Udaipur – Part 2

The tribal community called “Bhils” found in this region is one of the oldest tribes in the world. Their tribe claim to belong to the stone age.

This community was as committed to the protection of their state as was the royal family of Mewar. And fought hand in hand for the cause of an independent state. Infact their unconditional support was one of the reasons why Mewar could maintain its sovereignty against some of the mighty attacks.

The city of Udaipur is surrounded by Aravalli hills (one of the oldest ranges in the world).

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In those times a thick jungle sheltering wild animals surrounded Udaipur. The attacking armies would find it very difficult to pass through this difficult terrain to reach the city of Udaipur. Over these natural hurdles, the Bhils – experts in guerilla warfare, would shoot arrows of poison at these intruders to dampen their spirits further.

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Nature protects the brave. The kings and Queens who were ready to sacrifice their lives for the cause of their state and its people, it seemed even God extended a special umbrella of protection at them.

Some Spiritual tales –

The Kings of Mewar called themselves the Custodians of Ek Ling ji. Ek ling Ji is the form of lord Shiva worshiped here.

The Kings official signatures read “Dewan of Ekling ji” .

By saying this they contributed all their wealth rightly belonging to lord Shiva. Being on the highest stature and still recognizing all belongs to God is a definite sign of deep spiritual roots,isn’t it!

Story of Prem Giriji

King Udai Singh went hunting one night. Curious seeing smoke rising at the top of a hill he went towards it. Tracing it lead him to a mountain peak where he had an encounter with Saint Prem Giriji .

The sage blessed the king and intuitively told him that if the King choses to built his royal Palace on this particular peak, the King’s generations would rule for hundred years and more.

This is how Udaipur was founded by King Udai Singh. In the heart of City palace is located a temple of PremGiriji, even today, at the same place where the king was blessed by the sage.

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God’s direct intervention, that’s what we would call this. Isn’t it.. And so Mewar dynasty continues to be the longest serving dynasty of the world. It’s the 76th generation serving as a king.

However this clan claims itself to be from the linage of lord Ram. Lord Ram had two children Lav and Kush. They believe they are descendants of Lav.

There will always be critics who would over rule such claims, but to me what makes this clan one of the most outstanding is their value system and great will to live and die for the sake of their state and people.

And these values seeped downwards in their subjects, and both humans and animals reflected the same emotions of sacrifice.

Let me explain by narrating the two tales…

Sacrifice of Panna Dhai– Often among royal families would be found a sense of rivalry among cousin brothers for the greed of power to rule the throne.

Cousin Banvir wanted to be the uninterrupted crowned king of the Mewar dynasty and after killing Vikarmaditya elder son of King Sanga he also wanted to kill his youngest son, infant Udai Singh.

Blinded by his extreme greed for power, cousin Banvir planed to kill the infant while he was asleep. Panna Dhai, the prince’s maid got to know about his evil plans. To save the only heir of the throne Panna Dhai, quietly exchanged her own son (approx. the same age) with prince Uday and saved his life. At the cost of her own Son’s life.

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How many legends can boast of such loyalty. Where a mother sacrifices her own child for protecting the heir of her state. Wow! Such astonishing acts of bravery make India such a unique country.

Sometimes even the Animals reflected outstanding Heroism, another rare tale of Chetak– Most of us may have heard about the famous battle of Haldighati. Ranapratap the King of Mewar refused to succumb to pressure of Akbar and sign a treaty on his terms. Furious Akbar sent his large army lead by Raja Mansingh (king of Amber) for a battle against Rana Pratap.

This was the famous battle of Haldighati. Rana Pratap fought bravely against the mighty army of Akbar.  Read more @ http://www.indiaonline.in/about/Profile/History/Wars/Battle-of-Haldighati.html

Rana Pratap’s loyal horse Chetak was injured badly and lost one of his leg during this fight. But he did not give up. But labored on carrying his master, about 2 miles from the site of the battle field he came across a small stream. It was here, while trying to leap across the stream that chetak collapsed.

A heroic end to Chetak , even today the cenotaph still exists at Haldighati in Rajsamand district.

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Though we have heard some of these tales in our childhood, but there morals seem to have been long forgotten now. Aren’t  these epics our true wealth and our real moral guide? And if so, shouldn’t we sing these lores again and re kindle that lost sense of pride?

These Suryavanshi kings who would prefer to sacrifice their lives but not trade their independence, for small sensory pleasures or weaknesses, are true Hero’s in my eyes.

