Rajasthan or ‘the land of kings’ is the north western state of India. It is famous all over the world for its grand and beautiful forts, temples and other tourist attractions. One such marvelous fort is the Kumbhalgarh fort situated at Mewar in the Rajsamand District of Rajasthan. It was built during the 15th century by Rana Kumbha and was extended in the 19th century. It was the birthplace of Maharana Pratap, one of the greatest kings of Mewar. The Kumbhalgarh map showcases the grand Kumbhalgarh Fort built on 3500 ft high hill that overlooks the approaches from Marwar and Ajmer and the wildlife sanctuary surrounding it.
The wall surrounding the fort is about 36 kilometers long. It is the second largest wall in all of Asia. The wall is about 20 feet wide in which eight horses could tread together side by side. The Fort was invincible in a way due to its location and the thick wall guarding it. It could be breached only once by the combined forces of Delhi, Amber and Marwar due to the scarcity of drinking water.
According to legends and folklore’s there are few interesting stories about the fort. One such story was about the construction of the fort. It was believed that Rana Kumbha had many unsuccessful attempts in building the fort. So, the spiritual preceptor was consulted, who advised that a human sacrifice had to be made and a temple be built where the head fell and the fort be built where the rest of the body lay. After a long time a pilgrim volunteered for the sacrifice and was ritually decapitated. Even today one can see the temple and shrine which was built at the Hanuman Pol, the main gate of the fortress to commemorate the sacrifice.
The other such folklore which exists is that the king, Rana Kumbha used to light huge lamps with lots of ghee and cotton to provide light for the farmers who worked during the night in the valley. The fort can be accessed through one of the seven gateways, named Hanuman Pol, Aret Pol, Ram Pol, Halla Pol, Vijay Pol, Bhairon Pol and Nimboo Pol. The fort contains around 300 Jain temples and around 60 Hindu temples within its perimeters. The wall runs through the forest area which falls under Kumbhalgarh National Park. This national park houses a great variety of flora and fauna. The park houses a number endangered Indian animals and birds. Moreover, the park is renowned for leopards and panthers.