Bundi just 36 km from Kota is a tiny picturesque town. One of the unexplored cities with a rich historical wealth. Once a part of Kota, it was ruled by the Had Chauhans - a offshoots of the famous Chauhan clan who ruled Delhi and Ajmer. In 1193 AD when Prithvi Raj Chauhan was defeated by Sultan Mohammed Gauri, some Chauhan nobles seeked shelter in Mewar and became allied to the Rana while other young warriors moved towards the Chambal valley and overpowered the Meena and Bhil tribals - thus establishing their own kingdom of Hadoti. Later, two branches of Hadas formed tow separate states of Kota and Bundi, on either side of the River Chambal. Bundi is surrounded by the Aravalli hills on the three sides and is circumscribed by a massive wall with four gateways. Interesting monuments including impressive medieval forts, palaces, havelis, temples with beautiful stone idols and chattris with carved pillars, along with a picturesque lake in the heart of the town, add to its charm. Bundi is very famous for its intricate carvings and murals.
Places of Tourist Interests
Taragarh Fort :- The serpentine Taragarh Fort and its palace is what immediately strike visitors on arrival in Bundi. Rudyard Kipling who visited here a century ago wrote, "No human hand can create such a splendour; for only angels have that skill". Taragarh is Bundi's pride. This imposing fort was raised at a height of 500 meters atop a hill by Rao Bar Singh in the 13th century. Strong bastions the biggest being Bhim Burj, rise above the chain of palaces built by different rulers over a period of time. A huge reservoir within the fort provided the place white water. A curious feature about it is that whenever the water lever rises above the danger level, sluice gates are opened and the running water makes the lanes of the city turn into miniature canals. Striking features of the fort are the Chhatra Mahal, Badal Mahal and Ratan Daulat - Diwan-I-Aam, built by Rao Raja Ratan Singh (1607-31). The Chhatra Mahal was founded by Raja Chhatrasal in 1660 the famous Bundi Kalam miniatures can be found here.
The Palace :- This magnificent edifice is a fine example of the Rajput architecture, housing some of the superb Bundi murals.
Chhattar Mahal :- A steep, paved carriage-way is the only way to reach the monument. Of special interest in the palace is the Hazari Pol or Gate of the thousand, the Naubat Khana, the Hathi Pol with its old water clock and the Diwaan-e-Aam.
Ratan Daulat :- Built by Rao Raja Ratan Singh, it is a very interesting structure forming a stable for nine horses and a Hatia Pol. (Prior permission required fro visit.)
Chitrashala :- A fascinating pavilion and a gallery of miniature murals embellish the palace. Elaborate colourful paintings on the walls depicts scenes from the 'Ragmala' and Raasleela' - the Radha-Krishna story.
Nawal Sagar :- Visible from the fort is the square artificial lake of Nawal Safar, broken up by islets. A temple dedicated to Varuna, the Aryan got of water, stands half submerged in the centre of the lake. The reflection of the entire city and its palaces can be seen in the lake-making it a unique attraction of Bundi.
Step-wells of Bundi :- For anyone who wants to see the beauty of different types of stepwells, a visit to the township of Bundi is recommended. A number of stepwells have been made over a period of three centuries by members of the royal families as well as the people of Bundi who took interest in a worthwhile cause. Out of around 20 stepwells in the area, those worth a mention are Naval Sagar, Sisodiaji ki Baori, Purushottam ki Baori, Sukhi Baori, Manoharji ki Baori and RAmi ki Baori.
Sukh Mahal :- A magnificent summer palace on the Sukh Sagar Lake amid the luch surroundings of a beautiful garden. An underground tunnel is believed to run from the Sukh Mahal to the old Palace.
Phool Sagar :- The 20th century palace with an artificial tank and picturesque gardens. Presently, it is the residence of the former ruler. (Prior permission of secretary is required for a visit.)
Shikhar Burj :- Located in the sun-dappled forest, Shikhar Burj was the royal hunting lodge. Wild-life in the Bundi woods comprised tigers, deer and boar. The royal hunts of Bundi were well renowned.
Keshar Bagh :- An ancient garden near the Shikhar Burj with beautiful chhatirs of the Bundi rulers and their queens all examples of the town's rich architecture. (Prior permission required for visit.) Eighty four pillared cenotaph: an amazingly magnificient memorial with 84 pillars in a single cenotaph along with a Shiva Lingam. It was erected by Rao Anirudh.