Bundi-The less known facts

A hidden gem of Rajasthan which is raw, less explored and culturally very rich. The commercialization has not reached its wicked side yet.

To experience real Bundi live in the old city near to the Bundi Palace/Taragarh fort which is approximate 6km (15 min) from the railway station. Train is the most convinient way to arrive in Bundi from Delhi, Udaipur, Kota, Jaipur or Chittorgarh.

My pick for the accommodation will definitely be Dev Niwas. The heritage hotel has stunning views of the fort and the old city. The Staff is courteous and the food is finger licking good. Some specialities to try is Laal maas and gatte ki sabji.

They have rooms for all budget travelers starting Rs 1000 to rs 7000. And all the sights are accessible on foot.

In the morning you will have a gala time watchig the langurs taking long leaps from one house to the other.

On the walk to the fort around 8am, you can see small local shops selling samosas, kachoris, tea, jalebi and some namkeens. You will find cafes but not the polished ones like in Udaipur. The cafe are run by the young lads of the local family and the food is cooked by either their mums or sister. The extension on the balcony or porch with the colorful furniture and some greens are enough to get you the traveler’s vibe.

That’s not it, there are couple of historic sites to keep your day busy. My favourite was the Rani ji ki baoli- reallu amusing that in olden days people had the imagination and creativity to build a stepwell for everyone’s convinience.

Its is an excellent weekend getaway for people who want to experience raw culture.

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The cold dessert of Lahaul & Spiti (NARKANDA- CHITKUL)

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After 3 months of no travel, finally the day came when I could get on with my wishlisted trip of lahaul  and spiti circuit.
Left on the Friday evening,  took a volvo till shimla. Our badluck, it rained on Friday in delhi, so the consiquence was a major jam, which caused delay.

At 10am the volvo dropped us at the outskirts of shimla, and since I had backpacked to this place before , so knew taxi was an expensive option, instead we boarded the intracity bus and got dropped ahead of old bus stand. From there the lift to the mall road was a walkable distance. Suprisingly there wasn’t the amount of crowd I expected to be on a weekend. We quickly freshend up and had our lunch. Post that we walked through the market downhill towards the bus stop, through the long canal, amidst locals, with an 8kg backpack and on the top, it was rainning !  We had to board a bus to Narkanda , luckily got into one which was just about to leave, it was packed, no seats were available.  We had been travelling for almost 18 hrs by then, needed a seat badly , we did get it but after 2hrs of standing in a Zig Zag ride and swaying at every turn. Body and eyes were shouting for a warm bath and a comfy bed.

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After 3 hrs 30 min we were at Narkanda which has 3-4 roadside motels, exorbitantly priced. Got into one, paid 1600 per room after negotiation.

Next day was a long one, we targeted 8 am to catch a bus to ‘karcham’ . Unlike Shimla bus stand we had to wait for 1 hr for the bus. The bus journey was beautiful. The landscape became more scenic as we headed from district Shimla to kinnaur.

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But through out the way it was rainning,  which made the route, all the more riskier.

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Day 2- Travel time to reach destination (CHITKUL) was 8 hrs.
Reached karcham after 6 hrs, it is just a name on the map, you cannot  find even a chai or a cigarette shack there. Thank God we immediately got a bus to Sangla. It’s a detour of 18km from NH22 and has a very limited bus service.

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A 1.5 hr of roller coaster ride on the narrow, twisty and deconstructed  road literally got our hearts in our mouth. The Baspa river gushing on one side. On reaching we took a sigh of relief, ate some “assorted  veg Pakora and teas” to calm us. It was cold, we had to take our quilt jackets out.  Now was the delima , since it was already 5pm and we planned to reach Chitkul which is 1.5hrs further, the same day. But sangla was not a beauty and we didn’t want to waste our day. There is only one bus which is owned by the resident of sangla, so it moves as per the situation of the village. If there is a wedding the bus will go in the baraat, and will leave the travellers to figure out their own mode of transport.

Alas we got a cab, on negotiation we brought him to Rs1000 for just dropping us 24km further to sangla. In delhi ncr I ride an uber for 30 km in just Rs400, so this came as a shocker.

Good that we went to chitkul because it was worth a night stay.

Chilling breeze
3 small restaurants
Accommodation ranging  between INR 400-4000
Tibetan dogs as size of me.
A beautiful temple.
Travelers to share experiences.

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