Bundi and Chand baori: Offbeat Rajasthan

Tripoto
3rd Dec 2018
Photo of Bundi and Chand baori: Offbeat Rajasthan by Pranav Risbud

Bundi is a small town in Rajasthan, near Kota. You can reach here easily by train, as Bundi railway station lies on the Kota-Udaipur railway line. Upon reaching the town, I took an auto rickshaw to my hotel. The town seemed like a typical Indian small town, on the brink of commercialization.

In my Rajasthan trip, I categorically wanted to visit a few places which which were not the highest priority for many tourists. These places are very close to the places usually visited by tourists, but are often overlooked due to time constraints, or simply because people are just not aware of their ability to astonish them. Going to such offbeat places means less tourists, more peace, and having the place to yourself! It means you can absorb the place at your own place, without having to move quickly from your place, so that someone else can just take their perfect selfie. And it means that you can appreciate the beauty of that place that much more! Here's a look the two such places I visited in rajasthan, that are a little quiet, a little unconventional, and a lot of quirky!

My stay in Bundi was at hotel Dev Niwas. It was an old haveli converted into a heritage hotel. Th is hotel itself was a place to adore, with its curved arches, antique furniture, and the fountain in the courtyard!

Photo of Dev Niwas, Bundi, Teerath, Bundi, Rajasthan, Hindistan by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Dev Niwas, Bundi, Teerath, Bundi, Rajasthan, Hindistan by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Dev Niwas, Bundi, Teerath, Bundi, Rajasthan, Hindistan by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Dev Niwas, Bundi, Teerath, Bundi, Rajasthan, Hindistan by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Dev Niwas, Bundi, Teerath, Bundi, Rajasthan, Hindistan by Pranav Risbud

Bundi has its own maginificent palace and fort of Taragarh, which literally translates as The Star fort! The fort is unfortunately closed for visitors due to safety issues, but you can visit the royal palace, which lies at the base of the fort. As I passed through the ticket window, the palace was standing tall in front of me, and honestly I was awestruck by it's giant size. The entrance to the palace is through an unpaved approach road, and it was like a trailer if the palace was a movie. The approach road leads to the main entrance gate called Hathi Pol- The Elephant gate, called so as it is adorned by two elephants on both it's sides. The gate had intricate carvings, which were quite impressive. Also on the ceiling of the gate is the painting of the Sun god-Bhaskara, which is a highly revered figure of faith in Rajasthan. Passing through the main gate,I entered the courtyard, from where I could see the whole palace surrounding me. However one thing to was that from the ticket window upto here, there wasn't a single person to be seen around! From the courtyard, I took the stairs leading up to the royal court, the Diwan-e-aam. The court also has the royal seat of Bundi. Next to the court is the harem consisting of the three palaces- Chhatar mahal, Phool mahal, and Badal mahal. The balconies of the Chhatar mahal give a beautiful panoramic view of Bundi, which gave me a feeling of a mini version of the Blue city Jodhpur. The badal mahal has beautiful frescos which depict scenes from Bundi's glorious past.

Photo of Garh Palace, Sadar Baazar, Teerath, Bundi, Rajasthan, India by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Garh Palace, Sadar Baazar, Teerath, Bundi, Rajasthan, India by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Garh Palace, Sadar Baazar, Teerath, Bundi, Rajasthan, India by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Garh Palace, Sadar Baazar, Teerath, Bundi, Rajasthan, India by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Garh Palace, Sadar Baazar, Teerath, Bundi, Rajasthan, India by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Garh Palace, Sadar Baazar, Teerath, Bundi, Rajasthan, India by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Garh Palace, Sadar Baazar, Teerath, Bundi, Rajasthan, India by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Garh Palace, Sadar Baazar, Teerath, Bundi, Rajasthan, India by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Garh Palace, Sadar Baazar, Teerath, Bundi, Rajasthan, India by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Garh Palace, Sadar Baazar, Teerath, Bundi, Rajasthan, India by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Garh Palace, Sadar Baazar, Teerath, Bundi, Rajasthan, India by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Garh Palace, Sadar Baazar, Teerath, Bundi, Rajasthan, India by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Garh Palace, Sadar Baazar, Teerath, Bundi, Rajasthan, India by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Garh Palace, Sadar Baazar, Teerath, Bundi, Rajasthan, India by Pranav Risbud

My next stop at the Garh palace was what it us the most famous for- Chitrashala(The painting school). To go to the painting school, you have to step out of the main palace gate and go towards the left. Then you will stumble upon the entrance to the Chitrashala. It is a room with a courtyard, and every inch of it is filled with beautiful frescos of Madhubani style. The painting consist of scenes from lord Krishna life, and some from Bundi's own royal history as well. The colours of the paintings are so fresh, the compositions so intricate, and the stories so fascinating, that it's a shame that it is not celebrated more than it is. This is an important part of our heritage, which needs to be valued and cherished dearly!

