The princely state may have disappeared a long time ago, but the real tradition, it seems, is alive and well. Especially in Rajkot, where the 17th descendant of the royal family of the state of Rajkot in Gujarat, Mandhatasinh Jadeja, was crowned in an elaborate three-day ceremony in the final week of January. A great show, the raj tilak or coronation was held at the 225-acre Ranjit Vilas Palace. Directed by Raj Pandit Kaushik Upadhyaya, 51 Brahmins poured the waters of 51 sacred rivers mixed with 100 herbs of 51 pitchers to give the Angrakha and Mandhatasinh dressed in dhoti a ritual bath to the songs of the raksha mantra.
A nine-gun salute state under British colonial rule, the princely state of the Bombay Presidency Agency, Kathiawar, was founded by Thakore Saheb Vibhaji Ajoji of the Jadeja dynasty in 1620. With 64 villages under its jurisdiction, the state princely acceded to the Indian Union in 1948. Royalty lost their privileges in 1971, but held on to the illusions of greatness. And the coronation of Mandhatsinh Jadeja was a royal greeting to that past era.
(Clockwise from the top, left) Mandhatasinh in the 100-year-old family silver car that leads a procession of royalty, priests and nobles; 51 Brahmins gave a ritual bath to royalty; and priests performing the Rajkhilak ceremony.
After elaborate rituals, reverence for royal ancestors, ancient books, janam patrika and weapons, Mandhatsinh sat on the gaddi that his father Manoharsinhji Jadeja, leader of Congress and former minister of finance, youth and health of the state, He had occupied until he died. in 2018. Mandhatasinh's great-grandfather, Lakhajiraj, shared a great equation with Mahatma Gandhi, who was studying at Alfred High School in Rajkot in the 1880s, when his father was appointed deputy of Rajkot.
Before his coronation, Mandhatasinh, resplendent with a pink and blue Banarasi achkan, sword and dagger stuck in his kamarband, led a procession in the family's 100-year-old silver car. The procession was attended by several royals, mainly from the Kathiawar region of Gujarat, but also from Rajasthan, nobles and priests. People in impressive numbers lined up on both sides of the street to see and animate the procession comprising 30 old cars and 10 cars. Rolls Royce owner Henry Royce designed the last Rolls Royce of his career, the Star of India, for Mandhatasinh Jadeja's grandfather.
However, the highlight of the show was a sword dance, performed by 2,126 women, along with Kathiawadi singer doha Brijdan Gadhvi and Durga Stuti. Dhrutiba Jhala, one of the participants, spoke for all the dancers when she said: This sword dance is not just a dance, it is a symbol of the pride of the chivalrous heritage of the Rajput women. The feat reached the record books. Like the lighting of 7,000 diyas in the form of the emblem of the royal state of Rajkot.
Mandhatasinh's wife, Rani Kadambaridevi, who played an important role in the coronation planning, says: For some, it might not be more than an event, but for us and a large number of our former subjects, it was a very exciting revival. and emotional An ancient Indian custom that reflects our passion to keep our heritage alive. In fact, many people were overcome by emotion to see the real procession that reminded them of the pomp that was once associated with their status. According to Mandhatasinh himself, royalty has been an inalienable part of the Indian tradition and it is essential to keep it alive for people who still remember the real era. Among the ancestors that he inspires are Vibhaji, the founder of the royal house; Meramanji, who snatched Rajkot from Mughal back up Masum Khan in 1720, after having captured and renamed it Masumabad; and, of course, his grandfather, Lakhajiraj.
After his coronation ceremony, Mandhatasinh took the stage and delivered a speech promising to serve the people of Rajkot. Gujarat Prime Minister Vijay Rupani attended the event and participated in the ceremony. Prime Minister Narendra Modi also sent a message to the royal family: the state of Rajkot provided railroads, irrigation and electricity to its subjects long before Independence. I want the royal family to continue serving people.
. (tagsToTranslate) Rajkot (t) – Issue date: February 24 (t) 2020