Kumbhalgarh Fort

Kumbhalgarh Fort
 
 
 
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As soon as we approached the outer gate, the inner guardhouse and took in the mammoth wall, we knew this was going to be some visit.
 
 
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In through the Ram Pol and looking back at this tall gate.
 
The Kumbhalgarh Fort lies on a hilltop which is 1100 meters above sea level. The gate of the striking fort is humongous and known as Ram Gate or Ram Pol. The fort comprises of around seven gates and a total of 360 temples within, 300 of which are ancient Jain while the others are Hindu. There is a temple dedicated to Lord Shiva inside which showcases a huge Shivalinga. One can also get a pretty view of the dunes in the Thar Desert from the fort. 
 
 
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We bimbled up a steep rise to Bhairav Pol, equally stout wall and from the inner side.
 
 
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Looking up at Kumbhalgarh Fort: it is one of the five hill forts of Rajasthan that were declared the UNESCO world heritage site in 2013. Constructed on the foothills of Aravalli ranges, it is surrounded by thirteen hill peaks of the ranges and is perched at an elevation of 1,914 m. The magnificent fort is situated in the middle of a forest which has been turned into a wildlife sanctuary. It is the second largest and the most important Mewar fort of Rajasthan after Chittorgarh palace.

Under the reign of Mewar kings in Rajasthan, the majestic fort was built by Rana Kumbha in the 15th century between AD 1443 and 1458 under the direction of Mandan who was a very renowned architect of that time. The fort was constructed in the exact same place where an old castle existed which was attributed to Samprati who was a Jaina prince of the second century BC. It is named after the King Kumbha. The Kumbhalgarh fort was cleverly designed on a hilltop to provide the strategic position to the Mewar kings to protect them against the attacks of the enemy which is why it is also recognized as the second most important fort of Rajasthan. 

 
 
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Being located on a hill of the Aravalli ranges, it offers the panoramic view of the surroundings along with the sand dunes of Thar Desert. This is a view looking across at just a few of the many temples within the fort walls........

 

 

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......and some close by.

 

History of Kumbhalgarh Fort: There is a story behind this striking fort according to which when Rana Kumbha began constructing the fort, he came across several difficulties after which he thought of giving up on the construction. One day, he met a holy man who advised him not to give up hope and that one day all his problems would vanish away provided a pure-hearted man sacrificed his life willingly. Hearing this, the king got disappointed after which the holy man offered his own life to the king. He told the king to build the entrance of the Kumbhalgarh Fort where he was going to get beheaded and palaces where all his body would fall. Following his advice, Rana Kumbha did exactly what was told to him and succeeded in building the majestic fort.

 

 

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Looking down the valley to the stepwell which was destroyed in a major flood.

 

 

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Looking up toward Kumbha Palace.

 

 

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On the higher level we could see the side edge of Badal Mahal, a pretty water carrier picture, through the final gate (Pagda Pol) up a slope........ 

 
 

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and to the fort proper.

 

 

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Through restored barracks...........

 

 

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...........and into Kumbha Palace.

 

 

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The view from here.

 
 

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The fort is also the birthplace of Maharana Pratap, one of the most powerful kings of Mewar. Also, Badal Mahal was constructed inside the fort by Rana Fateh Singh, who was one of the most famous builders of the time. Badal Mahal (own blog), Kumbha Palace, Jain Temples, baoris, chhattris, water reservoirs and Brahmanical are some of the main buildings inside the spectacular fort. It was attacked by Ahmed Shah I of Gujarat in 1457 but to no good. The locals believed that there was the presence of Banmata deity in the fort which protected the fort as its temple was destroyed by Ahmed Shah I. Further attempts were made by Mohammad Khilji in 1458-59 and 1467. Shabhbaz Khan, general of Akbar finally gained power over the fort in 1576. It was later taken over the Marathas and the residential buildings, as well as temples, still remain intact.
 
 
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Finally, at the top we took in the views.
 
 
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On our way down we stopped at The Cannon House.
 
 
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Sadly, Bear couldn’t get to the cannons with his itchy trigger finger but the paintings behind them gave us a feeling of the warrior nature of the troops stationed here.
 
 
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I never saw the Indians as fighters, warriors and such impressive builders.
 
 
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We re-traced our steps, heading downhill once more.
 
 
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Back to the bottom and watching tourists have fun while we had a well-earned cold drink.
 

 

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Looking back on an amazing place.

 

 

 

ALL IN ALL A JAW-DROPPING BEHEMOTH

                     I HAD NO IDEA THAT THE INDIANS COULD BUILD SUCH A VAST STRUCTURE, AMAZING