ABOUT two miles from Udaypur is the Mahâsatî, or necropolis of the royal family of Mewar, where are the cenotaphs of the Mâhârdņâs. their families, and relations, of the last three hundred years. It is a beautiful spot well shaded by magnificent trees, and crowded with marble monuments, but associated with melancholy feelings as “the scene of the Satîs – those sad exhibitions of pride and superstition which have for so long a period been enacted by the females of this family.” 1 for the Râņâs of Udaypur still assert, as a right of theirs, to have their wives burnt with their dead bodies. The necropolis is divided into two parts by a wall: in the one are the large cenotaphs of Amra Singh (A.D. 1596-1620), Kama Singh (A.D 1620-1627), and Jagat Singh (1627-- 1653) with many smaller ones of members of the royal family, and of others. Some of these are evidently built of fragments of older buildings; and in this portion there is a very old well or kuņḍ, with the remains of a small shrine” in the middle of it, ascribed to Gandrufsen, whose name is also associated with corns occasionally found in the mounds just outside the enclosure, and which mark the site of the ancient city of Ahar—a place associated with the early history of the Udaypur royal family, as the descendants of Bappa, on their migration to Nagindra. are said, in the place of Gehlot, to have taken the name Ahârya from it,—a name still borne by the Dungarpur family, founded by the elder branch of the Mewar family about A.D. 1195.2
The other portion of the enclosure contains, besides the commencement of a large tomb for Râjasingh—who formed the Râjnagar bănd, but who died before completing his own monument in 1680,—two large cenotaphs of Amra Singh II. (A.D. 1699—1715) and of Sangrâm Singh II. (A.D. 1715— i733), and smaller ones of their successors. 3 A small Square platform outside the stylobate of Râjasingh’s, marks the spot where his body was burnt with two of his wives; and with Amra Singh twelve women appear to have been sacrificed.
The view in the Photograph is of Sangrâm Singh’s. In front of it is a low brick enclosure, where was burnt the body of Râja Singh II. in 1761, with thirteen wives and concubines; and to the right of it is a small tomb—that of Râņâ Sărdâr Singh, who died in 1842.
The monument of Sangrâm Singh has never been quite finished. It fronts, and is nearly the counterpart in form and dimensions of Amra Singh’s. It stands on a lofty platform, or podium, to which the ascent is made by twenty-five steps in three short flights. This platform measures 69 or 70 feet over all, and supports a chattri. or canopy, the base of which measures 46½ feet square, exclusive of the porches which project on each side. The columns of the dome and porches are thirty-six; first the central octagon is increased to a square by the introduction of a column at each angle; then four columns are added to each face, forming re-entrant angles at the corners; and lastly two pillars are advanced on each side for the porches.
- 1. Brookes, Hist. of Meywar, p. 9.
- 2. Tod, Annals, vol. i. pp. 260, 793 (Madras ed. pp. 218, 677. 678); Brookes, Hist. of Meywar, p. 9.
- 3. Near these is the cenotaph of Krishna Kuvarbai, the daughter of Bhim Singh, whose tragic death is so well known. See Tod, Annals, vol. i. pp. 461—466 (Madras ed. pp. 395—399).