Jag Mandir Udaipur
¤ Historical Significance of
Mandir lies towards the south of the lake and was completed by
Maharana Jagat Singh I (reigned 1628-1652). However, the palace was
developed by Rana Karan Singh (1620-28). This palace has quite a
historical significance; it has a structure that had been built to
give shelter to Prince Khurram (later Emperor Shah Jahan) in 1626 when
he was about to revolt against his father, emperor Jahangir. The Rana
of Udaipur, Rana Karan Singh first gave him refuge in his City Palace.
However, the Prince and his entourage were shifted to the island
palace on lake Pichola when his nobles failed to respect Rajput
customs. Most interestingly it was Khurram who had led the Mughal army
in 1614 that had defeated Rana Amar Singh, the father of his host.
Prince Karan was asked to act as an emissary to the Mughal court, and
it was during this time that the Sisodias and the Mughals developed a
Rana Karan Singh treated his royal guest with much courtesy and built
the Mughal Prince a domed pavilion upon the island. He crowned the
pavilion by the Muslim crescent and lavishly decorated its interiors.
The Rana had a throne built from a single block of serpentine for his
revered guest and also a mosque built for the prayers of the Mughal
Prince and his followers. It is believed that the pietra dura work on
the interior of the palace later inspired Khurram for the detailing of
the Taj Mahal.
The sandstone palace with its inlaid designs in onyx, jasper and
agate had been a major influence when he built his palaces in Delhi
and Agra. Khurram enjoyed his days here till moving on to Golconda in
the Deccan, shortly before his father, Emperor Jahangirs death.
It was in the Badal Mahal that Khurram was bestowed the title of Shah
Jahan, and before taking leave the newly appointed Emperor restored
five districts and presented Jagat Singh with a ruby of incalculable
value. After Shah Jahan ascended the throne of Hindustan, he specially
favoured the Sisodias and the once humiliated kingdom was able to
reclaim its dignity and independence. Rana Karan Singh died in 1628
just before the ascension of Khurram and was succeeded by his son Rana
Jagat Singh I (1628-52). Jagat Singh extended the island palace and
added a zenana (womens quarters) and named it Jag Mandir after
himself. Eight elephant statues face Jag Niwas from Jag Mandir and the
empty island with its domed pavilion. This pavilion on the island
better known as the Gul Mahal and built between 1625-7 was started by
Karan Singh (1620-28). It is one of the few examples of Mughal styled
architecture in the state and now houses some exquisite Mughal
paintings and murals.