Bundi, not the Indian sweet which you all buy on Tuesday, but a small heritage city of southern Rajasthan which is just next to Kota. I planned to visit Bundi this August, as I have heard that this region still possess its gratitude which is fading from all other tourist destinations.
The reason I am saying this is because many foreign (even domestic) travelers are now complaining that popular tourist sites are becoming like Palika Bazaar of New Delhi (locals are becoming greedy). Well, I don’t like complaining, so let’s bring our focus back to Bundi.
This city is more than 1000 year old but from the late 13th century, it came under the rule of Hadoti Rajputs (Hadoti is a region where Bundi, Kota is, and the local language here is known as hadoti boli). Since then, the city has developed a lot, and anther fact of Bundi is that these Hadoti Rajputs ruled Bundi till 1947, for more than 700 years (one family). Now that must be a record as in India, stories of royal families is full of traitors who killed their king for the throne, but not here.
So before coming here, I had sorted out all the sites which I have to visit and even the right order. All thanks to Google Map.
And in this post, I am sharing the first attraction which I saw in Bundi, and that is Chaurasi Khambon ki Chhatri or 84 Pillared Cenotaph.
Chaurasi Khambon ki Chhatri or 84 Pillared Cenotaph is a famous temple type structure which is devoted to Shiva and was built by Maharaha Anirudh Singh or as they call in Hadoti language Rao Raja Anirudh Singh. Rao Raja means King.
The structure is as tall as a three storey house and built in the year 1683 AD. The main attraction of this site is its 84 pillars. There is no story mentioned here that why 84, not 83 or 85, it’s because in Hinduism, it is said that a soul gets 84, 00,000 chances to take birth on planet Earth as got created the same amount of species.
Many of the Bundi kings were raised by the nanny’s, and thus they had respect for these ladies and their children whom they treated as they brothers and sisters., So this monument by Maharaja Anirudh Singh was built to honor is foster brother Deva. That’s the information I was able to collect from locals, and it’s also on the entry board.
So while entering this temples, I saw some amazing artwork which on marble stones, two wall paintings, a lovely painting on the ceiling just above a white marble Shivalinga. The Raja Rao (king) must love his brother as the details of this monument are a fantastic example of Indian architecture.
Now in the temple, some locals were giving me details and even challenging to count all 84 pillars and said that I couldn’t. Age old psychology trick of saying on a man face that you couldn’t do this which makes one more anxious to do that. Well, it worked for him, and I started counting pillars.
So there are 48 pillars on the ground floor and 32 on 1st (counted three times) which makes it 80. And when I told them “it’s 80, not 84, and you win.” Then they showed me that the remaining four pillars are just in front my eyes. There is a trick.
I think I should share the method, but you might not like it. I mean I read it on Tripadvisor that locals try to play this game with travelers to count all 84 pillars (and there are) so let’s not take the fun out of it.
Just visit the palace and count it yourself. But you can check some pictures I took of Chaurasi Khambon ki Chhatri which you can view below.
Images of Chaurasi Khambon ki Chhatri
And with this, my 1st site tour of Bundi is finished. It took like half an hour, and I picked this place as this was the closest from my entry in Bundi, via Kota Highway.
I plan to share more posts in Bundi marvels like Bundi Palace, Raniji ki Baori, Sukh Mahal, etc. in coming week. So if you are planning to visit Bundi anytime soon, I have some great info for you.
How to reach or how I reached Bundi
I first planned to reach Bundi by flight which I couldn’t as the closest air terminal is Jaipur Airport which is 210 km away, So I booked a train ticket but for New Delhi to Kota Railway Station (Kota Janshatabdi Express) which is 38 km from Bundi. There is a railway station in Bundi (not a bad one), but it has limited trains to it.
Like my return trip to Delhi was from Madgaon Rajdhani (the fastest train from Kota to Delhi as it takes just 6 hours) doesn’t stop on Bundi Railway station.
One can also reach Bundi by road if you are 300-500 km away as the city is well connected with National Highways, but rail route is the best option here.