Chitrashala: Taragarh Fort Bundi

Jitaditya Narzary

Is a traveller disillusioned by the familiar and fascinated with the unknown... and of course the founder of this blog.

After vising Sukh Mahal and 84 Khambon ki  Chhatri, I rushed to Taragarh Fort as I was already running out of time. I hired an autorickshaw that left the main road and entered some narrow alleys and got stuck in a traffic jam. I began to grow impatient but after a while I realized that there is a lot to see in these alleys too. That the  Bundi rulers were great patrons of art was visible even on these narrow alleys. While passing through the bland, uniform looking lines of buildings, I’d suddenly see ones adorned with bright traditional graffiti. These people have kept the rich heritage intact although the age of its kings and queens is now a thing of the past. Taragarh is a massive Fort with the walls already across a vast hill that is the central feature of this town. However, I will talk about the rest of the fort and other features in a separate post. Today’s post is dedicated to only one section of the palace that is also adjacent to the fort. It is called Chitrashala, the gallery of paintings.

Chitrashala (1)

Chitrashala

It is a hall of paintings… literally! The rulers of Bundi must have been extreme connoisseurs of finer things. They have dedicated a vast section of only to display some of the finest works of Bundi art. I had a small glimpse of these arts in the other two monuments I visited before. However, even they did not prepare me for what Chitrashala was! Also, it must be be mentioned that this part of the Fort is excellently maintained with a nice, colourful terrace garden. From here the Palace can also be seen on the other side and the actual gallery of paintings is inside the hall and closely guarded by one caretaker. It is fine to look at them and photograph, you are just not supposed to touch them. Chitrashala (2)

Chitrashala (6)Bundi Art was developed as the Kingdom broke away from Mewar in the 16th century. Now Bundi, along with Kota, forms the Hadoti school of Rajput arts which has distinguished itself from other schools such as Mewar and Marwar through its vibrant and colourful depictions of various mythological and historical events. Krishna Leela, Royal Entourage, Hunting scenes, Battles, Court Scenes… Nothing has been left untouched by them. Chitrashala (12)

Chitrashala (19)Chitrashala (8)

Chitrashala (17)Chitrashala (18)

Chitrashala (14)Chitrashala (9)

Chitrashala (5)Chitrashala (4)

The ones I could identify were the Krishna Leela scenes, Krishna holding the Govardhan Parbat, stealing cloths of the gopikas and making marry with them in general. This was probably the most favourite topic among the Bundi artists, followed by Shiva and various stories related to him.

Chitrashala (21)Chitrashala (22)

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Female figures are also noteworthy. But what is noticeable is the portraits of Mughal women, or at least their attire in certain cases, which shows the close collaboration between different styles and cultures.

Chitrashala (24)Chitrashala (13)

Chitrashala (23)And finally there were some I could not decipher. If you do know then leave a comment! Chitrashala (4)

Chitrashala (10)Chitrashala (7)

Jitaditya Narzary

Is a traveller disillusioned by the familiar and fascinated with the unknown... and of course the founder of this blog.

27 thoughts on “Chitrashala: Taragarh Fort Bundi

  • 2016/03/02 at 8:14 am
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    This place is amazing. I had liked the Chitrashala very much at the Boondi Fort. You have presented a whole bunch of these paintings…very nice. I clearly remember a very old jasmine tree in the garden area of this Hall of paintings. The barky heavy vine had caught my eye. Loved that click of big hacked down trunk in the first pic.

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  • 2017/03/02 at 4:49 pm
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    wow! This place in India looks awesome! I am going to travel to india in september month, since then I have started reading alot about it.I can put this place in my list as well. I would love to add this in my list! Cheers!

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  • 2017/03/02 at 7:35 pm
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    It looks amazing! And your pictures show the details. Even though I don’t know anything about it, your article explains really well the mythology!

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  • 2017/03/03 at 3:47 am
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    Every time I read one of your articles, I feel like you not only show, but also teach a bit about it, so thank you. It’s amazing how detailed the pictures are, and the stories that the pictures tell. I’d love to visit one day and spend some time trying to decipher everything myself.

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  • 2017/03/03 at 5:39 am
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    Wow, I can’t believe how many paintings there are. They are incredible, and have so much detail. It must have been really neat to see them in person!

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  • 2017/03/04 at 7:39 am
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    Fantastic paintings. Bundi has been popular for its art and glad you were able to sample it all together in the Chitrashala. I am glad they are so well preserved too. Lovely pics.

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  • 2017/03/06 at 7:26 am
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    An entire section of a palace for just fine arts. That is incredible. The paintings are just so beautiful. Each one depicting the way of life and the daily tasks. The life of a ruler drawn to perfection. The Krishna scenes are a masterpiece. Loved it.

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  • 2017/03/06 at 6:14 pm
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    Taragarh Fort seems like an amazing fort rich in history. The paintings are so beautiful. Would love to visit here someday.

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  • 2017/03/06 at 7:46 pm
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    I didn’t know this Bundi art but know that I see it I have a question. I see that there is a huge focus on details, like almost everything I saw about India (architecture, paintings, etc…) but there are few colors used. I see mainly bluish and greenish stuff. Is that a choice or these are just the most resilient to atmospheric agents?

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  • 2017/03/07 at 1:18 am
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    Fantastic pictures! These paintings are so vibrant and truly magnificent! I love the Indian art’s details and colours. I would visit this place with a great pleasure 🙂

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  • 2017/03/07 at 8:34 pm
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    Chitrashala seems to have so many gorgeous paintings. And they look quite well preserved too. I am also trying to decipher the photos you couldn’t identify.

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  • 2017/03/08 at 12:53 am
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    I must tell you that the paintings simply impressed me to the core. Very well described and lovely photographs. Thanks for sharing. I have not been to Bundi and wish to visit it soon and will definitely put Chitrashala on my list.

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  • 2017/03/08 at 11:03 am
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    Have you enhanced the pictures? I saw them very faded during my visit.
    Those faded paintings too have a charm of their own.

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  • 2017/03/08 at 3:25 pm
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    Have never been to this fort. But as you said looking at this painting it is very clear that the rulers of Bundi must have been extreme connoisseurs of finer things 🙂 Such gorgeous painting and looks like very well preserved.

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  • 2017/03/08 at 6:27 pm
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    Wow, you’re braver than I am! I can’t imagine driving an autorickshaw down those narrow streets and into traffic jams. But it sounds like quite an adventure. That hall of paintings look so beautiful and fascinating. I love how colorful they are still. Happy travels 🙂

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  • 2017/03/08 at 8:07 pm
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    Wow, I wouldn’t be prepared either to see so many stunning paintings! So these are from the 16th century?! It’s amazing that the color is still so vibrant. How fascinating. I could stare at these all day!

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  • 2017/03/10 at 11:02 pm
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    I could gaze at these for a day, and still not be done with them. They are stunning to look at and I am so happy that the fiort which houses these is well maintained. Fascinated by this art form for sure…

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