Kumbhalgarh is situated in the Rajsamand district of the Indian state of Rajasthan. The most important landmark in this region is the Kumbhalgarh fort built in the mid-15th century by Rana Kumbha. Covering an area of 12 sq. km, the fort stands on a 3,500 ft hill, with a massive outer wall that stretches 36 kms and is considered to be the second longest wall in the world after the Great Wall of China.
Surrounded by 13 mountain peaks and protected by seven gates, rounded bastions and soaring watch towers, the fortress stands as a proud sentinel, with a commanding view of the wild and rugged land around it. This impregnable citadel houses within its ramparts palaces, temples, fields, water sources and farms designed to withstand a long siege. Its might was broken just once by the combined forces of Emperor Akbar, Raja Man Singh of Amber, and Raja Udai Singh of Marwar. This fortress has served as a refuge to the rulers of Mewar in times of strife. Interestingly, there is a fort within this fort named Kartargarh. Kartargarh has 365 temples and shrines including one with a large Shiva linga. On top of the fort is situated the Badal Mahal Palace where the legendary Maharana Pratap was born. The view from the palace across the deserts of Marwar is fantastic.
The Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary, sprawling over an area of 586 sq. km, surrounds the fort and is home to panthers, sloth bears, wolves, four horned antelopes and crocodiles, besides migratory birds during winter. This sanctuary allows people to explore it on horseback. The Mucchal Mahavir Temple within the sanctuary dedicated to Lord Mahavira attracts a large number of devotees.
Apart from the Fort and the wild life sanctuary, there are many places worth exploring around Kumbhalgarh. The Rajsamand Lake with a magnificent dam built in the 17th century is a popular tourist spot. There is a huge embankment made of white marble on the southern end of the lake with marble steps, and beautifully carved pavilions and marble slabs with the history of Mewar inscribed in it. Watching the sunset from the lake is an unforgettable experience. Just 50 km from Kumbhalgarh lies the Ranakpur Jain temples. With rich Jain merchants and devotees adding to the shrines and sculptures, Ranakpur has become an impressive sculpture museum. The central Chaumukha temple dedicated to the Tirthankara Adinath is a remarkable structure with 29 halls and 1,444 differently carved pillars. As a unique travel destination of India, Kumbhalgarh is definitely a place worth visiting.