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Home >> India >> Rajasthan >> Jhalawar


 Rajasthan - jhalawar



About Jhalawar

In an earlier life, he had danced in rage and grief carrying her dead body in his arms. In a previous birth, she had stood on one foot for 16 years, eating only dying leaves, in her passion to pos­sess the loved one. But now they look as if their foreheads have never known nightmares.  They tend towards each other in lazy serenity, Shiva and Parvati, seated on a Nandi, holding each other with more than just arms. Their passion­ate peace fills the sanctum sanctorum of the 7th-century remains of the Chandra Mouli Mahadev Temple, perched on the banks of the Chandrabhaga River in Jhalarpatan, the 'old town' near Jhalawar.

Rain Basera, Jhalawar

The temple announces the once-presence of Chandravati, a city founded by the successor of Vikramaditya. It is only one of the many gems that lie scattered in the area as if a bag of treasures had burst here. Understanding the region invoked by the word 'Jhalawar' means unpeeling lay­ers of religious expression, commercial undercurrents and political thicknesses. When Rajasthan Tourism uses the word 'Jhalawar', they mean Jhalawar District which, along with Kota and Bundi, makes up the old cultural region of 'Hadoti'. There's the town of Jhalawar itself, the seat of the 160-year-old Jhalawar kingdom and its gorgeous palaces. Just 5 km away, there's Jhalarpatan, teeming with old temples and havelis, and with the even older ruins so gushingly described above. At a distance of 15 km, there's the Gagron  Fort  controlled  by different dynasties over 1,300 years. And there are any number of ancient Hindu temples, Buddhist cave temples and viharas, and sculptures strewn around in forests... All this in an area called the 'Cherrapunji of Rajasthan' by locals, a green hillock-dot­ted terrain that bursts into huge ponds and lakes during the rains.

Strictly speaking, there was no entity called Jhalawar in earlier times. This area of south Rajasthan was part of the history and fortunes of the Malwa Plateau (ruled from Ujjain and Mandu) from the time of the Mauryas and eventually became part of the Kota kingdom. It held the forests in which kings are shown hunting in the famous Kota-Bundi miniatures. An able Kota minister,  Zalim  Singh,  became Kota's de facto ruler and developed good relations with the British. The state of  Jhalawar was created in 1838 out of parts of Kota kingdom because of a treaty bet-ween the British and Zalim Singh's des-cenadants. It was called Jhalawar thanks to their ancestors, who were the Jhalas,  hailing from Kathiawar.


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