The architectural wonders of Bundi kept me overwhelmed for the day. Since I visited for one day only and I had to pick the most iconic places to visit in Bundi, 84 Pillared Cenotaph was still untouched in my list. The name itself was pretty impressive and kept me glued to visit here. I had to return to Gurgaon the same night thus I was in no mood to leave this place without visiting. It was far from Sukh Palace and as I told in my earlier post, there are no regular public transport services, no Ola, Uber or any other sort of cab facility; it’s just the local auto-rickshaws.
I had taken a combined ticket for three places i.e. Raniji Ki Baori, Sukh Niwas Palace and Chaurasi Khambhon ki Chhatri or 84 Pillared Cenotaph in Bundi which was a great relief. After spending an hour or so at Sukh Niwas Mahal, I came out on the road in search of auto-rickshaws; I found a couple of them but I didn’t like the prices the drivers quoted.
Well, after walking for a while on the road aimlessly, I finally met with an auto wallah who agreed to drop me at 84 Pillared Cenotaph at reasonable price.
They say you can’t count all pillars of 84 Pillared Cenotaph Bundi
As the name suggests, the cenotaph (chhatri) has 84 pillars. But when I counted them one by one on both the storeys, I couldn’t count 84. In my first counting, I had reached up to 80 and then in my second counting, I could only count 82. I was two pillars away from reaching 84. There was one more family who too counted and could only count 82 pillars as I did.
I researched some information about it and found that it is a trick to count all the 84 pillars. If you are someone who has never been to Chaurasi Khambho ki Chhatri before, you will have difficulty counting them all; just like I had. However, you take the help of some local person who knows about this place and he will make you count all the 84 pillars of the cenotaph.
84 Pillared Cenotaph was built to show affection and respect
There are countless monuments in India which were built it the memory of someone; be it the world famous Taj Mahal. Some monuments are dedicated to loved ones, some to parents, friends, etc. This architectural beauty of Bundi also has a story behind its construction.
As per the records, 84 Pillared Cenotaph was built by Rao Raja Anirudh in 1683. The king was raised and grown up by his nurse named Deva. Thus, the king had great affection and fondness for Deva. He got this monument built in honour of the nurse. This monument is also known as Music Maharani Chhatri. It is also mentioned at some places that Deva was the king’s foster brother.
Architectural Style of 84 Pillared Cenotaph Bundi
The land of Rajasthan is known for its royal architectural monuments including forts, palaces and chhatris (cenotaphs) which are thousand years old. This is a double-storeyed monument supported by strong 84 pillars or khamba. The moment you enter inside the main chamber climbing up the steps, you will see a shiv ling in the centre and intricately designed patterns on the walls of the monuments. The paintings on the ceiling remind me of Egyptian hieroglyphs. There are 4 cenotaphs located on all 4 corners of the monument. The upper core cenotaph is supported by 16 pillars and a dome overpowers it. The stonework and marble work on this monument is remarkable and is a fine example of the style which was famous among the Hadoti kings.
84 Pillared Cenotaphs is currently surrounded by human settlements however its royal charm is still breath-taking and its gloriousness can be seen through its architecture, design and decoration when it is lit up during the night, adorned with impressive carvings of elephants, deer, and apsaras. A part of the cenotaph has been damaged but this majestic monument still attracts people from far off.
I must have spent at an hour, getting overwhelmed by this beauty. This was the last site of my Bundi. I was already tired at Taragarh Fort and I was hungry. I needed a nice place to sit and have some scrumptious meal. I came on the road leaving the cenotaph behind and an auto wallah stopped by. I asked him if there was any nice restaurant where I could sit for a while, freshen up and have a nice meal. He dropped me at a place which I badly needed. I relaxed there for a while, ate up to my fill and headed to the bus stand.