is only suggested if you plan to go for a night safari,
- Leopard and panther sightings are extremely common and at times pretty dangerous in the area between Kumbhalgarh and Udaipur post sunset. Therefore, target reaching Udaipur before sunset to avoid any mishap.
- Do not venture alone in secluded areas, dark corners and corridors of Kumbhalgarh. You may encounter a wild animal.
- There are plenty of small restaurants outside Kumbhalgarh. However, we thoroughly enjoyed the delicious food at the Kuber restaurant which is inside the premises of the fort right opposite the main entrance.
- You will find a lot of monkeys in certain areas inside Kumbhalgarh. Keep your belongings well-guarded.
- The condition of the road leading to Kumbhalgarh is quite poor in a lot of areas. Moreover, these roads do not have street lights and as mentioned earlier, animal attacks are quite common. Visiting Kumbhalgarh on a two-wheeler is absolutely not advisable.