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  • Source Note - Map for representation purpose only with proper attribution on source, no political accuracy claimed.

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INTRODUCTION

Bundi is a city located in the state of Rajasthan and like every other city in the state, this too is dotted with a number of palaces and forts. Bundi takes proud in it's rich history which is full tales of bravery and sacrifice

. Located at a height of 268m above the sea level, Bundi is home to around 104,457 people. This city is surrounded by hills on the 3 sides, making it a picturesque location. Its location, combined with the historical architectures, make the city an important part of the state’s tourism map.

Bundi District is a district of the state of Rajasthan in western India. The town of Bundi is the district headquarters. It has an area of 5,550 km² and a population of 88,273 (2001 census). It is divided into 5 tehsils which are: Bundi, Hin doli, Nainwa, Keshoraipatan and Indragarh.

HOSPITALS OF BUNDI: http://www.rajasthandirect.com/districts/bundi/hospitals OFFICIAL WEBSITE OF BUNDI: http://bundi.rajasthan.gov.in/content/raj/bundi/en/home.html# SCHOOLS OF BUNDI: http://www.studyguideindia.com/Schools/school-bundi-rj-492.html

HISTORY

Bundi has witnessed the time flow by. Host to countless battles, its forts speak volumes about the district’s rich history. Amidst the desert covered Rajasthan, Bundi is like an Oasis with its rivers, lakes and majestic waterfalls.

Being a princely state, the British left them options of forming an independent state, or to be a part of the Union of India or the newly formed country Pakistan, of which their ruler decided to accede to India. In its early, ancient history, Bundi was home to different tribes, of which, Parihar Meenas were the most powerful.

 Bundi has gone through changes in its name quite a lot. Being called as Bunda-ka-nal in the early days, it was also named as Haroti, when Rao Deva Hada took over the place from Jaita Meena. As with most of the olden states, Bundi’s history can be predominantly divided into two parts: Mughal and British. The rulers of Bundi, called Raos, became close allies with Akbar, ever since Rao Surjan gave him the Ranthambore fort. Rao Ratan Singh Hada was a close friend of Jahangir and selflessly supported him during Mughal prince Khurram’s viscous rebellion.

 The Rao ended up getting his own sons wounded in the efforts. The Rao during Shah Jahan’s time, Chhattra Sal, was made the governor of Delhi. The relationship between Raos and Mughals became a bit sour when Aurangzeb attacked Bundi to gain control, but his efforts went in vain.

 Strangely, after the attack Aurangzeb became good friends with the Rao, so much that he fought for him against the valiant hero Shivaji. Rao Buddh Singh didn’t enjoy a peaceful reign either. A bitter feud broke out between him and the Kachwaha rulers. He had to let go of his kingdom many times before dying in exile. It was only the help of Marathas which helped the subsequent Rao to gain the kingdom back.

It was Bishan Singh’s son, ‘’Maharao’’ Raja Ram Singh who enjoyed the best years on the throne. Being the ruler for nearly seven decades, Bundi became a striving and prosperous kingdom. With sufficient help from the British, Ram Singh’s era saw the economy ever rising. Although his son accession can be deemed unlucky, as Raghubir Singh had to bear with two disastrous famines, which caused death and a massive diaspora. Raghubir and his successors offered full support to the British during the World Wars.

TOURIST ATTRACTION

·         The Taragarh Fort, or 'Star Fort' is the most impressive of the city's structures. It was constructed in AD 1354 upon the top of steep hillside overlooking the city. The largest of its battlements is the 16th century bastion known as the Bhim Burj, on which was once mounted a particularly large cannon calledGarbh Gunjam, or 'Thunder from the Womb'. The fort is a popular tourist viewpoint of the city below. The fort contains three tanks which never dry up. The technique with which they were built has been long since lost but the tanks survive as a testament to the advanced methods of construction and engineering in medieval India.

·         The Bundi Palace is situated on the hillside adjacent to the Taragarh Fort and is notable for its lavish traditional murals and frescoes. The Chitrashala (picture gallery) of the palace is open to the general public.

