Flag of Bundi State 1342 AD/CE to 1949 AD/CE

Continent: Asia

Jhalawar-Tonk map.jpg

Established: 1342 AD/CE

Disestablished: 1949 AD/CE


In ancient times, the area around Bundi was apparently inhabited by various local tribes, of which the Parihar Tribes Meena were prominent. Bundi and the eponymous princely state are said to derive their names from a former Meena tribe chief called Bunda Meena. Bundi was previously called “Bunda-Ka-Nal", Nal meaning “narrow ways”. Bundi is situated in a narrow valley within the Aravalli Hills in Rajasthan.

Later the region was governed by Rao Deva, who took over Bundi from Jaita Meena in 1242, renaming the surrounding area as Haravati or Haroti. For the next two centuries, the Hadas of Bundi were the vassals of the Sisodias of Mewar and ruled by the title of Rao until 1569, when Emperor Akbar conferred the title of Rao Raja upon Rao Surjan Singh after the surrender of Ranthambore Fort and his submission. In 1632, Rao Raja Chattar Sal became the ruler, he was one of the most valiant, principled and just kings of Bundi. He built the temple of Keshavarao at Keshoraipatan and Chathra Mahal at Bundi. He became king of Bundi after his grandfather Rao Ratan Singh, as his father Gopinath died while Ratan Singh was still ruling. He saw service with the Mughal forces as head of his Hada Chauhan Rajput troop and was considered an integral part of Mughal army by Shahjahan. Rao Chattar Sal was trusted by Dara Shikoh with governorship of Delhi, a rare privilege for a Hindu. He remained loyal to Shah Jahan and Dara Shikoh during the rebellion of Aurangzeb despite many temptations and even threats from Aurangzeb. Rao Chattar Sal died fighting valiantly as the head of his Hada Rajput troops in the Battle of Samugarh in 1658 along with his youngest son Bharat Singh. Rao Bhao Singh (1658–1678) the eldest son of Chhattar Sal succeeded his father to the throne of Bundi. In 1707, Bahadur Shah I conferred the title of Maharao Raja upon Raja Budh Singh.

In 1804 Rao Raja Bishan Singh (1773–1821) gave valuable assistance to Colonel Monson in his disastrous retreat before Holkar, in revenge for which the Maratha Empire and Pindaris continually ravaged his state and forced the kingdom to pay tribute up to 1817. Consequently, Bishan Singh made a subsidiary alliance with the British East India Company on 10 February 1818, which brought him under its protection. was responsible for the creation of the pleasure palace of Sukh Niwas on the outskirts of Bundi.

Maharao Raja Ram Singh (1821–89) grew up to be a much-respected ruler who initiated economic and administrative reforms and established schools for the teaching of Sanskrit. On the throne for 68 years, he was described as a grand specimen of the Rajput gentleman and "the most conservative prince in conservative Rajputana." His rule was popular and beneficial; and though during the mutiny of 1857 his attitude was equivocal, he continued to enjoy the confidence of the British, being created G.C.S.I. and a counselor of the empire in 1877 and C.I.E. in 1878. He was succeeded by his adopted son Raghubir Singh (1889–1927), who was made a K.C.S.I. in 1897 and a G.C.I.E. in 1901. His reign was blighted by two disastrous famines. Despite his best efforts at alleviation, the population of his kingdom was reduced from some 258,000 to 171,000 by 1901 due to death and emigration.

Maharao Bahadur Singh (1945–77) also supported the British and served in the Burma campaign, where he earned the Military Cross for his gallantry before succeeding to the throne. He was a guest at 1947 wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

At the time of the partition of India in 1947, the British abandoned their suzerainty over the princely states, which were left to decide whether to remain independent or to accede to the newly independent Dominion of India or to Pakistan. The ruler of the state of Bundi decided to accede to India, which later became the Union of India. This brought the internal affairs of Bundi under the control of Delhi. Bundi's last ruler signed the accession to the Indian Union on 7 April 1949.