Our next stop was Chittorgarh, the erstwhile capital of the Mewar Kingdom prior to Udaipur ,the last capital of Mewar. But before we depart Udaipur, here is a look at one of the places worth a visit – Jag Mandir.
The history of the place goes back to early seventeenth century when Maharana Karan Singh, the then ruler of Mewar, gave refuge to Prince Khurram who rebelled against his father, the Mughal Emperor Jahangir. To shelter Prince Khurram along with his wife Mumtaz Mahal and sons Prince Dara and Prince Aurangazeb in the year 1623-24, Karan Singh built a palace in an island in the midst of Pichola lake. The palace was called the Gul Mahal. When Jahangir died in 1627, Prince Khurram ascended the throne of the Mughal empire and assumed the title Shah Jahan (who built the famed Taj Mahal). As an act of gratitude, Shah Jahan restored six districts annexed by the Mughals to the Mewar Kingdom and also helped it regain its past glory. Meanwhile Jagat Singh succeeded Karan Singh in 1628 and expanded the Gul Mahal which came to be known as the Jag Mandir, so named after a temple was installed in the island palace.
More than a century later, in the middle of Eighteenth century, many European families most of whom were women and children, were again given refuge in the same palace by Maharana Swaroop Singh, the then ruler of Mewar, during a revolt by the Indian soldiers of the British Army in 1857 which came to be popularly known as the Sepoy Mutiny, considered the first Indian War of independence against the British Raj.
Once, or rather often, a sanctuary for those running for their dear lives, the place is now a hot spot for the tourist scooting around for beautiful places to see. It not only houses a temple (which is why it is called Jag Mandir) it also has a restaurant to satiate the hungry travelers or those wanting to spend a few sublime moments by the water sipping on a Lime soda or a hot cuppa coffee by the water.
Definitely worth spending an evening here in Jag mandir.