Sunday, 3 December 2017

Jag Mandir, Udaipur where the British took asylum during 1857 Sepoy mutiny



Maharana Swaroop Singh, reign 1842- 1861Eternal Mewar


 The Sepoy Mutiny of 1857  was, no doubt, a violent and serious  rebellion against the harsh British rule in India. Unfortunately, in Europe and in the west  this revolt was purposely portrayed as a senseless, unreasonable and bloody  uprisings by Indian soldiers spurred by falsehoods about  insensitivity to religious sentiments by the EIC. The Vellore mutiny (of Tamil Nadu headed by the sons of Tipu Sultan)) on 10 July 1806 was the first instance of a large-scale and violent mutiny by Indian sepoys against the East India Company, predating the Sepoy Mutiny of 1857 by half a century. However, the 1857 uprising that began as a small  mutiny on 10 May 1857 in the garrison town of Meerut  developed into a series of mutinies and rebellions  across many parts of north India and it later came to be known as the first war of independence. At many places like Kanpur, Lucknow and Delhi, the rebels in thousands attacked the British officials and a few hundred British officers, women and children were killed during the rebellion.  Countless British families, fearing danger to their lives, took refuge in many places and were protected by their friends and also by the royal members of the princely states.


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1857 sepoy Mutiny Getty Images
Above image: Mutineers attacking magazine at Delhi 11 May 1857. Lieutenant Willoughby, who died of his wounds, gave the order to the defending garrison to .............


Maharana Swaroop Singh ascended the throne in 1842, after the death of his predecessor Maharana Sardar Singh who had no son and before his death, he formally adopted his brother Swaroop Singh as his nominated heir. Being a good administrator, Maharana Swaroop Singh took  the responsibility of bringing economic reforms to revive the bad financial conditions of Mewar. He developed a cordial relationship with the East India company and its officials. When needed, he never failed to  support the British living in Mewar and surrounding areas and prove his loyalty to them. During his reign, a crucial and difficult situation developed as a result of the Sepoy rebellion going on in other parts. The repressive British rule, harsh taxes and the discrimination faced by the Indian soldiers in the army (thousands of soldiers were killed mercilessly in retaliation by the British forces) had impacted his state as well, leading to a tense situation. The British, working in his region, were facing threats and before situation getting worse, they sought the help of Swaroop  Singh, a man of amicable disposition.  

Numerous European families fled from Nimach  and sought asylum. Maharana Swaroop Singh with a view to protecting them from imminent danger to their lives, arranged for their safe stay in the lake palace that can be approached only by boat.  To avoid taking risk and to protect his guests, the Rana had all the  town’s boats  destroyed so that the rebels won't have an access to the island palace and cause trouble to the innocent Europeans. Swaroop Singh helped repulse mutiny at Nasirabad, Neemuch and  Nimbahera by sending his troops, thus earning the trust of the British Company.  The Europeans enjoyed the generous hospitality of the ruler within the safe prescient of Jag Mandir palace till the rebellion was put down later by the British forces in June 1958.

After the Independence of India from the British rule, on 15 August 1947, at the initiative of Maharana Bhupal Singh, the Mewar kingdom merged with the Indian union in 1949 along with other princely states of Rajasthan.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Rebellion_of_1857

https://www.thehistoryhub.com/jag-mandir-facts-pictures.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jag_Mandir