THE CITY OF STEPWELLS
It is popularly believed that Nobel laureate Rudyard Kipling penned part of his famous novel ‘Kim’ in Bundi. In fact, so impressed was he by the place, that this is what he wrote about the Bundi palace:
‘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.’
Bundi is a magnificent town located around 36 kilometres from Kota. Dotted with palaces and forts, the place has a fairy tale quality about it. Bundi’s charm lies in its location –surrounded by orchards of orange, guava, pomegranate and mango trees, flanked by the Aravalli range and rivers and lined by fields of cotton, barley and wheat. Situated far from the crowds, it is the simple rural folk that lend Bundi its allure.
Bundi was once ruled by the Hada Chauhans. Many historians claim that it was once the capital of the great Hadoti Kingdom, which was renowned for its art and sculpture. However, in 1624, Kota separated and became an independent state and this marked the beginning of the downfall of Bundi. Whether that may be, Bundi still retains its charismatic medieval grandeur. And just like Jodhpur and Rajput, the architecture of Bundi also possesses a noticeable bluish hue, designed to keep houses cool during hot summer, in the intricately carved brackets and pillars.