First things first, the palace of Bundi is impressive from the word go. Its not uncommon to see many people stop their cars on the highway from where the palace is clearly seen. On reaching closer, the enormity of the structure is even more impressive. After you buy the entry ticket the place really takes over. However what becomes apparent is that there is neglect of the palace. The reason as we were told is that the property is caught up in litigation. As a result no renovation work is being undertaken, the place is full of bat dropping, smells foul in places, has a totally unkempt look and there is no guide system. Thankfully as we were there in true off season one of the family caretakers took the trouble of taking us around.
What the palace has to offer is beautiful. There are rooms of beautiful frescos, doors of Belgian glass and ivory, painted jharokas, and engineering marvels of fountains which though dry and not connected to any piped supply of water,have a system where blowing into specific crevices makes water appear!!!! the Kings palace is tiered in three levels, each with its own set of architectural marvels and spectacular frescos. The sights are to be taken slowly so that one can enjoy them.
The top of the palace or the queens palace is thankfully with the ASI, which means it is well looked after. Beautiful lawns, and a rooftop art gallery where paintings and wall frescos have been done with real gold. The ASI staff is very welcoming and more than happy to give you a guided tour of the art gallery and the queens palace area. Also the views from here are breathtaking. Spending some me time on a bench in the queens palace is highly recommended.
Since the palace is not well looked after, a lot of people try to come there to simply while away time. So as the caretaker told us , couples are not allowed to sit inside for more than an hour and closed doors remain closed for Indians as most resort to vandalism (Sad but true!). However if you are a true history enthusiast and love old palaces and forts, the caretakers are kind enough and knowledgeable to see the difference between you and the vandals, and open those doors. Some really beautiful art work is found behind those doors. Also as the caretakers are locals and associated with the royal families, they can give you interesting stories and information about the Palace, Bundi and adjoining areas.
While visiting remember to wear proper walking shoes and avoid it, if you have even the slightest leg trouble as the Palace has truly leg breaking climbs.
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