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KUMBHALGARH FORT

Located 84 kms north of Udaipur in the wilderness, Kumbhalgarh is the second most important citadel after Chittorgarh in the Mewar region in the state of Rajasthan. Cradled in the Aravalli Ranges the fort was built on a hilltop 1,100 m (3,600 ft) above sea level in the 15th century AD by Rana Kumbha. The inaccessibility and hostility of the topography lends a semblance of invincibility to the fort. It served the rulers of Mewar as a refuge in times of strife. The fort also served as refuge to King Udai of Mewar in his early childhood when Banbir killed Vikramaditya and usurped the throne. It is of immense sentimental significance for the people being the birthplace of Mewar’s legendary king Maharana Pratap. The fort is self-contained in all respects to withstand a protracted siege. Its defenses could be breached only once by the combined armies of the Mughal and of Amber primarily for scarcity of drinking water. There is a magnificent array of temples built by the Mauryas of which the most picturesque place is the Badal Mahal or the palace of the clouds. The fort also offers a superb bird’s eye view of the surroundings. The fort’s massive wall stretches some 36 kms, making it one of the largest walls in the world with a width enough to take eight horses abreast. Maharana Fateh Singh renovated the fort in the 19th century. The fort’s large compound has very interesting ruins and a walk around it can be very educational.

In 2013, at the 37th session of the World Heritage Committee held in Phnom PenhCambodia, Kumbhalgarh Fort, along with five other forts of Rajasthan, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the group Hill Forts of Rajasthan.

The fort is among the largest fort complexes in the world, and the second largest fort in India after Chittor Fort.

There are over 360 temples within the fort, 300 ancient Jain and the rest Hindu.

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