Home to about 104,457 people, the town of Bundi is located in the Hadoti region of Rajasthan. It is located around 35 km form Kota and 210 km from Jaipur. The town is situated at a height of about 268 metres above the sea level. It is surrounded on three sides by the Aravalli hills and the city itself is encircled by a huge wall with four gateways. Bundi exports Basmati rice and sandstone across the world. In addition many major soya, cement and edible oil industries have set up their home here.
History of Bundi
In earlier times, the area in an around Bundi was supposedly home to various tribes. Bundi is believed to have got its name from a chieftain of the Meena tribe called Bunda Meena and was known as “Bunda-Ka-Nal”, “Nal” translating into “narrow ways”. Some years later in 1342, the land was taken over by Rao Deva Hada from Jaita Meena who established the princely state of Bundi and renamed the surrounding areas to Hadoti, the land of the great Hada Rajputs.
Built of quarried stone available locally, the Bundi Palace is a fine example of the grandeur of Rajput architecture. Tall pillars, carved brackets, expansive balconies and elephant sculptures add to the magnificence of this architectural wonder. Tourists coming to the palace make it a point to visit the Diwan-I-Am, Naubat Khana and Hathi Pol located within its premises. Located inside the palace is the Chitra Shala that showcases art of a bygone era. The walls and ceiling of the entire palace are adorned with paintings of the Bundi style of art featuring scenes of hunting, processions, festivals and aspects of Lord Krishna’s life.
Bundi has other palaces of tourist interests like the Phool Sagar Palace famous for its collection of murals created by the Italian prisoners of war who were once held within the confines of the palace. The Sukh Niwas Palace is believed to be the place where noted author Rudyard Kipling got his inspiration to write the book “Kim”.
One of the common sights in the town of Bundi is that of a baori or a step well. These water reservoirs are unique to the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat. They served as a source of water in the summer season. Earlier there were over 50 such wells across the town of Bundi but most of them are non-existent today. One of them that exists even today in the centre of the town is Raniji-ki-Baori which has beautifully carved pillars and arches. In ancient times even the simple act of drawing water from these wells gave an excuse to the womenfolk to dress up in their very best.
Kajli Teej Festival
Bundi plays host to the Kajli Teej festival in the rainy August month each year. This festival is celebrated all over the state. The unique part is that while the rest of the state celebrates it on the third day of the Shravana month, in Bundi it is celebrated on the third day of Bhadra. The highlight of the festival is a huge procession carrying the Goddess Teej in a beautifully adorned palanquin. In the procession are also bedecked elephants and camels. Also forming a part of the procession and showcasing the local traditions and culture are dancers, musicians and other such artistes. A fair is organized during the festival that has on sale locally made handicrafts such as bangles, dangers and the region’s artwork. The festival is attended by both the urban and rural people in large numbers.
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