Streets of Bundi: Azure Reverie

Jitaditya Narzary

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

Bundi Streets (19)

I left the bus and started walking towards the Taragarh Fort. However, soon I was distracted by a very colorful tea shop. I ordered one spicy kulhad and started talking to Krishnaji who is of course the owner of Krishna Tea Shop. He has been there for more than two decades and is easily the most popular joint among the tourists. The inner sanctum of the shop is full of psychedelic graffiti made by visiting tourists over the years. He also told me that tourists are less this season due to demonetisation but also expressed hope that this will be good in the long run.

Bundi Streets (1)

I was in a hurry but I ended up spending almost an hour here. This also reminded me yet again why I decided to come back again. Last January I’d made another quick trip here but I felt could not do justice to it. I saw the magnificent frescoes of Chitrashala and Sukh Mahal but as I was returning, I noted the local houses, walls, and public facilities in the old town, all painted in vivid colours. The royalty had initiated and patronized the Bundi school of paintings but unlike some other places, the art here has not remained a sanctuary of the ruling classes and the elite but has spilled over to the streets. That is why this trip was dedicated as much to the plebs of Bundi as much it is to the royalty and as much to the present, as much it is to its celebrated yore.

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So, I suppressed my heritage fetish for a while and started walking around the town. While Bundi has now grown to be a big city, the outer areas are just like any other place. However, the old walled city around the Fort, just like Old Delhi, is a different world altogether full of valiant knights, shapely women, burly elephants, gods, goddesses, and much more… all in two dimensons.

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Surely the town can do with better drainage system and some other housekeeping but that is a common issue all over the country and I cannot really single out this one for the same. What sets it apart is the fact that it is like a living, breathing, art gallery. The walls are filled with joyous and colourful figures. However, unlike the big metropolises, they are not based on western anesthetics but proudly replicates the indigenous school of art.

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It is also noteworthy that Bundi is as much a Blue City as Jodhpur is although not many are aware of this. There are parts where this Blueness is distinctly visible in various shades. Of course the real view is from the top of the hills but that is a different story (I did visit the fort later and will do a separate post on it).

Bundi Streets (12)

Bundi Streets (18)

I spent considerable amount of time walking around the city and finally started walking towards the Nawal Sagar Lake, one of Bundi’s many lakes. It is located just at the right place to offer great reflections of the Garh Palace and Taragarh Fort. Apart from the obvious visual delight, it also has a partially submerged Varuna temple. Since it is inside the water, it was not possible to have a closer look at the temple but from what I could see, it follows the same design as some other bigger temples in the Hadoti region such as Badoli and Jhalrapatan.

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Bundi is one of the more touristy places in this region and every time I come here, I learn about some other places that demand a visit. This was no exception as I learnt about certain sites with newly discovered prehistoric paintings (Like Bhimbetka). These are apparently scattered around a 30 km radius around Bundi. So, like a clever movie franchise, Bundi is dangling another carrot in front of me. Another trip will have to be planned soon.

Jitaditya Narzary

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

25 thoughts on “Streets of Bundi: Azure Reverie

  • 2016/12/28 at 5:22 pm
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    I’ve heard many good things about Bundi, and have even had people say I should have added it to my itinerary when I was doing the ‘golden triangle’ (also touristy!) in India last year. Now I can see why. The surrounds are beautiful, the wall art fascinating, and it even has a dramatically positioned hillside fort. Definitely looks as though it’s worth a visit 🙂

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  • 2016/12/28 at 5:25 pm
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    Really nice photos. Interesting with the paintings everywhere. Do all of them have a meaning? Or are some of them only for decoration? 🙂

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  • 2016/12/28 at 6:07 pm
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    Amazing Pictures! Have read and heard a lot about Bundi. Need to visit soon.

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  • 2016/12/28 at 9:44 pm
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    I’ve never heard of Bundi. The colorful wall decorations are so cheerful, and the temple in the lake is charming. Are there accommodations there on the lake?

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  • 2016/12/29 at 10:34 am
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    I love your pictures and I love Rajasthan. Just back from a 10 days trip of Jaipur and Udaipur, can’t wait to get back to other cities as soon as possible. That street with the painting of a king’s procession, which is that? I have exactly the same painting done on one of my bedsheets … I don’t know where I had got the image from. But it is exactly the same. I want to go here and take a snap of that painting so much

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  • 2016/12/29 at 5:35 pm
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    Beautiful photos man! I love all the paintings everywhere. I love stumbling onto small things like this that are unique to certain towns or cities.

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  • 2016/12/29 at 7:19 pm
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    Tea shops are my favorite places to go, and the one you went to sounds exactly what I love about them. They’re so unique and have such character! This area sounds so interesting, you really paint a picture with your words.

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  • 2016/12/30 at 10:44 am
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    Enjoy your work as usual slacker. The streets of Bundi looks great with excellent culture. As always thanks for introducing me to another great destination. Top work.

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  • 2016/12/31 at 8:36 pm
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    You’re right about the streets being an art gallery in Bundi. I always enjoy seeing street art wherever we go and always take lots of pictures so I appreciate you sharing. I think it’s great the artwork reflects the local culture.

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  • 2017/01/01 at 9:25 pm
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    Never heard of this part of India. It’s great that you included so many pics. So the original “hippies” were in India?

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  • 2017/01/02 at 3:09 pm
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    Great pictures and narrative as always! On an unrelated note – you really need to get rid off the social media hovering buttons for mobile. The thing covers the text and just unnecesarily brings the quality of your blog down. With it being displayed like that, it is far more likely visitors will go away from the site without even reading the post, let alone sharing it. It’s a real pitty, because your content is great.

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  • 2017/01/02 at 5:11 pm
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    Wonderful post and fantastic pictures 🙂 I’ve never heard of this place. It looks really amazing. And again you remind me, that I miss India so much!

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  • 2017/01/03 at 12:26 am
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    I have been hearing a lot about Bundi off late. The pictures you shared are tempting for sure. Rajasthan is one of my favourite states in India. It is also one of my most explored state and yet there is still so much left to see.

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  • 2017/01/03 at 1:28 am
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    I agree – it does look like a living breathing art gallery. Love the colorful nature of the place. It’s nice to walk around an enjoy all the art.

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  • 2017/01/03 at 4:27 am
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    The paintings are amazing. Ive never heard of Bundi but it looks really interesting. Great photos

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  • 2017/01/03 at 8:11 am
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    Bundi looks so colourful. Is the food any different from the other parts of Rajasthan? How did you travel there?

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  • 2017/01/03 at 8:44 am
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    Wow indeed! We had hired a taxi and drove around, the kids were small and unmanageable. I wish I had done a walking tour of this place. Great pictures.

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  • 2017/01/03 at 10:59 pm
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    What a wonderful place…the pictures are really amazing. I love street art, actually everytime I visit a place I like to see hidden places to enjoy fanastic paintings.

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