In this post, I will share some pictures and details from our recent Kumbhalgarh Fort Ranakpur Road Trip. We were driving from Mumbai. We started at 7 am and reached Udaipur around quarter to 6 pm. From Udaipur, for Kumbhalgarh there are two routes – one is NH76-SH32-NH 162 Extn. and another NH8-NH162 Extn.
For some reason, Google Maps was showing the first option as the preferred option and we decided to show respect to Google Maps.
It took almost one hour to cross Udaipur city and touch NH 76. By that time, it was pitch dark. After driving for another half an hour, took a right turn for SH 132. I do not know the name of the place. And then the thrill began.
It was a narrow single-lane road with twists and turns and ups and downs. The only saving grace was that the road was well tarred. At the turnings, from the reflection of the headlight from big rocks, we could make out that we are passing through hilly terrain.
We crossed some villages but rarely saw any human beings outside. Doors and windows of all the dwellings were shut. Only bulbs hanging outside were emitting yellow light and thus spicing up the mystic environment. Very few vehicles crossed us from the opposite direction.
Kumbhalgarh Fort Ranakpur Road Trip
The surrounding was giving us a feeling that we were the only living creature on this huge tract of barren land engulfed in darkness. I guessed that this atmosphere of eternity affected my Google Maps also and it stopped updating distance to be traveled for some time which was scary.
It was a perfect backdrop for a horror movie. My 10-year-old daughter was fully convinced that at some point in time a ghostly creature would suddenly appear in front of my car and therefore, decided to keep her eyes shut for most of the time.
I was blindly following the Google Maps with my eyes wide open to negotiating the curves. Finally, we reached our destination at Club Mahindra at 8.30 pm. We were tired but relieved that did not finally land at a haunted house.
Kumbhalgarh Fort is a huge fort. Its boundary wall is 36 km long. In Asia, lengthwise it is second only to the Great Wall of China, I guess. It’s very difficult to cover the entire fort. People concentrate only on the area around the main palace.
There are several temples insides the fort.
Kumbhalgarh Fort Sound and Light Show
Whenever you visit Kumbhalgarh Fort, please do not miss the Light and Sound show which starts at 6 pm near the ‘Sun Temple’. The Light and Sound show is very interesting. The more important thing is that the fort gets illuminated after the Light and Sound Show and at that time it really looks majestic.
Kumbhalgarh Fort Light and Sound Show Tickets
For the Light and Sound show you have to book tickets separately in addition to the entry ticket for the Fort. Both the counters are side by side near the car parking area at the entrance gate. It is advisable to buy the tickets for the Light and Sound show while you buy the entry tickets.
If anybody does a day trip from Udaipur, it is really difficult for him to watch light & sound show. Kumbhalgarh is almost 100 km away from Udaipur and the terrain is hilly. The light & sound show ends around 7-7.30 pm. Then going back to Udaipur in the dark is a risky proposition.
While returning, we took NH 162 Extn. – NH 8 via Kelwa. This is also a single-lane well-tarred road with twists and turns and ups and downs. I guess had we taken this road in dark, our experience would have been the same.
Kumbhalgarh Fort to Ranakpur
Ranakpur Jain temple is approximately 30 kms from Kumbhalgarh. It took us almost 90 minutes to reach there because we lost the route a couple of times and google maps and locals were giving contradictory directions. Somehow, we managed to reach there around noon. In hindsight that was good because the temple opens for non-Jains only at noon.
There are the outer complex and inner complex of the temple. At the outer complex, there is a car parking space, eateries, restroom, etc.
At the entry point of the inner complex, on the left-hand side, there is a ticket counter. There is no entry fee for the Indians. However, foreigners have to pay the entry fee at the ticket counter. There are separate charges for still and video cameras. There are audio guides also.
Ranakpur Jain Temple
Once you enter the inner complex, there is a huge courtyard and then the temple. From the outside, the temple looks majestic. Inside, there is a jaw-dropping sculpture.
There are more than 1000 pillars inside and each one of the pillars bears the testimony of intricate craftsmanship. Photography is allowed inside the temple. But you cannot take photos of the deity as well as any Jain rituals being performed inside the temple.
It will take at least 2 hours to do justice to this majestic temple. Being a Jain temple, there is no ‘prasad’ or ‘bhog’. You can have a meal from the eateries at the outer complex. But those eateries shut down around 2 pm.
We were late. So, after coming out from the temple, we took the right turn (left turn for return to Kumbhalgarh) and after proceeding approximately 1 km, found an eating place at the right-hand side. It was good. Both vegetarian and non-vegetarian meals were available. I could not recall the name. After finishing lunch, took a U-turn and reached Kumbhalgarh around 3.30 pm.
I hope the travelogue, pictures, and information on Kumbhalgarh Fort Ranakpur Temple were of help. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask in the comments section below or at our Community Forum, and I will be happy to answer. You can also follow me on Instagram and chat with me live there or subscribe to my YouTube channel and ask a question there.