History of Bundi
Bundi has witnessed the time flow by. Host to countless battles, its forts speak volumes about the district’s rich history. Amidst the desert covered Rajasthan, Bundi is like an Oasis with its rivers, lakes and majestic waterfalls. Being a princely state, the British left them options of forming an independent state, or to be a part of the Union of India or the newly formed country Pakistan, of which their ruler decided to accede to India.
In its early, ancient history, Bundi was home to different tribes, of which, Parihar Meenas were the most powerful. Bundi has gone through changes in its name quite a lot. Being called as Bunda-ka-nal in the early days, it was also named as Haroti, when Rao Deva Hada took over the place from Jaita Meena.
As with most of the olden states, Bundi’s history can be predominantly divided into two parts : Mughal and British. The rulers of Bundi, called Raos, became close allies with Akbar, ever since Rao Surjan gave him the Ranthambore fort. Rao Ratan Singh Hada was a close friend of Jahangir and selflessly supported him during Mughal prince Khurram’s viscous rebellion. The Rao ended up getting his own sons wounded in the efforts.
The Rao during Shah Jahan’s time, Chhattra Sal, was made the governor of Delhi. The relationship between Raos and Mughals became a bit sour when Aurangzeb attacked Bundi to gain control, but his efforts went in vain. Strangely, after the attack Aurangzeb became good friends with the Rao, so much that he fought for him against the valiant hero Shivaji. Rao Buddh Singh didn’t enjoy a peaceful reign either. A bitter feud broke out between him and the Kachwaha rulers. He had to let go of his kingdom many times before dying in exile. It was only the help of Marathas which helped the subsequent Rao to gain the kingdom back.
But during the twilight of the British kingdom, their relationship with Marathas also became fragile. Accused of treachery, the Raos had to pay heavy tributes to the Marathas until they succumbed to the offer from East India Company to adhere to them, during the reign of one Bishan Singh.
It was Bishan Singh’s son, ‘’Maharao’’ Raja Ram Singh who enjoyed the best years on the throne. Being the ruler for nearly seven decades, Bundi became a striving and prosperous kingdom. With sufficient help from the British, Ram Singh’s era saw the economy ever rising. Although his son accession can be deemed unlucky, as Raghubir Singh had to bear with two disastrous famines, which caused death and a massive diaspora. Raghubir and his successors offered full support to the British during the World Wars.
After going through so many administrative changes, Bundi is now an integral city of Rajasthan, ever since its accession to India after the 1947 post- Independence partition.