As against the Great Wall of China, barely a few people know that Kumbhalgarh Fort Wall is the Great Wall of India.
It is not so long as compared to the Great Wall of China, however, you will feel exalted to know that The Kumbhalgarh Fort Wall of India is the second-longest continuous wall in the World.
Yes! It is quite surprising that the Kumbhalgarh Fort Wall remained unnoticed for a long time. In the Guinness Book of World Records, the spectacular Kumbhalgarh Fort Wall also holds the status of the longest fort wall in the world.
Despite its size and historical importance, the Great Wall of India is still a mystery for the remaining world. So, you may call it one of the biggest secrets in India.
The Kumbhalgarh Fort (Kumbhal Fort) is situated on the Aravalli Hills at Rajasmand district near Udaipur in Rajasthan. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Being one of the largest fort complexes in the world, the Kumbhalgarh Fort is the second largest fort in India after Chittor Fort.
The thickness of the fort wall is 5 meters which is so much that 10 horses can run on the wall side-by-side. The 36-meter long wall has 7 big gates to enter the fort.
Kumbhalgarh Fort is also important for other historical reasons. Firstly, it is the birthplace of the great warrior of Mewar – Maharana Pratap who was born in 1540. Secondly, the brave emperor Rana Kumbha spent his childhood in this fort.
This is also a fact that after the Battle of Haldighati, Maharana Pratap spent a long time in this fort.
The emperor who built Kumbhalgarh Fort
The original fort was built by the king Samprati of Maurya Kingdom during the 6th century. However, the great emperor Rana Kumbha of Mewar from the Sisodia Rajput gave the present form of Kumbhalgarh Fort around 1450.
In his kingdom, he built 32 forts, out of which Kumbhalgarh is the largest and most significant. The fort came into the existence, thanks to the famous architect of the era, “Madan”.
According to folklore, Rana Kumbha could not make this great wall inspite of several attempts. Then one spiritual advisor asked him that the wall could stand still only if a volunteer would have to sacrifice himself.
Subsequently, a pilgrim volunteered for sacrifice and a temple was built on the place for his remembrance.
The purpose of making the Kumbhalgarh Fort was to protect the kingdom of Mewar from invaders and armies. The fort, at that time, was so much impregnable that it was a hard nut to crack even for the Mughal forces to conquer it.
Historians claim that throughout the five hundred years of history, the fortress fell into enemy hands just once and only because the drinking water had run out of the walls.
People believe that Rana Kumbha used to burn massive lamps on the walls. Interestingly, these lamps consumed 50 kilograms of ghee and 100 kilograms of cotton. The lamps provided light for the farmers who worked at night in the valley.
The architecture of the fort
Kumbhalgarh Fort Wall has seven gigantic entrance gates. Ram Pol and Hanuman Pol are the major gates of the fort. There is also a notable tank namely Lakhola Tank inside the fort.
The Kumbhalgarh Fort Wall surrounds over the distance of 36 kilometres, making it one of the longest walls in the world. The frontal walls are 15 feet thick.
The seven fortified gates in the Fort make the structure marvellous. We can imagine the importance of the fort wall from the fact that the fort complex has more than 360 temples.
Out of these, 300 temples belong to only Jain religionist whereas the remaining are Hindu temples. From the top of the fort walls, it is possible to view up to kilometres not only the Aravalli Range but also the sand dunes of the Thar Desert.
The temple of Lord Ganesha is the earliest of all the temples in the fort. On the eastern side of the fort, there is Neel Kanth Mahadeo temple. The central shrine of Lord Shiva is approached through a structure of 24 pillars.
Most of the temples are full of pillars, carvings of gods and apsaras.
Whereas the eastern side of the fort has several Jain temples like Parsva Nath temple, Bawan Jain temple, the southern part of the fort has also important temples like Mataji temple. The fort is also beautified by other Jain temples namely Mamdeo temple and Surya Mandir.
Built by Fateh Singh, Badal Mahal is the most significant structure of the fort. This is the part of the fort, where Maharana Pratap was born.
Cultural events at the fort
In the remembrance of Rana Kumbha, Rajasthan Tourism Department organizes a three-day annual festival in the fort. The festival also contains sound and light shows in the background.
Various concerts and dance shows beautify the function. In addition, events like Heritage Fort Walk, turban tying and menhadi mandana are also part of the cultural programmes.
So, if you plan to go on a tour of Rajasthan, you must visit the long-time unexplored Great Wall of India.
If you know some other historical fact about Kumbhalgarh Fort Wall, please let
me know through the comment box.
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