Bundi is the calm between the constant storm that is India. We spent our days relaxing and making plans for our next adventure, Bundi actually means sweet which sums it up perfectly.
We decided to spend out first night in an old Elephant stable attached to the towns palace. It used to house elephants that would pull goods up the high walls for the Maharaja. The stables are now owned by Raj and Neema who also live on site with their two adorable daughters. Neema is a phenomenal cook and made us the best thali we have had since being in India, she hasn’t helped our constantly growing bellies though! This site has so much potential, we found ourselves sat in the garden for hours talking about how we would transform it if it were ours. We decided on balconies, copious amounts of fairy lights, a pool and wrought iron tables and chairs circling the 700 year old ‘holy’ tree. Not to mention tusk door handles, a trunk shaped shower head and ridiculous amounts of appliquéd cushions.
Somebody I need to mention in this post is a man called Ginginwualla, aka Brad from Australia. We stumbled across Ginginwualla (meaning magic man) one night as we picked up some street food for dinner. He is larger than life and had a huge circle of people around him utterly entranced in his magic tricks. It turns out he visits India for months on end every year and Bundi is one of his favourite haunts – he is like a celebrity here! For his 50th birthday he organised for 20 of his friends to fly out to India as well as 150 locals to join his birthday celebrations at a near by temple. This caused such a commotion that it ended up on the front page of the local newspaper.
This ones for you dad – we stumbled across a tiny guitar making workshop
Bundi’s bracelet making district.
There isn’t much hype about Bundi’s palace but we thought it was worth a look and I’m so glad we did as its a little hidden gem. The wall paintings inside were without a doubt the best I’ve seen yet. Three of the rooms are covered from top to bottom in the most beautiful paintings and stone carvings. Unfortunately, no cameras were allowed in the most beautiful and well preserved room which was filled with the most intricate hand paintings of armies, elephant fights and tiger huntings.
We thought one day might be nice spent at the waterfall 30k away from Bundi, in theory this should have been straight forward but nothing in India ever goes quite the way you think it will. A journey we thought would take an hour took two hours and the only way I can describe the road is how I imagine the surface of Mars to be. I’m so bruised I look like I have fallen off a camel!
When we arrived it was beautiful but it turned out that the locals from surrounding towns and villages used this water to clean their clothes and themselves .. And let’s face it, it was probably their loo too! So instead of taking a dip we sat on the rocks to eat lunch but that in itself drew some unwanted attention. Next thing you know we are surrounded by people staring as we chomped away at our katchuri’s, this in turn caught the monkeys attention. After sharing our lunch with a family of crazy black faced macaques we worked our way back up to the small rock pools at the top and managed to sit in peace for at least 15 minutes before a scorpion wanted our attention.
We had an amazing massage this week, again not quite what we expected but as we have learnt, India is all about curve balls. We went into one of the many shops advertising ayurvedic massage, 20 minutes later we were being taken up through the winding lanes of Bundi by a lovely and very enthusiastic man, next thing you know we were being massaged on the floor of his house by himself and his sister! All be it random, it was a great massage and we ended the evening with hugs and chai.