Bundi is a small city, but boasts one of the most beautiful ancient palaces in India. Bundi is still not common on the backpacking trail and I think that’s why I loved it so much. Situated in North India in the state of Rajasthan, this picturesque spot was one of the many highlights during my India travel.
How to get there
We flew into the capital city of Delhi to start three months of India travel. From Delhi we journeyed by train to Jaipur where we spent a few days sightseeing. From Jaipur we made our way to Bundi. Friends of mine had recommended we make our way here and I’ve always found that advice from friends and family are usually miles better than advice from guidebooks. We weren’t disappointed at all!
Bundi is approximately 200km from Jaipur. The train from Jaipur to Kota takes around three hours and from Kota it’s only an hour train to Bundi. Travelling by train is one of the most memorable things you will do in India. There is something so chaotic yet charming about the whole experience. Though the longer sleeper trains can be a nightmare (and trust me, I’ve done plenty of those) the shorter day trains are full of life and breathtaking scenery.
Visiting Bundi Palace
You can’t miss the palace – it gleams, almost golden, and seems to have been born out of the mountain surrounding the city.
The city has extensive high walls that used to make up the old fort and the walkways through the bazaars naturally lead to this now deserted palace.
Making your way up is not for the feint hearted. The route is seriously steep.
Entry fee is only 60 rupees for foreigners (less than $2). There is an extra fee for the use of a video camera. Once you’ve paid you make your way through the stunning doorway guarded by elephants.
Inside are huge courtyards where your imagination runs wild. Royal ceremonies, banquets and harems would have all existed and passed through here. Now, the palace is a timewarp, slowly crumbling but fortunately being sustained by opening the grounds to the public with the entrance fee supporting its preservation.
The murals inside show the signs of decay but they are still some of the most ornate in India. These rooms are quite dark to prevent any further fading and weathering. The artistry is beautiful and portrays the history of the palace and its royal family.
The palace echoes in its emptiness and is now home to families of monkeys, bats and even bees. Despite this the palace is kept clean and safe to explore by the private company that have been hired by the royal family to conserve it.
It’s stature over the city is one of the most remarkable things about visiting this palace. The view is fantastic. The Krishna blue stonewashed houses light up the landscape and you won’t find a better spot for your photos.
Tips for visiting Bundi Palace
- Try and visit during the early morning or at sunset. The palace has many open courtyards and gets very hot so remember to bring a bottle of water with you too
- Watch out for the monkeys! Bundi is famous for having hundreds of monkeys living amongst the population and this place is their playground. The palace is their home at night so they can be protective of it. Many people take a stick with them to shoo any little guys away that get too friendly. They’re great at stealing any snacks you may have brought with you!
Bundi is truly a beautiful town and the palace will make your India travel a magical experience.
All images Copyright © Roscoe Duncan 2012