Something of a hidden gem, the ancient town of Bundi is a corner of Rajasthan few visitors get to see. Include it in your vacation for a fascinating glimpse into the India of old.
Tucked away in the Hadoti region of southern Rajasthan, Bundi instantly charms with its picturesque mirror lake, friendly locals, elaborate step wells and narrow, winding lanes lined with pastel blue houses. Not drawing nearly as many visitors as its better-known neighbors Jaipur and Udaipur, Bundi is irresistibly peaceful. It’s a pleasure just to wander the streets, admire the colourful street murals, sip cups of homemade chai and experience ‘authentic’ India.
Bundi’s star attraction has to be Bundi Palace, an impressive - albeit somewhat decaying - edifice built during the 17th century. Perched halfway up the hillside, the palace looms over the town and seems to have grown out of the rock it stands on. Whilst some sections are closed off to visitors, the rooms that are open display a wonderful collection of ornate carvings, inlaid ivory doors, open courtyards and lavish turquoise and gold murals.
Adjacent to the palace is the half-overgrown 14th-century hill fortress of Taragarh with its massive castellated walls, shrines and delicate frescoes. Showcasing the grandeur of Rajput rule, the fort is adorned with wild elephant carvings and has huge reservoirs carved out of the solid rock. It’s a steep climb but well worth it for the views it affords over Bundi.