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Shivpuri : the royal legacy of the past
Shivpuri : the royal legacy of the pastShivpuri is 101 kilometres from Jhansi and 112 kilometres to the South of Gwalior, on the main Delhi - Bombay highway. The place was once the summer capital of the Scindia rulers of Gwalior. Shivpuri is a very ancient town and a sacred place. It is named after God Shiva.

The Scindia Chattries or cenotaphs of Shivapuri are very beautiful. The cenotaphs or chattries are words used in common jargon. The cenotaphs or chattries are local shrines. The cenotaphs face each other across a water tank in an enclosed complex. There are two of them and the Maharani Sakhya Raje Scindia`s cenotaph is the older of the two. It was built in her memory in 1921 by her son Madho Rao Scindia. Few years later after Madho Rao Scindia death , the second chattri was built in his memory.

Both chattries are similar in design, Madho Rao`s cenotaph is far more ornate. The chattries are more than just memorials; they are local shrines.

The buildings combine features of both Mughal and Rajput temple architecture. The Victorian garden surrounding the complex, adds to the beauty of the shrine. The marble inlay is done in the peitra-dura style, with onyx and lapis lazuli.

In the evening, the chattries are places for homage and prayer. The statues of Sakhya Raje Scindia and Madho Rao Scindia are bathed, clothed and a ritual offering of food is made.

The Tourist Village at Shivpuri is very striking. It is at the edge of the Madhav National Park and overlooks the Sakhya Sagar Lake, locally called Chand Patta as it`s shaped like a crescent.

On the way to the lake there is a natural spring called Bhadaiya Kund, which is very attractive and beautiful.

There is an old boathouse at the Sakhya Sagar Lake. The lake curves out of view into dense jungle. It is said that Emperor Akbar captured herds of elephants from these forests.

Shivpuri is steeped in the royal legacy of the past.

Posted On : 16 Jun 07
Shivpuri : the royal legacy of the past
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