Taragarh Fort, Bundi, India.
About visiting this old Indian Fort at Bundi Town in Rajasthan. Taragarh Fort is an interesting Indian Fort which is sat within the Aravalli Hills quite high above the Indian town of Bundi in Rajasthan, India. The fort, which was constructed in 1354 A.D., is more or less rhomboid in shape with the majority of the buildings inside it situated on it's southern side overlooking Garh
Palace, Bundi Town and Nawal Sagar Lake. The outline shape of the fort could vaguely be considered to look like a star therefore the name Taragarh can become "Tara" which in Hindi means "star" and of course "garh" means "fort" - thus another name for Taragarh Fort is "Star Fort". A further substantial wall and fortification was added to
the fort in the 18th century by Sawai Jai Singh of Jaipur.
Visiting Taragarh Fort at Bundi and several things to be aware of including monkeys and snakes. Access to Taragarh Fort (and Garh Palace) is at the far end of the car park and this is also where the ticket office is located. Entry times for both are from 0800 to 1700 daily. The entrance fee to the Fort is 100
Rupees for non-Indians plus there is anyway an additional charge of 50 Rupees if you have a camera.
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Taragarh Fort gate
Garh Palace view
Taragarh Fort and Garh Palace
Taragarh Fort building
Just by the carpark there is often a local Indian who will offer to hire you a bamboo stick for a few rupees. Unless you have your own walking pole it is a good idea to get one of these to take with you for a few reasons. There are for a start many monkeys around both in the
Palace and also around the several gates on the way up to the fort. Since these naughty monkeys are quite keen on jumping near or even onto people walking by them then the sticks will usually keep them away. Secondly the locals will keep going on about the presence of Cobra both in the Palace and up at the Fort. The grounds up at Taragarh Fort are to say the least very overgrown so
wandering around there with a "noisy" stick does no harm if there are snakes about - also a bit of tapping while looking inside the Fort's fairly ruined buildings should also drop a hint to any nearbye snake to clear off.
Having purchased your entry tickets the route for the Fort goes past both the Garh Palace and Chittrasala entrances and then through a Pol (the gate
is usually closed probably due to it's poor condition and you have to go via a small side gate on the right here and this bit is infested with monkeys).
Taragarh Fort Pol
Taragarh Fort Main Gate
Taragarh Fort dry tank
Taragarh Fort paintings
Taragarh Fort walls
Taragarh Fort baori
Fort small water tank
Rani Mahal Baori
Rani Mahal Baori
Rani Mahal balcony
Rani Mahal gate
Chota jiv Rakha
Taragarh Fort baradari
Taragarh Fort baradari hall
A good time to go up to Taragarh Fort is first thing in the morning when it's a bit cooler - the wide cobbled path is pretty steep in places and most of the time goes between quite heavy vegetation - great views of Bundi and the area
below just get even better as you ascend. There are no facilities of any kind up at the fort so remember to take a good supply of water to drink, wearing a brimmed hat is a good idea and finally something reasonable on your feet is pretty important too.
Sadly the Fort's several Gates are in a terribly
dilapidated state of repair - you can still see vestiges of paint and design so at one time they must have been quite magnificent. Some of the large metal spikes on the gate panels still exist - these were to deter war-elephants trying to break them down. There are a variety of buildings up at the fort to look round including a small palace called Rani Mahal. Around it's Baradari
courtyard you can see a few paintings but again these have sadly been allowed to deteriorate. There are no particular carvings to be seen at the Fort - probably because it was constructed from very hard green serpentine stone which was locally sourced. One of the features of Taragarh Fort are the several Baori which were hewn out of the rocks. These quite large stepped tanks are in
generally quite good condition and were built to provide water for Garh Palace, for the town and also for the Fort itself if under seige. It is said that the Fort had a quite extensive network of tunnels which also connected back into Garh Palace but there is no obvious sign of these to look at.
Taragarh Fort baradari
Taragarh Fort tank
Taragarh Fort baori
Taragarh Fort burj
Bheem Burj bastion
Taragarh Fort views
Bhai Deva cenotaph
The battlements and towers within the fort are very powerfull in appearance - the tallest is Bheem Burj which is more or less in the centre of the fort's area. A rusty sign at the start of the cobbled path up to it actually seems to indicate visitors should not go on up to the Burj however it is worth the climb since the views from it's top battlements are spectacular. Just a little way from the Bheem Burj there is a particularly nice stepped baori rather hidden in the
undergrowth and further along from there a quite nicely shaped cenotaph sits just alongside the fort's southern battlments. There are once again good views of the countryside including Jait Saga (lake).
Be careful when walking back down from the fort - the cobbled path is quite slippery and difficult to walk down especially on the steeper sections - maybe another good reason for
having that bamboo stick with you.
There is much more about touring in India via our India Travel and Touring Guide Home Page.
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