Rajasthan is known for its royalty, heritage, as well as a rich historical backdrop and one such festival or celebration that justifies and reflects the same is the Bundi Utsav.
The festival is held in the Hadoti region of Rajasthan, in the picture-perfect and imperial Bundi district. It is a place that is on every traveller and culture enthusiast's list, due to its grand and vibrant Bundi festival that is held every year around November (Lunar Kartik month according to the Hindu calendar). Bundi Festival or the Bundi Utsav celebrates the culture, folk art, and traditions of Rajasthan.
Organized by the Rajasthan State Tourism Department, Bundi Fair effortlessly captures the attention of the tourists through its traditional charm and ethnic feel. This otherwise quiet place becomes a travel hotspot when the festival is around. It receives maximum tourist footfall around this festival time, from across the country and abroad.
The ancient Bundi was known to be the native place of the Parihar Meena tribe of Rajasthan and was named after Raja Bunda Singh Meena. 'Bunda-Ka-Nal' which means 'narrow ways' was the ancient name of this town. Later Bundi was captured by Britishers till India's independence. The festival in question celebrates this rich historical and cultural diversity that the place has witnessed over the decades. Besides the most happening Bundi Utsav, the town is known for its architectural excellence too. The town is home to the finest architectural specimens that comprise palaces, stepped wells (Baoli), and temples. Bundi is also known as Rajasthan's Choti Kashi for its numerous Hindu temples. Some of the most famous temples of the town are Neelkanth Mahadev Bundi, Hanumanji Temple, and Radha Krishna Temple.
The world-famous Taragarh Fort is also located in Bundi. As an ode to its aesthetical and architectural excellence, famous writer Rudyard Kipling wrote, “The Taragarh Fort must have been built by angels, not human beings.” While the fort is a masterpiece in its very own right, the town of Bundi is also quite popular, courtesy its historical relevance. It finds its references in many ancient and mythological texts for being an auspicious and pious place.
The 3-day Bundi Festival is organized with the prime motive of boosting tourism in the town and also showcasing the rich cultural heritage of this place. Exhibition of native handicrafts, moustache competitions, folk music, turban binding competition, and dance performances, are the major highlights of the festival that are enjoyed by young and old alike.
1. Shobha Yatra. Shobha yatra is a procession that is carried out in the narrow lanes of Bundi during the festival. The procession is carried out by women, who, dressed in ethnic, walk to the nearby water body or a river to offer prayers, and light Diyas at the banks of the river. This lighting of the diyas is known as Deepdaan which is done for the happiness and prosperity of the family. Another popular connotation of the ritual is that lighting diyas eliminate darkness from the lives of people.
2. Festivities. If you wish to experience the true spirit and feel of Rajasthan then this festival is where you need to be at. Bundi Utsav is a mix of cultures, traditions, music, food, arts, handicrafts, and home decor of Rajasthan. In a nutshell, you will experience the amazing charm of the state via this festival.
3. Handmade Artefacts. There are so many artefacts displayed for sale at the Bundi fair which are exclusively made by the skilled artisans of Rajasthan. The artefacts are unique and colourful that can effortlessly blend with any home decor theme. The fair is packed with foreign tourists who love exploring and buying these handmade artefacts.
Away from the limelight, Bundi in Rajasthan has some unique, interesting and mesmerising destinations to explore. Some of them are Taragarh Fort, Moti Mahal, Badal Mahal, Nawal Sagar Lake, and ancient step wells. There is regular and fairly frequent rail and flight connectivity along with a well-developed road network that lets you arrive smoothly in town from any part of the country.
Bundi town, where this festival is celebrated, is nearly 490, 960, 1,500 and 1,700 km away from Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Bengaluru respectively. You can reach here by multiple economical travel routes and modes and below mentioned are some best travel options that you must consider.
By Road. You can arrive here via inter and intra tourist buses. If you are fond of road journeys then a road trip to Bundi, Rajasthan will give you the opportunity to take breaks at the roadside villages, farms, and Dhabas, and explore them too.
One-way bus fare to Bundi from Delhi starts from Rs.400, from Jaipur Rs.250, from Kota Rs.50, from Ajmer Rs.180, from Jodhpur Rs. 270, and from Indore Rs.350. If you are driving to the town in your personal vehicle then you can consider taking National and State highways.
By Rail. Bundi Railway station is the nearest train station to reach the town. The station is well connected to other metro cities and receives regular and frequent trains from all parts of India. From the train station, one is required to cover a distance of 3km via locally available transport such as auto, taxi or a bus.
Seats on Mewar Express and Dehradun Express can be reserved if you are arriving from Delhi, JP NGP Express from Jaipur, Santragachi Express and MDJN KOAA Express from Ajmer, Haldighati Express and Humsafar Express from Kota. Train journeys are economical and comfortable hence you may consider travelling by train.
By Air. Jaipur is the nearest airport to the city of Bundi situated at a distance of 200km. Travelling by air to Rajasthan is a faster and much more comfortable option that you can opt for in case of time constraint.
AirAsia, IndiGo, and Air India run non-stop flights from Delhi to Jaipur. If you are arriving from Mumbai then you may pick SpiceJet, GoAir, IndiGo or Air India airlines for their non-stop flights to Jaipur. IndiGo, GoAir, and AirAsia run direct flights from Bengaluru and if travelling from Kolkata then you have to travel via connecting flights. You may also travel via direct flights from Bhopal run by SpiceJet and AirIndia.