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Lying well off the most-travelled tourist trails around Rajasthan, Bundi languishes in a kind of time warp, its dusty backstreets lined with more crumbling stucco havelis (mansions) than concrete blocks. The town’s dominant landmark, overshadowing the flat-topped houses of the walled quarter around its base, is a magnificent multi-storeyed palace whose wings rise up the sides of a bare hill. Though rather dilapidated, the complex holds some exceptionally fine early-seventeenth-century murals, rendered in rich turquoise, lapis blue, green, purple and scarlet. A small waterside palace on the outskirts was where Rudyard Kipling wrote his classic India novel, Kim.