I visited Kumbhalgarh during the monsoons and it was a comfortable day trip from Udaipur. A hike to the top of the hill offers excellent views of the mountain side and it is said that on a clear day it is possible to see all the way upto the sand dunes of the Thar desert. Since I was visiting during the monsoons, I could not see that far but the lush greenery of the countryside more than made up. More interestingly, I could visualise what life was like for the royal families of medieval India as I walked through the royal quarters of the maharajas.
For centuries, generations of Rajput kings waged guerrilla warfare against the more powerful Mughal invaders in the forests and ravines of the Aravalis and would vanish behind the inhospitable dunes of the Thar. They built beautiful temples and erected grand fortresses to protect their brethren and way of life. The lives of the local folk seem to have changed very little even now as most villagers still rely on farming and animal husbandry for a living and their attire and music still reminds us of the days long gone.
The sound and light show and wildlife safari are added attractions and it is advisable to stay in one of the local hotels and check the timings in advance if these are on your agenda. Kumbhalgarh is one of the lesser known destinations in India and can be approached from Mumbai or Delhi. It is definitely worth a visit for those who prefer to stay off the beaten paths to explore the cultural heritage of India.