There is only one thing that comes to your mind when you hear the words royal, cultural heritage, folk tales and awesome food- Rajasthan
This time, I put my weekend to a better use and escaped to Kumbhalgarh, a wonder of Aravalli. Kumbhalgarh Fort is a Mewar fortress in Rajsamand district of Rajasthan. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Fort was built by Rana Kumbha in 15th Century and it is also the birth place of Maharana Pratap. Kumbhalgarh is located 82kms from Udaipur.
The drive to Kumbhalgarh is one of the most enjoyed drives by me. The highway is super flat, super curvy and inviting (Read Speeding). The interior roads are beautiful as well. They take you through s small villages and fields with see-saw roads. A useful tip here- Don’t follow Google Maps blindly over here. Take directions from locals from Udaipur to Kumbhalgarh.
The Kumbhalgarh Fort is a marvel in itself because it has the second largest wall in the world after the Great Wall of China. It is 36 Kms long and has more than 300 temples located in its vicinity.
Kumbhalgarh doesn’t have many options to offer in terms of sight seeing but it surely does dish out a great cultural experience. The vibrant culture of Rajasthan comes to full life in this small town with big heart. And I was lucky to be able to witness the Kumbhalgarh Cultural Festival which hosted various cultural dances and acts from across Rajasthan.
Kumbhalgarh is without a doubt one of the hotter regions of India, so the best season to visit it would be monsoon or winter. Though surrounded by barren rocky mountains, the breeze is strong and cool, but when it gets hot, it really does feel hot!!!
The fort is not an easy task. It requires a not so small hike up the slope, so make sure the weather is supportive. The fort is a sheer masterpiece. Its grandiose will leave you spell bound and jealous at the same time.
Don’t take the hike up the Fort as tedious and boring, you may well be surprised by vivid characters along the way like I encountered these amazing people-
Don’t keep very high expectations from this Fort’s interior and certainly don’t compare it with Udaipur Palace. This Fort has its own importance, identity and beauty which is unlike any other fort.
Other points of interest includes the Parshuram temple and wildlife safari where you have a chance to spot few wild animals.
Eating & Sleeping:
Kumbhalgarh doesn’t have many restaurants and none swanky at all. Kumbhalgarh has quite a few good resorts like Aodhi, Club Mahindra or Devi palace and if you are a food buff, you shouldn’t look out for the options beyond your resort. Do try the traditional Rajasthani cuisine especially Gatte ki sabzi, Ghebar and Rabdi and Dal bati of course. Mouth watering ain’t it?
Kumbhalgarh is an amazing place if you are looking to just chill and rejuvenate. The ideal stay here is 2-3 days and if you have couple of more days at hand you can club Udaipur or Chittorgarh with it. But don’t choose summer for it!
Why just roam like a tourist, when you can experience it like a traveller? You might not have many places to visit in Kumbhalgarh but you can surely indulge in some of these recreational activities like Pottery, Puppet show, Puppet making and Safa (turban) tying.
Try your hand at pottery and learn the art of shaping clay. (And if you are philosophical, you can learn some life lessons as well ;-)) Paint the puppets and see the plain piece of wood come live. Watch a story unfolding in a puppet show and relive your childhood days.
This was Anandsthan!
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A travel enthusiast always in search for holidays to sneak out and discover a new destination. Scaling the gap from being a tourist to being a traveller.