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.
You’re right, except for the town of Bundi, India, a beauteous blue tranquil village in Rajasthan. Unlike some cities in India, this town is not vastly populated, averaging approximately 104,000 inhabitants. It’s 210km from Jaipur, equating to a 3-4-hour car or bus journey.
The royal blue 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.
Bundi Rajasthan is not the typical tourist destination when visiting the North. Compared 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.
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Why Bundi in India Should Be on Your Radar
Nestled away in the remote hills of Rajasthan, Bundi is a beauteous blue town that merits a spot on your travel itinerary. Although it receives fewer visitors than some of India’s other tourist destinations, Bundi is well worth a visit for its tranquillity, stunning architecture, and idyllic setting.
The town is built around a lake, which reflects the blue hues of the sky and houses a beautiful palace at its centre. Bundi’s buildings are adorned with intricate murals and carvings, making it one of the most picturesque towns in India.
In addition to its visual appeal, Bundi is also home to some of the best-preserved temples and forts in Rajasthan. If you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of India’s cities, Bundi is the perfect place to relax and recharge.
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 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, where you will be pleasantly treated to breathtaking 360-degree views of Bundi.
Similarly, you may 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 ancient 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 working 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 and unique from 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 can climb down to the bottom of the well and explore the ever-multiplying steps.
Each Stepwell 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 stepwell 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 a fantastic mellow break out of the frenzy of overpopulated Northern Indian cities.
Nomads also attend attractions that 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 typical tourist destination, you will still find a place to crash your head for the evening.
I recommend you stay at a heritage home known as a haveli. Why? The reason is that you will feel like you’re a king or queen. Kings and queens once owned the royal architecture and history of these places. They are an attraction, and you’ll be spending the night there.
If you visit, make sure you speak to the owner or manager to discover the history of the haveli fully. Bundi is one destination you must visit and see for yourself. It’s also 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.
It is 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!