Bundi is not hounded by tourists in the same manner as some of the more famous Rajasthan cities. This is the reason why many people in search of a peaceful yet exciting vacation opt for Bundi. Situated in the southern part of the colourful state Rajasthan, Bundi is 39 km north west of Kota. It is easy for tourists to explore this typical Rajasthani city and its history within a very short span of time on either a taxi or auto rickshaw or simply a cycle.
In the year 1193 when Prithviraj Chauhan lost out to
Mohammad Ghori, numerous Chauhan nobles fled to Mewar to seek a safe
refuge. However, there were still others who were not intimidated and
hence moved towards newer destination in the Chambal valley. There
they subdued the Meena and Bheel tribes and established their own
supremacy in the kingdom of Hadoti. Later during the Jehangir rule,
Bundi was forcibly separated into two parts, Kota and Bundi. The state
lost its earlier prestige with the rise of Kota, though it continued
as an independent state within the British rule. Later, when India
gained independence, Bundi was incorporated into the state of
The name Bundi is derived from the name of a former ruler.
Built in the 14th century, the Taragarh Fort is the star attraction in Bundi. With the entry being free and souvenir shops fortunately absent, the fort provides an option of peaceful ramble round its premises. Inside the instant eye-catchers include the Bhim Burj, a large battlement with a cannon placed on it and a large reservoir carved out of single piece of rock. The views from the fort are exceptional, specially during the sunset when the rays seems to lend a lovely grace to the entire area.
Adjacent to the fort and past the bazaar, a wooden gate leads to the beautiful Bundi Palace. The highlight of this palace is the beautiful murals that carry the spectators back into the time of Bundi royalty. The murals cover almost entire palace walls, however, all these areas are not open for public viewing barring the Chitrashala. For visiting other areas, special permission needs to be obtained from the secretary of the Maharaja of Bundi. Photography is not allowed otherwise Bundi palace, illuminated with lights during night, presents a glowing beauty to be captured on camera.
Baoris & Tanks
Bundi is renowned for its baoris or stepwells. There are 50 step wells in Bundi out of which only few have been maintained till date. Most prominent among these are the Raniji ki Baori, Nagar Sagar Kund and Nawal Sagar. The first one was built by Rani Nathavatji and is known for its exquisite carvings. The stepwell was built in the year 1699 and is 46 metre deep. The second one is a pair of identical stepwells close to the Queen's step well while the Nawal Sagar is close to the palace containing many small islets. There is also a temple dedicated to Lord Varuna, half submerged in the water of the lake. This temple can be reached only by a boat.
The palace was constructed during the reigns of Umed Singh on the banks of Sukh Sagar or the Jait Sagar. The palace was meant for providing the princes a free hand to do what they liked away from the supervision of the Rao. The highlight of the palace is the white marble chhatri that stands in the centre of the roof of the second storey. The palace, that serves as the Irrigation Rest House today, holds the honour of playing host to the famous writer, Rudyard Kipling.
84 Pillared Cenotaphs
The Chaurasi Khambon ki Chhatri is located south of the town and is a pavilion supported by 84 pillars. The pavilion was constructed in the year 1683 by Rao Anirudh Singh to honour the services of Deva, his wet nurse. The two storeyed structure serves as a cenotaph as well as a temple though the importance of the cenotaph seems to have deteriorated with the passage of time. On the other hand the temple with Shiva Linga still commands respect from the devotees. The ceilings on both the floors are decorated with paintings of Rajput battles and fish symbols.
Though Bundi is not really a great place to shop yet there are ample opportunities to pick up quiet a few momentoes. Cotton carpets, famous Kota paintings and Kota doria sarees, stone statues, wooden toys, lac bangles or simply a colourful odhni - tourists can pick up any of these items as per their choice. The bazaars themselves are not modern, rather they exude a medieval charm which is hard to ignore.
The Sanganer Airport at Jaipur is the nearest one from Bundi with a distance of 206 km separating them. Jaipur in turn is connected to all the major destinations of India.
Bundi is connected by rail to Agra, Chittor and Kota. Kota, at a distance of 38 km is a more convenient railhead which is connected to both Delhi and Mumbai by August Kranti, Mumbai and Trivandrum Rajdhani. It is connected to Jaipur by Jaipur Kota Fast Passenger and Jaipur Bombay Central Superfast Train.
Bundi is connected to other destinations in Rajasthan by Express Buses. Some of the destinations connected by road are Ajmer (five hours), Kota (50 minutes), Sawai Madhopur (4 1/2 hours), Udaipur (8 1/2 hours) and Jaipur (five hours). It is on National Highway no - 12 that connects Jaipur to it via Sanganer, Chatsu, Tonk, Mendwas and Devli.