Rajasthan is home to many hill forts of impressive size. Six of them have been declared Unesco world heritage in 2013. We visited three of them – Amber Fort (Jaipur), Kumbhalgarh & Chittorgarh Forts (Udaipur region).
Kumbhalgarh Fortress: Nano version of the great wall of China
The fortress is a 2h drive north of Udaipur on mainly single lane roads in poor condition. If you don’t get sick, you can enjoy the countryside and people on the way. Entry is Rp600 for foreigners (Rp40 for locals) and it is open from 8.30am to 6pm. In the evening there is a daily light show, which seems quite impressive.
The fortress was built-in one sequence in the 15th century and remains in good shape until today though it is no longer inhabited. The walls of the fort extend 38km and belong to the longest wall structures in the world (although any wall looks pale when compared with ita big brother in China). Wikipedia has a good overview the great walls – in the past and today.
Chittorgarh fort – even bigger
After Ranakour we returned to Udaipur (2h) to catch a train to Chittorgarh. We travelled 2nd class seated which was ok. Highlight of the journey was a massive dust cloud that polluted the wagon visibly. 😷🤧
Chittorgarh was the capital of the world’s longest ruling dynasty, the kingdom of Mewar, for eight centuries (before the capital was moved to Udaipur). Not only is it regarded as the greatest fort in Rajasthan, it is the most sizable fort in India (3sqkm total area). My home fortress – Festung Königstein – looks like a lego toy in comparison (Chittorgarh is 31x larger).
- The fort is home to several palaces, temples and towers (most famously the victory tower)
- Seen from above, it is shaped like a fish
- Its history dates back to the 7th century, but construction was spread over many phases.
- The siege of Chittorgarh in the 15th century saw the fort lost to emperor Akbar and Udaipur took over as capital of the Mewar kingdom.
- It has a water reservoir holding 1bn gallons of water – enough to supply an army of 50,000 men for 4 years
- Every night 7/8pm a light show takes place
The city of Chittorgarh is rather unimpressive. Yet we did enjoy a very local curry dinner and a few beers at the Pratap Palace Hotel.
Amber fort – towering over Jaipur
The fort was our first stop in Jaipur and in hindsight the one most worth visiting. Already from far away its reddish colour stands out (the fort was constructed using red sandstone & marble).
The current fort was built in the late 16th century yet its origins date back to the 11th. The palace complex features several courtyards and even tunnels for royal rescue missions. Bring cash to pay the entrance, as internet doesn’t work despite a large wifi sign chiselled int stone 🤣😂
We used the magnificent setting for a little photo shoot with laura’s new scarf in colombian colours. 📸 👧🏻 🇨🇴 SLIDESHOW BELOW.