Early morning by 6.30 am, we started walking towards the fort, it was a uphill walk on the road. After walking for 2 kms, we saw the bus (Rs.5), got into it, and got down at the junction, from where one road goes to Sayra, while other one to Fort, third one down to Devi Mahal. We had the breakfast of Maggi and tea. Fort was more 2 kms away from that Junction. Buses don’t ply on that road. We hired a jeep for to and fro journey for Rs. 300. He left us at the entrance, told us he would be back in two hours. I assumed it would take two hours. (Ticket:5) Instead, after looking at the fortified wall of the fort, I knew, it would take whole day to go around. We had time till 10.30 am. to get back to hotel & leave for Ranakpur.
We first went up to the beautiful palace known as 'Badal Mahal' or the Palace of Cloud, birth place of great warrior Maharana Pratap, which was the highest point of the fort. There was a 360 degree view of Aravalli Mountains, and many temples and structures that was spread around. The walls ran on lengths on the hills. Fort is strategically placed in midst of mountains, it is surrounded on all sides by Aravalli range. It was not visible even from distance, when we were travelling by bus. *Kumbhalgarh Fort was built by Maharana Rana Kumbha in the 15th century. The fort derived its name from the same factor.
Encircled by thirteen elevated mountain peaks, the fort is constructed on the top most ridges around 1,914 meters above sea level. The fortifications of the fort extend to the length of 36 kilometers and this fact has made this fort to be in the international records. It is stated to be the second longest wall in the world, the first being ''the Great Wall of China''. The huge complex of the Fort has numerous palaces, temples and gardens making it more magnificent.The impregnable Fort boasts of seven massive gates, seven ramparts folded with one another with designed walls toughened by curved bastions and huge watch towers. The strong structure and solid foundation of the Fort made it unbeatable till date. The hefty walls of the fort are broad enough to stand eight horses side by side. There are not less than 360 temples inside the complex of the Fort. Amongst all of them, Shiva Temple is worth visiting that comprises a huge Shivalinga (Phallic form).* (Sourced from net)
We came out of the fort, called up the driver, he again dropped us at the junction. We started walking down, hoping to reach hotel sooner. We saw a jeep coming our way, we asked for lift, there were already some ladies seated, we got the seat. Those ladies were curious, wondering from where we had come. Those ladies were the relatives of the guy who was driving, and he was leaving them home. He left us at the gate of hotel. He told us if we need wild life guide and safari, we can contact him. We thanked him and he left. We picked our stuff and waited for bus to arrive. Bus came in 10 minutes, after 2 hours, we got down at Sayra. Took a sharing taxi (Jeep) to Ranakpur (Rs. 30) which was on way to Falna. After 1 hour of unwinding roads, we got down at gate of the Ranakpur Jain Temple. The view of the marvel structure, gave another ‘paisa vasool’ moment. There was no ticket charges, only camera charges of Rs. 100, which I gladly paid, each and every pillar had intricate designs, craftsmanship was beyond words. I went out and took tour of the campus, there was a Surya temple at one end, and few more scattered around. Again went back to main temple. There was certain serenity in the ambience. After trying to capture each and every pillars, sat down for some time for that peaceful moment. Around 4.00 pm we came out and waited for bus or taxi to arrive. There was no hotel for refreshments, except a small stall, where we packed some snacks and ate them while waiting for bus. After almost an hour, bus arrived. It took another 2 hours to reach Falna Station at 6.30 pm.
We had 3 hrs left, to catch the train to Mumbai at 9.30 pm.