Krishna Kumari Mewar

A Princess whose death is a mystery.

Krishna Kumari was a Rajput princess of Mewar. I mentioned about her in my previous post,` A love story that brought upheaval- Raskapur & Swai Maharaja Jagat Singh.She was the daughter of Rana Bhim Singh of Udaipur. She was engaged to Maharaj Bhim SIngh Of Jodhpur, at an early age. He died before their marriage could take place.

It was then that other suitors for her came forward. Among them were Maharaj Man Singh of Jodhpur( deceased Bhim Singh`s younger brother) and Maharaj Swai Jagat Singh of Jaipur. This brought rivalry among the once friends, Jodhpur and Jaipur.

The rivalry of suitors escalated into a war between the rulers of the two kingdoms along with Udaipur, Gwalior, Indore and Tonk. The fact behind all this was that Mewar kings did not agree to set matrimonial alliences with Mughals, though surrendering to them. They were left poor in comparision to other neighbouring states. Thus, making hand of Krishna Kumari, princess of Mewar most desirable in the country.

In 1810 Amir Khan of Tonk attacked Jodhpur on behalf of Jaipur but later left as he was not given his due . So, after being bribed by Jodhpur he helped Man Singh. He then met Udaipur Maharana and gave him an ultimatum to give the princess hand in marriage to Jodhpur king or kill his daughter to end the war. If Maharana fails to do so, he will himself attack his kingdom. Some say Holkar of indore mediated and suggested that Maharan should marry off his princess to him, instead.

Some say chroniclers and panegyrists tried to write it off as Pathan’s suggestion but in actual, his attack and ultimatum resulted in Bhim Singh himself taking the decision to put his own daughter to death, considering as the trouble.

Mystery Of Her Death

They say how smilingly she drank the posion and chose her death over the dishonour of her clan. Actually she was not left with any other choice but to drink the poison. It is assumed that her mother was standing in the room when her father asked her to drink the poison in the name of saving her people from the disaster. And even when her mother tried to stop her she drank it.

Daulat Singh of Karjali.

Daulat Singh of Karjali was asked by Bhim Singh to accomplish the task of killing the princess but he refused to do so. Then the king gave the duty of the job to be done, to the ladies of the palace. They prepared the princess mentally and physically to drink the poison. And when she was offered the cup she drank it willingly but to their surprise she was not affected. A second cup was offered but nothing happened and the third had the same effect and she stood alive even after drinking three cups of poison. Then in last the ladies with heavy heart laced her cup with opium, the last resort. And the poor girl, drank that too without hesitation and fell asleep never to rise up.

On finding out that thousands of lives were on stake just because of her, the poor sixteen year old Krishna Kumari agreed to scarifice her life and committed suicide. In other words provoked to die and some say she was murdered.

Bhim Singh turned his daughter`s palace into a shrine owing to the memory of her courage. Still you can find that in the city palace Udaipur. A memory of a daughter of Mewar who was thus forced to commit suicide.

A love story that brought upheaval- Raskapur & Swai Maharaja Jagat Singh.

Pink city, the wold knows it better by this name instead of Jaipur or Jaypore. It is one of the largest cities of Rajasthan. Home to many forts and fortresses. The city has many stories to tell but the one I am going to share is of love, lust, conspiracies and loyalty, loyalty to kingdom and loyalty to love.

Keeping My point of view.

There are many versions making rounds and I will tell you all. But before that I want to put forward my point of view regarding such incidents in history. May be these points are still prevailing in society as political and influential tie-ups are in existence. And the point is that when a nuptial tie was made it was more for the financial and strategic benefits of the kingdom rather than the personal feelings. Thus occurred many unmatched marriages with many princesses and when the groom didn’t find the peace and love he looked for in his All wives he searched for it in the concubines and thus increasing the number of married and unmarried wives. And if by chance the king got the chance to marry his love, then also the strategic and financial pressure was there because of which he had to marry other processes also. This gave birth to polygamy and conspiracy. Many kingdoms have fallen down due to this reason alone.

