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The town and palace, Boondee.

The town and palace, Boondee.

Photographer: Impey, Eugene Clutterbuck

Medium: Photographic print

Date: 1860

Shelfmark: Photo 971/(61)

Item number: 97161

Genre: Photograph

Photograph from an album of 80 albumen prints taken by Eugene Clutterbuck Impey. Bundi, near Mewar in Rajasthan, is shielded by the jagged hills of the Vindhya range. It was the capital of the Hara Chauhan clan of Rajputs (who took the title of 'Rao'), and whose stronghold lay in the formidable Taragarh fort looming over the modest walled town. Beneath the high walls of the fort, their palace nestled on the hill. The fort was founded by Rao Deva in 1241, the palace was built between the 17th and 18th centuries when Bundi flourished. Provided with its own high and thick walls, the palace contains many attractive structures, including the Ratan Mahal (built by Rao Ratan Singh, ruled 1607-31), the Chatar Mahal (by Rao Chattrasal, ruled 1631-58) and the Chitra Shali (built by Rao Umed Singh, ruled 1739-70). Bundi was a centre of manuscript painting from the 17th century. Bundi town contains a wide variety of havelis (mansions), temples, stepwells and gardens in the Rajput style.

Rudyard Kipling wrote of Bundi, ‘Jeypore Palace may be called the Versailles of India; Udaipur's House of State is dwarfed by the hills round it and the spread of the Pichola Lake; Jodhpur's House of strife, gray towers on red rock, is the work of giants, but the Palace of Bundi, even in broad daylight, is such a palace as men build for themselves in uneasy dreams - the work of goblins rather than of men.'

Rudyard Kipling, ‘Letters of Marque’, (1899)

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