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India Travel – Bundi Palace

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.

India Travel

India Travel - Bundi Palace view over the city

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!

India Travel

India Travel - Krishna Blue stonewashed houses of Bundi

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.

India Travel

India Travel - Steep walkway to the 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.

India Travel

India Travel - Entrance to Bundi Palace

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.

India Travel

India Travel - Palace courtyard

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.

India Travel

India Travel - Ancient murals

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.

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India Travel - Palace residents - bees!

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.

India Travel

India Travel - Bundi Skyline

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

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Earthdrifter says:

Very interesting place. I’m not huge on sites but the palace and fort there were awesome for wandering around. In the fort above I’ve never seen so many crazy monkeys in one place.
The little city itself is interesting too.. I found the locals to be incredibly nice and friendly.

Kiri Bowers says:

That’s one thing that struck me too, Bundi is full of wonderful people. I got to spend the Holi Festival there and the hospitality was out of this world.

I love the elephant “guards”.

Beautiful photos…Thanks!

Kiri Bowers says:

Hey Jesse, glad you liked the pics, those elephants were so magestic (and very hungry!)

Amit says:

Hey Kiri,

I really enjoyed your description of travel to Bundi. Bundi is no doubt a place that you can’t afford to avoid while you are on your Tour to Rajasthan…

Perhaps you may have noticed that most of the Royal Palaces in India has been been either owned by some Private companies and converted a part of them into heritage hotels to conserve the asset and no doubt making money from it. But that is really a good effort to maintain and preserve the historic assets for future generation.

I really enjoyed your photographs..

Please keep posting :)

Subhi says:

Amazing photographs and lovely article. I love the place too. :)

Jesse says:

I’ve been one of the unfortunate victims of a monkey attack actually though not in India but in Indonesia where I have all of my fragile groceries down the ground soiled and scavenged by 2 desperate monkeys.

Jeremy says:

Wow, what amazing architecture and views!

Dan Arif says:

great photos.. I was in Jaipur last year but didn’t have the luxury to explore Bundi.. perhaps one of the reason for me to re-visit :)

Vi says:

Very nice place…I think most of North India is out of way for most travelers.

Alex says:

This is so great! Awesome job on really explaining the details on how to get there and all about it. Were the bees ever a problem? I know that would make me a little concerned…

Kiri Bowers says:

Hey Alex – thanks! And no we didn’t have any incidents with the bees thank goodness! That nest was really high up in one of the courtyards so it’s safe. The only problems we had were the usual Indian mosquitoes and monkeys stealing my brekkie!

mohit says:

hey kiri!!
glad to see your pics.
last year when we got our summer trip planned to rajasthan, i had no idea that this would be such an amazing place..
the bundi palace and amazing forts were simply royal.
although it was damn hot out there but the beauty of the place made me love it for more reasons than one.
did you also go to jaiselmer?? if not do try and go there next time u visit rajasthan! we got our travel planned in india from this site called yatra.com and seeing the amazing pictures of jaiselmer, i thot to give that place a visit.
the sand dunes, camel ride, authentic rajasthani food, and royal monuments and locally called havelis.
it was freaking good. have fun and keep travelling! cheers! :)

Azka says:

Nice article Kiri, how about temperature here, anything like hot. Any suggestion season to come here.

Kiri Bowers says:

Yes Bundi gets very hot! It’s right in the middle of the country so you can expect very high temperatures. I was there in March and it was roasting. Our homestay had no air con either so we melted. I’d advise going around Nov-Jan when temperatures are lower.

Adam says:

Kiri, I am so jealous. Is feeding the monkeys forbidden? Bundi sounds like a great out of the way place to visit.

Kiri Bowers says:

No it’s certainly not forbidden. Whether you want to feed them or not, they’ll likely nab something! I had my breakfast stolen by a cheeky one that flew straight in the window and out again!

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