MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA APRIL 27 , 2012 09.30 P.M.
Gwalior travelogue is really getting longer . This is the third one .
But I clicked lots of photos and apart from that , Jai Vilas Palace and Gwalior fort are really historic and have many anecdotes worth telling , so I can not shorten the travelogue even if I wish to .
If I am remembering correctly , I visited Gwalior for the first time in 1977 / 78 . I went to visit Jai Vilas Palace and Gwalior fort for the first time on that visit . Since then I have visited these two places 3 / 4 times . But this time I went with renewed vigour and with different understanding and outlook .
I always knew that Gwalior is associated with legendary singer Tansen and Maharani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi also . But I was unable to visit their memorials on my previous visits . This time I made it a point to include these memorials in my itinerary .
So after finishing visit of Gwalior fort , I went to see Tansen Mausoleum . I was excited as it was my first visit . Passing through the lanes and by – lanes of old Gwalior , my car stopped in front of an unimpressive iron gate . But as soon as I entered in the compound I was shocked to see a grand mausoleum .
This grand mausoleum belongs to Muhammad Ghaus , a venerable Sufi saint of those times and the mentor of Tansen . Tansen [ born 1493 or 1506 – died 1586 or 1589 ] was born as Ramtanu in a Hindu Gaur Brahman family . His musical talent came to prominence at the age of 5 . Initially he learnt music from Swami Haridas of Vrindavan . He rose to national prominence in the court of legendary Man Singh Tomar , the 10th Tomar King of Gwalior . In Man Singh Tomar’s court he became exponent of Dhrupad and made this form of Hindustani Classical music world-famous . Man Singh Tomar gave him title of ” Tansen ” . He , later on , joined the court of Ramchandra Baghela of Reva . Mughal emperor Akbar heard about him and invited him to his court . Tansen went there , joined his court and thus rose to prominence and immortality .
Later on he embraced Islam and married Akbar’s daughter Meherunnissa .
From Tansen’s mausoleum , I drove to Maharani Lakshmi Bai memorial at Kotah Ki Serai near Phool Bagh . This world-famous queen of Jhansi [ November 19 , 1835 – June 17 , 1858 ] valiantly fought the British during 1st War of Independence of 1857 . She lost Jhansi fort due to treachery of her own people , came to Gwalior to seek help of Scindias but was not able to get their help . Scindia’s unflinching loyalty to their British masters and their non – cooperation to the freedom struggle drove Maharani Lakshmi Bai away from Gwalior and while crossing a nullah , which is still there , she was martyred by British army . She was only 23 years old at the time of her death .
After paying my obeisance at the memorial of Maharani Lakshmi Bai , I was engulfed with emotions . It is sad to get martyred at the tender age of 23 . It is sad to not have a family life , which she definitely deserved . She died for the country at such a tender age but her memorial is not well – kept at all . Few months back I visited Rajiv Gandhi’s memorial at Sriperumbudur . It was so well maintained and beautifully kept , that I was amazed . I am not saying that Rajiv Gandhi’s memorial should not be maintained properly . But the memorial of Maharani Lakshmi Bai also deserves same treatment , if not better .
I am saddened by the neglect .
Evening started descending on the Gwalior city . It was time to leave . Same never-ending feeling engulfed me again and completely.
I remembered Agyeya’s famous lines and left Gwalior . Hope I would visit Gwalior again and really soon .
पार्श्व गिरि का नम्र चीड़ों में , डगर चढ़ती उमंगों सी ;
MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA
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