·         The largest of Bundi's baoris or stepwells is the intricately carved Raniji ki Baori. Some 46 m deep, it was built in 1699 by Rani Nathavatji. The steps built into the sides of the water-well made water accessible even when at a very low level. The baori is one of the largest examples of its kind in Rajasthan.

·         The Nawal Sagar is a large square-shaped artificial lake in the centre of Bundi containing many small islets . A temple dedicated to Varuna, the vedic god of water, stands half-submerged in the middle of the lake. the lake feeds the numerous bavdis in the old city by creating an artificial water table.

·         The Nagar Sagar twin step wells are identical step wells crafted in pristine masonry on either side of the main spine of Bundi town.

·         The Dabhai Kund also known as the jail kund, is the largest of the kunds in Bundi. Though slightly overgrown, it is well worth a visit for the spectacular carvings on the numerous steps leading down to the water level.

·         The Sukh Mahal is a cream-coloured palace that sits on the water bank. Rudyard Kipling stayed there and claimed that the palace inspired his masterpiece, Kim.

·         Jait Sagar Lake

·         Phool Sagar

·         Kshar Bagh

·         Chaurasi Khambon ki Chhatri, Bundi or Eighty four pillared cenotaph

 

GEOGRAPHY

Fortified by the hills of the Aravalli range on three sides, the majestic city of Bundi lies distinctly in the state of Rajasthan. It is situated 35Km from Kota, of which it used to be an integral part, and some 210 Km from the state capital Jaipur. A part of the Hadoti region of Rajasthan, which also includes Baran, Jhalawar, and Kota, it is a jewel in the crown of the state with its mighty forts, palaces and baoris, which are step-well reservoirs.

 The step-wells ensured that the city never faced a drought due to water fluctuations in this part of India and are also of architectural significance. The Indargarh stepwell is known for its pristine beauty and is a tourist hot spot especially during the rainy season, when its beauty becomes ethereal with crystal clear water falling down.

The geographical coordinates of Bundi are estimated to be 25°26'30" north latitude and 75°38'30" east longitude. The city is located at a considerable elevation of roughly 268 meters above sea level. The city also has a narrow gorge in the vicinity. It is also encircled by a wall which has four gateways to enter the city, asserting its defensive strategies since the olden times.

The area under irrigation is 2273.68 sq. Km. which amounts to approximately 41% of the total geographical area. Main sources of irrigation in the city are canals, wells and tanks, with canals being the most important. The district also has proximity of rivers like Chambal, Mangli, Mej etc.

The town of Bundi is situated 35 km from Kota and 210 km from Jaipur. It is located at 25.44°N 75.64°E and an average elevation of 268 metres (879 feet). The city lies near a narrow gorge, and is surrounded on three sides by hills of the Aravalli Range. A substantial wall with four gateways encircles the city.

It is served by Bundi railway station on Kota-Chittorgarh rail line. The town of Indragarh and nearby places are famous for the renowned temples of Bijasan Mata and Kamleshwar. The Indargarh step well is considered as one of the most attractive places in the Bundi district, especially during the rainy season.

ADMINISTRATION

Bundi is a land that is full of surprises and gives a true picture of the lavish and king-size lifestyle that was led by the residents of the place. It represents the princely culture of the state of Rajasthan in complete style and also exudes the valor that was displayed in the battles fought on this land.

It has a number of forts and palaces that bear testimony to the existence of a full-blown princely state with a stable administration since the time of the kings and queens of Rajasthan. The history books are replete with the legendary tales and brave battles fought in Bundi.

 It is one of those rare places which not only has monuments of historical value, but is also adorned with the beauty of nature, decorated with lakes, sparkling rivers and majestic waterfalls.

 Even though the state of Rajasthan is known for its dry land and deserts, Bundi is completely set apart from the rest of the state. It has lush greenery all around it which is the abode for a rich and rare flora and fauna. Its beauty has inspired many artists and writers including great minds like Rudyard Kipling and the noble laureate Rabindranath Tagore. It has been an inspiration to many creative minds and is often referred to as ‘Heaven’ by those whom it inspired.