Photo of Bundi and Chand baori: Offbeat Rajasthan by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Bundi and Chand baori: Offbeat Rajasthan by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Bundi and Chand baori: Offbeat Rajasthan by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Bundi and Chand baori: Offbeat Rajasthan by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Bundi and Chand baori: Offbeat Rajasthan by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Bundi and Chand baori: Offbeat Rajasthan by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Bundi and Chand baori: Offbeat Rajasthan by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Bundi and Chand baori: Offbeat Rajasthan by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Bundi and Chand baori: Offbeat Rajasthan by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Bundi and Chand baori: Offbeat Rajasthan by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Bundi and Chand baori: Offbeat Rajasthan by Pranav Risbud

Raniji ki baori is a step well in bundi with detailed carvings, a long passageway leading into the water, and also a small overhead bridge to go from one side of the well to the other! The facade was surreal and the design of the stepwell was really interesting!

Photo of Raniji Ki Baori, Bundi Rd, Near k. N, Adisal Singh Colony, Gayatri Nagar, Bundi, Rajasthan, India by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Raniji Ki Baori, Bundi Rd, Near k. N, Adisal Singh Colony, Gayatri Nagar, Bundi, Rajasthan, India by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Raniji Ki Baori, Bundi Rd, Near k. N, Adisal Singh Colony, Gayatri Nagar, Bundi, Rajasthan, India by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Raniji Ki Baori, Bundi Rd, Near k. N, Adisal Singh Colony, Gayatri Nagar, Bundi, Rajasthan, India by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Raniji Ki Baori, Bundi Rd, Near k. N, Adisal Singh Colony, Gayatri Nagar, Bundi, Rajasthan, India by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Raniji Ki Baori, Bundi Rd, Near k. N, Adisal Singh Colony, Gayatri Nagar, Bundi, Rajasthan, India by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Raniji Ki Baori, Bundi Rd, Near k. N, Adisal Singh Colony, Gayatri Nagar, Bundi, Rajasthan, India by Pranav Risbud

The Jait sagar lake is another serene place in Bundi. The atmosphere here is really peaceful. There is also the summer home of Rudyard Kipling on the lake side, called Sukh mahal. Kipling, the famous author of The Jungle book, wrote a part of his novel 'Kim' here, and in his words, 'the Palace of Bundi, even in broad daylight, is such a palace as men build for themselves in uneasy dreams -- the work of goblins rather than of men.' Rightfully so- I would say!

Photo of Jait Sagar Lake, Bundi, Rajasthan by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Jait Sagar Lake, Bundi, Rajasthan by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Jait Sagar Lake, Bundi, Rajasthan by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Jait Sagar Lake, Bundi, Rajasthan by Pranav Risbud

Another interesting place to check out in Bundi. Even the the cenotaph was closed for visitors as it was early morning, I still managed to catch a glimpse of it from outside the compound. It is said that you can never finish counting all 84 of it's pillars without losing it midway!

Photo of 84 Pillared Cenotaph, Devpura, Bundi, Rajasthan, India by Pranav Risbud
Photo of 84 Pillared Cenotaph, Devpura, Bundi, Rajasthan, India by Pranav Risbud

Apart from all the great places to visit, Bundi is also famous for the miniature paintings which can be bought around from the local artists themselves. Impressed by their fine artistry, I bought some for myself as well!

Photo of Bundi and Chand baori: Offbeat Rajasthan by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Bundi and Chand baori: Offbeat Rajasthan by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Bundi and Chand baori: Offbeat Rajasthan by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Bundi and Chand baori: Offbeat Rajasthan by Pranav Risbud

------------------------------------------------------------------------------ The other offbeat destination I visited in rajasthan was Chand Baori, a stepwell near Jaipur.

How to reach: Chand Baori is located a little far off the prominent means of public transport, in the village of Abhaneri. The best way to reach here is by car. However if you don't have your own vehicle(which was the case with me), you have to take a train to Bandikui junction from Jaipur. There are trains frequently running between the two stations. From Bandikui junction, take a shared taxi/auto rickshaw to Gullar chowk. And from there, take another shared ride, and here you are at Chand Baori.

This gorgeous well was built by Raja Chand, from whom it also gets it's name. I was enthralled by the accuracy in it's design, and it reminded me of the symbol of Saraswati- The goddess of knowledge. This step well is also a popular shooting location for the movies, and films like The fall and Bhul Bhulaiyya among others. It was also the inspiration behind the underground jail from Christopher Nolan's Batman movies. At the end of the day, Chand Baori certainly proved to be worth the effort in getting there!

Photo of Chand Baori, Abhaneri, Rajasthan, India by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Chand Baori, Abhaneri, Rajasthan, India by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Chand Baori, Abhaneri, Rajasthan, India by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Chand Baori, Abhaneri, Rajasthan, India by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Chand Baori, Abhaneri, Rajasthan, India by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Chand Baori, Abhaneri, Rajasthan, India by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Chand Baori, Abhaneri, Rajasthan, India by Pranav Risbud
Photo of Chand Baori, Abhaneri, Rajasthan, India by Pranav Risbud
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