Off the beaten Track : Bundi

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When we talk about the land of the kings, we talk about the sand dunes of Jaisalmer, the grandeur of Pink City, the serenity of the city of lakes, the sweets of Jodhpur. But what goes unheard in the talks of tourist circuit is the quaint yet so peaceful town of Bundi. Relatively untouched, unspoiled and captivating are some of the adjectives which suits Bundi. If you ask me about my favorite place in   Rajasthan I would say Bundi, hands down!

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Five reasons why Bundi should be a part of your Bucket List : 

1) The Small Town Feeling
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Time to get ready for the day 😉

Go for a walk and be ready to be amazed by the simplicity of Bundi. You don’t have to go toJodhpur to witness the blue city. Bundi is a much better option. Being small, Bundi is the sort of place where you will start making connections even if you stay just for a day.

2) Tea Lovers’s Haven

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The tea at Krishna Tea Stall!!!

Meet Mr. Krishna. This guy is awesome. Let’s call him a trend setter. Who would have thought that selling tea could be so cool that one fine day people would be coming here and painting his shop with uber cool graffiti. Not just graffiti, as you sit and wait for your masala chai, Mr. Krishna will show you his books. He has 5 such books. These books are the collection of testimonials dedicated to him by his loyal  customers who came from different places of the world just to try the Chai at Krishna Tea Stall.

“What’s the Special Indian Tea”, when I asked.He gave us a big smile and says “Bum Bhole” possibly signaling to Bhang. He then told us how special attention is given to cleanliness in his shop. The most interesting part of Krishna tea stall is the entire setup. Walls decorated with witty captions and sketches makes way for a perfect place to relax as you gulp your masala chai.

2016-01-16 18.04.42Bhaiyya 2 chai please!!!

Mr. Krishna showed us how making tea is an art in itself. He takes an eternity to serve just a glass of masala chai. But he does it with all his enthusiasm and passion. Mr. Krishna is a living example of the fact that if you are doing what you love to do and put your heart and soul to it apart from the finely blended masalas ( which is a magical combination of god-knows-what ) you can sell tea for a living!

Not just for a living, but living life in style. Just walk through his shop once and you will get to know the happiness he achieves in just serving tea to travelers all around the world. Thelocation of the place is ‘Indian’ to say the least. It’s on the side of a crowded lane which would ideally go unnoticed if Mr. Krishna was not there to welcome his customers with his customary Namaste plus a million dollar smile. I used the word ‘Indian’ because this is the kind of place where two uncles who are on their way to home after buying groceries would sit and discuss all sorts of topics ranging from Cricket to politics to Rajputji’s son getting placed in a software firm. Soon another uncle would turn up and shift the discussion towards Modiji’s role as a prime minister. Well this could happen only in India where 3 random people would meet at a tea stall and start discussing the future of a country over Masala chai. FYI : There is a caption denoted on the walls “Kripya Faltu Baithe.” It seems some people started taking it way too seriously :p

DSC01056~~~Go paint the world ~~~

Now this ‘Indian’ setting also has a hip style flavor to it. Thanks to travelers from all over  the world. Be ready to be bowled over by some amazing colorful depictions ranging from a meditating Buddha to captions denoting Om Shanti Om. Some of them looked so  mysterious that gave a feeling that the artist must was high on Special Indian Tea. Further inside, there’s a small room which has more posters. My God! I was not expecting this overdose of creativity before coming to Krishna Tea stall perhaps by how the title sounded.  Had a feeling that this would be just another Tapri style setting selling good masala chai. But there was more to it than just Masala Chai. Perhaps you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover and a tea stall by it’s name. Another crucial lesson learned. For those of you who are wondering what’s a ‘Tapri’, Tapris are usually small tea stalls which exist mostly around  places like Indian colleges ( A place where tea kicks in and where sharing sutta is an  unwritten rule as well as a sign of brotherhood ) Now for those of you who are wondering what the hell is a ‘sutta’, it’s a slang for a cigarette. Needless to say nicotine kills and  srijalism doesn’t favor their consumption in any way.

DSC01065Let’s get high on tea tonight

3) Street food at it’s best :
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Don’t miss the Gazar Halwa!!!

