The “land of deserts,” Rajasthan enjoys the vastness of diversity parallel to its landscape. The towns of Rajasthan are infused with classic architecture, ancient art, and finger-licking cuisine. No wonder, tourists from across the world flock to Rajasthan to create quixotic memories cherished for a lifetime.
One of the towns of Rajasthan with an ability to provide unprecedented trip experience is Bundi. If your love for paintings overlaps with your admiration for architecture, Bundi will be a godsend for you. It is globally recognized for its detailed paintings and marvellous architecture perfected across ages. Though the city doesn’t have that big a presence on the tourist map, it never disappoints anyone who visits it for work or leisure.
Bundi: History, Ancient Architecture & Places to visit in Bundi
Bundi- A City brimming with Ancient Architecture
Bundi (बूंदी राजस्थान) or Boondi or Bundhi is a beautiful city located 36 kilometres from Kota. The city has a fair share of impressive mediaeval forts, Havelis, castles, step-wells, and more. Its magnificence can also be observed through gardens of guava, orange, and mango trees that surround it. Bundi city Rajasthan is flanked by rivers and the Aravalli mountains, with barley, cotton, and wheat farms strewn throughout the landscape.
Many historians believe Bundi was formerly the capital of the massive Hadoti Kingdom, known for its monuments and murals. Bundi began to decline after it was split from Kota in 1624. Yet, the city captivates travellers with its simplicity. Bundi’s architecture also has a bluish tint, which was designed to keep the house cool in the summer.
Nobel Laureate Rudyard Kipling is widely acknowledged to have written a chunk of his famous tale ‘Kim’ in Bundi. He was so taken with Bundi that he decided to create a novel about it, making a special mention of Bundi Palace’s stunning structure in the novel.
History of the City
Bundi has multiple historical landmarks attracting visitors almost all year round. It is believed that Rao Deva Hada acquired the region from Jaita Meena. The year was 1342. Bundi Ratan Singh, the city’s popular ruler, is credited for the city’s gaping history. Later, the city was fraudulently occupied by numerous native clans, the most dominant of whom were the Parihar Meenas. Back then, the city was under British rule and various Rajput kings worked for the British government to reclaim control of the town.
Bundi is known as the “Queen of Hadoti,” named after King Bundi Meena of the Meena tribe, a notable local tribe. The city was given the name ‘Bundi Ka Nal,’ meaning ‘confined ways.’ Hada Rajputs invaded Bundi in 1241 and ruled for 200 years. It is believed that when Rao Surjan surrendered to Akbar in 1533, the Hada Rajputs lost control over the city. In the nineteenth century, it was ruled by the British.
As a side note, the Hada Rajput logo is still popular and widely searched on the internet. When it comes to architecture, the city has 50 public step-wells that were established around 1699. The Raniji ki Baori stepwell is the most exquisite of them all. It is among the handful of Indian cities to have an indigenous art style. Cotton carpets and miniature depictions are recognised globally.
When to visit Bundi?
The city has typical Rajasthani weather. Summers in this region are scorching hot and dry, with maximum temperatures ranging from 35 to 43 degrees Celsius during the day. Days of Bundi are exceedingly dry with strong winds. As the evening approaches, the temperature gradually drops, making it a little cooler.
In winters, the weather here becomes bitterly cold, with the mercury plummeting to 5 degrees Celsius or lower. Rainfall in Bundi is limited to July through September. The monsoons make the days exceedingly uncomfortable, with humidity levels reaching up to 90%.
Considering all these weather fluctuations, prefer visiting the place anytime from October to March. The weather is relatively pleasant, helping you make the most of the trip.
How to get here?
Boondi Rajasthan is easily accessible by air, rail and road.
Jaipur’s Sanganer Airport is the closest airport, around 200 kilometres from Bundhi. This airport is well connected to India’s major cities through frequent flights. To commute between Bundi and the airport, cabs are easily available.
The city’s nearest railway station is Kota Railway Station, about 35 kilometres away. There are various trains available between Kota railway station and other major Indian cities’ railway stations. To get to the Kota train station, travellers can opt for a taxi or a bus.
Bundi in Rajasthan has fine road connectivity, connecting it with all the key Indian urban centres. It is 35 kilometres away from Kota and about 200 kilometres away from Jaipur. Other nearby cities include Ajmer, Agra, and New Delhi, which are separated by 155 kilometres, 310 kilometres, and 390 kilometres, respectively. The state-run buses ply between Bondi city and the other major cities in Rajasthan. An option of private taxis is also affordable.
Places to visit in Bundi
Bundi is blessed with some stunning tourist attractions, including, but not limited to:
1. Bundi Palace – Depicting Decades Of Tradition
When in Bundi, you cannot afford to miss the Bundi Palace. Recognised for its endless beauty, the palace is indeed an incredible spot to witness the lifestyle of the royals in the bygone era. The palace is culturally and historically significant and provides tourists with an insight into the town’s diverse and alluring lifestyle and tradition.
