Like any other normal couple, we too decided to spend my 24th birthday at a very romantic spot- the city of lakes, Udaipur. my husband even surprised me by booking Leela Palace, one of the most lavish hotels of Udaipur, with a breathtaking view of the lake. But what this trip gave me in experience was worth much more than the 4 decorated walls of my luxury room. On the first day, we took the city trip just like any other normal tourist but were not very satisfied. Being exotic travellers, we are always in the search of locations which are uncommon, not travelled much but beautiful. Truely virgin in its being. And Voila! On our way back to the hotel, our rickshawala casually asked us if we were free the next day. We had thought of visiting Chittorgarh, but had not booked anything yet. He mentioned this place called the Kumbhalgarh fort, around 2 hours from Udaipur, and he assured us that we would enjoy. Without even thinking once, we jumped to the idea of visiting a new place which seemed to be uncommon.
The next day, we booked a local car from the same person who had informed us about the place and started on our journey. Now coming to the strange part, the fort's construction. Kumbhalgarh was believed to have been built among the green hills surrounding Udaipur as it was a hiding spot for the Mewar raj. Astonishingly, along the entire route to the fort, not a single stone of the fort is visible. It is like it does not even exist. Only once you are around 100 meters far from the place can you actually see it. It is undoubtedly a stunning feeling.
On reaching the fort, we would recommend tourists to hire a local guide who will be able to explain the eccentricities of the built along with the history associated to the fort. The guides charge as low as 4-5 USD per group. Once you are inside, the only way to the top is to keep walking and climbing. It a moderate to rough climb to the terrace of the fort, which is the last tier, but the view from there is spectacular. On one side you can see green hills and small rivers and on the other side the Thar desert is visible, along with the Pakistan-India border. a very interesting fact about this fort is that its walls axtend to over 38km, making it the second largest in the world after The great wall of China. From the top of the Fort, you can also see the set of 107 temples, most of which were destroyed by the Mughals, which makes Kumbhalgarh the only fort with so many hindu temples. An added bonus is the beautiful Ranakpur Jain temple on the way back to Udaipur. It is an amazing work of art on marble( we could not take photos as it is not allowed!) and be sure not to miss it, by planning it with your cab driver beforehand.
How to Visit- Train, Bus or Flight to Udaipur, Rajasthan
Duration of Trip- 12-14 hours
Best time to Visit- October -December
Approx. Cost (Car, food, Entry Fees, Guide)- INR 4000-4500 per couple/ USD 60-70 per couple.