South-east Region of Rajasthan is known as Hadoti, - the land of the Hadas. Hada Rajputs are a major branch of the Chauhan Agnikula (fire dynasty) Rajputs. They had settled in the hilly terrain of Mewar, at Bambaoda, near Bijolian in the 12C. Bundi was conquered in 1241 by Rao Deva Singh from the Meena tribe. This was the first step in the establishment of Hadaoti, when the Hadas moved down from the ‘Pathar’ around Bambaoda.Bundi takes its name from the Bando Naal or the narrow passage, between the rugged hills. The town of Bundi is nestled in the cleft of the Araavali hills and has a special medieval flavor quite untouched by time. Prince Jait Singh of Bundi captured Kota in 1264 , and Kota became a part of Bundi as the Jaghir (land grant) of the eldest prince of Bundi. Kota became a separate state in 1624. The state of Jhalawar was formed in 1838 out of Kota territory.
The serpentine Taragarh Fort and its palace is what immediately strike visitors on arrival in Bundi. Rudyard Kipling who visited here a century ago wrote, "No human hand can create such a splendor; for only angels have that skill". Taragarh is Bundi's pride. This imposing fort was raised at a height of 500 meters atop a hill by Rao Bar Singh in the 13th century. Strong bastions the biggest being Bhim Burj, rise above the chain of palaces built by different rulers over a period of time. A huge reservoir within the fort provided the place white water. A curious feature about it is that whenever the water level rises above the danger level, sluice gates are opened and the running water makes the lanes of the city turn into miniature canals. Striking features of the fort are the Chhatra Mahal, Badal Mahal and Ratan Daulat - Diwan-I-Aam, built by Rao Raja Ratan Singh (1607-31). The Chhatra Mahal was founded by Raja Chhatrasal in 1660 the famous Bundi Kalam miniatures can be found here. The Zenana Mahal and the Badal Mahal also have an excellent collection of miniatures. The famous Chitrashala, built by Rao Raja Umed Singh (1739-70) has open galleries running around it and have the best of Bundi wall painting depicting the Raas Leela, court life and beautiful women. To view the other frescoe-covered palaces, permission is required form the royal family as the fort is private property. The Chhatra Mahal, Phool Mahal and Badal Mahal and Bundi miniatures have been recognized, worldwide, for their superb quality.
A steep, paved carriage-way is the only way to reach the monument. Of special interest in the palace is the Hazari Pol or Gate of the thousand, the Naubat Khana, the Hathi Pol with its old water clock and the Diwaan-e-Aam.
A fascinating pavilion and a gallery of miniature murals embellish the palace. Elaborate colorful paintings on the walls depicts scenes from the 'Ragmala' and Raasleela' - the Radha-Krishna story.
Visible from the fort is the square artificial lake of Nawal Sagar, broken up by islets. A temple dedicated to Varuna, the Aryan got of water, stands half submerged in the centre of the lake. The reflection of the entire city and its palaces can be seen in the lake-making it a unique attraction of Bundi.
A magnificent summer palace on the Sukh Sagar Lake amid the luch surroundings of a beautiful garden. An underground tunnel is believed to run from the Sukh Mahal to the old Palace.
The 20th century palace with an artificial tank and picturesque gardens. Presently, it is the residence of the former ruler. (Prior permission of secretary is required for a visit.)
An ancient garden near the Shikhar Burj with beautiful chhatries of the Bundi rulers and their queens all examples of the town's rich architecture. (Prior permission required for visit.) Eighty four pillared cenotaph: an amazingly magnificent memorial with 84 pillars in a single cenotaph along with a Shiva Lingam. It was erected by Rao Anirudh.