Raskapur-Jaipur’s own Noor Jahan

Raskapur courtesy Adarsh Sharma Book Raskapur

Well, now I come back to the story I initially intended to tell. You can call it the story of Jaipur’s own Noor Jahan. She was born of a court dancer, whose father side was doubtful. She was beautiful, fair and talented girl, thus named Raskapur or Ras Kapoor. Kapoor (camphor) is here a symbol of fragrance in the form of talks of her beauty and talent making rounds in the city.

There used to be different departments in the then kingdom of Jaipur, each related to respected chore of the erstwhile estate. Among these was the ‘guni-khana'(department for skills, arts and talents) where she learned dancing under Paro begum.

She performed in many programs and danced her way to the Royal Court. Where she came in the eyes of the king, Sawai Maharaja Jagat Singh, who fell for her and thus began their doomed love story. She even called as Anarkali of Jaipur.

The king was already married to 21 queens and had 24 concubines but he gave his heart to only one, Raskapur. Who remained with him till his last breath.

They say, you can kill a person but you cannot kill the love one feels for someone, same was the story.

Titles to Raskapur

After she first entered court as a dancer, she was bestowed with two titles out of which of utmost importance was ‘Paswan‘ which meant ‘Close to‘ , in other words she was not the queen but close to the king and exercised same power over the king as the married queens. In some cases the power if ‘ Paswan‘ overpowered the queen’s authority. Same happened here to. Maharaja Jagat Singh found his soul mate in her and on his birthay he gave away his half kingdom, pothikhana(administration department) and one more important department to her. This gave her the right to sit in the court right beside the king on throne. She started to govern and make decisions regarding feudals, and their kingdoms. Maharaja even took her to the public gatherings on festivals along with him, on the elephant.

Maharaja Sawai Kagan Singh

He had given up the social rules and regulations and didn’t feel awkward in showing off his relation with a concubine. He made a separate palace, ‘Ras Vilas Palace’ for her near ‘Chandra Mahal‘, the abode of Royal family. It is said that she had some differences with one of the queen’s and was asked to leave the palace and thus she came to live in her own palace.

Krishna Kumari

Princess of Mewar whose death is a mystery, KRISHNA KUMARI

Between all this, The then Maharana of Mewar sent the proposal of his daughter Krishna Kumari to Maharaja Swai Jagat Singh, to which he didn’t agree but it is said that, it was Raskapur who talked him to say yes to the alliance, sighting the strategic importance of the marriage alliance.

But actually, the facts are, the Mewar princess was first engaged to Marwar Maharaja and this sudden change in equation upset him. He stopped the Procession on the way to Jaipur, in his kingdom. Feeling insulted by this, Jagat Singh prepared his army and attacked on Marwar. The Pindar chief, Amir Khan of Jhotwara took the golden opportunity to attack Jaipur. This turn table situation made him come back to Jaipur.

Different views on the end of the story

It is said that when Jagat Singh came back, the courtiers, Feudals and queens( who already were jealous of Raskapur) conspired against Raskapur and got her sentenced to prison. And from here the various views of the painful ending of a lovestory, which bloomed against all odds and under the shadows of swords and conspiracy came to an end.

One view says, that when the Maharaja was busy fighting Pindaris, his ministers and queens got her killed, in the Nahargarh fort, where she was kept prisioner. She was thrown out of the window of the room and as the fort is built on the oldest mountain range, Aravali, she fell down to her death and when the king came to know of her demise he was so heart broken that within a year he died.

NaharGarh Fort
Window from where Raskapoor is said to be thrown.

The other lore goes something like this, when the king was fighting, he got injured and later died. His last rites were being performed at the Royal funeral grounds, Gaitore. Raskapoor on hearing this, disguised herself as someone else and crossed the fort gates and reached the funeral ground and on watching the pyre on which Jagat Singh’s body was burning, she took a leap and jumped into it and burned alive with her love of life.

