The forgotten little town of Bundi in Rajasthan is a treasure waiting to be unearthed

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The forgotten little town of Bundi in Rajasthan is a treasure waiting to be unearthed
Jait Sagar Lake, BundiTarannum Sehgal
  • This week, in our series of those destinations that have thankfully escaped the travel radar of most, we explore a quaint little gem at the heart of Rajasthan - Bundi.

  • The town has some surprisingly decent cafes, a rustic old palace and a fort that provides brilliant views of the town.

  • So enamoured was Rudyard Kipling with the Bundi Palace that he mentioned the same in his Letters of Marque.
Around 480 kilometres from New Delhi, the charming little town of Bundi presents all the experiences tourists throng to Rajasthan for, sans the crowds. Flanked by the Aravalli hills on one side, Bundi possesses all the charms sought by travellers who want to escape from the urban space. Narrow village lanes, old houses painted in blue to keep them cool during the summer months, a few cows ambling away with not a care in the world, some surprisingly decent cafes, a rustic old palace and a fort that provides brilliant views of the town.

Advertising professional, Kanishka Vashisht, has visited Bundi, not once, but twice. Here’s what he had to say: “Bundi was a laid back dream. No pushers trying to sell you anything or do some 'pooja'. Our peaceful heritage haveli 'Dev Nivas' was awesome with yum food and calming views. Bundi is how Pushkar should be. Less crowded with tourists, friendly locals and even a government-approved bhang shop to make your 'trip' magical.” Abhimanyu Mukherji, an SAP service delivery manager, echoes this sentiment: “Bundi is not your fancy plan-it-with-family-vacation destination, yet it has all the quintessentially Rajasthan feels to it. It has a fort, lake, and little pretty boutique heritage hotels all packed in sleepy little town ignored by urban civilisation. In between the narrow lanes, and the cows grazing its pathways, don’t be surprised if you get charmed by it all in the most unexpected ways.”

Here are a few of the places you must visit:

The forgotten little town of Bundi in Rajasthan is a treasure waiting to be unearthed
Jait Sagar Lake, Bundi​Tarannum Sehgal​


Jait Sagar Lake and Kshar Bagh (Saar Bagh): Around 1.5 in length, the Jait Sagar lake is often dotted with lotus flowers, especially in winters and monsoons. Close to the lake's eastern end is a slightly dilapidated Kshar Bagh that features some gorgeous cenotaphs with intricate carvings of elephants and horses. While it is not open to the public, you may be able to ask the caretaker to let you in for a quick glimpse. There is, however, a picnic spot nearby that is frequented by tourists.
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The forgotten little town of Bundi in Rajasthan is a treasure waiting to be unearthed
View from Taragarh FortTarannum Sehgal


Bundi Palace (Garh Palace): So enamoured was Rudyard Kipling with the Palace that he mentioned the same in his Letters of Marque: “Jaipur Palace may be called the Versailles of India … Jodhpur’s House of strife, gray towers on red rock, is the work of giants, but 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.” Need we say more? Some portions of the Palace may be in need of some upkeep, but the charm remains. While some areas are closed to the public, the parts that are open host some gorgeous murals and engravings. The Palace complex is massive and contains within it a bunch of smaller palaces, each steeped in history.

The forgotten little town of Bundi in Rajasthan is a treasure waiting to be unearthed
Taragarh Fort, BundiTarannum Sehgal

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Taragarh Fort: This fourteenth-century fort is a short trek up from the Palace. The walls are adorned with beautiful artwork, engravings and mirrors. The fort also promises a spectacular view of the city and the lake below. The outdoor garden area is well kept and is a great place to relax, soak in the beauty, and is great for photo-ops.

The forgotten little town of Bundi in Rajasthan is a treasure waiting to be unearthed
Nutella crepes at Blue Bundi Cafe & RestaurantTarannum Sehgal

Cafe’s and Restaurant: You will be surprised that this unassuming little town has a host of brilliant cafes and restaurants serving a great variety of continental as well as Indian cuisine. Should you be heading there, do visit the Blue Bundi Cafe & Restaurant. A precarious set of stairs may look dubious at first but what lies above is a perfect location for some sumptuous pizzas, pancakes, and more. Professional chef, Tarannum Sehgal, has travelled to Bundi thrice, she says, “Bundi is a secret I never wanted to share. That’s how quaint and untouched this place is and I hope it stays like that. For me, it’s all the Rajasthan feels packed in one small town. Right from the stay in old forts to streets freckled with French and Israeli cafes that serve right from the local Laal Maas to the best Nutella Crepes and thin hand-rolled pizzas with the backdrop of the Bundi castle.”

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