Delicacies ranging from tasty Burgers to tangy Patashas ( also known as Golgappas ). What piqued our interests in not just Bundi but the whole of Rajasthan is the price at which they serve those Golgappas. 5 pieces of awesomeness served at just Rs. 10! Do we need another reason to visit Rajasthan dear readers!

DSC01072How about some foodgasm for now 😀

Apart from these you will find ‘Burgers’ priced at Rs. 10 once you are here. Let me not spoil the surprise by describing you about them. But you just try the delicious and pocket friendly burgers in Rajasthan. You will get them everywhere right from Jaipur to Bundi. Now coming to South Indian cuisines like Cut piece Masala Dosa. In fact gone are those days. We no longer have the right to call it as South Indian food. Dosas and Idlis have found their way in the almost every part of India, from Chennai to Rajasthan and beyond. Once you are done with snacks. There are wide range of sweets to satiate your taste buds. The carrot halwa is the must have dessert.

4) The pluralist society :
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Ever tried one of these!!!

No wonder we call India as the perfect example of amalgamation of all cultures. The celebration of all festivals irrespective of geography is fascinating in itself. We got the chance to witness one such day in the town of Bundi. It was the procession of Sikhs in celebration of Guru Parwa ( an important day in the life of all Sikhs ) But this procession was not just about Sikh community. Everyone walked on the streets with equal enthusiasm. This again proves the fact that nothing unites us together better than our festivals.

5) Go Sight Seeing :

b2The smoothest ride ever 😉

Last but not the least, go sight seeing : Wake up early morning, rent a moped, trust googlemaps and start your day by visiting the temple of Rameshwaram. There’s a petrol station just near the lake. On the way to the temple which is around 20 kms from Bundi, get ready to get lost in the paddy fields and mountains along the way. Keep your eyes open and thank your stars for the day as you will pass through some oldest of the old temples in ruins! The best part is that no one bothers to visit them.

So while the world is busy clicking selfies with Camels at Sand dunes of Jaisalmer, you would have just witnessed the real beauty of Rajasthan. Mind you : The real beauty of Rajasthan lies not necessarily at the most famous places, but in detours along the way to Bundi.

DSC01100And that’s where detours take you 🙂

In those detours you will see numerous dhabas with the following message : “Yahan Bhang Ka Thheka Liya Jata Hai” (We do sell Bhang here) Don’t stop there, you would not want to get wasted this early morning and miss out on the remaining part of exploration. Of course you could save such things for later.

bhangThe road to.. Umm, Nowhere 😛

But now, back to sight seeing. By this time you would be hungry, come back to Bundi and treat yourself with Deluxe Thhali, priced at Rs. 80. The Sev tamatar will taste heavenly, And you deserve this 🙂 Now brace yourselves for the remaining part of the day. Start by visiting Raniji Ki Baori. Get a combined ticket of Rs. 100 ( if you’re Indian) and Rs. 300 ( for a foreigner )

Raniji ki Baori is a step well which is an architectural delight. It will awe you and disappointment you at the same time. The disappointment is due to the fact that it’s not maintained in the way it deserves. There’s garbage everywhere. Had Raniji been alive today, she would be disgusted to find out how the step well looks like today! She would not be happy to say the least.

DSC01131Dear Authorities, What a pleasantly clean sight.

Once you are done with Raniji ki Baori, head to outskirts of Bundi and get ready to soak yourself in the peacefulness of Sukh Mahal. FYI : Rudyard Kipling stayed here for 2 days and wrote very highly of valuable significance of Bundi’s man made and natural heritage. Next is the 84 pillared Cenotaph, another architectural delight. End your day of sight seeing by witnessing the sunset at the Bundi Fort. Voila! We are done for the day 🙂

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Bundi is like a book which goes unread due to the presence of other bestsellers in the market. Go read that book yourself & brace yourselves to be pleasantly surprised by the frangance of it’s words. Dear Rajasthan, thank you for one of the best chapters of my life 🙂 See you again dear readers with another detour. How’s life?? Hope everything’s awesome 🙂 If not, then let’s make it 😉

 

 

 

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