Kumbhalgarh SanctuaryThe Kumbhalgarh sanctuary is spread over an area of 578 sq. kms and is located at an altitude ranging from 500to 1300 meters. The sanctuary is a mere 65 kms. from Udaipur.
The Kumbhalgarh sanctuary has a bewildering array of wildlife species like leopards, hyena, sloth bear, wolf, jackal, jungle cat, hare, nilgai and the four horned antelope all of which makes Kumbhalgarh any wildlife enthusiasts dream come true.
Apart from the rich variety of wildlife species, Kumbhalgarh sanctuary is also a mecca for bird-watchers with numerous avian species that are residents of the sanctuary. The usually reticent jungle fowls are easily spotted along with white breasted kingfisher, parakeets, golden oriole, varieties of pigeons, bulbul, red owls to name just a few of the avian species that can be found in the haunting wilderness of the Kumbhalgarh sanctuary.
The sanctuary's natural beauty is further heightened by a magnificent fort - the Kumbhalgarh fort located at a height of 1087 meter on the hilly terrains of the Aravalli range. This invincible fort was built by Rana Kumbha in 1458 and happens to be the second oldest fort of Rajasthan after Chittor fort.
The fort is associated with the memory of Dhatri Panna and her supreme sacrifice wherein she gave away her own son to the enemy or attackers in her bid to save her master's son. There are several palaces or "Mahals" inside the fort but they are out of bound to visitors.
The Megh Durbar and The Durbar Hall are however accessible. Just below the fort, there is the 2nd century Jain temple, which is in a dilapidated condition. Nearby is the Kali temple. Besides, there are temples dedicated to Kumbha Swamy, Nilkantha and Mahadeva.
From the roof, one is assured of breath taking views of the Kumbalgarh sanctuary. During the scorching summer months from March to June, wild inmates of the sanctuary like antilopes, panthers, bears and wolves come to the adjoining lake to drink water and makes for a pretty sight.
The Kumbhalgarh sanctuary is increasingly gaining in popularity particularly because of its proximity to the city of Udaipur. Most tourists who come to Udaipur try to cover Kumbhalgarh which provides them with welcome relief from the scorching desert heat of Udaipur.
In short Kumbhalgarh is nature and history entwined in Rajasthan India.