When I arrived in Bundi, the last leg of my Hadoti trip, I had been travelling in the region for 4 days with my friend, Niti. That first sight of the imposing Taragarh Palace from the road was a sight to behold.
We were to join the group from One Life to Travel (OLTT) in Bundi, a place that had long been on my list of places to travel to. Thanks to OLTT, I was finally in Bundi looking forward to exploring it over the next couple of days. And yet… something was not quite right.
I was overcome with a sense of fatigue — not physical, but mental. Actually, fatigue is not the right word for what I was feeling; overwhelmed would be a more accurate term. Overwhelmed from all that I had experienced in the last four days — temples, museums, palaces, a fort, rock-cut caves, etc. all of which had been unexpectedly beautiful, enriching and thought-provoking. If you have been following my posts on this trip, you’ll know what I mean.
As I sat, listless and lethargic, having my evening tea in the lawns of the hotel we were staying in, I wondered what to do. I had the evening free for the rest of the OLTT group would be arriving late that night. Should I go to bed early or should I read a racy thriller I had with me or should I just sit in the lawns and listen to some music?
Let’s go for a walk and wander around in Bundi, suggested Niti.
I agreed, and that’s how in the dying light of the sun, we set out to explore Bundi on foot, and again the next day morning before breakfast, and then whenever we had free time after or before the day’s scheduled explorations with OLTT. We would just set off and dive into any path that caught our fancy, and in this way experienced the town in a very different manner.
The hotel we were staying in was situated close to Bundi’s best known ‘sight’ and the reason people travelled to the city for — Bundi Fort and Palace Complex. In fact, the entire area around the hotel could be called a tourist hub with hotels and shops advertising free WiFi, rooftop cafes, internet cafes, apple pies, pizzas, etc. Sadly, I also saw a sign like the one below. I have seen signs like this in Goa, but this was the first (and I hope the last) time I saw something like this in Rajasthan. 😦
The further we moved away from our hotel and the touristy part of Bundi, the better I liked the city for it started revealing its character little by little, frame by frame. We stopped for conversations with the friendly and curious locals, peeped into interesting looking shops, stopped at local temples and shrines, wondered at decorative elements amidst crumbling havelis and houses, etc.
A sampling of seeing that and this in Bundi is given below: 🙂
I didn’t realise how much I needed a break from sight-seeing till I went wandering around in Bundi. Much as I loved all the sights I had seen till then, the unstructured and spontaneous ramblings in Bundi was just what I needed before the next round of explorations began.
Earlier, something like this wouldn’t have bothered me at all; instead, I would have tried to make maximum use of all the time I had during my travels. I wonder what had changed within me and what was different this time. Was it because I was older? Was it because my travel experiences are getting more immersive and in-depth thanks to a deeper understanding of art, history and heritage, therefore necessitating a break? Or something else altogether?
Whatever the reason, I’m glad that I didn’t stick to my hotel to relax and instead explored this other side of Bundi. It made me appreciate and enjoy what I had come to see Bundi for — the wall paintings in Taragarh Palace and its many stepwells. Watch this space for details on both !
PS; What do you do to relax and take a break during your travels?
Disclaimer: This part of my Hadoti Trip was done with One Life to Travel, and it was NOT a free, sponsored or discounted trip.
The Hadoti Trip Series: Dear Hadoti | Discovering Jhalawar | The painted rooms of Garh Mahal of Jhalawar | Bhawani Natyashala: The Opera House of Jhalawar | An evening in Jhalrapatan | The Buddhist rock-cut caves at Kolvi | The Gagron Fort at Jhalawar | An impact crater, a temple ruin and some discoveries | A fun evening in Kota | A safari on the Chambal River | The painted rooms of the Kota Garh Palace | The Shiva temples of Bijolia | The temples at Badoli | That and this in Bundi | The painted rooms of Bundi Palace | The stepwells of Bundi |