Bundi is truly one of Rajasthan’s “hidden gems”, sufficiently far off the region’s most popular tourist trails to receive only a trickle of visitors, yet full of traditional atmosphere thanks to the presence, on a hill overlooking the town, of a spectacular multi-storeyed palace, which seems about to topple from its seat into the patchwork of flat rooftops and walled havelis below.
Inside, the former royal apartments hold a collection of vibrant early 17th century murals, rendered in rich turquoise, lapis blue, green, purple and scarlet. The finest are those of the Chitra Sala, a garden terrace whose paintings depict sensuous scenes of dalliance and dancing from the Krishna story.
The well-preserved old town itself is crammed with wonderful antique buildings and bazaars, and a scattering of splendid step wells. In the Sukh Mahal, a diminutive lakeside retreat north of Bundi on the shores of Jait Sagar, Rudyard Kipling spent a few months in the late 19th century writing Kim.