Bundi, a charming town in the Hadoti region of Rajasthan, is a hidden gem that showcases the rich history and vibrant culture of this royal state. Situated 250 km away from the capital city of Rajasthan and 39 km from Kota, Bundi’s allure lies in its stunning forts, palaces, lakes, reservoirs, and intricate step-wells (baolis). In this article, we will take you on a journey through the top 10 must-visit attractions of Bundi, which will leave you enamored with its architectural splendor and natural beauty.
1. Taragarh Fort: A Majestic Structure Perched on a Steep Hill
Constructed in 1354 by Rao Deva, the founder of the Bundi state, the Taragarh Fort is an awe-inspiring edifice that proudly stands atop the Nagpahari hill of the Aravalli range. Also known as the ‘Star Fort’, this attraction offers a panoramic view of the entire city of Bundi. Famed author Rudyard Kipling once described the fort as “more the work of Goblins than of men”, highlighting its otherworldly charm.
Sadly, time has taken a toll on this magnificent structure, and most of the fascinating architecture of the fort now lies in ruins. However, it still remains a must-visit attraction for history buffs and travelers seeking a glimpse of Bundi’s glorious past.
1.1. Badal Mahal: A Palace Adorned with Exquisite Paintings
Located within the premises of the Taragarh Fort, the Badal Mahal is a majestic palace whose walls are adorned with exquisite paintings that depict a blend of Rajasthani and Chinese influences. This unique fusion of artistic styles makes the Badal Mahal a significant attraction for art and culture enthusiasts.
2. Moti Mahal: A Historic Palace with a Stunning View
Moti Mahal is one of the unmatched attractions of Bundi, offering visitors a chance to witness the historic beauty of this palace while also enjoying a scenic view of the arid Aravalli hills and the ancient Nagal Sagar Lake. The elegant architecture of the palace and its serene surroundings make it a perfect spot for photography and leisurely exploration.
3. Garh Palace: A Conglomeration of Petit Palaces
The Garh Palace complex encompasses several smaller palaces built around the central royal residence by various rulers of Bundi. Each palace within the complex boasts unique architectural features and fascinating tales of the city’s rich history.
3.1. Chhattra Mahal: An Architectural Marvel Reflecting Rajput Independence
Among all the palaces in the Garh Palace complex, the Chhattra Mahal is perhaps the most impressive. Constructed in 1660 by Chatar Sal, this palace bears strong evidence of the Rajput rulers’ independence from Mughal power, making it an essential stop for history enthusiasts.
3.2. Hathi Pol: A Grand Entrance to the Garh Palace
The Hathi Pol serves as the entry point to the Garh Palace complex. As visitors embark on a steep climb towards the palace, they are greeted by two enormous gates flanked by a pair of trumpeting elephants that form an imposing archway.
4. Sukh Mahal: A Historic Palace by the Serene Jait Sagar Lake
Built during the reign of Umed Singh, the Sukh Mahal is located on the periphery of the picturesque Jait Sagar Lake. Local legends suggest that an underground tunnel connects the old palace with the Sukh Mahal, adding an element of intrigue to this historic site.
5. Chaurasi Khambon ki Chattri: A Marquee Supported by 84 Pillars
A delight for history and architecture enthusiasts, the Chaurasi Khambon ki Chattri is a marquee supported by 84 pillars. Built in 1683 by Rao Anirudh Singh to honor the services of Deva, a dedicated nurse, this architectural marvel showcases the intricate craftsmanship of the era.
6. Bhoraji-ka-Kund: A Historic Water Source in the Heart of Bundi
Constructed in the 16th century, the Bhoraji-ka-Kund is a testament to the ingenuity of Bundi’s architectural solutions to water scarcity. This historic water body was built as a source of water for the drought-prone areas of the town, and today it stands as a symbol of the region’s past challenges.
7. Nawal Sagar Lake: A Man-Made Lake Offering a Reflection of Bundi’s Beauty
The Nawal Sagar Lake is a vast, man-made lake that can be seen from the Taragarh Fort. Featuring several small islands, the lake is nestled in the heart of the city, allowing visitors to witness the reflection of the entire cityscape in its tranquil waters.
7.1. Phool Mahal: A Flower Palace by the Phool Sagar Lake
The Phool Mahal is a grand fortress situated on the banks of the Phool Sagar Lake. The palace, whose name translates to ‘Flower Palace’, is a relatively contemporary construction, initiated in 1945 by Maharaja Bahadur Singh. Its majestic presence by the serene lake makes it a must-visit attraction in Bundi.7.1. Phool Mahal: A Flower Palace by the Phool Sagar Lake
8. Shikar Burj: A Hunting Cottage with a Royal Connection
Shikar Burj is a quaint tourist destination located near the Sukh Mahal. Once a hunting cottage owned by the rulers of Bundi, it offers visitors a chance to explore the leisurely pursuits of the town’s royal past.
9. Step-Wells: The Trademark Feature of Bundi
The step-wells, or baolis, of Bundi are an essential part of the town’s architectural heritage. Constructed as a means of providing water to the region during times of drought, these intricate wells are a testament to the resilience and innovation of Bundi’s people.
10. Bundi Utsav: A Celebration of Culture and Tradition
The Bundi Utsav, held annually in November-December, is a vibrant celebration of the town’s customs, traditions, and traditional art forms. Showcasing the cultural richness of Rajasthan in general and Bundi in particular, this festival offers visitors an immersive experience that highlights the region’s unique charm.
In conclusion, Bundi is a treasure trove of architectural marvels, natural beauty, and cultural experiences that will captivate and inspire any traveler. By exploring the top 10 must-visit attractions listed in this article by Thecitytraveller, you will undoubtedly gain a deeper appreciation for this enchanting Rajasthani town and its storied past.