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Other facts-

Maharana Bhupal Singh was the first ruler to merge his state with independent India (18 April 1948). India’s first Union Home Minister (Loh Purush – the Iron Man) Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patel reprimanded the reluctant Hyderabad and other states saying that “…if any ruler in India had any right to claim of independence it was Mewar, which has gladly and readily merged with the Indian Union saying that it was fulfillment of 13 centuries of their mission…but for Mewar no other rulers has that right…”

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Today Udaipur continues to be one of the most attractive cities in the world. A city hosting one of the most magnificiant palace hotels like Uday vilas, Leela palace, Lake palace etc. Attracting thousands of tourists towards its outer beauty.

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But I am sure, at a closer look at the history of Udaipur, every visitor would agree “Udaipur is not just a city of lakes but its real beauty lies in its rich culture, stories of invigorating bravery, a legacy few states in the world have a parallel with”.  I think, It’s always the people and their values of a state which make it truly great. Udaipur in that sense is truly remarkable!!

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Vasudha Jhunjhunwala

P.S- Special thanks to Ran Vijay Singh ji for being such a patient guide.

Published by vasuaol

Ms. Vasudha Jhunjhunwala holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts. She is associated with the Art of Living since year 2000. Born and brought up in a pink city Jaipur, Rajasthan she currently resides in Amchi Mumbai with her family. For nearly a decade, Vasudha has inspired more than 10,000 youths with her teachings and social work. She has undertaken various projects and has been an instrument of change for its success. Juggling between home and work, in her spare time Vasudha likes to paint, write poems, learn music and play badminton. She is a Social Worker, Entrepreneur, State Coordinator of The Art of Living, Student of Sanskrit & Classical Music, Writer, Homemaker, Mother, Meditation Teacher, Public Speaker, Recipient of CSO-2014 award by Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam and has travelled in 30 Countries. She is a quintessential deshbhakt. It is difficult to match her youthful Energy. Vasudha is extremely passionate about her initiatives. One of the most successful projects lead by her was the ‘Vote For a Better India’ - A campaign that facilitated the voter registration process and lead to 5 lakh citizens new voter registration across India in 2014 Lok Sabha Elections. Bringing more awareness to the people in the community she began the initiative ‘Mind your Vehicle’ - A project to sensitize citizens towards traffic discipline with 2000 volunteers in Mumbai. The project saw good media coverage. She was also the founding member of ‘Save Aarey’ project. In this project more than 300 volunteers cleared 5-truck loads of garbage from Aarey colony. With an aim to instill a sense of responsibility and nationalism among the youth, she has spearheaded several initiatives that included women’s safety drives, blood donation drives, cleanliness drives at railway stations and sea-shores, health and hygiene awareness camps and others. Often people ask her what made her belief so strong to walk the spiritual path. She affirms that, “just like the light house guides the ship through darkness of night, our conscience guides us through decisions of life. For a smooth sail, just listen to it!” The drought in Maharashtra had led to an increasing number of farmer suicides and Vasudha decided to contribute towards River Rejuvenation Project in the state. She along with her team revived around 22kms of Manjara river. The river Manjara rejuvenation in Latur District benefited 5 lakh villagers in its vicinity. Vasudha was also a part of the Solar Lamp Project. She was the catalyst in the distribution of solar lamps to flood-hit villagers in Orissa during Fani. Her courage and valour gives her the skill to bring out the right perspective in every project she undertakes. Worry or Uncertainty are not words she rhymes with, Vasudha believes that’s Spiritual knowledge shields the flame of life from the winds of uncertainties. Vasudha is currently working on Project Pavitra. Since its inception this year, the project has imparted menstrual hygiene education to more than 2000 young girls in BMC schools and it aims to reach out to many more. She is also the founding member of SORT Club - Student's organization for Reform and Transformation. The club is now operational in 10 colleges in Mumbai. The project aims to remove the menace of substance abuse from the colleges of India. Vasudha is also working on a Happy Neighbourhood Project. The project aims to establish Happiness centers in societies to make societies stress-free. If you meet her once, you would know that she has a very charming, intuitive, and jovial personality, her ideas and thoughts are ahead of it’s time. Her ability to perceive something new and unique in every individual is what draws people to her company. She gives a very comfortable and cool vibe something young students connect to and find easy to talk and open up to her about their problems. Make impossible, possible is her mantra. Her sessions are filled with grit, humor, inspiration, and some awespiring wisdom. People feel rejuvenated, energetic, experience clarity of thoughts, immense love in their hearts after attending her Mind and Breathe Workshops. Mysteries of life intrigues her and even though she has traveled in 30 countries she found her best place within. She, by herself is a ‘Happiness Express’ moving swiftly on the spiritual path.

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