Journey to Bundi
We caught a train from Udaipur to Bundi and travelled in sleeper class. If you haven’t travelled on a train before in India (or Asia) then it will be quite an experience. People (and cows / goats) freely wander up and down the tracks and sometimes will need to cross the tracks in order to get on a train as there is often no footbridge. When arrived at Bundi station at 11pm and as our carriage stopped short of the platform we had to jump out on the track.
As we walked out of the station a huge gang of rickshaw whallahs pounced on us trying to get our business – unfortunately for them our guesthouse had sent a rickshaw to pick us up and he emerged from the crowd with a little piece of paper with my name on.
The price of a rickshaw from Bundi train station to the lake area, where most guesthouses are located, costs 100 rupees.
Travelling out of Bundi
The small train station at Bundi serves a number of destinations, however, there is a larger station at Kota (an hour bus ride, 33 rupees each) which is on the main lines to both Mumbai and Delhi. There is no need to buy a bus ticket in advance, go to the bus station, jump on a bus to Kota and pay on the bus.
Bundi is a small village which would be good to break up a journey between Udaipur and Sawai Madhopur (Rathambhore National Park), or Jaipur. I would recommend not spending any longer than 2 days in Bundi (one day would be sufficient) as it is a quiet village with no real reason for visitors to linger.
Palace / Fort
How much does it cost? 100 rupees per person (50 rupees for a camera) – you will pay twice if you want to visit both the palace and the fort (rent a stick at the entrance to ward off the monkeys for 10 rupees.
An unofficial guide led us around the palace, we thought his friendliness and knowledge was free, until he demanded payment at the end, the price being ‘as you like’ – we gave him 50 rupees.
The palace is rather rundown and is notably inhabited by bats (apparently 30,000 of them!). The palace has some interesting paintings on the wall, but you are likely to be disappointed if you have already experienced the grandeur of other palaces in India.
We did not visit the fort for fear of being attacked by monkeys! If you wish to visit the fort and avoid the monkeys you are advised to visit early in the morning (7am – 8am).
Cost: 360 per night (budget room)
We arrived in Bundi late (around 11pm) and had already booked Shivam guesthouse, however, on arrival we were told that a large group wanted to stay one more night, so we had to stay in a nearby guesthouse for one night.
We were very disappointed by this as the room we were given was a cell with no window and was extremely hot. However, as we arrived late we felt we had little room for negotiation.
The next day we moved into the room we had booked in the Shivam guesthouse which was their budget room with fan and private bathroom. The room was still cell like as it had no window, although it was clean and fairly cool (ok for a 1-2 night stay).
Location: Opposite the Bundi Haveli Hotel
How much does it cost? Budget/mid (approx. 70 – 80 rupees per dish)
This small place deserves some credit, it has a cute rooftop dining area surrounded by bamboo and fairy lights. We thought the food was delicious and the service was also good. A great budget discovery!
Warning – Beware of monkeys when you are dining
We were sat waiting to be served breakfast on the rooftop of our guesthouse and a monkey leapt on the table and grabbed fruit off a couple dining next to us (their reflexes are like lightening!!)