A MUST see in Bundi!!!
I loved the artwork in this palace. I can believe that their style created their own following and that there is indeed a Bundi School :)
The rooftop gardens overlooking the city of Bundi is also a treat! You have to go there for the sunset view!
The Rani Jiki Barol Stepwell is considered to be the most beautiful of the 32 stepwells built by the Queen Mother of Bundi back in 1699. It features a mix of Hindu and Jain architecture. There's a lot of bas relief featuring gods and goddesses. The columns holding up ornate designs make the whole structure a feast for the eyes.
Be careful about where you stand while you are inside :) there's a lot of bats hanging around and you might just be unfortunate to catch their s**t.
Bundi is known as the city of step wells, as it has around 50 beautiful tanks and step wells known as baoris.
The Raniji ki Baori is a noted stepwell located in a small park in Bundi. It was constructed in 1699 under the orders of Rani Nathavatji, the queen of Rao Raja Anirudh Singh of Bundi (reigned 1681-1695AD) who distinguished himself in the imperial campaigns of Aurangzeb.
Baoris were the centre of religious and social functions, and this one has places of worship on each floor. It is 46 metres deep, and has superb carvings on its pillars and a high arched gate.
The Taragarh or 'Star Fort' is probably the most impressive structure in Bundi. Situated at the top of the hill, up a particularly steep path (see warnings and dangers tip, the plant-life is vicious!), it was constructed in 1354AD. It is now rather ruinous, and is the home to several troops of monkeys, both the more common red-faced rhesus macaque and the black faced gray langur with long tails.
Bundi's Garh Palace (Palace resembling a Fort) is situated on the hillside below the Taragarh Fort, and it's a relatively steep approach. Compared to the other forts and palaces in Rajasthan, it has a truly deserted feel to it, home as it is to monkeys, bats, and even bees, but the buildings are as fine as any more-frequented site; but it's the magnificent and traditional murals that decorate the walls that are the highlight of the Bundi palace.
The Chhattar Mahal is one of the finest palaces of the complex, built by Chhattar Sal in 1660. The palace displays typical Rajput style with elephant motifs, pavilions, curved roofs and small chhatris. The Hathi Sala to the west of the Chhattar Mahal particularly shows this with a number of columns each one with a carved elephant (hence the name of Elephant Hall). The Hathi Shala leads into Chattar Sal‘s private chambers which are finely decorated with murals depicting Bundi life style in the 17th century.
The Hathi Pol leads to a patio and the Ratan Daulat, which is also known as the Diwan-i-Am, the hall of public audience or royal court. Built by Rao Raja Ratan Singh between 1607-31, this court was constructed to accommodate stables for nine horses and elephants to park the mounts of royalty attending the court. On the upper level is a pillared balcony overlooking the courtyard (3rd photo) which contains a pierced and carved low marble throne.
After the steep climb up the road leading to Taragarh Fort, the entrance to Bundi Palace is on the left, through a towering gateway called Hazari Pol (Gateway of the Thousand) followed by a further gate with two trumpetting elephants forming the arch. This is the Hathi Pol, the elephant gate. Built by Rao Ratan Singh, the elephants were probably initially cast in bronze, but have been reinstated in concrete and are colourfully painted.
I really recommend a hike up to the Fort!
Beautiful views of the city and surroundings.
Read my travelouge about our walk up to the fort early one morning...
These murals, which feature paintings of Krishna , Royal processions , and battle scenes have been remarkably well preserved. One room has a chinese inspired painted ceiling.
The colours are striking- predominantly blue, turqouise, green, with touches of goldleaf.
Many of the murals depict scenes of everyday palace life- revealing the glory of the Rajput Era.
A must see for Bundi.
Sitting on the rooftop terrace of our guesthouse one morning, we were amazed to see men dangling precariously from ropes, which were secured to balconies on the palace. They were swinging around, beating at the hidden bee-hives which have formed in the eaves of the palace walls. Their helpers up above would send down buckets, which they would fill, and send up on another rope. The smoking swathes that they were brandishing could be smelt from where we were sitting. Apparently this honey collection happens weekly. We watched with fascination, the drop was so sheer, but they seemed to handle it like the experts that they probably are.
Bustling with people, the markets are a popular place to shop, eat, or just to stroll about in.The atmosphere is quite festive. Chai shops provide a good stop for a rest. We really liked the Sabzi market, and bought fruit and vegetables at a ridiculously low price. Along the way w passed a colourful Hindu temple, with flower sellers sitting outside.
Behind and above the palace complex stands Taragarh Fort. Built in 1354, the crumbling ruins of this once mighty Rajput fort are now home to what seems like the whole monkey population of Bundi. The overgrowth of vines is ideal. Vegatation is creeping out of the cracks in the ramparts, and we saw lizards and other small reptiles scurrying around. It is desolated.
This fort once was a stronghold for Rajput kings, and during a siege all the inhabitants of the town would take shelter inside its fortified walls. Huge resevoirs were carved out of rock to hold water supplies for the population of Bundi.
The climb up to the fort is a steep one. A path leads up from behind the palace, east along the inside of the ramparts. We decided to take an easier way up- we hired an auto-rickshaw which drove us up a steep road which leads to the back of the fort. After exploring the fort, we slowly made our way down- the pathway leads back to the palace..
Take along plenty of water- its a long walk down, and the sun gets very hot.
The views of Bundi are quite awesome from the ramparts.
Stroll around these well laid out gardens.They are filled with colour, and beautifully laid out. There is a fountain, and sandstone seats dotted around. These are a good place to just sit and relax after exploration of the palace and fort above. Trees offer shady spots to sit under too.
This palace, which was the highlight of of our stay in Bundi, must surely be one of the most sadly neglected in all of Rajasthan. Constructed in the 17th century, sections were added on by different rulers over the following two centuries.. Built on a very steep hill, it overlooks Bundi, and at night, lit up, is a magical sight. The Palace stood neglected for many years, but recently has been opened to the public.
The architecure is Rajput, and inside the courtyards remnants of glory still remain.There are wonderful hand painted murals on some walls which are priceless, and since the palace has been re-opened to allow visitors, the gardens have been restored and are well tended..
Enter through the massive "Elephant Gate"into a rectangular courtyard, and take note of the beautiful carved elephants which adorn the top of the pillars. Surrounding this area is an upstairs area with overhanging viewing balcony.(one has a white marble seat).
The view from this palace is spectacular, especially at sunset.