I had gone buy tickets for the evening sound and light show at the Palace, only to be told that the show had been cancelled. I was surprised as there was no information posted about this on the board outside the ticket office. When I asked for the reason behind the cancellation, the ticket clerk mumbled something like “a function in the palace”. And when I asked as to why there was no advance information put out, he wouldn’t even look at me. When I asked if the sound and light show would be on the next day, he only gave a non-committal shrug, which could have meant anything. I had to be satisfied with that and leave disappointed.
My second visit was different.
I was back at the City Palace next day morning, this time to explore the areas accessible to a visitor. So, once I had paid for the entrance fee, the museum fee, the camera fee, and the audio guide fee and collected the various tokens, I set off for the palace complex with the hope that this visit would at least take away some of the disappointment of the previous evening.
It is a cool and crisp February morning at the Kumbhalgarh Fort.
The mild warmth of the winter sun and a gentle breeze make it the perfect weather for exploring it, and the mesmerising panoramic vista tempts me to stop now and then and admire the view. The blue haze of the distant mountain ranges, birdsong and the ringing of bells from the various temples within the Fort complex adds to the general sense of peace and calm all around.
Though there is some activity in the settlement below and few early bird tourists like me, it feels like the Kumbhalgarh Fort is all mine, and only mine, to explore. As I stop at one point to look at the view once again, I recall how different the Fort looked the previous evening, when I attended the sound and light show.
The sun was setting when I had arrived at the Kumbhalgarh Fort. I had just enough time to buy the ticket, reach the venue, find a seat and switch off my mobile, when the show began with the rather clichéd, but oh-so-effective, voice-over saying, “Main Kumbhalgarh hoon” [I am Kumbhalgarh], setting the tone for the narration of the story of Kumbhalgarh Fort.