Maharana Kumbha and his Cultural Achievements



Rajasthan Tour

Rajasthan Desert Tour

Rajasthan Women, Rajasthan Wildlife, Rajasthan Cuisine, Rajasthan Attraction

Rajasthan Desert Tour Package

 

Rajasthan Tourism  & Travel Packages -  Rajasthan Vacations & Holidays

12 Days Rajasthan Desert Tour Package

13 Days Rajasthan Desert Holiday Tour

13 Days Rajasthan Round Trip

14 Days Rajasthan Tour Package

16 Days Cultural Rajasthan Tour

17 Days Colorful Rajasthan Tour

17 Days Vacations in Rajasthan

18 Days Rajasthan Tour Package

19 Days Rajasthan - North India Tour

28 Days Heritage Tour of Rajasthan

31 Days Holidays in Rajasthan

31 Days Rajasthan Wildlife Tour

 

Maharana Kumbha and his Cultural Achievements

Sources of Information

The study of the cultural achievements of Maharana Kumbha is based on the sources – contemporary and non-contemporary. However, these sources do not directly yield any information regarding cultural aspects in detail. Hence a student of cultural history has to tap several sources and draw conclusions from them. Of all the sources, inscriptions in Sanskrit and Rajasthani are of some value. These inscriptions are generally found in the form of stone inscriptions, Sure inscriptions and copper-plate grants. Besides yielding information of political importance they also furnish information embracing social, economic and cultural life of the period. The Ranakpur temple inscription of V.S. 1496 (1439 A.D.) is engraved on a stone fixed in a pillar to the left on the entrance into the Chaumukha temple at Ranakpur, about six miles from Sadri, in the Pali district. For the study of the progress of the Sanskrit language and script, it forms an important source of the 15th century. It records the name of the architects of repute of that age. It also informs us that the word nanak was used for the coins then in circulation. Tile Chittor Vijayasthambha inscription commonly called Kirtistambha inscriptions of 1460 A.D. gives details of the region of Abu and progress of art and literature during the period. It also helps us to study the relations of the rulers and the peasants regarding the land rights. The Kumbhalgarh inscription of 1460 A.D. records the description of Chittor and Trikut hills along with t he details of the commoner’s life. There are references in the epigraph regarding the institution of slavery, ashram, vedic sacrifices, modes of penance and existence of inns and educational institutions. The record also mentions the rite of weighing (tuladan) against gold. The Nandia Copperplate grant of 1937 records grant of a well and land to one Prabha Brahaman. There are about 60 copper – plate grants which throw a flood of light on several religious and charitable institutions of the period under review.

The study of the coins of Maharana Kumbha also helps us to appreciate his age as an age of prosperity. He struck gold, silver and copper coins. The study of the coins reveals that his coins were of two varieties, circular and rectangular. There were copper-coins also for daily transactions. The obverse contains the name of Maharana Kumbhakakaran, and on the reverse either Kumbhalmeru or Eklingji. They form an important source of study regarding the conditions of trade and commerce during Kumbha’s age.

The Eklingamahatmya, an important contemporary work in Sanskrit verse, shows that Maharana Kumbha was well versed in the Vedas, Smritis (Law), Mimansa (Philosophy), Rajaniti (Politics), Natya Shastra (Drama), Ganita (Mathematics), Vyakarana (Grammar), Tarka (Logic) etc. He also knew several language like Kamatai, Maharastri and other languages. The Rasikapriya is a Commentary on Gita Govinda, which shows that Kumbha was a great scholar of Sanskrit and that he composed poetry with as much ease as prose.
The monuments of Kumbha are the important sources of information for the study of civil and military architecture. He took great interest in strengthening the defenses of his kingdom by constructing forts of Abu, Chittor, Kumbhalgarh and other places. These forts and some of the important towns were adorned with works of art such as temples, images, lakes etc. All these combined constitute a source of study for the progress of art and culture of his period.

Kumbha’s cultural achievement can be studied in the domain of his activities attaining particularly to the social set-up and to the progress of art and literature of the period.

 

Kumbha’s Monuments

The most important contribution of Kumbha was in the field of architecture. He took great interest in architecture and was an enthusiastic builder. His architectural activities may best be studied with reference to the forts, places, lakes etc., which adorned his age.

Kumbha constructed the fort of Achalgarh on a peak of Mount Abu in 1452 A.D. it consists of portals, towers, guardrooms, and ruins of granary, altars and palaces. The main object of its construction was that it may serve as a military watch and alarm post against the penetration of the army from Gujarat, Sirohi, Nagaur, and Jalor. An equestrian brass statue of Maharana Kumbha with those of two other Maharanas and a bigger one of the family priest are objects of divine honour housed in a humble strawshed on the descent of the fort.


