Garh Palace – A mansion in Bundi which is mentioned a lot

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  • Garh Palace - A mansion of Bundi

Garh Palace – A mansion in Bundi which is mentioned a lot

On my July trip to Bundi, Raniji ki Baori stepwell was the main attraction for me as I am collection pictures of all stepwells in India. But for a tourist it’s the Garh Palace or as locals call it “The Bundi Palace”.

In every major tourist city of Rajasthan, there is a fort palace. Some are in excellent condition and some in not so good. But before visiting Bundi’s Garh Palace sites like City Palace of Jaipur, Udaipur & Bikaner. Forts of Jodhpur, Jaisalmer & Chittorgarh, were some of the best places I have seen in Rajasthan. But now I have to add Bundi’s Garh Palace in the list.

History of Bundi Garh Palace

Bundi is 1000-year-old city and till 14th century it was ruled by Meena rulers. In early 14th century, it came under Rajputs via war, who ruled till 2009 (the last king didn’t have any child, so the current ruler is from the royal family if Alwar)

Bundi was and is a flourishing city, and it is because of their Rajput rulers who had a great political sense which let them have friendly ties with Mughals, British and Government of India after 1947 independence. A famous ruler of Bundi, Ratan Singh was a close ally of Mughal emperor Jahangir and as per my guide, India wouldn’t have Taj Mahal if it wasn’t for Bundi empire whose army assisted Jahangir in many battles.

My trip to Bundi Garh Palace

Now as you all know about this palace history and some crazy facts, let’s come back to my journey.

Naval Sagar

Naval Sagar

If you have read my last two posts on Raniji ki Baori and Chaurasi Khambon ki Chhatri, then after these two marvels I first stopped at Naval Sagar which is one of two lakes of Bundi (both quite clean).

I stopped here as many suggested me that I can take some great pictures of Garh Palace from here and I did. The view of the lake is exquisite as you can capture an image of Bundi Palace and the walls of Taragarh Fort which is above the mountain where Bundi Palace is.

Have a look at Bundi Garh Palace along with Naval Sagar lake.

Naval Sagar Lake

Naval Sagar Lake

A cenotaph at Naval Sagar Lake

Naval Sagar Lake

A two-minute drive from here, I entered what I call as the heritage part of Bundi city.

It’s like this, if you have been to Jaipur, then there is a region in the city which is entirely pink coloured and everyone calls it as Pink city.

Similarly in Bundi, after crossing Naval Sagar, an amazing city starts which has beautiful haveli’s, old temples, many rooftop cafes and the best part – Bundi Garh Palace.

Roads of Bundi

I decided to get out of my car & enjoy a walk of this heritage city, which I suggest you all as Bundi isn’t as crowded as Jaipur plus locals here are so friendly as there never force you to buy or as seen in Jaipur, start following tourists just to sell something.

Here are some pictures of roads near Bundi Palace.

Roads near Bundi Palace

Roads near Bundi Palace

6. Roads near Bundi Palace

Near Bundi Palace

6. Roads near Bundi Palace

Painting of hunting at a home near Bundi Palace

Street Art of Bundi

Street Art of Bundi

Street Art of Bundi

Street Art of Bundi

Street Art of Bundi

Street Art of Bundi

Garh Palace

And finally, I reached the parking/ ticket area of Garh Palace.

Parking area of Bundi Garh palace

Parking area of Bundi Garh palace

Ticket area of Bundi Garh palace

Ticket area of Bundi Garh palace

Entry ticket is for INR 100 for Indian nationals and will be higher for foreign travelers. Plus I also hired a guide which cost me INR 400. It’s always a good option to have a guide in a palace or fort as they know some great facts (like the one I mentioned about Taj Mahal) and perfect spots to take some amazing photographs.

Upon entering, I realized that this is one of the biggest palaces I have ever seen in India. Yep, Bundi Garh Palace is as big as Amber Fort, and it is a collection of many palaces built inside one, in three centuries. Just view the below images which will give you a complete view of Bundi Palace.

Bundi's Garh Palace

Bundi’s Garh Palace

Hathiapol

From here I walked on an inclining slope to towards the main entry gate which is Hathiapol “The Elephant Gate”.

Hathiapol

Hathiapol

Elephant Statues at Hathiapol

Elephant Statues at Hathiapol

Hathiapol Gate

Hathiapol Gate (Opposite side)

The gate is made up of marble stones, has two balconies inside and two statues of elephants facing each other, in welcoming position. I also saw this painting on the ceiling of the gate which my guide told me is the picture of Hindu god Bhaskar.

Hathiapol Gate Ceiling Painting of Hindu God Bhaskar

Hathiapol Gate Ceiling Painting of Hindu God Bhaskar

I must say that the amount of details this gate has, had impressed me, and this was just the entrance. Just stay with me and you will be surprised how beautiful this Bundi Palace is.

Ratan Mahal

After entering the Elephant gate, there is a lawn divided into four parts and on the first floor, I saw this white marble throne with statues of pigeons. This garden and the 1st floor is “Ratan Mahal”, which was built by King Ratan Singh or as said in local Bundi language Roa Raja Ratan Singh.

Local language of Bundi is Hatodi

 

Ratan Mahal

Ratan Mahal

Ratan Mahal

Ratan Mahal

Ratan Mahal

Ratan Mahal (1st Floor)

Throne at Ratan Mahal

White Marble Throne at Ratan Mahal

Well, the lawn isn’t as glamorous as the 1st floor, that is Ratan Mahal or Diwan e aam. This part of the palace has many pillars, rooms and the throne which as per the guide was the meeting rooms of Roa Raja (king) and he uses to address his subjects from here.

