Jeypore Palace may be called the Versailles of India; Udaipur’s House of State is dwarfed by the hill round it and the spread of the Pichola Lake; Jodhpur’s House of strife, grey tower on red rock, is the work of giants, but the Palace of Bundi, even in broad daylight, is such a palace as men build for themselves in uneasy dreams – the work of goblins rather than of men. – Rudyard Kipling. This clearly speaks about the importance of Bundi and why a vacation tour to Bundi is highly recommended.
37km north of Kota, the walled town of Bundi, is located in the north of the Hadaoti region and is bounded on three sides by rugged terrain of the Aravalli hills. Its very name conjures up images of chivalry and valiance. It served as the capital of the Hada Chauhans – an offshoot of the famed Chauhan Dynasty which ruled Delhi and Ajmer.
Founded in 1241 AD, Bundi has remained unaltered in its medieval charm. An unspolit place, it is one of the least explored of Rajasthan destinations. A land enriched with history and culture, scenic grandeur, generations of persistent tradition, and irresistible charm. All of this is the equation, which defines Bundi, Kipling’s own destination.
Bounded by the Aravalli hills on the three sides Bundi is surrounded by a gigantic wall with four gateways. It is replete with imposing forts, historical monuments, majestic palaces, havelis, temples and chattris with carved pillars. Besides these, a beautiful lake in the center of the town adds to its beauty. Bundi is also famous for its intricate carvings and murals. All these make it a far more enchanting destination than other more well known landmarks with which Rajasthan abounds.
Col James Tod, the first British official ever to explore Rajasthan extensively, writes in his Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan (1829) that the “coup d’oeil of the castellated palace of Bundi, from which ever side you approach it, is perhaps the most striking in India”. The creamy stone domes, cupolas and bleached walls of the palace justify Tod’s impression. Built in the true Rajput style, it is one of the few royal palaces in Rajasthan untouched by Mughal influence.
Bundi is the first stop in the Hadaoti region while coming from Jaipur. The nearest airport is at Jaipur that is 245 km away. It is connected by rail with, Chittorgarh, Agra and Nimach. The place is connected by road with major cities of Rajasthan. There are regular bus services to Delhi, Ajmer, Chittorgarh, Jaipur, Indore, Jodhpur Kota, Jhalawar, Bikaner, Udaipur, Nagaur, Ujjain, Alwar and Sawai Madhopur from Bundi. This transportation facility makes the vacation tour to Bundi more easy and comfortable. The best time to visit Bundi is between the months of October and February, but one might also visit it in July-August, when the Kajli-teej festival is celebrated here with much fanfare and gaiety.
Unspoilt, medieval town of Bundi offers a tranquil retreat. The place exudes original charm and traditional character. Characterized by a splendid white fort, beautiful palace and colorful bazaar, Bundi offers stunning views of nature and is a destination unto itself.
Vacation Tour to Bundi and Places to Visit
Taragarh or The Star Fort:
Taragarh Fort must have been built by angels not by human beings,” commented Rudyard Kipling. You will doubtlessly agree with Kipling. As a matter of fact it cannot be described but experienced. Built in 1354, the fort is home to a huge reservoir, which was once used to provide water to the palace. This is one of the major travel attractions to visit while on your vacation tour to Bundi.
Chhattar Mahal or Palace or Towers:
One of the most excellent palaces in Rajasthan, Chhattar Mahal or Palace or Towers is a worth a visit. This massive turreted palace is a classic example of authentic Rajput architecture. The palace is adorned with splendid murals for which Bundi is well known. The most important structures within the palace are the Hazari Pol or Gate of the thousands, the Diwan-e- Aam, the Naubat Khana, the Hathi Pol with its old water clock.
A very attractive structure, it was built by Rao Raja Ratan Singh. It is home to a stable for nine horses and a Hatia Pol. Prior permission is required to visit this site.
It is a square artificial lake in the center of which stands a half submerged shrine dedicated to Varuna, once the most important and fearsome god in the Aryan pantheon. The reflection of the entire city and the palace in the evening light is unforgettable.
Chitrashala is a fascinating pavilion with frescoes showcasing the famous art of the Bundi School of painting.
Bundi is also known for its baolis or step-wells. Unique to Rajasthan, these step-wells used to serve as water reservoirs during summer when there was a scarcity of drinking water. One of the two beautiful baoris (step wells) of Bundi, Raniji-ki-Baori is a 46 meters deep and has some exquisitely carved pillars and a high arched gate. Built in 1699 A.D. by a princess Rani Nathavatji, the well is one of the largest of its kind and Rajasthan’s most spectacular.
Bundi has other palaces and hunting lodges such as Sukh Mahal, Phool Sagar Palace, and Shikar Burj. Each palace has its own historical importance Phool Sagar palace has a fine collection of murals created by the Italian prisoners of war who were held here; Sukh Niwas Palace evokes memories of Rudyard Kipling who not only stayed here but also is believed to have found inspiration for his famous work Kim from the scenes that he saw here. Kshar Bagh is interesting for its locations as well as the carvings on the 66 royal cenotaphs.
If you are interested in visiting this place, then you can start planning your vacation tour to Bundi with the help of the major travel tour operators in India.