Bundi the eponymous princely state apparently derives its name from the former Meena tribal chieftain, Bunda Meena. During ancient times, the area around Bundi was variously inhabited by the local tribes. Bhils and Meenas were the predominant ones around.
The Hada Rajputs lend the name to the Hadoti region in which Bundi is located; the Hadas are an off shoot of the Chauhan clan. They settled in the region around the 12th century and then dominated the area for the next couple of centuries. They conquered Bundi in 1241 and nearby kota in 1264. The year 1624 saw Bundi being partitioned from kota into a separate territory.
With the formation of Kota state its stature diminished. It remained an independent entity for quite a long time even though nominally during the British Raj. It became a part of the “union of India” after India attained Independence in 1947.
The city lies near a narrow gorge, surrounded on the three sides by hills of the Aravali Range. A robust wall encircles the city flanked by four gates. The town of Indragarh and adjoining ones are famous for the renowned Kali and Kamleshwar temples. During the rainy season the Indragarh step well metamorphosizes into the most attractive of places in the whole of Bundi.
Tours to Bundi will take you to this quaint place in Rajasthan, home to magnificent palaces and imposing forts. It has been a witness to many a great battles and the accompanying tales of valor, which are nothing less than legendary. Nature is bountiful here what with the sparkling rivers, the tranquil lakes and the spellbinding waterfalls dotting the landscape. Rare flora and fauna is nestled here in the lap of nature. It is no wonder though that many people call it heaven by another name.
Places to Visit
When you travel to Bundi you get to see the stunning ornate forts, enticing step well reservoirs and the magnificent palaces. The following places are worth paying a visit.
The Taragarh Fort: Also known as the Star Fort, it is one of the most imposing structures in the city. It dates back to 1354 and is perched atop a steep hillock overlooking the city. A special mention here should be made of the three tanks which never dry up bearing live testament to the expertise of the engineers in medieval India. The fort affords a panoramic view of the entire city.
The Bundi Palace: Situated adjacent to the Taragarh Fort, it is a decaying edifice with fading turquoise and gold murals, the chitrashaala here is adorned with beautiful paintings. Stories depicting the Raaslila or Ragmala embellish the walls and ceiling here.
Raniji ki Baori: Built by Rani Nathavatji in the year 1699, it is the largest and most intricately carved baori or stepwell. The well is around 46 m deep; it has steps going down into the sides of the well, making water accessible even at a low level.
The Nawal Sagar: An artificial lake built to feed the numerous bavdis in the old city by creating an artificial water table. It is a large artificial lake in the centre of Bundi, is square in shape and contains many small islets. An interesting feature is the half submerged temple of Lord Varuna in the middle of the lake.
The Dabhai Kund: Popularly known as the Jail Kund, it is the largest in Bundi. Pay a visit if not for anything else then to view the spectacular carvings on the numerous steps leading down to the water level.
Excursions of Bundi
Kedareshwar Dham(Ban Ganga) (5 kms): Tours to Bundi will take you to holiest of the most holy places in Bundi district; it is situated in the middle of the valley. The holy temple of Kedareshwar Mahadev stands on the bank of Ban Ganga. The river meanders through the hills and the mountains and rests to form a kund before resuming onwards journey. The alluring natural beauty of the place as well as the holiness attracts people from far and wide.
Rameshwar (20 kms): Surrounded by the imposing Aravali ranges, it is a scenic picnic spot amidst pristine natural surroundings.
Ramgarh (45 kms): During your travel to bundi you will be taken to Ramgarh situated on the Nainwa road it is a single compact and large ecosystem. Sloth bear, hyena, samhar, cheetal, blue bull, porcupines are the principal fauna to be observed. The king of the jungle visits the area quite often. You need to seek the permission of the forest department beforehand though.
Bijolia: Located on the Bundi – Chittaurgarh road are the fort and the ancient city of Bijolia. There is a paved courtyard on the side of the fort; it houses a large temple of Lord Shiva in the center. A carved archway leads you to the temple. Elephant head Ganesh guards the entrance with his vivified presence.
Keshoraipatan (45 kms): It was known as Ashram Nagar in the ancient times. One of the oldest towns in India, it is famous for the Mritunjay Mahadev Temple besides the famous Keshav Raj Ji Maharaj (God Vishnu) temple. It stands tall on a huge platform at the banks of river Chambal. The temple has unique architecture with beautiful sculptures. All of this makes it an important Hindu Pilgrimage Center. The place is famous for the ancient Jain Tirthankar temple and is considered as an important Jain pilgrim centre too.
Talwas (53 kms): What draws you to the place is the beautiful Ratan Sagar Lake. Besides this the magnificient fort and the wonderful waterfall make your visit worth the while. If you happen to be there during the rainy season, you can spot leopards, bears and deers. The Ramgarh sanctuary is located closeby.
Places to Stay
Bundi Haveli Hotel: A heritage property in the heart of the city characterized by the window seats (jharokhas) and carved stone pillars; it is an elegant boutique hotel. It offers stunning views of the old town, palace, fort and the lake. Serving both Indian and continental cuisine, the place is famous for the rooftop terrace, which offers a 360 degree view of the town. Great place to sip coffee while watching the sun go down.
Hadee Rani, Sadar Bazar: A lovely accommodation in the center of the city, it is famous for its vegetarian fare and the organic produce used.
Ishwari Niwas Palace: You can sample great traditional Rajasthani meals here, served in a homely atmosphere with enthusiastic and cheerful service. You will find an extensive range of contemporary amenities and services for your overall comfort.
How To Reach
By Air: International Airport at Jaipur is the nearest airport located 220 km from Bundi.
By Rail: The railway station at Kota (36 km from Bundi) is well connected to the cities like Chittorgarh, Agra, Jaipur, Benaras and other major cities of India.
By Road: Bundi is well linked to Ajmer, Jaipur, Kota, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and other main cities of the country by road.