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Published: April 1st 2010
Shreya & I visited Rajasthan for our 2nd anniversary extended weekend. We drove to Ranakpur via Udaipur first. It took us 5.5 hours to reach Ranakpur Jain Temple. The roads are in great condition except last 30kms of single lane road. There was some really bad landslide last week in this area, and one side of the road was blocked causing us to take detours.
Ranakpur is located in Pali district near Sadri village. Its very famous Jain Temple was constructed in 14th century by one of the minister of erstwhile ruler of Mewar Rana Kumbha. The temple is truly a flawless piece of architecture. It is a four-faced temple with 1444 marble pillars and 3 floors. If you are planning to visit the Jain Temple, please keep in mind that before 12pm, it is closed to non-Jains. There are other 3 smaller temples inside the same campus.
There is also a much older Sun Temple just opposite to the Jain temple.
Ranakpur to Kumbhalgarh is 70kms of winding roads. It takes approximately 1.5 hours to reach Kumbhalgarh. We reached Kumbhalgarh at 5:30pm just in time to visit the very-famous Kumbhalgarh fort before it closes down at 6:30pm
for the day. We went to the fort straight away and walked all the way up.
The 15-feet thick walls of the fortress have 36kms perimeter. It is claimed to be the longest after the “great wall of china”. There are 360 temples inside the walls of the fort. 300 of them are Jain and the rest are Hindu temples.
As the name suggests, this fort was built by Rana Kumbha of Mewar. It was extended by his successors. Rana Pratap was born in this fort.
Inside the fort, you would see some of the modern day amenities built 500 years ago! E.g., toilets, wash-basins, chimneys for the kitchen, etc.
The best part of the tour to the fort is the lighting around 6:45pm every evening for 30 minutes! Best place to enjoy the evening lightings of the fort is the Lord Shiva’s temple inside the fortress walls. There is also a vista point outside the fortress which has the view of the lightings of the fort walls. However, the view from the Shiva’s temple is better and truly breathtaking!
We had a reservation at The Aodhi heritage resort (thanks to ThankYou Network!). The room
Kumbhalgarh Fort at Night
Every evening around 6:45pm, Kumbhalgarh fort and surrounding temples are lit for 30 minutes
& the service were impeccable! The food was little bit too much bland compared to the real Indian taste! However, not something that could stop me from visiting this place!
Next morning, we started a bit late… had breakfast and left for our next destination - Udaipur! Just when we thought everything was in place, we found out that we had a flat tire 😞. Fortunately, I had made sure my spare wheel was in place!
Some useful information:
• For some reason, Ranakpur is really hard to find on maps! Best way to reach Ranakpur is to take Udaipur - Pindwara highway to Gogunda. Take right from Gogunda to Ranakpur/Saera. Saera is a junction for Ranakpur & Kumbhalgarh. You will see sign boards for Ranakpur.
• Ranakpur to Kumbhalgarh is best travelled via Saera. The road is winding but not too bad.
• The Kumbhalgarh fort closes at 6:30 pm. However, the best time according to us, would be around 5:30pm. This will give you 1 hour or so to explore the fort and reach the temple of Lord Shiva by 6:45pm to enjoy the fort lightings!
• There are many lodging options around Kumbhalgarh for all kind of travelers.
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