You must definitely know that India has an abundance when it comes to places of historical importance and aesthetic beauty. One place that has been added to this list is Bundi, Rajasthan. Located in the region of Hadoti region of Rajasthan, the cultural capital of India, Bundi is at a distance of 36 kilometers from the famous city of Kota which is known for its Indian Institute of Technology.
Broadly speaking, this city of splendor is known for its architectural beauty, which may be found in the numerous forts and palaces that are found in the city. Add to this the beauty of the sparkling, clean and refreshing view of the proud and magnificent Chambal River and an exquisite view of the majestic Aravalli hill ranges. It has been given the nickname “blue city of East Rajasthan.”
Bundi has served as the inspiration for many poets and artists such as Rudyard Kipling (‘Kim’), Rabindranath Tagore (False Fort), and Satyajit Ray (Sonar Kella). Let us now see more about this gorgeous city.
History of Bundi
Bundi was founded by a group of nobles from the Chauhan dynasty who were made to retreat in the southern direction by the Mohammed of Ghori. These Chauhan nobles chose to keep Bundi as the capital of the kingdom that they established. This happened during the 12th century.
Historically there has been a collection of tribes that have inhabited the area surrounding this city. Among all the tribes that have left their mark on this area, the Parihar Meenas were the most prominent and highly regarded group. In fact, there is a common belief among the locals and historians alike that the place got its place from one of the finest rulers of the Parihar Meena tribe, Bundi Meena.
Initially, before getting the name ‘Bundi,’ the region was known as “Bunda-ka-nal.” The area was taken over by Emperor Rao Deva Hada during the 1340s from the last ruling member of the Parihar Meena tribe, King Jaita Meena. His clan was known as the Hada Rajputs, and they have claimed this land and ruled it for over 2 centuries since their conquest over King Jaita Meena. The area along with certain surrounding areas, therefore, came to be renamed Hadoti.
The Hada Rajputs’ rule finally came to an end by the 1530s when the Mughal Emperor Akbar waged war and took over the kingdom from them. The current residents of Bundi are majorly Rajputs descended from the brave clan of Kshatriyas. The people who reside here are therefore known for their bravery and their open acts of heroism. Most of the natives here are also usually old-fashioned.
They follow the original Rajasthani rights and rituals that have been handed down over many generations. The two main languages that are used in this region are Hindi and Rajasthani.
Top places to visit in Bundi
The Taragarh Fort was built in the year 1354. It is also known as the Star Fort. It is considered to be one of the most classic tourist sites in Bundi. It is found nestled in the majestic Aravalli hills. Placed at a very strategic point, the Taragarh Fort helps viewers to have an unhindered and beautiful view of the whole city.
Ancient Indian architecture has always been a source of inspiration and beauty, and so is this fort. There are three tanks in this fort. The architectural ingenuity of these three tanks is that they never dry up. Such is the quality of engineering and design of the olden days. The fort, as such, is an example of a typical Rajput style of architecture.
One of the main attractions of this place includes the mural paintings that are part of the fort. The walls of the fort are built as a guard line surrounding the town. The other main attraction is the Bhim Burj, which stands for the cannon. The fort is an excellent example of the grandeur, extravagance, and royalty of Rajput architecture. The fort has been built at an elevation of approximately 1430 feet.
The Badal Mahal is situated inside the Taragarh Fort. The Badal Mahal houses the most famous and beautiful mural paintings that have gained importance all over the country and even the world.
Dhabhai Khund is situated near to the Raniji-ki-baori. The Dhabhai Khund is basically a stepwell, which has been praised and popularised for its consistently geometrical designs and patterns. It was built in the 1700s.
Built by the famous king Raja Ummed Singh, The Sukh Mahal is situated along the banks of the Jait Sagar Lake. In ancient times, this palace was often used as a summer retreat by the royal family. Further, this was also sometimes used as the hunting palace by the Rajputs.
The Mahal has beautiful scenery of greenery all around it and the lake flowing in the front. The Sukh Mahal was used as a place of residence by the great author Sir Rudyard Kipling. It was this beautiful town that inspired him to develop his book called ‘Kim.’The Sukh Mahal is currently being used as a museum to showcase the rich history that existed in the ancient civilization built in this place years ago. The second floor of the Mahal is famous for its white marble umbrella or ‘chhatri.’ There are more than 60 memorials that have been built on the second floor of this building.
These memorials are very famous and well-known for marble friezes that are in cream color. The Sukh Mahal is the ideal retreat if an individual wants peace and serenity.
The Talwas Fort is yet another architectural wonder which is has been classified as a ‘must-see’ attraction of Bundi. This fort was built by another one of Bundi’s most prominent kings Raja Ajith Singh.
Bundi was well known for its beautiful and efficiently built water circulation system. The most prominent step taken by the numerous kings of this region throughout the different time periods has been the building of step wells at different places in the town to ensure the circulation and distribution of water to almost all the corners of the town (at least to those parts of the town that was not very remote).
Some of the very well-known step wells of this region are the following
- Nagar Sagar Khund
- Nawal Sagar
As mentioned earlier, the Rajputs were brilliant engineers and architects who managed to create architectural beauties that surpassed excellence in more ways than one. One of their intelligent piece of work was the step-wells.
As you might have guessed using the word ‘Bagh,’ the Kshar Bagh is a garden. It is considered to be one of the oldest and also one of the most beautiful and well-planned gardens found in the state. The garden is found next to the Shikar Burj. Numerous mausoleums have been constructed in the garden to commemorate the brave and the dead.
