Bundi is a small town with pastoral setting that stands on the foothills of the Aravali mountains. It is situated in the south-east region of Rajasthan and lies at a distance of 206 km from Jaipur and 36 km away from the city of Kota. The name Bundi is derived from one of the chieftain’s name Bunda Meena. Once a part of Kota, it was ruled by the Hada Chauhans – an offshoot of the famous Chauhan clan who ruled Delhi and Ajmer.
One of the interesting things in Bundi are the Baori’s. These waterworks are also called as stepwells. There are over 50 stepwells in Bundi, of which only a handful have been maintained. They used to be the only source of water for the town until a piped water system was introduced. After that these stepwells were abandoned and the monuments fell into disrepair. Most of the former stepwells inside the town have become garbage dumps, and are slipping out of the public consciousness.
In Bundi there are the frieze-adorned palaces, the forts and the monuments that narrate tales about the glorious past of the city. A scenic lake where the entire city and its palaces get reflected, adds a pristine quality to the place.
One of the unexplored cities with a rich historical wealth. Remote as it is in its hilly terrain, Bundi continues to be a place where life is largely untouched by the outside world. Infact, even today, Bundi is one place in Rajasthan that has a delightfully medieval flavor – visiting it is like stepping into some kind of time warp. The tiny, winding lanes of its bazaars are among the most fascinating to find anywhere in Rajasthan.
Geography and Climate
The town of Bundi is situated 36 km from Kota and 206 km from Jaipur. The city lies near a narrow gorge, and is surrounded on three sides by hills of the Aravalli Range. A substantial wall with four gateways encircles the city.Area of the city is 5628 sq. km. In summer maximum temperature is 43.0 degree C and minimum temperature is 35.0 degree C.In winter maximum temperature is 37.7 degree C and minimum temperature is 5.0 degree C. The district is generally dry except during the monsoon or winter rains.Best season is from August to February.
History of Bundi
In ancient times, the area around Bundi was apparently inhabited by various local tribes, of which the Parihar Meenas were prominent. Bundi and the eponymous princely state are said to derive their names from a former Meena king called Bunda Meena. Bundi was previously called “Bunda-Ka-Nal”, Nal meaning “narrow ways”. Later the region was governed by Rao Deva Hara, who took over Bundi from Jaita Meena in A.D. 1342 by farud. renaming the surrounding area Haravati or Haroti. Here the Haras ruled, largely protected from the influence of the outside world by the hill country around them.Common languages are Rajasthani, Hindi, English.
Bundi tourist attractions
Taragarh Fort: Taragarh Fort (Star Fort) is the major tourist attraction in Bundi. One of the most magnificent forts of Rajasthan, Taragarh Fort was built in 1354 AD. Perched on a thickly wooded hill, Taragarh Fort offers a spectacular view of the town. The Fort also houses a huge reservoir, which was built to supply water to the nearby Bundi palace.
Bundi Palace: Bundi Palace is another not to be missed attraction in Bundi. Nestled on a hill adjacent to the Taragarh Fort, the Bundi Palace offers a good example of the Rajput architecture. Visitors can see some of the superb Bundi murals in the Palace.
Chhattar Mahal: Chhattar Mahal or the ‘Palace of Towers’ is another attraction in Bundi, famous for its miniature style murals. There are many interesting structures inside the palace complex including the Hazari Pol or Gate of the Thousand, the Naubat Khana, Diwan-i- Aam and the Hathi Pol (Elephant gate) with its old Water Clock.
Chitrashala: Chitrashala is a fascinating pavilion with frescoes showcasing the famous art of the Bundi School of miniature paintings. These fresco paintings on the walls depict scenes from the Ragmala and Raaslila, the epic story from the life of Radha and Krishna.
Raniji-ki-Baori: The Raniji-ki-Baori (step-well) is another must visit on your tours to Bundi. It is a 46 meters deep step-well with some exquisitely carved pillars and a high arched gate. Built in 1699 AD by a princess Rani Nathavatji, the step-well is one of the largest of its kind and Rajasthan.
Ratan Daulat: Also called Diwan-e-Aam, it was a royal court, built in such manner that it forms stables for nine horses and elephants. A very attractive structure, it was built by Rao Raja Ratan Singh.
Nawal Sagar: It is a beautiful and square shaped artificial lake located in the heart of Bundi. The lake has a half submerged shrine dedicated to Lord Varuna. The Lake offers a breathtaking reflection of the town and the palace in the evening, indeed an unforgettable experience for viewers.
Other not to be missed tourist attractions in Bundi include Sukh Mahal, Phool Sagar Palace, and Shikar Burj
Things to Do in Bundi
Besides local sightseeing tours, one can enjoy many more exciting activities on Bundi tour. Enjoy excursion to Menal to see a 122 m deep and hollow gorge and a temple complex with beautiful carvings, Dugari Fort, and Indragarh Fort (65 km from Bundi). Dugari and Indragarh are also famous for wall paintings. Bundi becomes alive during the Teej Festival. A tour to Bundi during Teej Festival would surely be a unique and unforgettable experience for visitors. On tours to Bundi, you can also shop for cotton carpets, famous Kota paintings and Kota doria sarees, stone statues, wooden toys and lac bangles.
Flora and Fauna
The flora in Bundi includes the grasses, shrubs and thorny trees. The commonly found tree species are bamboo, khejri, teak and varied species of acacia. There are several species of plants and herbs, having great medicinal value. The fauna contains many species of serpents and of lizards. The wildlife includes species like Indian gazelles or chinkaras, antelopes, black bucks, silver foxes, great Indian bustard, the nilgai or the blue bull, and wild cats etc.