ECONOMY

The Bundi economy is primarily supported by agriculture, textile and tourism industry. Handicrafts industry plays a pivotal role in the economic prosperity of Bundi in Rajasthan. Bundi is a small city in the Hadoti region of Rajasthan in India, which is famous for its beautiful forts and palaces, and step-well reservoirs (local name: baoris).

 The economy of Bundi is principally based on rapid growth of small scale industrial units, which have taken on form all over the municipality in the state of Rajasthan. Textiles is an important industrial sector in Bundi that mainly produce polyester fibers. The real estate industry is also growing in this beautiful district of Rajasthan. Agriculture contributes a major portion to the overall economic growth in Bundi.

 Major agricultural crops include pulses, wheat, gram, barley, cotton, tobacco and oil seeds. Among oil seeds, mustard and rape are the mostly produced. Important fruit trees in Bundi include orange, pomegranate, lemon, guava and mango. Bundi is endowed with great natural beauty and is a popular place of tourists attraction. The tourism accounts for a significant portion of the Rajasthan's domestic product. Many forts and old palaces in Bundi have been converted into heritage hotels to attract more tourists.

FESTIVAL

Bundi is known for open heartedly welcoming the inquisitive traveler, offering sights and sounds that delight mind and heart alike. With their cornucopia of scenic locations, spicy cuisine and varied shopping options, the festivals in Bundi, including the world famous Bundi Utsav, are a sight to behold and treasure for eternity.

The mini Pushkar fair is the singular event among the fairs in Bundi that manages to catch eyeballs from far and wide, and is a hit with both European and South East Asian visitors. The town of Kesho Rai Patan hosts the fair every year at the same time as the Bundi Utsav.

Bundi Utsav: This festival is celebrated every year in the month of November, and is a time when Bundi comes out in the open to display its cultural heritage with unmatched pride. Bundi becomes the cynosure of all eyes as inhabitants of the entire Hadoti region gather in droves to show to the world what their craft, cuisine and customs are worth.

The itinerary spans two to three days and includes a number of activities, such as an art and crafts fair, an auspicious Shobha Yatra, rural games, cultural exhibition, an event involving the floating of lamps on the Chambal river, called Deep Daan; fireworks, turban tying competition and classical music and dance programme. Guests from outside the country are garlanded, given colourful turbans to wear, fed a full three course feast and given a place of honour to witness the rapturous grandeur of the many events occurring all around.

Kajali Teej: Seldom does anyone witness a more spectacular celebration of the monsoon season than the Kajali Teej festival in Bundi, one of the most popular festivals of Rajasthan. It involves the worship of Goddess Uma, female consort of Lord Shiva and considered by ancient Indian scriptures to be the source of the universe’s power.

Newlywed brides seek the blessings of Goddess Uma for marital bliss and prosperity. One can see women gaily dressing up and decorating swings with flowers, as the first drops of the nascent rain fall on the bosom of the scorched earth. A procession carrying a Palanquin parades an idol of Teej Mata through the streets and bylanes of Bundi, with people, decorated elephants, horses and little children trailing in its wake.

A mere sight of the Palanquin is considered a good omen, a portent of good times to come. During the festival, a fair showcasing the art and craft of the Hadoti region is also organized nearby, and is a treasure trove for tourists wanting to buy precious souvenirs.

 Tejaji Fair: As the Kajali Teej is celebrated for Goddess Uma, so is the Tejaji fair organized to propitiate her husband, the destroyer of worlds, Shankarji, the great Lord Shiva. Talera is a picturesque hamlet in Bundi. It houses the Tejaji Thanak temple, a place venerated by many a generation. The fair finds its origins in the 1930s, when it was first organized. The fair is popular for its puppet horse dances, ladies dancing to peppy folk tunes, tableau displays, daredevil stunts and exquisite banquet.

Mini Pushkar Fair: At about the same time as the Bundi Utsav, a mini fair on the same lines as the iconic Pushkar fair is organized at Kesho Rai Patan. The town is decorated gorgeously with colourful lines of multi coloured flags and the townsmen dress up in their best clothes to welcome visitors.

