Located 64 kms north of Udaipur in the wilderness, Kumbhalgarh is the second most important citadel after Chittorgarh in the Mewar region. Cradled in the Aravali Ranges the fort was built in the 15th century by Rana Kumbha. It also served the rulers of Mewar as a refuge in times of strife. The fort also served as refuge to the baby king Udai of Mewar. It is also of sentimental significance as it is the birthplace of Mewar's legendary King Maharana Partap. The fort is self-contained and has within its amalgam almost everything to withstand a long siege. It was never conquered, for reasons which become apparent the instant you set eyes on it. The massive perimeter wall is an astounding 36 kms. Surrounded by thirteen mountain peaks, guarded by seven great gates and seven ramparts, strengthened by rounded bastions and immense watchtowers, this mountain fortress has witnessed many battles. The winding road leads through deep ravines and thick forests to Arait Pol with its watch-tower, Hulla Pol, Hanuman Pol, Ram Pol, Bhairava Pol, Paghra Pol, Top-khana Pol and Nimboo Pol. The fort is just 60 kms away from Udaipur. The fort also offers a superb birds view of the surroundings. The fort's thick wall stretches some 36 kms and is wide enough to take eight horses abreast. The fort's large compound has very interesting ruins and the walk around it can be very rewarding. On top of the fort is the Badal Mahal Palace, It encloses beautiful rooms with pleasant colour schemes of green, turquoise and white, which provides a fascinating contrast to the raw, earthy and grim fortress. The palace was rebuilt by Rana Fateh Singh in the late 19th century.
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