The fort in Bundi was on top of the hill and looked down at the Garh Palace and its artificial lake.
Like the Fort, the Palace had the appearance of having been abandoned many years ago. The lush bougainvillea had overgrown and softened the walls with its red and pink flowers. Carved stone windows let in the breezes but kept the hot sun out. The Palace consisted of multiple ‘mansions’ that rose out of the ground with many tiers. It was entered through a grand elephant-sized door: the Hathi Pol or Elephant Gate.A sign at the gate informed us that the Elephant Gate was built in 1620. From the inside looking out at the elephants over the entrance.A sign reminded us of how to behave in a heritage monument. A carved marble throne fit for a Raja in a balcony.
A series of rooms overlooked the interior courtyard. More elephants. A painted medallion on a ceiling.A wall painting of battling elephants.
Dark mirrored tiles outlined in red formed floral ornamentation. A pillared entry leading into the hall of frescos. The walls of this section of the Palace were covered with frescos, mirrors and niches. I loved the exquisite colours of the paintings in the niches.Mural of the Raja’s men, elephants and horses on the march. A wall painting of the palace and grounds.Even the ceilings were full of painted detail.In other parts of the palace both the architecture and the paintings had much less detail. We exited through a different, more dangerous-looking door. The formal garden outside Garh Palace overlooking the city.
The Attack of the Bees.
I had almost killed myself in the plastic-bottomed shoes I had been wearing coming down from the fort on the polished cobble stones the night before. To explore the area the next day I was wearing runners which did considerably better on the slippery stones.
About half-way down there was a jewelry store so we stopped in. We had just made our way into a second room when there was a huge ruckus outside, and three panicked tourists came flying into the store followed by a swarm of bees, and about 15 seconds later a boy loaded down with packs.
All of them and the shop assistants ran into the second room with us, slamming the door behind them. Crash! the glass in the door broke, and a mass bees flew in, buzzing angrily. The two staff moved quickly, taping some card over the break, and then efficiently killing off any bees that had made it into the inner sanctum. Through the glass wall dividing the two rooms we could see the huge mass of bees attacking all the windows, the ones between us and them, and the windows going outside.
“There’s one in my hair, it’s in my hair,” the girl screamed and Al managed to get it out with his sweat rag.
She had been wearing flip-flops, and being unable to run down the slippery slope, she had thrown her camera and pack to the ground. After that she had panicked about the pack and camera. Her poor boyfriend had gone back for them and arrived in the safe haven with maybe 40 stings or more. An older English couple had also been stung but not so much, and the shop assistants were stung as well.
One of the shop assistants got out a white crumbly stone and mixed it with some bottled water to make a paste. After pulling out all the stingers, two of them applied the paste to the many stings the boyfriend had acquired in the process of saving his girlfriend’s luggage.His girlfriend had been stung several times in the middle of her forehead, and with the white paste she looked “like one of those painted cows!” said her boyfriend. She was not impressed with this, and somewhat peeved, even though he had put himself at considerable risk to go back and fetch her luggage…But this was only the beginning of our adventures that day…