is a small sleepy town with 104,457 inhabitants (2011) in the Hadoti region of Rajasthan state in northwest India. It is of particular architectural note for its ornate forts, palaces, and intricately deisgned stepwell reservoirs known as
. The history of Bundi dates back to 1193 AD when Sultan Mohammed Ghauri defeated Prithviraj Chauhan, which compelled the Chauhan nobles to seek shelter in the neighboring state of Mewar. While some of them became allies to the king of Mewar, others proceeded towards the Chambal valley where they overpowered the ruling tribals and formed the two states of Bundi and Kota on either side of the Chambal River.
Taragarh or The Star Fort
History of Bundi
Bundi is 36 km from Kota is and is one of the unexplored cities with a rich historical wealth. In ancient times, the area around Bundi was apparently inhabited by various local tribes. Bundi and the eponymous princely state are said to derive their names from a former Meena tribe man called Bunda Meena. Bundi was previously called “Bunda-Ka-Nal", Nal meaning “narrow ways”. Later the region was governed by Rao Deva Hada, who took over Bundi from Jaita Meena in 1342, and established a princely state Bundi, renaming the surrounding area called Hadoti, the land of great Hada Rajputs.
In 1193 A.D. when Prithviraj Chauhan was defeated by Sultan Mohammed Ghauri, some Chauhan nobles seeked shelter in Mewar and became allies to the Rana while other young warriors move towards the Chambal valley and overpowered the Meena and Bhil tribals-thus establishing their own kingdom of Hadoti. Later, two branches of Hadas formed two separates states of Kota and Bundi, on either side of the river Chambal. Bundi is surrounded by the Aravalli hills on the three sides and is circumscribed by a massive wall with four gateways.
Interesting monuments including impressive medieval forts, palaces, havelis, temples with beautiful stone idols and chattris with carved pillars, along with a picturesque lake in the heart of the town, add to its charm. Bundi is very famous for its intricate carvings and murals.
Places to visit in Bundi
Taragarh or The Star Fort:
Built in 1354 A.D., the fort is one of the most impressive forts of Rajasthan. Perched on a thickly wooded hill is a marvelloous white fort with a huge reservoir which once supplied water to the palace.
Chhattar Mahal or Palace or Towers:
A steep, paved carafe-way is the only way to reach the monument. Of special interest in the palace is the Hazari Pol or Gate of the thousand, the Naubat Khana, the Hathi Pol with its old water clock and the Diwann-e- Aam.
Visible from the fort is the square artificial lake of Nawal Sagar,broken up by islets. A temple dedicated to Varuna, the Aryan god of water,stands half submerged in the centre of the lake. The reflection of the entire city and its palaces can be seen in the lake -making it a unique attraction of Bundi.
A fascinating pavilion and a gallery of minature murals embellish the palace.Elaborate colourful paintings on the walls depict scenes from the 'Ragmala' and 'Raaslila'-the Radha-Krishna story.
It is 46 m. deep stepped dwell with some superb carvings on its pillars and a high arched gate built in 1699 A.D. by Rani Nathavatji. This well is one of the largest of its kind.
A magnificient summer palace on the Sukh Mahal Lake amid the lush surroundings of a beautiful garden. An underground tunnel is believed to run from the Sukh Mahal to the old palace.
The 20th century palace with an artificial tank and picturesque gardens. Presently, it is the residence of the former ruler (Prior permission of Secretary is required for a visit.)
Excursions in Bundi
Jait Sagar Lake(3 km):
A picturesque lake cradled in the hills, built by Jaita Meena. The swirling fountain at night a visual delight.
Keshavraipatan (45 km):
It is an ancient city famous for the temple of Keshavraiji(Vishnu). The architecture and sculpture at this temple is unique. It was constructed in the year 1601 A.D. by Maharaja Shartusal of Bundi. A famous Jain Temple is also there.
Jait Sagar Lake
Ramgarh (45 km):
The Ramgarh Sanctuary is located on the Nainwa road. One needs to take permission of the State Forest Department prior to a visit to the sanctuary.
Bijolia (50 km):
An ancient fort and the city of Bijolia is situated on the Bundi- Chittaurgarh road. A high paved courtyard on the side of the fort has a large temple of Lord Shiva in its centre with a fine image of Lord Ganesha standing as a guardian at the entrance. A carved archway leads to the temple