(Last Updated on : 29/11/2018)
Ornate forts, splendid palaces and Rajput architecture
, beautifully carved in brackets and pillars, makes Bundi
a place worth visiting. The tourism in Bundi is the prime attraction, located in the south-eastern region in a narrow valley within the Aravalli Hills
like an oasis. Bundi is also known as the Blue City of Eastern Rajasthan
The historical heritage of Bundi and its rich culture
is what attracts tourists to the place. Before the 14th century, Bundi was inhabited by a number of different tribes, the most powerful and influential one being the Parihar Meenas. It is from their king, Bunda Meena, is where the name of the region is believed to have come from. Later, the Rajputs
took over and ruled this area, leaving behind their indelible marks by way of the architecture
of the massive structures scattered across the city. Elaborately discussed below are some of the spots and places of Bundi which are a major tourist attraction and are the reason for the growing tourism in Bundi.
Popularly known as the Star Fort, the Taragarh Fort
was built in 1354 AD and is one of the most beautiful attractions of the city
. Nestled on a steep hilltop, the fort gives a picturesque view of the city below. There are three gateways to enter the fort
- the Lakshmi
Pol, Phuta Darwaza and Gagudi ki Phatak. Unlike most other forts and monuments in Rajasthan, the Taragarh Fort has very little Mughal
influence in its architecture. The fort represents the fine craftsmanship of the Rajput style, with curved roofs, topping pavilions and kiosks, a profusion of temple columns and ornamental brackets, and typically Rajput motifs such as elephants
flowers. The long winding tunnels of the fort along with the Rani Mahal are also a great attraction in the Taragarh Fort. The Rani Mahal was built exclusively for the royal maidens and mistresses of the king and bore fantastic features which were a reminiscent of the Rajput era.
Situated on the hillside adjacent to the Taragarh Fort, the massive Palace of Bundi was built by Rao Raja Ratan Singh Hada between 1607 AD and 1631 AD. While entering the palace, there is the imposing Hathi Pol, flanked by two towers and topped by a pair of huge painted elephants. The most spectacular parts of the palace are the Chattar Mahal and the Chitrashala, an arcaded gallery overlooking a hanging garden. The murals in these are regarded as among the finest examples of Rajput painting
. The themes they cover include scenes from religious ceremonies, hunting scenes and other princely amusements. The colours are predominantly blue and green, with touches of deep red and yellow.
Located on the banks of the Jait Sagar Lake, the Sukh Mahal lies close to the city of Bundi near Kota
. The Sukh Mahal is a magnificent summer palace amidst the verdant surroundings of a garden and is known to be another fine example of Rajput architecture. It was the ambience of the Mahal and the palace itself that inspired to write the famous book Kim during his stay there. The palace has now been converted into an irrigation rest house and is one of the popular tourist attractions of the city. On the second floor of the Sukh Mahal, a white marble chhatri or umbrella is placed. There are about 66 cenotaphs present here, which are famous for their cream-coloured marble friezes.
Chaurasi Khambon ki Chhatri:
Also known as the 84- pillared cenotaph, the Chaurasi Khambon ki Chhatri is an impressive structure commissioned in the year 1740 by Rao Anirudh Singh, a Rajput ruler of Bundi. The cenotaph has 84 strong pillars and is lavishly decorated with carvings of deer
, elephants, dancers and apsaras. It is a two storied structure that stands on a platform and are beautifully designed and festooned with elaborate stylish patterns. On the upper level, there are 16 pillars that support the central cenotaph which is overpowered by a dome along with four chhatris on either side. On the lower level, there is a Shiva Lingam
and it is said that the structure was built in honour of Deva, the wet nurse, who took care of the Rajput prince as a kid.
Jait Sagar Lake:
Nestled in the Aravalli Mountain Ranges, the Jait Sagar is a beautiful lake that was built by Jait Meena. The beauty of the lake is enhanced by the lotus flowers in full bloom on its surface and is one of the popular tourist spots in the city. Jait Sagar is surrounded by towering walls and has four gateways that serve as entry points to the lake. It is located at a distance of less than 3km from Bundi.
Raniji ki Baori:
A noted step-well built in 1699 by Rani Nathavati Ji, who was the younger queen of the erstwhile Rajput ruler Rao Raja Anirudh Singh. Raniji ki Baori is a three storey step-well and has two fantastic well-arched gates with great artwork done on the pillars and statues of elephants made up of white marble. Ogee brackets decorate all the archways and the well is 46 m deep with each of the floors has a place of worship. Baoris were significant social constructions in the medieval Bundi since they acted as assembly areas for the townsfolk.
Other than these the few other tourist attractions of Bundi include the Nawal Sagar and the Phool Sagar Palace, which is a modern palace built in the 20th century, with its well-laid gardens and artificial tanks. Over the years, the tourism in Bundi has increased in popularity due to the medieval charm the city was able to retain for all these centuries. The iconic blue tinge visible in the various architectures all across Bundi is a beautiful sight to behold.