Steeped in history the lesser-explored regions in this circuit are located towards the South East of Rajasthan. The places on track with significant historical importance date back several centuries. Here you get to travel back in time and witness prehistoric cave paintings and look for traces of an early civilisation. Let the archaeologist in you surface as you drive along the Chambal, a vast reservoir of remnants from the past. From sculpted temples in Hadoti to the Garh Palace in Bundi, and the Darrah Wildlife Sanctuary you have a lot to do here.
Places of Interest
As you touch the first destination on this circuit Bundi ‘off the beaten track’, its undiscovered, pristine beauty would smite you. 36kms from Kota ruled by the Hada Chauhans, set in a narrow inclining gorge the splendour at Hadoti would leave you spellbound, in a trance with a fairy tale quality about the palaces and forts. Shrines and the intricately carved brackets, pillars and balconies tell tales of Rajput architecture.
Soak in the vibrant colours at the Chitra Shala the palace of paintings. Traditional murals adorn the palace of paintings where the walls and ceiling are filled with artwork of the Bundi School that date back a few centuries. Most of them depict scenes from Krishna Raas-Leela, with a few murals thrown in between about the splendours of the kingdom-glimpses of court life, animals of the region, hunting scenes and the like.
While in Bundi you just can’t miss the stepwells. Raniji ki baori built in 1699 for Rani Nathavatji, the 46 meters deep stepwell has exquisite carvings and arches all along the sides. Interestingly, apart from serving as private swimming pools for the royal ladies, these stepwells also acted as reservoirs in the hotter months. You must also see the Chaurasi Khambon-ki-Chhatri or the 84-pillared cenotaph. Built on a high platform this unique double story cenotaph has a large Shivlinga at the centre, which makes it both a temple as well as a cenotaph. A steep cobbled stone climb takes you to the fantastic Garh Palace. Being inside the majestic palace is like travelling back in time to another age. You could also see the Phool Sagar Palace, Sukh Mahal, Shikhar Burj and Ksar Bagh.
While in Kota, there is the Jag Mandir, the brajraj Bhawan Palace and the Umaid Bhawan Palace that you need to spend some time in. And before you leave don’t forget to pack along some Kota Doria that Kota is famous for. The fabric makes excellent summer wear.
Drive further into the Hadoti region that abounds in temples and forts. In Baran, what would seem like a lonely planet with relics of the past you could bank on the local hospitality. And if you do feel like extending your stay, you can indulge in the sinful extravagance of the ancient havelis converted into hotels.
While in this region you could also explore the Badoli temples that date back to the 9th and the 11th century. A picturesque locale, you might just like to spend some time at the Sitabari or Ramgarh Bhanddeora temple. Then there is the Darah wildlife sanctuary, once a royal hunting ground.
Drive into Jhalawar where the Garh Palace takes centre stage. Don’t miss on the Zenana Khas that has some wonderful historic paintings. And once moving out, the 7th-century temples of Chandrabhaga, Sun temple at Jhalarapatan, and the magnificent Gagron fort.