Kumbhalgarh (also called Kumbhalmer or Kumbalgarh) is a Mewar fortress in the Rajsamand District of Rajasthan state in western India.The Kumbhalgarh was built and ruled by Rana Kumbha and his dynasty who were Sisodia descendents.
Kumbhalgarh was built during the course of the 15th century by Rana Kumbha, and enlarged through the 19th century, Kumbhalgarh is also a birthplace of Maharana Pratap, the great king and warrior of Mewar. Kumbhalgarh also separates Mewar and Marwar from each other and was used as a place of refuge for the rulers of Mewar at times of danger. The fort remained impregnable to direct assault, and fell only once, due to a shortage of drinking water, to the combined forces of Mughal Emperor Akbar,
Raja Man Singh of Amber, Raja Udai Singh of Marwar, and the Sultan of Gujarat. Built on a hilltop 1100 metres above sea level, the fort of Kumbhalgarh has perimeter walls that extend 36 kilometres. The frontal walls are fifteen feet thick. Kumbhalgarh has seven fortified gateways. There are over 360 temples within the fort. From the palace top, it is possible to look tens of kilometers into the Aravalli Range.
The fort is now open to the general public as a museum and is spectacularly lit for a few minutes each evening. Kumbalgarh is situated 82 km from Udaipur towards its northwest and is easily accessible by road. It is the most important fort in Mewar after Chittaurgarh.
Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary is located in the most rugged region of the Aravali Hills in Pali, Rajsamand and Udaipur districts of Rajasthan. It has been named after the impressive historic fort of Kumbhalgarh, which come into view over the Park. The sanctuary is 578 sq Km in area and at an altitude of 500 to 1,300m above sea level. It is home to a very large variety of wild life, some of which are highly endangered species. The wild life includes panther, sloth bear, indian wolf, hyena, jackal, jungle cat, smabhar, nilgai, chaisingha (the four horned antelope), Chinkara and hare.
The bird life at Kumbhalgarh is also gratifying. The normally shy and distrusted grey jungle fowl can be spotted here. Peacocks and Doves can be sighted regularly, feeding on grains scattered by the jungle guards. Bird like the red spur owls, Parakeets, golden Oriole, grey Pigeons, Bulbul, Dove and white breasted kingfisher can also be seen near the water holes.
Kumbhalgarh sanctuarie’s natural beauty attracts many tourists. A typical safari route enters the sanctuary from the Kumbhalgarh Fort and cutting across the sanctuary it reaches Ghanerao, and then borders an old abandoned road. On this road, one can sight Chinkaras, Neelgais, four horned Antelope and many variety of birds.