Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Kumbalgarh Fort, India

There are a lot of forts in India. Which is fine by me, cause I think they are pretty damn cool (and way more interesting than museums). Kumbalgarh was by far our favorite fort (if not our favorite place, period) that we've visited in India. Our driver added this stop by chance, after our car broke down and he decided we should caravan over the pass with his other driver buddy.

The sheer size of this thing was absolutely awe-inspiring. And the location, perched 1,100 meters skyward with lush valleys in every direction, provided intimidating splendor and breathtaking views.

The main structure was like a fairytale castle, with dark labrynth halls easy to get lost in. The best part was our ascent to the roof for a bird's eye view of the complex. A slim gaurd rail combined with incomprehensible heights resulted in stomach-dropping queasiness, followed by a sense of exhilirating, wind-blown freedom.

If the castle wasn't enough to keep us entertained, hundreds of temples, palaces and gardens dot the forest-like premises. And the magnificent wall surrounding it all is second only to the Great Wall of China in length. You could spend countless hours exploring this beautiful spot, and we wish we had the opportunity to do just that.

Outside the property, the area is surrounded by rolling hills and picturesque lakes. And possibly the most surprising aspect of Kumbalgarh, is that it warrants barely a mention in the 1,244-page Lonely Planet guide. I think that this perhaps little-known location is absolutely not to be missed. It's truly a magical place.

For more exquisite photos of the Kumbalgarh Fort, click HERE.

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