The Life and Soul of the Underworld

Kumbhalgarh

52 miles north of Udaipur is the fort of Kumbhalgarh. While forts seem to be all over Rajasthan, this was the one that I was looking forward to exploring the most. The fort of Kumbhalgarh is home to the second longest wall in the world.

While it is a fraction of the size of its Chinese counterpart (around 20 miles compared to 5,500 miles. Blimey) the wall is something to behold. It curves around the landscape almost like a rollercoaster.  It sometimes disappears behind hills and shows itself again at a different level that runs down along the landscape.

Inside it houses an entire community of a long gone era. There is a palace, temples and even some step wells or baolis. Mausoleums dedicated to its ancient leaders are smattered around the space, while nature has reclaimed most of the central area. There is a sense that this would have been a mighty town in its day.

Lord of the Geeks

After a heavy-going walk to the palace we were rewarded with stunning views across the Rajasthani countryside. From on high, the vastness of the space the walls protects can really be appreciated. The palace itself is a feast for the inner geek.

Structurally it reminded me of Gormenghast. Tall towers house chambers for the staff and royalty. Steps run up and down and along to places of worship and peace. Unassuming corners lead to breathtaking views. Merlin Peake aside, I think I bored our fellow explorers Riley and Paul with my continuing quotes from Labyrinth and making Abby pretend that she’s Daenerys Targaryen. Sorry about that.

Kumbhalgarh is really worth the 2 to 3 hour drive from Udaipur. It is the kind of place that ignites the imagination and makes you marvel at the power of mankind. And dragons.

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