BUNDI, or Boondee, a native state of India, in the Rajputana agency, lying on the north-east of the river Chambal, in a hilly tract historically known as Haraoti, from the Hara sept of the great clan of Chauhan Rajputs, to which the maharao raja of Bundi belongs. It has an area of 2220 sq. m. Many parts of the state are wild and hilly, inhabited by a large Mina population, formerly notorious as a race of robbers. Two rivers, the Chambia and the Mej, water the state; the former is navigable by boats. In 1901 the population was 171,227, showing a decrease of 42% due to the effects of famine. The estimated revenue is £46,000, the tribute £8000. There is no railway, but the metalled road from Kotah to the British cantonment of Deoli passes through the state. The town of Bundi had a population in 1901 of 19,313. A school for the education of boys of high rank was opened in 1897.
The state of Bundi was founded about A.D. 1342 by the Hara chief Rao Dewa, or Deoraj, who captured the town from the Minas. Its importance, however, dates from the time of Rao Surjan, who succeeded to the chieftainship in 1554 and by throwing in his lot with the Mahommedan emperors of Delhi (1569) received a considerable accession of territory. From this time the rulers of Bundi bore the title of rao raja. In the 17th century their power was curtailed by the division of Haraoti into the two states of Kotah and Bundi; but they continued to play a prominent part in Indian history, and the title of maharao raja was conferred on Budh Singh for the part played by him in securing the imperial throne for Bahadur Shah I. after the death of Aurangzeb in 1707. In 1804 the maharao raja Bishan Singh gave valuable assistance to Colonel Monson in his disastrous retreat before Holkar, in revenge for which the Mahratas and Pindaris continually ravaged his state up to 1817. On the 10th of February 1818, by a treaty concluded with Bishan Singh, Bundi was taken under British protection. In 1821 Bishan Singh was succeeded by his son Ram Singh, who ruled till 1889. He is described as a grand specimen of the Rajput gentleman, and “the most conservative prince in conservative Rajputana.” His rule was popular and beneficent; and though during the mutiny of 1857 his attitude was equivocal, he continued to enjoy the favour of the British government, being created G.C.S.I. and a counsellor of the empire in 1877 and C.I.E. in 1878. He was succeeded by his son Raghubir Singh, who was made a K.C.S.I. in 1897 and a G.C.I.E. in 1901.