Plus Ratan Singh, the one who built this part of the Bundi Palace was also awarded by Mughal emperor Jahangir as he assisted him in many battles and it was this event in the 17th century which opened the gates of economic prosperity in Bundi.

Mughals send some of their finest architectures to develop the Bundi Palace; beautiful havelis constructed and because of all this, more the 40 schools/ colleges opened in Bundi, and the city became the “Second Kashi of India”.

The various mansions of Bundi Palace

Chhatar Mahal at Bundi Palace

Chhatar Mahal at Bundi Palace

Chhatar Mahal at Bundi Palace

Chhatar Mahal at Bundi Palace

From Ratan Daulat, there is a gate which leads to Chhatar Mahal which was like a private palace for King and his queens. An Arabic term, used for this place is “Haram” where all the wives of the emperor use to stay, and the only male allowed here was the king and his sons.

So Chhatar Mahal and other palaces on the western site of Bundi Palace like Phool Mahal, Badal Mahal & Hathiasal were for the Queens of Bundi. At its peak, this part of the palace was full of glamour, wine, weed and pleasure. But today it’s an old monument where you can enter by just paying an INR 100 fee 🙂

All thanks to Indian democracy.

Some collection of pictures which I took of all these small places.

Hathiasal in Bundi Palace

Hathiasal – Palace with Black Elephant statue Pillars

Ivory Made door of Phool Mahal

Ivory Made door of Phool Mahal

Badal Mahal

Badal Mahal

From this part of the palace, I did notice some interesting things like pigeon posts, amazing paintings and a picture perfect view of Bundi from Chhatar Mahal. Have a look at these images too before I start to tell about the best part of Bundi Palace.

Pigeon Post

Pigeon Post at Chhatar Mahal

The windows of Badal Mahal

The windows of Badal Mahal

Secret Passage from hathiasal

Secret Passage from hathiasal

View of Bundi from Chhatar Mahal

View of Bundi from Chhatar Mahal

Palace for Kings guest below Bundi Palace

Palace for Kings guest below Bundi Palace

Paintings at Phool Mahal

Paintings at Phool Mahal

From here we all (me, driver sahab & guide) came back to Hathiapol (Elephant Gate) and went a stoery above to see the best part of Bundi Palace – Chitrasala {Room of Paintings}

Chitrasala – The Palace of paintings

So first we walked this path from Hathiapol to reach Chitrasala which has a lovely garden and a gallery with more than 50 paintings. Have a look.

Route towards Chitrasala from Hathiapol

Route towards Chitrasala from Hathiapol

Chitrasala entry gate board

Chitrasala entry gate board

Garden at Chitrasala

Garden at Chitrasala

Chitrasala is on the eastern side of the castle is a well maintained part of the Bundi Palace. Chitrasala is an 18th-century palace built by Raja Umed Singh, a very famous king of Bundi.

Umed Singh was very religious, and he turned saint in the age fo 42 or 18 (not sure, but he did turn into a saint) and thus he kept his distance from the glamorous life of Chhatar Mahal.

The idea behind Chitrasala was to draw paintings on the history of Bundi and its kings from 13th to 18th century and also the life which the kings and & queens lived.

Here are some pictures which I took at the palace of paintings.

Painting room at Chitrasala

Painting room at Chitrasala

Krishna with Sakhi painting

Krishna with Sakhi painting

Krishna with Sakhi painting

Krishna with Sakhi painting

Queen drinking wine

Queen drinking wine

Ladies in harem

Ladies in harem

Queen smoking weed

Queen smoking weed

A scene from Lord Krishna life

A scene from Lord Krishna life

A scene from dhola maru

A scene from dhola maru – Popular Love story from Rajasthan

Pigeon post

Pigeon post

Dancing pose

A Dancing pose

A drunk queen

A drunk queen of Bundi

Reason why queen is drunk

Reason why queen is drunk

Battle scene

Battle scene

Chitrasala at Bundi Palace

Chitrasala at Bundi Palace

Now the thing to notice here are that these paintings are still in excellent condition and many images here on the life of kings & queens of Bundi, especially Queens. My guide pointed that Umed Singh, wanted to show his kids & future generation about the secret life of Bundi monarchs where kings were engaged in war & politics and the queens were, most of the time, drunk in the harem.

And with this, my 2 hour trip to Bundi Palace was finished. I must thank my guide who explained some significant facts which I shared here. I must say that this palace is truly beautiful but as the title of this article says that this mansion isn’t mentioned a lot because not many know about Bundi Palace.

So if you are even planning a complete Rajasthan trip then adding Bundi Palace is an excellent choice. And as for my journey, the next article will be on Sukh Mahal, Jait Sagar & Shikhar Lodge, the last three sites I explored in beautiful Bundi.

By | 2017-08-18T13:33:36+00:00 September 4th, 2016|Bundi, Rajasthan|3 Comments

About the Author:

Hi all, I am Jatin Chhabra, born and raised in Delhi India, For me traveling isn’t just a hobby, its more than that. More like a way of living my life and I do it every last week of every month. Attraction which attracts me are Off-beat ones and I always try to visit them before me or they, get perish.

3 Comments

  1. Rajender Singh September 4, 2016 at 10:59 pm - Reply

    I have never heard of Bundi but it looks a city worth visiting. Nice post Jatin. Will meet next month for sure.

    • Jatin Chhabra September 5, 2016 at 2:01 pm - Reply

      Always ready for a cup of coffee 🙂

  2. Upendra N Pandey November 16, 2017 at 12:34 am - Reply

    I have been to Boondi forte only last week and found the things as mentioned in your page ! Thanks for a nice description Jatin! Hope others will certainly be attracted to this historical place and will know many more things about the same!

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