“The highest monument of Kumbha’s military and constructive genius, however, is the wonderful fortress of Kumbhalgarh or Kumha and Kumbhalmer, second to none in strategically importance or historical renown. It was to this impregnable fortress that the Maharanas of Mewar always turned their eyes, when Udaipur became unsafe and Chittor untenable. Kumbhalgarh, situated on 25.9’ North and 73-35’ East, about 60 miles north of Udaipur, stands on a high peak of the most westerly range of the Aravali Hills on the site of an ancient stronghold, which, according to traditions was built by the famous Jain king Samprati, who flourished in the third century in the Christian era. Kumbha began the construction of the fort in 1433, and it was completed in 1448 A.D. it was designed and built by Kumbha’s architect Mandana.”

“Kumbhalgarh is defended by a series of walls and battlements and bastions bolt on the slopes of a hill, and contain a domed placed and buildings which are reached through several gateways along a winding approach. The palace in it is built by Kumbha and stands 3,568 feet above sea-level, and commands a fine panoramic view of the wild and rugged scenery of the Aravalis and sandy plains of Marwar. Below his peak, on every side and enclosed with in a high battlemented wall, so thick as to allow 8 horsemen to ride abreast the uneven ground is studded with numerous old temples and reservoirs, barracks for the garrison, grain stores and other domed buildings. The formidable bastions in the battlemented wall of Kumbhalgarh are peculiar in shape and so built that the enemy may not be able to scale them by means of ladders.”

The fort has seven gates leading to it. The inner fort is called Katar-garh which is on higher elevation and crowned with palaces called Jhalia-ka-Mahal, Badal Mahal and Tara Burj. Other notable monuments within the forts are Topkhana, Nava Choki, Vedi, Nilkantha temple and Mamadeo temple. The fort provides space for habitations and agriculture. These are facilities for irrigation through inter-connected reservoirs.

Another important fort, constructed on old ruins by the Rana, was that of Chittor. He had the credit to strengthen the defenses of the fort by constructing seven gates, circular bastions and towers. He also provided a broad road up the hill so that chariots and horses could reach the fort easily. He also built several step wells, reservoirs and temples in the fort.

There the Tower of Victory is the most important monument genius ever erected by the Rana. It was constructed to commemorate the victory of the Rana over Mahmud Khilji I of Malwa. The construction of this tower was entrusted to Jaita, a celebrated architect off the Chittor zone. It is one hundred and twenty feet in height. There are nine distinct storeys with planning on all sides, columns, pilasters, numberless horizontal bands and cornices. A stair passes up the tower from the first story to the eighth connecting central and gallery part of the storeys. The entire exterior and interior body of the tower is ornamented with sculptures pertaining to mythological depiction and exposition of everyday life. The tower of victory has proved a large treasure house of continuous series of relief sculptures, which has ever come to light. Five images of gods and goddesses, and relief sculptures illustrate the ornaments, dresses and manners and mode of living belonging to the 15th century. The rich and varied contents of the sculptures of the tower hold before us a mirror, as it were, reflecting heavenly and earthly life of the age. Mr. Fergusson has rightly better taste as an architectural object than the Roman example.” Col. Tod also expresses his impression about the tower by saying “who could look, on the lovely, this majestic column, which tells in language more easy of interpretation than the tablets within…”

Other forts, minor and major, constructed by Kumbha were about 80 in number which fortified the passes between the frontiers of Mewar, Marwar, Sirohi and Malwa. The fort of Kolana, Vairat and Ahore were either built or repaired by him to defend the northern and western frontiers of Mewar, Marwar, Sirohi and Malwa. The fort of Kolana, Vairat and Ahore were either built or repaired by him to defend the northern and western frontiers of Mewar. To safeguard the south-western boundaries of Mewar and overawe the Bhumiyas and Bhils of Jhdole, Panarva etc., several other forts were constructed.

Maharana Kumbha also built quite a large number of temples in Mewar. The Kumbhaswami temples of Chittor and Kumbhalgarh were of highly elaborate pattern and decorated with sculptures. The temple of Kumbhaswami of Chittor dedicated to Lord Krishna is said to have been constructed, with the material brought from the ruins of the ancient shrine at Nagari, situated 7 miles from Chittor. “This temple has carvings in parts of its exterior walls and roofs which are generally found in Buddhist buildings.” Abul Fazi has named it the temple of Govind Shyama. It was built in the year 1448 A.D. by the Rana.

Of all the temples erected by Kumbha, the Ranakpur Temple is the most important and majestic. It was erected in the Sadri Pass and is dedicated to Rishabhadeva. The temple covers 48,000 square feet area and consists of Shikhars, domes and Sabhamandap off extra-ordinary size. There are about 20 domes supported by about 420 columns. Mr. Fergusson praises this temple in the words : “It is the most complicated and extensive Jaina temple, I have myself ever had an opportunity of inspecting. Indeed, I know of no other building in India of the same class that leaves so pleasing an impression or afford so many hints for the graceful arrangements of columns in an interior”. The temple was designed by one Dipaka or Dipa, a Sompura Brahmin of Mundata. It was originally designed to have seven storeys but only four could be completed.

