Mystique of Mewar; Usha Subramaniam; Deccan Herald

India – Hill Forts of Rajasthan

Kumbhalgarh Fort’s walls are second longest in the world after China’s Great Wall. To my embarrassment, I hadn’t heard of it despite living just 630 km away from the historical site for almost 30 years.

One of the six hill forts of Rajasthan, Kumbhalgarh was added to UNESCO World Heritage Sites list in June 2013. Juggling schedules, towards the end of July, I left the blistering Delhi heat, expecting fiery weather in Rajasthan as well. But to my surprise, monsoon in Mewar heralded blissful temperatures.

Driving 23 km north from Udaipur, traversing picturesque, undulating hills, my first stop was Eklingji. The two-storied marble shrine has a four-faced idol of Lord Shiva, who is deemed the Eternal Ruler of Mewar. Thus, Mewar’s successive princely ‘custodians’ are called maharanas, never maharajas.

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