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"Taragarh Fort must have been built by angels not by human beings," commented Rudyard Kipling.

It looks beautiful. A steep climb up the hill, then through enormous gates decorated with elephants which are now in ruins, we were inside the Taragarh Fort of Bundi. In its heydays this fort was well known for the tunnels criss-crossing the entire hill side facilitating the King and his men to flee in case of imminent defeat in wars. Most of the tunnels are blocked with rubbles now.

The Taragarh Fort, or 'Star Fort' is the most impressive of the city's structures. It was constructed in AD 1354 upon the top of steep hillside overlooking the city. The largest of its battlements is the 16th century bastion known as the Bhim Burj, on which was once mounted a particularly large cannon called Garbh Gunjam, or 'Thunder from the Womb'. The fort is a popular tourist viewpoint of the city below. The fort contains three tanks which never dry up. The technique with which they were built has been long since lost but the tanks survive as a testament to the advanced methods of construction and engineering in medieval India.

In ancient times, the area around Bundi was apparently inhabited by various local tribes, of which the Parihar Meenas were prominent. Bundi and the eponymous princely state are said to derive their names from a former Meena king called Bunda Meena. Bundi was previously called "Bunda-Ka-Nal", Nal meaning "narrow ways".

The Bundi’s Garh Palace which is situated on the hillside adjacent to the Taragarh Fort, is entered through the Hathi Pole (Elephant Gate) into a small courtyard. This picture is taken from the courtyard, so we’re actually looking out of the palace/fort from this POV. The trunks of the elephants can be seen as silhouettes on the upper part of the gate. The view of the gate from outside can be seen in the Workshop. Beautiful murals adorn the ceiling of this gate and the primary ‘subject’- the sun, in the centre.

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7851 W: 324 N: 16060] (56760)
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