2. Raniji Ki Baori
This is Bundi’s largest Baori, ideal for finding calm amidst nature and history. This site is a must-see. With stone elephant statues and multi-story buildings, the structure is an example of elite architecture and craftsmanship. Feel free to enjoy sitting on the Baori’s stairs, learning about its fascinating history and admiring the intricacies of the construction.
3. Sukh Mahal
The famed writer Rudyard Kipling stayed here, and the setting inspired his masterpiece “Kim.” In fact, it served as a shooting site for a scene from the film. Besides, the monarchs of the past used Sukh Mahal as their summer resort. Tourists visit this spot to experience what Rudyard Kipling felt first-hand. The Mahal is a must-visit to experience everything that couldn’t be explained in the words of Kipling.
4. The Taragarh Fort
It’s a spectacular structure that deserves your attention. The fort, featuring authentic Rajput design, provides a glimpse into the region’s history and grandeur. This location is also thought to be India’s earliest hilltop fort and one among Rajasthan’s oldest forts.
5. Lake Jait Sagar
This lake, surrounded by hills and home to lovely lotus blooms, provides stunning vistas and absolutely unique sceneries for you to cherish. It is among the most frequented tourist destinations in Bundi, or for that matter, Rajasthan. There’s a lot to do here for an ideal evening in Bundi, be it watching migratory birds or savouring the tranquil environment.
6. Ramgarh Vishdhari Sanctuary
Bundi is home to a variety of plants and animals. The Ramgarh Vishdhari Sanctuary showcases them in their natural habitat. Expect getting up close and personal with wildlife species, including leopards, wild boars, chinkaras, sloths, Indian wolves, hyenas, and foxes.
Undoubtedly, it is one of the lesser-known yet worth visiting wildlife reserves in the state. Aside from the gorgeous forts and palaces, this sanctuary is a must-see during the Rajasthan vacation to add a little adventure to the vacation.
7. Garh Palace
When asked about a tourist place in Bundi, the locals will suggest the Garh Palace. This area is known for being one of India’s largest palaces with a Rajputi structure. The palace provides splashing refreshments to tourists who spend 2-3 hours getting drenched in its grandeur architecture, beauty and design.
Chitrashala, commonly known as Umed Mahal, is considered the pride of Bundi and a must-visit destination. It houses wonderful tiny paintings of Ras Lila and Ragmala, staying true to its name. So, for tourists to dive into art, Chitrashala is a perfect destination.
9. Nawal Sagar Lake
The man-made beauty is one of the top locations to visit in Bundi. The lake is encircled by beautiful vistas and features a Varun temple in the centre, which is half-immersed. For starters, Varun is the god of water, per Hindu mythology. The shadows of the attractions around the spot that fall on the water can be seen, making it so appealing to the eyes.
10. The 84-Pillar Cenotaph
It’s a fine specimen of vintage Rajasthani engineering. The stunning tower is supported by 84 columns that can’t all be counted at the same time. That’s why they call it the Chaurasi Khambon Ki Chhatri. The artistic figurines on the Cenotaph may be seen, and tourists can even capture the elegance of this site.
11. Moti Mahal
This magnificent fort is known for its historic splendour and the breathtaking views it provides of the dry Aravali Hills and Nagel Sagar Lake. The inside of the fort, which Maharao Raja Bhao Singh Ji built-in 1645, illustrates the wealth of Rajasthan’s Rajputs.
12. A Hunting Cottage – Shikar Burj
It is a historic hunting home owned by Bundi monarchs. Umed Singh, the 18th-century monarch of Bundi, used to dwell here upon abdicating the throne. The location is currently a popular picnic site where families and friends can spend some quality time.
13. Talwas Fort
Ajit Singh designed and built Talwas Fort. Just a stone’s throw from Ramgarh Sanctuary, the fort presents a calm and soothing space away from the cacophony of the city. The exquisite bloom of lotuses in the pond can be enjoyed throughout the visit to the fort. Nearby to this fort, Borkhandi and Thikarda are two major tourist destinations.
14. Dhabhai Kund
Intricate geometric construction is responsible for the popularity of Dhabhai Kund. It was built in the 16th century near Raniji ki Baori and is a must-visit along with the step-well. It is a stairwell known for its exquisite carvings and murals.
15. Kshar Bagh
Kshar Bagh, located near the Shikar Burj, is an old yet lovely garden famous for picnics. This garden contains some commemorative memorials to Bundi’s prior kings. These plaques depict the typical features of Rajasthan, particularly its majestic architecture.
16. Sadar Bazaar
Bundi city Rajasthan is the ideal destination for art lovers, shopaholics, and explorers alike. While there are several markets to shop in, Sadar Bazaar is one spot where tourists can discover stone statues, lac bangles, hand-painted products, metal-wares, murals, silver jewellery, and more. Bundi’s Sadar Bazaar is a great opportunity to experience local life.
Drift into the colours of History and Art at Bundi
A journey to Bundi is budget-friendly and captures the essence of the rulers that have left their impression significantly on the city. With tons of places to explore, Bundi awaits your presence. No matter if you want to experience nature or history, Bundi won’t disappoint you. The palaces, step-wells, temples and exotic sovereignties to take back home are all that makes Bundi a special vacation place.
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