A celebration of the cultural heritage of Bundi ensues, with various special attractions such as children’s rides, camel exhibitions, delectable cuisine stalls and multihued clothing and accessories such as bangles vying for the tourists’ attention.

WILDLIFE

Nestled in the Aravalli hills, the Hadoti region has its share of wetlands, which makes it the ideal choice of habitat for a number of animal and bird species. As far as the Wildlife in Bundi is concerned, apart from being known as the queen of Hadoti for its natural splendor and cultural heritage, Bundi takes the cake in the biodiversity department as well.

 Bundi plays host to more than 200 species of birds and more than 30 species of mammals, snakes and reptiles. In this extensive list of the species of birds in Bundi, one can find exotic birds such as cormorants, ibises, pelicans, kingfishers, orioles, parakeets and flycatchers. Among the animal species, one can expect to find leopards, bears, Nilgai and various species of deer. Wildlife Parks and Sanctuaries: The Ramgarh Vishdhari Sanctuary is the largest of the wildlife reserves in Bundi as well as the entire Hadoti region. Spread over 307 sq.kms. It consists of hilly, dry deciduous forest. If you decide to partake in a thrilling Safari here, you can expect to see the elusive Asiatic wild dog or Dhole, the leopard, the large Sambhar or Rusa deer, wild boar, sloth bear, Hyena, jackal, Chinkara deer, Indian wolf and fox.

The Darrah Wildlife sanctuary actually covers three separate wildlife reserves – The Chambal, Darrah and Jaswant Sagar wildlife sanctuaries. The vegetation here is the typical vegetation one may expect in an arid forest, including trees such as Acacia. The Chambal River flows through this sanctuary. It is the third largest sanctuary in the Hadoti region.

The Sorsan Wildlife sanctuary makes up the triad that is a popular destination for wildlife enthusiasts who come to visit Bundi. It is very popular destination for people who adore the Black Buck, a species of antelope with exquisite curved horns.

Birding, or the hobby of observing and appreciating birds, is the singular pastime for which there is hardly an area popular in the entire country on a scale of Bundi. The climate of the Hadoti region, a unique mix of arid forest and marshy wetlands, is ideal for nesting birds as well as migratory birds that overwinter here.

 There are some peculiar species of migratory birds that are iconic to Bundi, some of which are listed below: Cormorants are arboreal species that known for their glossy plumage and emerald eyes. Of the two species of cormorants in Bundi, the more popular one is the ‘snake bird’, so called because its side body profile resembles a snake’s.

 Geese and ducks of multi colored hues frequent lakes such as Jait Sagar and irrigation projects such as Bhimlat and Gararda. These aquatic waddlers look very photogenic when frolicking on the surface, and include exotic species such as the Grey Lag and the Bar Headed Goose. Duck species include the iconic Mallard, The Common Teal, the Ruddy and Common Shelduck, the Widgoen and the Shoveller. Herons are long legged shore birds with tufts of feathers growing back from the crown of their heads.

They elicit awe because of the speed with which they spear fish using their beaks. Specis found in Bundi include the Common Grey, Pond, Purpe and Night Herons. The Egret is a distant cousin. Ibises have featured in Egyptian hieroglyphics in the past and are venerated in many ancient cultures. Some of them have made Bundi their second home, where they can be seen using their curved beaks to eat frogs and other aquatic creatures.

The Demoiselle crane is many a wildlife photographer’s favorite subject and can be seen flying low through open meadows during breeding season. It is an endangered and as such has garnered a lot of spotlight. It is identified by a singly tuft of feathers cuving down parallel to its neck, starting from behind the eyes.

Pelicans are as flamboyant as a bird can be, and find mention in the ancient Indian fables as an example of extreme concentration while hunting. In Bundi we have species such as the Pink and the Dalmatian or spotted pelicans. Storks favor Bundi a lot, and Bundi is known for hosting five out of seventeen of the total species of Storks found on the planet.

They are a common sight amongst the Acacia trees, nesting among the higher branches. Some other popular species of birds here include Jacanas, kites, owlets, moorhens, flycatchers, parakeets, cuckoos, rollers, Avadavats and Hoopoes.

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