64 km north-west of Udaipur is the second most important citadel of Mewar after Chittaurgarh. Range upon range of the Aravallis protect this impregnable fortress. Thirteen mountain peaks surround it. It is built on the topmost ridge, 914 metres above sea level. Seven great gates stand sentinel at the approaches and seven ramparts, one within the other with crenellated walls strengthened by rounded bastions and immense watch towers make this an impregnable mountain fortress. It was built by Rana Kumbha (1419-63) who won it from a Mewar ruler. There are 8 gates and all have their own importance. On the west side of last gate which is known as Nimboo Pol are the chambers where the infant Udai Singh was smuggled and hidden by his faithful maid Panna Dai thus saving him from the murderous wrath of his uncles, who wanted to usurp the throne. Udai Singh later came to the throne of Mewar, lived at Kumbhalgarh and built the city of Udaipur. The topmost palace in the fort is called Badal Mahal or Palace of the Cloud and offers a superb view of the surrounding countryside.
Far below one can see a valley full of ruined temples. These date back to ancient times when it is said a grandson of the Mauryan Emperor Ashok ruled here. He was a Jain and there are remains of Jain temples of various periods. Eastwards from the Jain temples is a Kali Temple and the Mamadevi Kund with two royal chhatris. Beyond is the Nilkanth Mahadev temple dedicated to Shiva. A fine black marble lingam is enshrined here. The pillars of the mandap or hall are finely fluted in an unusual feature being their tapering shape. On the way to Kumbhalgarh is the battle field of Haldighati (1576) where Rana Pratap, the heroic son of Udai Singh, put up a gallant stand against the forces of the Emperor Akbar.
On the way to Kumbhalgarh stop at Kankroli to visit a magnificent dam built by Rana Raj Singh in 1660. This is Rajsamand, the royal lake. There are ornamental toranas or arches and chhatris are interspersed all along the edges of the embankment. A Rest House of the Irrigation Department has been built on the embankment below in which a beautiful formal garden has been laid out, ornamented with sculpture excavated from nearby ruins. The town of Kankroli, a temple and a hill-top palace across the lake make a beautiful picture. Watching sunset over Rajsamand is an unforgettable experience.
Air :Udaipur 84 km is the convenient airport.
Road :Kumbhalgarh Fort is approachable by a good road.