Authored by Alexandra Wrigley
When you envision Northern India you most likely imagine a hectic state and an assault on your senses. You probably picture vast volumes of traffic and noise coming from many different directions.
Well, you’re kind of right, except for the town of Bundi, India, a beauteous blue tranquil town located in Rajasthan. It’s 210km from Jaipur equating to a 3-4-hour car or bus journey. Unlike some cities in India, this town is not greatly populated averaging approximately 104,000 inhabitants.
The blue royal buildings of Bundi give you a sense of a smaller scaled Jodhpur. However, this destination is unlike most in India. The laid-back atmosphere of the South with the history and culture of the North.
A unique destination to visit. Bundi Rajasthan is not the typical tourist destination when visiting the North. In comparison to cities such as Jodhpur, Jaipur, Agra, Varanasi, Jaisalmer and others. However, it should be on your radar as it is home to many spectacular attractions and bazaars full of rich history.
Why Bundi in India Should Be on Your Radar
Taragarth Fort and Palace
Another main attraction is its palace which voyeurs over the town and attached is the Taragarth Fort. To visit you have to journey up a steep slope, which is quite rocky and not the best of terrains.
Yet, rest assured the fatigue is worth it. Once at the top, you’ll enter through a heavy tall wooden door. Throughout the fort are original intricate carved statues and real gold painted murals adding to the history of the palace. Finally, you’ll reach the top of the fort which you will be pleasantly treated to breathtaking 360-degree views of Bundi.
Similarly, you will possibly notice monkeys clambering from one blue roof to another. Make sure if you are to visit, have an object like a stick at the ready to poke the monkeys away from stealing your valuables!
Moreover, the Fort also showcases fabulous views of the Nawal Sagar lake. Woefully not much work from the government has been done to conserve the archaic building constructed in 1345. Nevertheless, it’s also a rarity that a traveller gets to witness such a historical structure in its original form.
Jait Sagar Lake
Overlooking this alluring lotus flower covered lake resides the once infamous Jungle Book writer Rudyard Kipling’s summer residence. This is the Sukh Mahal palace and rumours noted that he spent time to work on his Novel Kim there.
The best time to visit the lake is during the early evening, as the sky sets it gives a charming ambience to the lake and lakeside. Locals unwind around the lakeside revelling in optimum serenity and hippopotamuses bask in the water. The tranquil vibe makes it different unique amongst other hectic destinations in India.
Step Wells Bundi
Bundi is home to some incredible hand dug ancient step wells. In former times, they were assembled to retain water and for locals to undergo religious bathing. The architecture of each step well is purely captivating. You are free to climb down to the bottom of the well and explore the ever-multiplying steps.
Each Stepwells architecture varies from one to another. One of Bundi’s most famous Stepwells is the Ranji Ki Boari built in 1699 by a young queen. Yes, talk about girl power! The architecture of this step-well is impressive as there are carved stone elephant sculptures.
If you’re visiting India, you must check out the quiescent town of Bundi. It is an amazing mellow break, out of the frenzy of overpopulated Northern Indian cities.
Nomads also get to attend attractions which are not commonly made known to the average tourist. Because tourists don’t visit that often when they do locals go out of their way to make you feel welcome. Even though it’s not a common destination for tourists you will still find a place to crash your head for the evening.
I’d recommend you stay at a heritage home also known as a haveli. Why? The reason being is that you will feel like you’re a king or queen. The royal architecture and history of these places were once owned by kings and queens. Heck, they are an attraction in itself and you’ll be spending the night there.
If you do visit, make sure you speak to the owner or manager to fully discover the history of the haveli. Bundi is one of those destinations you have to visit and see for yourself. It’s also such a nice break away from the other typical Rajasthani cities. If more travellers like you and I were to visit, it would generate more attention.
Also proving to the government that extra work should be undergone to conserve Bundi’s resources. If this occurs, one day it could put Bundi back on the map and allow a range of generations worldwide to be educated about Bundi’s rich heritage, never letting its history die out.
* This post comes courtesy of Alexandra Wrigley, a travel blogger at Extracts of Alex!