Are you an amateur artist trying to make it into the industry? Or a connoisseur of arts who likes to see, understand, and appreciate the depth and meaning of paintings? Then the one place that you should definitely visit in Bundi is the Bundi Palace.
The Bundi Palace was built in the early 17th century by Rao Raja Ratan Singh Hada. The palace is situated very near the Taragarh Fort and can be easily found because of the iconic statues of the elephants at its entrance. The Bundi Palace is actually not just one palace. Rather it is a collection of various other smaller palaces.Each and every palace in the Bundi Palace holds within its walls paintings that are aged between the 17th and the 18th centuries. These paintings depict various subjects that range from love to mythological events like Mahabaratha and Ramayana, current affairs and functions of the past, etc.
There is even a painting school that has been started inside the Bundi Palace. This school is considered to be among the most successful and best-rated schools for art and painting in the nation. The various murals, paintings, and importantly, the frescos found in the palaces serve as huge encouragement and inspiration to the young and budding students who study here.
Jait Sagar Lake
The beautiful and serene Jait Sagar Lake is a wonderful sightseeing place. Nestled between the gigantic and majestic Aravalli hills, this slender and gorgeous lake is an embodiment of peace and serenity.
Chitrashala is a pavilion or gallery that is found inside one of the many palaces in Bundi – The Garh Palace. Popularly, the Chitrashala is referred to by the local people as the Ummed Mahal. The Chitrashala was designed and built during the 18th century.
Ramgarh Vishdari Wildlife sanctuary
The Ramgarh Vishdari wildlife sanctuary is located at an approximate distance of 15-20 kilometers from Bundi. To be exact, it is located on the Bundi-Nainwa road. It is home to a humongous variety of flora and fauna.
Things you must do in Bundi
Bundi is a place of abundance when it comes to rich historical importance, cultural heritage, and, more importantly, natural beauty. It showcases the implicit brilliance of the ancient engineers and architects who were employed back during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries.
However, other than just going around the different monuments (which is definitely a must-watch), you also have various other things that you must try out in the town of Bundi.
First of all, the local food/cuisine found in this place is amazing. Interact with the local people who will point you in the right direction to eat the authentic indigenous food od the town. The exact replicas of these food items might not be found in other parts of India because, as already mentioned, most residents of Bundi are highly old fashioned and stick to their roots, rules, regulations, and rituals, which also pivotal roles in their food preparation.
The next most important thing that you must try out in this town is shopping. We all have already acknowledged that Rajasthan is the cultural capital of India. The state has many artifacts and craft items that resonate with the culture of India, but more so in particular with the culture of the state. This means shopping! You should definitely visit the local markets of Bundi. It is here that you will get an honest hint about the culture of the town and a glimpse into its culture and tradition. But be very careful. It is a very common practice among the traders there to hike the prices of the items that they sell when tourists come into their shops. So you must know how to bargain to get items for the best prices.
Best season to visit Bundi
Bundi is situated in Rajasthan, which, as we all know, is home to some of the roughest climates in the country due to the presence of the great Thar desert. The state experiences more extreme climates rather than moderate climatic conditions.
The following seasons are found in Bundi:
The summer months in Bundi are during April, May, June, and July. The temperatures during this time soar as high as 45 degrees Celcius in mid-day times. Needless to say, the climate is just too hot for a beautiful and nice vacation and sightseeing. However, the temperature falls and settles to a mild 25-degree Celcius during the night.
It is Rajasthan that is being discussed. So the word monsoon should not bring to your mind pictures of a heavy downpour. The monsoon season in Bundi unravels between July and September. There is a considerable amount of rain in the town. However, this time of the year will also not be very helpful for visiting as the rare rains can ruin the trip. Further, the paths along the different palaces and forts may tend to get slippery soon.
The winters in Bundi extend from the month of October to the month of March. The temperatures drop to a freezing level of 2 degrees Celcius and rise to a maximum of 10 or maybe 12 degrees Celcius. The climate is definitely cold, but the relative dryness, when compared to the monsoon seasons, makes it a better season to visit the town.
Therefore, it is now clear that winter is the best to visit Bundi for vacations.
There are many tours and travel agencies that help individuals travel to Bundi. This will help you to have a well-planned and beautiful journey to the town. However, if you wish to stay there for a longer duration, then it is better that you decide the tour plan by yourself. The tourism department of the Rajasthan state government is highly informative, and it can give you the necessary information regarding your stay and touring possibilities in the town. There may be many Rajasthan tour packages available. But before you choose any package, browse through as many websites as possible to make sure you get the best travel agency and efficient prices from your tour agent.
How to reach Bundi
Bundi is found in the southern part of Rajasthan. The small town, however, is very well connected.
The place is very well connected to its nearest airports that are found in Kota, Jaipur, and Ajmer. Among these three, however, Kota is best and the nearest option to reach Bundi.
Kota station is about an hours’ journey from Bundi. However, instead of that, you may simply wish to land in the railway station that is located in the southern part of Bundi itself. The railway station at Bundi is well connected to those present in Jaipur, Kota, Ajmer, etc. This makes it a viable mode of transportation for individuals as well.
The small town of Bundihas has good connectivity through roads. Buses ply from Jaipur and Ajmer regularly, which pass through Bundi. The shortest bus journey to Bund will be from Kota, which will take only one hour. The journey from Jaipur can extend up to 5 hours.
The place is an architectural and natural splendor which you must visit. Please do add it to your list of future vacations.