GAITORE
GAITORE

The third opinion is, when the Maharaja returned from war, the whole court, Feudals and the queens convinced him to sentence her to lifetime imprisonment on the self created proofs and stories of her mistrust, disloyalty and conspiracy to kill the Maharaja. Both were eagerly waiting to get the chance to meet. Meanwhile, the British made an ally with Jagat Singh, which gave small time relief to him from the neighbouring kingdoms but it was short lived as the conspirators were active knowing Maharaja’s inclination towards Raskapur. They killed him and when this news reached Raskapur she tried her best to get out of the Nahargarh fort and was able to convince one of the Feudal king, who was responsible olfor her upkeep in the prison. Then on his guarantee she was allowed to leave the prision on a promise that she will come back. But as soon as she reached the funeral grounds, she was taken back by the sight of her love burning on the pyre. The next moment, taking everyone by surprise, she jumped in the fire. The bodies burnt away leaving behind the hatred and politics, to be together in the eternal journey.

End

Thus this was the end of Jagat Singh’s short reign from 1803 to 1818 and he died young at the age of 32. He is known as the notorious king of Jaipur. It is said that Nahargarh fort is haunted by her ghost. And some say its haunted bit by couple of other ghosts. But that is another story.

Will come back with a short account of Jaipur and Jodhpur clash story because of Krishna Kumari. Ofcourse I have my point there also about woman converted to commodity. But as I said that’s another story. If you all like this one, I will come up with next one.

Update: Nahargarh is now a state run hotel.

Gaitore is a famous tourist spot now.

Haunted hunting lodge.

Hi all, I am very excited to tell you all that it is my first haunting post. I mean it is the first time I am sharing such thing. And the biggest joke I would say that I never knew about the fact though it is in my native place. I’ve grown talking about it and picnicking around it but still didn’t know that it is haunted and this makes  me share this post with you.

Odi Haveli or Lalit Vilaas

First, I will share a little history about it, actually it’s a historical monument, then will tell you the haunting part of it or as people like to believe. May be this is a recent development as I never heard of such thing till now and I bet my brother too, is unaware of the developments.

Well,as I know of the place as a hunting lodge of the royalties of Pink City. This place has three parts, two cottages like structure which look new addition to the original existing building. The actual name of the hunting lodge is ‘Lalit Vilaas’ or ‘odi haveli’ built by Jaipur ruler in the early 15th century. The location of the lodge, itself will give you the idea, how apt it was to build it there, in mid of the forest(then dense and inhabited by many wild animals like leopards, tigers, boars and other animals) is surrounded by the ‘Aravali’ ranges. When the king and his men went for hunting, they used to take halt.

But as the hunting was banned, the usage of the building was declined. Finally a time came when it was totally abandoned. And as we know, all the abandoned buildings must have story and surely have a haunted angle to them. This place also developed a haunting story.

The first Courtyard

The reason behind this is mostly two inhouse temples situated in the building which are destroyed by time and in one of them idol is missing. The big temple is of mother godess and the smaller one is of Lord Shiva. There you can find pious markings on the wall and in the godess’ temple you can find things used for worshiping. As these two are worshipped by evil forces as well, thus people established a belief that the witches have occupied this place, thus it got it’s new name ‘Chudailo ki Haveli’ or the ‘witches’ mansion’.

When you cross the temple, you reach in a courtyard where on the walls you will find ‘ chants’ written everywhere. What does they mean or the purpose, is not known. People who have gone there have heard strange sounds coming out of the main building. The main entrance door of the building often moves even though there is no wind. Inside, in the first courtyard you can see smoke markings, as if some fire is made, one or two belongings have been found.

