History of Jaipur
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Jai Singh II was supremely talented - politically, intellectually and on the battlefield, he was known as the warrior-astronomer. In 1696 he had earned the title of 'Sawai' meaning 'One and a Quarter' (Intelligence) from emperor Aurangzeb after the emperor was impressed by his wit and pluck , a title which was proudly borne by all of Jai Singh's descendants.
The Kingdom of Kachhawahas spread a lot in all sphere, eventually encompassing a large area which abutted the kingdoms of Mewar (Udaipur region) and Marwar (Jodhpur region). The history of Kachhawahas can be traced back to Duleh Rai , son of Sodh Dev, the Kachhawaha ruler of Narwar (Near Gwalior), migrated to Dausa.
Duleh Rai was a Kachhawahas who could trace his lineage to Rama, hero of the sun-born dynasty immortalized in Ramayana. He was married to the daughter of Chauhans of Ajmer. Duleh Rai's also known as 'Tej Karan' , his son Kabil Dev is known to have established dynastic rule in Amber which was the most important stronghold of the Minas.
Amber is situated 11 kms out of Jaipur on the Delhi to Jaipur road. The Kachhawahas originally hailed from Narwar (Near Gwalior) where they reigned for over 800 years. A martial alliance between a Kachhawahas prince, Tej Karan, and a rajput princess of Chauhans of Ajmer resulted in the capturing of the region of Dausa. Tej Karan was able to defeat the Bargujras who ruled half of Dausa, the other half being under the dominance of the Chauhans.
Tej Karan's descendants converted the hill top on which Amber Fort was later built, recognizing its Virtue as a potential military stronghold. The Site was eventually princed from its original inhabitants, the susawat Minas, and the Minas were granted guardship of the Kachhawahas treasury in return.
The Kachhawahas , despite being devout Hindu belonging to the Kshatriya (warrior) caste, recognized the expediency of aligning themselves with the powerful Mughal Empire. They paid homage at the Mughal court, and cemented the relationship with marital alliances. They were handsomely rewarded for their bravery defending the mughals in their various skirmishes. With war loots they were able to finance construction of the fortress palace at Amber, which began in 1592 by Maharaja Man Singh, the Rajput commander of Akbar's Army. Man Singh was known to be a navratna (One of the Nine Jewels) in the court of Akbar.
Maharaja Man Singh who ruled from 1590-1619 had a multi-faceted personality with varied interests. He started ateliers and departments devoted to art , crafts, literature and the performing arts. Some of the Crafts Traditions for which Jaipur is famous for are like enameling (Minachari), paper mashing and carpet weaving, were introduced by him with artisans being brought in form Lahore, Sialkot, Multan and Gujrat. He patronized many poets, authors, and scholars at his court and was found of dance , music and drama.
Raja Man Singh is known to have brought these three deities of "Sangamar ka Sanga Baba / Jaipur Ka Hanuman / Amber ki Shila Devi" as said in the above popular saying. The sect of Sangababa is in Sanganer, the image of Hanuman at the entrance of the gate of Chand pol bazar and the idol of Shila devi is at Amber.
Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II had earned both the title of Maharaja in 1707 and Sawai in 1713. The Kachhawahas recognized the expediency of aligning themselves with the powerful mughal emperor. However Jai Singh incurred the displeasure of Aurangzeb successor of Bahadur Shah, who came in 1707.
Bahadur shah's accession was controlled by his Younger brother, Azam Shah and Jai Singh unfortunately supported the younger brother's bid for power. Bahadur shah, was eventually given the Delhi throne, retaliated by invading Amber and ousting the Young Jai Singh and installing younger brother Vijay Singh In his place. He regained the capital in 1708, with the help of Udaipur and Jodhpur (marrying one princes each form the states) and eventually reconsolidate his rule.
The wealth of the kingdom increased exponentially, and this together with the need to accommodate the ever burgeoning population and a paucity of water at the old capital Amber, prompted the Maharaja in 1727 to commence work on a new city he named after himself -- Jaipur.
It was a collaborative endeavor, the synthesis of the union of the Maharaja and the impressive expertise of his chief architect, Vidyasagar. Jai Singh's Strong grounding in the sciences is reflected in the precise symmetry of the new city which, as appeared to the other unplanned and labyrinthine cities which predominated in North India at that time, was laid out according to the strict principles of town planning set down in the "Shilpa Shastra" an ancient Hindu creative architecture. In the year 1728 - 34 he built the Jantar Mantar (j(y)antra = instrument, device; mantra = magic formula) his open air Observatory of outside astronomical instruments. In mathematics and astronomy, as in war and town- planning , Jai Singh did nothing by halves -- his scientific inventiveness was supposed to have emerged when, aged 13, he devised an irrigation system to water the hanging gardens of Amber Fort.
The most central of the seven rectangles comprises the city palace complex, containing the palace itself, the administrative quarters, the Jantar Mantar (Jai Singh's remarkable observatory) and the janana mahals or the women's palaces, where the maharajas held dubious honor of maintaining more wives than any of his predecessors, although most of these alliances were motivated more by political expediency than by amorous compulsions.
As an ardent of Vaishvanite in 1714 he reinstated the image of Govind dev, removing it from the impressive red sandstone temple built by his ancestor Raja Man Singh, at Vrindavan and later installed it in 1719 within the city Palace complex.
