December 31, 2020

Let's Rise!

Like the sun that rises every morning giving us hope to look forward to brighter moments in life, I wish 2021 turns out be much better than what we all went through in 2020. Let's hold each other closer and rise together in the coming year. Hopefully, we will all soon be able to get back to our travelling days again.

Have a memorable and wonderful 2021 full of travels and excitement!

The above picture was captured from the sand dunes of Thar desert in October 2018.

December 16, 2020

Kumbalgarh Fort: Home to One of the Longest Walls in the World

It wasn’t until I read up about Kumbalgarh fort that I learnt it houses the longest wall in India and the third longest in the world. The fort wall of Kumbalgarh which can be described as Great Wall of India stretches over 36 km across the Aravalli range in Rajasthan. Kumbalgarh fort might not be as extravagant as Chittorgarh fort with impressive structures, but built in the 15th century by Rana Kumbha, it is one of the prominent forts in Mewar region.  Rising to a height of more than 3600 feet, the fort holds great significance in the history of Mewar rulers as it was considered impregnable for a very long period with many attempts by various rulers turning futile. The fort is also the birth place of Maharana Pratap, one of the most celebrated rulers of Mewar. 

Kumbalgarh fort is presently a UNESCO World Heritage site under Hill Forts of Rajasthan.

Perched on a craggy hillock, Kumbalgarh fort can be spotted from a distance as you head towards it. The long fort wall with intermittent bastions snaking its way till it bends over makes an interesting and intimidating frame. With thick walls, some stretches of which are fifteen feet wide and seven fortified gateways, Kumbalgarh fort is quite an outstanding work of architecture. There are numerous beautiful Jain and Hindu temples spread across the fort and a couple of stepped tanks as well. The aerial views from Kumbha Palace on top are absolutely spectacular with endless views of hills, the meandering fort wall and various structures inside the fort premises.


Travel Tips:

1. The fort is open every day from 9:00 AM until 6:00 PM.

2. The entry charges for the fort are INR 10 for Indians and INR 100 for foreigners.


How to reach Kumbalgarh Fort:

The closest major city is Udaipur, which has an airport and railway station as well. It is recommended to take a private taxi from Udaipur to reach Kumbalgarh fort, which is 84 km away. Public transportation is not frequent between Udaipur and Kumbalgarh fort.

December 4, 2020

Marble Temples of Ranakpur

By the River Maghai and nestled cosily amidst the Aravalli hills in Rajasthan are the magnificent Jain temples of Ranakpur. Made from marble in the 15th century by a Jain businessman, it apparently took almost 50 years to construct them. It is also considered to be one of the prominent temples in Jainism along with the ones at Dilwara and Palitana. The temples which are known for their extensive intricate carvings, designs and figurines are built in Maru Gurjara style of architecture.

The main temple dedicated to Adinatha (the first Thirthankara) is known as Chaturmukha temple, and is the largest and most elaborately carved temple here. The three-storeyed structure houses 80 domes, 29 halls, 84 underground chambers and more than 1400 carved pillars. There are four entrance doors that lead to the inner chambers and extends further to the inner sanctum, which houses the idol of Adinatha. The extensive carvings and detailing on the pillars, ceiling, and sculptures of elephant, cupolas and various gods and goddesses make the temple an exceptional work of art. The architecture is so unique that it ensures natural light enters the halls, and also keeps the insides of the temple cool.

The other temples are nearby and dedicated to Neminatha, Parshvanatha and Suryanarayan. These temples are much smaller in size, but do have beautiful carvings on the outer facade.

Traveller Tips:

1. There is a minimal charge for camera and phone cameras, if you would like to take photographs.

2. While the temple is open from 6:00 A.M. until 7:00 P.M. everyday, non- Jains can visit only between 12 noon and 5 P.M.

How to reach Ranakpur:

The closest major city is Udaipur, which has an airport and railway station as well. It is recommended to take a private taxi from Udaipur to reach Ranakpur, which is 93 km away. Public transportation is not frequent between Udaipur and Ranakpur.

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