There is another important temple of Ekligna which was renovated by Maharana Kumbha. It consists of mandapa, sanctum, toran, double storeyed porch, double storeyed sanctuary and pyramidal sikhara. It contents four-faced divinity and a brazen bull Nandi of the natural size, caste in excellent proportions. The approach to the temple is through a gate connected with narrow passages and courtyards of different sizes and levels.

Another important temple, named Singar Chauri was, built by Bhandari Velaka, the treasurer of Kumbha, in 1448 A.D. “The exterior walls of the temples are beautifully sculptured in horizontal bands containing numerous figures and floral scrabs and are worth study by anyone who is a carver. The central part of the building is covered by a circular Jain dome built in horizontal layers richly ornamented. Its architecture is admirable and building, although small, is one of the most attractive in Chittor.”

Maharana Kumbha also constructed residential palaces, one at Kumbhalgarh and another at Chittor. He also built several reservoirs at Chittor, Abu and Kumbhalgarh, He laid out a garden at Kumbhalgarh. Kumbha’s palaces consist of plain chambers, one over the other, adjoined by two side rooms. The male and female apartments were separated by narrow walled gallery running from one end to the other. They were so designed that in a way they may be termed self sufficient with rooms, rectangular halls, stables, temples, store-houses, towers and residential quarters of the which towers and residential quarters of the princes.

Thus the epoch of Kumbha is memorable in the political and cultural history of Rajasthan. Many of the poets and writers flourished during his time. Under him Mewar became a great center of learning. Kumbha for all such achievements bore the title of paramaguru, the highest preceptor of kings. We may conclude by saying, “Maharana Kumbha was a great sovereign, a great military commander a great builder and a great scholar”.

 

Rajasthan Information: History - Culture - Heritage - Music - Dance - Art - Architecture - Society

Sources of the History and Culture of Rajasthan
(From earliest times up to 1200 A.D.)

Rajput - Muslims Relations
 (1200 – 1526 A.D.)

Architecture in Rajasthan (1200 – 1800 A.D.)

Kalibangan - the largest prehistoric site in Rajasthan

Excavations at Ahar (South Rajasthan)

Origin of the Rajputs

Origin of the Guhilas, their Rise and Bappa Rawal in Rajasthan

Moguls & Chauhans Resistance in Rajasthan

Rawal Ratan Singh of Rajasthan and his Resistance against the Turks

Maharana Kumbha (1433 – 1468) and his Political Achievements

Maharana Kumbha & his Cultural Achievements

Maharana Sanga & his Achievements (1508 – 1528 A.D.)

Rajasthani Paintings Schools

Merger of Rajput states in the Indian Union

Resistance of Mahararana Pratap of Mewar Against Akbar

Maratha - Rajputs Relations

Raja Man Singh of Amber

Rathore – Sisodia Alliance & Achievements of Raj Singh in Mewar

Role of Durga Dass Rathor in the history of Rajasthan

Sawai Jai Singh of Jaipur , Mughals and Marathas

Rajasthan’s Cultural Heritage

 
 

Rajasthan Tourism  & Travel Packages -  Rajasthan Vacations & Holidays

12 Days Rajasthan Desert Tour Package

13 Days Rajasthan Desert Holiday Tour

13 Days Rajasthan Round Trip

14 Days Rajasthan Tour Package

16 Days Cultural Rajasthan Tour

17 Days Colorful Rajasthan Tour

17 Days Vacations in Rajasthan

18 Days Rajasthan Tour Package

19 Days Rajasthan - North India Tour

28 Days Heritage Tour of Rajasthan

31 Days Holidays in Rajasthan

31 Days Rajasthan Wildlife Tour

 
                      Group Tours of Rajasthan                                                                     Car Rental in Rajasthan

 

Special Service for German Speaking Traveller - Rajasthan Group Travel with German Speaking Tour Guide !

Gruppenreisen - Durchführung aber schon ab 2 Teilnehmer garantiert !

 

:: Home :: email  :: Contact :: Enquiry :: Sitemap
                 

                                                                                        
Indo Vacations®

(Recognized Rajasthan Tour Operator & Holiday Planner)
Address: Plot No.312
-313 A, Valmiki Marg, Raja Park, Jaipur 302004 (India)
Click here to see our Location Online

Network  for Rajasthan Tourism in following cities

Delhi – Agra – Bharatpur –– Ranthambore – Jaipur – Shekhawati – Bikaner – Jaisalmer – Jodhpur –– Ranakpur – Kumbhalgarh -
Mount Abu – Udaipur


Online Assistance via Skype: indo-vacations   (live video option available)

Tel.: 0091 141 2622098 (not to be used for general queries)
(We recommend and prefer email as the mode of communication for your initial queries .You will be informed later the unique tel. Number of your personal Tour Executive after we receive your query)
 
e-mails
: indovacations@gmail.com, info@indovacations.net
PS: if you do not hear from us within 48 hours please repeat your e-mail

 

www.rajasthan-tour-package.net
Copyright © Rajasthan-Tour-Package. All Rights Reserved.