As the building is amidst forest, it comes under the authority of Forest department, who has put a lock on it after developing a wildlife park in that forest, some years back. A social worker has reported that the movement of people and tourists, who visit the other historical monuments nearby, disturb the wildlife. People from the village used to come and offer prayers and sing. He also mentioned that there lived an elderly lonely woman in the ruins till two years back. She used to take care of the deities and after she left from there the forest department locked the place because some anti social elements used to gather there.

Some YouTubers go there just for adventure and to find some paranormal activity. And the place has become popular with adventure seekers. Some of them do feel bad for it. Because the building and the location are good and of historical importance but the government is not paying attention to it. It could be developed beautifully and play its role in development of tourism of the area.

View from one of the numerous windows

Whether ghost or no ghost, it does attract interest but needs attention or will fall.

Image courtesy: Devavrat Shekhawat

Inspired by a Theme on TPIB

I am a die hard fan of horror and spooky stories. But what if they are for real…means not mere stories but something people believe in…though I won’t believe in them nor would ask anyone to do so but for satisfying my thirst of mystery, fear and all at once…I would love to read them and feel the hair rising and tickling at the back of neck experience.

If they are folklore or legends from the past it is more thrilling, as I love history. It gives a dash of romance with the thrill, sometimes. This week at TPIB we have theme of writing about a legend…and I got the chance to indulge in my favourite genre. That gave me a new topic to write about on my blog, apart from my depressed mind’s ramblings, i.e. about horror or haunted legends wrapped in mysteries.

There are so many of them around us, so I thought to first start with my homeland, then will slowly move towards others. Hope it will entertain you as much as it’s thrilling me to write.

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A dutiful ghost of Brijrajbhawan, Kota.

Today I choose a city where I have spent 2 years of my childhood, the city of River Chambal, Kota Doria sarees, Masala Limca, Palaces and gardens, KOTA city from Hadoti region of Rajasthan.

The one I choose to narrate today is about a haunted palace or shall I say a haunted hotel? Well I will call it a heritage hotel run by the royal family of Kota!

The story takes place in the colonial India. Yes the so called ghost in this lore is a British Major.

The palace where our story begins is called “Brijrajbhawan” a residential palace of former royal family of Kota, having a resident ghost of Major Charles Burton, who was then British resident to Kota and was killed while serving by the sepoys of 1857 freedom war.

Image courtesy : google

Our story begins when Major Charles Burton of 40th Bengal Native Infantry  was posted to Kota as Resident and Brijrajbhawan Palace was British Residency and now home to Major and his family for 13 years.  In May 1857, at the outbreak of the mutiny, Major Burton was summoned by the British General commanding the nearby Neemuch cantonment for the protection of Neemuch, a town in Madhya Pradesh. Burton was accompanied to Neemuch by his family. On the request of Kota ‘s king Major along with his two sons returned to Kota on December 13, 1857. After two days Major Burton saw a large party approaching the Residency. He assumed that these troops of the Maharaja had come to pay a friendly visit. But soon the mutinied  soldiers surrounded and entered the palace. All the servents of the Residency abandoned the Residency,leaving The Burtons alone with few arms that they were able to snatch. They ran to the upper storey and took refuge in a small room and waited there for the help to arrive while the loot was going on in the lower portion. But after 5 hours of firing The Burtons surrendered and kneeling down said their prayers. In March 1858, Kota was again annexed by British government and the bodies of the Burtons were disinterred and buried in the Kota cemetery with full military honours.

Image courtesy:google

After independence the palace became private property of the royal family of Kota, to which they later converted into a heritage hotel after renovating. Today, it is not only a heritage hotel but also a haunted destination in India where the ghost of Major Burton prevails. It is said that Charles Burton’s ghost still haunts the old building and susceptible guests have complained of distinctly “discomforting and oppressive feelings”. Though the staff is reluctant to the complaints yet acknowledges an English voice being heard often by the drowsy watchmen that says, “Don’t sleep, no smoking” followed by a sharp slap if they are not performing their duty properly. Seems that the ghost of Burton still patrols the mansion!

Image courtesy : google

Image courtesy : google