Bundi, tank, tank and lost palace
D5, J6: Bundi
When we arrive at Bundi Junction from Chittorgarh, two tuktuk drivers rush towards us. We feed the exchange with lower and lower prices and leave one of the 2, high at the betel. He spends his time honking his horn… Even more than the others.
Bundi is a small town east of Udaipur and north of Kota. It is outside the traditional tourist circuit. The encounters are said to be more authentic. The old palace and the fort are almost abandoned.
For our 2 nights in Bundi, I had selected a little high-end accommodation, Dev Niwas. It’s a Haveli, old old building with a lot of charm. I was expecting a nice professional welcome. Maussade, the manager explains that he does not have our reservation. The room is large and clean. The hotel does not seem to offer any service or information about the city.
The restaurant selection for dinner is still as complex yet we want fresh food, well cooked, little spicy in a place not too dirty and not too noisy. We find our happiness near the entrance to the City Palace. We’ll eat there the next day!
Departure for the opening with fruit in the backpack. We enter the palace of Bundi. It consists of 3 parts, the fort, the upper part of the palace and the lower part of the palace.
The fort is totally abandoned. A steep path leads there on which we meet a couple of French. We were warned at the entrance of the site of the presence of large groups of macaques that can be aggressive. So we are armed with sticks. The climb goes smoothly but we meet an Englishman who was a little scared with his guide.
The view of the blue city is nice. The entrance to the abandoned fort is amazing. The vegetation has regained its rights and one has the feeling of being adventurers.
We walk through the various buildings and reservoirs bypassing thorns (provide good shoes!).
Only part of the inhabited fort, a large tower with many antennae. It is a police station 🙁 After Khumbalgarh’s experience, I don’t take the drone out 🙁
In search of birds, we pushed the walk to the easternest temple.
On the descent the large group of macaque is at the entrance gate. We walk with a firm step by making the sticks reason on the ground without looking at them without the eyes. Individuals deviate but others follow us more threateningly. Maryne hits a big blow against the door with her stick. That’ll be enough to scare them and outrun them.
It is hot and there is less air when we arrive at the first entrance to the palace on the way down. The garden with its bougainvillier is nice. An employee opens a gate and shows us paintings with scenes from the life of Krishna and Shiva. It’s very beautiful and the employee is very nice 🙂
The last entrance is a huge gate that was to allow the passage of the Maharaja on its elephant. The palace is huge. In a room further away, an employee asks us if we like paintings. Without us understanding the reason, he joins us and opens doors to the queen and Maharaja chambers. We discover beautiful rooms decorated with paintings made centuries ago!
He’s opening a door. A grand staircase descends into the darkness. We don’t see the bottom. The ground is soft. I look up to see bats a few tens of centimetres away. They fly near our heads with their wings towards the dark bottom of the stairs. We’re going down slowly. Halfway up the stairs, we enter a large room through an opening on the left. The ceiling is covered with bats. They fly away in groups, shouting as we move head-down on the soft ground. We feel that we are the first to discover these enclosed spaces of the abandoned palace. We discover several rooms until arriving on a patio with a giant swing. The palace stretches immense above our eyes and under our feet. These are the old quarters of the harem.
The sun is high. The visit took us at least 4 hours. We leave the palace with child souls 🙂
On the way home, we meet a friendly member of the Haveli staff. He advises us a lot of things and even offers to take us on his bike. We need cash so it will be ATM and vegetable market.
The smells are still strong with the presence of many cows and pigs in the middle of the city. 2 cows get angry and start running and charging creating a little extra chaos. The presence of these cows in town destabilizes me. I imagine people being chased by cows before going to work.
The reservoir near the market is a real dump. It is several tens of meters deep but I can’t help but imagine it filled completely with rubbish. A little further a group of children throws themselves at me at the sight of my camera. I find myself forced to take several pictures of their well photogenic mines 🙂
We walk on the road in front of the palace. It offers a great view for sunset with the tank below.
We end up entering the garden of the abandoned palace (or turned into a museum) at the edge of the tank. The latter is littered with rubbish. We imagine turning this crumbing heritage into a beautiful luxury residence. The potential is huge but there are probably no customers.
The next day, we take advantage of the little blue streets of the city. We come across a noisy procession with young women. Madam has pants repaired for a few rupees. Some of the trades we meet on the street no longer exist in France.
The bus (not too slow) to Jaipur leaves at 12.30pm. Our big bags are under the seats and in the aisle. It’s hot but the bus runs all open windows. Can’t wait for our next accommodation.