Saturday, March 29, 2008

Kumbalgarh, Rajasthan - Day 6

Rajasthan Road Trip - Day 1.
Udaipur, Rajasthan : City of Lakes, Venice of the East - Day 2.
Jodhpur, Rajasthan : Blue City - Day 3.
Jaisalmer, Rajasthan : Sand Castles - Day 4.
Jaisalmer, Rajasthan : Sufferi - Day 5.

Jaisalmer had taken it's toll and we were happy to be heading home. What lay ahead was a major amount of driving. Jaisalmer's location is such that you have to re-trace your steps all the way back to Udaipur, same route. We couldn't have made it back to Mumbai in one day without it being immensely tiring, so we had planned to stop over at Kumbalgarh, which is between Udaipur and Jodhpur in that triangle.

Kumbalgarh is in the hills and has a bizarre story surrounding its naming - more on that in a bit. Heading back out of Jaisalmer early morning - Nov 1st 7.15 AM - KM : 17860 - point that baby home and hit the gas! We make our way back through the now familiar roads - our plan is to keep driving till we hit Kumbalgarh, since we know we can nail the times due to the good road conditions.

We bypass Jodhpur by 10.40 AM and head towards Udaipur - the turnoff to Kumbalgarh is via a small place called "Sayra" - which we hit around 2 PM - the approach to Kumbalgarh from this direction has some bad roads - it seems like most people visit it from the Udaipur side. We reach Kumbalgarh around 4 PM - hungry and tired as hell - this place has two decent places to stay, we're staying at the cheaper of the two - Kumbal Castle - the other is a heritage hotel - pricey and we didnt feel like shelling out that lil extra - called the Audhi.

Kumbalgarh is a solo fort out in the wilderness, nothing much to write about really - not much for the regular tourist, no guides in sight - just plain fort. We managed to find one bored government employee who was manning the gate to talk about the fort - mildly interesting trivia - named after a "rishi (saint)" Kumbal - who was approached by the then king to find a location such that would never be conquered - the rishi told the King that he should sacrifice a human to find such a place - obviously no volunteers were forthcoming and it turns out that the rishi in an amazing "walking the talk" agreed to sacrifice himself - according to legend the rishi says - slice my head off - my body will keep walking and will map out the fort - but he had to name the fort after the rishi. A lil nutty - but hey made for interesting listening in an otherwise mundane fort.

The fort is lighted at night to give a spectacle - but we skipped that - weren't very piqued by the thought of it. Day 6 ended with us holed up in our room - tired and watching the Haryana chief minister blabber about something on Doordarshan - the only channel available!

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