The City was first not an aesthetic triumph; its stout walls served to protect its in habitants from would be invaders, encouraged merchants and trades people to flock here and further serving to enhance -- the city's growth and prosperity. Jai Singh's Interest in the Arts, Sciences and Religion fostered their development in Jaipur, and the royal court became a center of intellectual and artistic endeavor. As a scholar and patron of Arts, he attracted some of the most learned scholars, astronomers, teachers, writers, poets, architects, lawyers, painters and preachers to his court. An extraordinary amount of literary activities took place in his reign, surpassing in its range and volume any of his predecessors or successors.
Sawai Pratap Singh became the Maharaja at the Age of 14 after the death of his brother Prithivi Singh. He ruled from 1778 to 1803. His 25 year rule witnessed many spectacular achievements and strategic failures. Being constantly goaded by the marathas and the mughals he had to face repeated threats and a heavy drainage of funds.
He is known as the great ruler of Jaipur for his devotion to Lord Krishna. The fountains behind the Govind Dev temple are credited to him, his poetic talent and patronage of Arts and Crafts. The finest example of his connoisseur ship is the unique monument of Hava Mahal -- the palace of the Winds. Writing under the penname Brijnidhi , he composed many poems and songs in large variety of meters.
He was a Shaivite, an ardent devotee of Shiva and he had some very modern stretches, he enjoyed photography and is the first great prime who martyred ball room dancing.
Ran Singh II was a great connoisseur of Music and was adept at playing the Veena - a multi stringed instrument. He was also a reformist and it was in his reign that slavery, child infanticide and the cruel custom of Sati were officially abolished in Jaipur in 1839
The City of Jaipur benefited largely from his close rapport with the British which constructively manifested itself in the water works, the gas lights, roads, sanskrit collages as well as the Maharaja School of Arts and Crafts and the medical college. The Ram Nivas garden was laid out in his time with the Albert hall museum at its heart.
Madao Singh II was the next ruler after Ram Singh II expired in 1880 and he died heirless, as per the tradition if any King of Jaipur died heirless the adoption of the first family would be from the Thakur of Thilai. But this tradition was forsaken by Ram Singh II when he chose the second son of the Thakur of Isarda. At the time of his adoption, Kayam Singh (Later Madho Singh II) was employed in the Tonk cavalry as a sepoy. He was about 18 years old.
Madao Singh II was devoutly religious. Despite his five marriages and his 18 official mistress, he was heirless. We can see the clothes and other items of Madho Singh II at the Maharaja Sawai ManSingh II museum , one remarkable exhibit in set of voluminous clothes of Madho Singh II who was over two meters tall, 1.3m wide and weighed 225 kg.
He had made a lot of Progress to the State of Jaipur and was rewarded by the British for his loyalty, he was made and was rewarded by the British for his Loyalty, he was made Honorary Colonel of the 13th Rajputs. There was a lot of development in the state, he had built a meter gauge live from Sangama to Sawai Madhopur and which helped Jaipur to get connected to Various commercial centers. Hospitals , universities, The Secretariat, residential colonies and colleges were built as well.
Madho Singh like his adoptive father had repeated history by adopting his Nephew from Isarda, Kanwar Mormukat Singh, the younger of the two sons of Thakur Sowai Singh of Isarda. Kanwar Mormukat Singh was later known as Sawai Man Singh II.
Sawai Man Singh II reigned from 1922 till 1949 when India gained Independence. He was born on 21st August 1911 as Mor Mukut Singh son of Sawai Singh the Thakur of Isarda and was chosen by Maharaja Madho Singh II to be the adopted heir to the throne of Jaipur on 24th March 1921. The Viceroy of India later accepted the adoption and he was named Sawai Man Singh II.
Man Singh II was educated at home in Jaipur, at the Mayo College for Indian chiefs, at Ajmer and in England where he gained an up-to-date knowledge of Modern militiary science at the Royal Militiary Academy, Woodwich. He improved the water supply by building Ram Garh that supplied water to Jaipur. and lightening, opened the state janana hospital the Lady Wellingdon at Sanganer which was outside the capital. during his reign, civic buildings such as schools, hospitals and secretariats were built outside the original walls.
Following the independence in 1947, the status of the princely states was to change forever. In March 1949 ,Jaipur merged the Rajput states of Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Bikaner, Becoming Greater Rajasthan. Jaipur was honoured above the other states when the title Raj Pramukh was conferred on Man Singh II who was inverted with administrative supervisor of the new province. The title was later revoked, and Man Singh II was posted as Indian ambassador to Spain. In 1956 , Jaipur became the capital of The state of Rajasthan.
Horse Polo was very popular amongst the Maharajas, especially during the British Raj. Man Singh II was the finest and most dashing polo player in the world, whose polo team was champion in the European Polo circuit in the 1930s. The Polo victory cinema in Jaipur, built by his polo stick maker commemorated a world record in the Sport. The "Big Four' consisting of Maharaja Man Singh, Maharaja Prithvi Singh, Rao Raja Hanut Singh and Rao Raja Abhey Singh had won all the open tournaments a record which has never been equaled. Man Singh actually died playing the sport he loved , at a polo match in England in 1970.
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