Travelling by train in India is great fun. There are about six ‘classes’ and for our trip from Delhi to Bundi we chose …First Class! If only British Rail was so cheap! We even treated ourselves to lunch which was a traditional Thali. Course after course was delivered to our apartment by a smiling waiter who after the sixth dish held out his hand for a tip despite wearing a badge which said ‘no tipping’!
Arriving at Bundi by car from the station was interesting. We knew the car could only go so far and that we would need to walk the rest of the way to our hotel. No wonder! The streets were very narrow and our hotel was up a very steep path. The climb up to the hotel plus two flights of stairs everytime was well worth it, our room was fantastic.
Bundi is not as popular with tourists as Jaipur or Udaipur and so we only saw a few other Europeans during our three days there. I think there were no more than six other visitors all the time we were going round Gahr Palace and it was only a few rupees to go in, plus a stamp on the hand with an ink marker. Nowhere else that we visited had as many wall paintings, they were fantastic and in wonderful condition. We also climbed up to the hill fort and had an impressive view of the town and the lake, all to ourselves.
Bundi is a lively town but then where isn’t in India? Just walking around you’re guaranteed an interesting experience especially when it’s the wedding season. If you’ve been to Rajasthan between October and February you’ll know this is the noisiest and busiest time of the year. Celebrations last around five days and there are many weddings going on. We came across quite a few but the most colourful one was in Bundi. I took loads of pictures of course which got me out of joining in with the dancing and we politely turned down an offer to follow the group to the family’s house for a drink. We’d be lucky to get away before midnight!
For our final evening we made sure we were down by Nawal Sagar lake at sunset. The glow on the palace from the setting sun is just magical and as for the reflection on the lake, well it’s a photographer’s dream. We really enjoyed our stay in Bundi and (dare I say this?) …I hope it doesn’t find itself on the tourists’ map as it might just lose its charm.