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The elsuive Mariam Mahal ruin

I came across information related to the Mariam Mahal ruin almost 2 years ago & ever since then I wanted to explore this place.I have been trying to find the Mariam Mahal ruin for last one year in the jungles around Jaipur but it seems I haven’t been too lucky. But the Quest for elusive Mariam Mahal continued….

But before that… Prelude!!

Maharajah Man Singh I, the ruler of Amer is one of the famous personalities in Indian history. He was one of the Navratana (nine gems) in the court of Mughal king Akbar, fighting as a general for the Mughal rule. He fought many wars from Afghanistan in the west to Bangladesh in the east, bringing all these areas under the Mughal rule.

While almost everyone in India has read about Maharajah Man Singh I in the history books, hardly anyone has heard about his eldest son Yuvraj or Kunwar Jagat Singh who also fought many wars along with his father.

He built a palace for his lover Mariam located far away from famous the Amer Palace. It was called Mariam Mahal. (Mariam was name of the lover and Mahal means Palace in Hindi).  Yuvraj Jagat Singh died at an early age of around 32-34 due to excessive drinking habit. Mariam continued to live in this place till her death. The daughter born to the duo got married to the Mughal ruler Jahangir,who’s son Shah Jahan built the World Famous Taj Mahal. Her name  was Koka Kumari. She was the 22nd wife of Jahangir; much famous Nur Jahan was 25th.

A famous temple Jagat Shiromani temple in Amer was built as a remembrance to the  Yuvraj Jagat Singh. Click here to read more about the  Jagat Shiromani temple.

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Picture shot from the  Mariam Mahal of the surroundings.

 Mariam Mahal is in idyllic surroundings amidst dense forest. Even though there is no confirmed records popular belief is that this palace is 400-450 years old. The floods of 1981 caused extensive damage to the Mariam Mahal. It’s located far from a road head and it can only be reached by trekking through the thick forest growth.

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On way to Mariam Mahal

In old times, a road paved with heavy stones used to exist, but now it’s hidden under the thick foliage. The palace overlooks valley constructed on the edge of a hill. The drop from the edge is at least 170-225 feet.

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Captured from the edge of  Mariam Mahal 

There are some structures in the valley forming part of the palace, which looks like the entrance gate and place marked for security guards.

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Structures seen from the Mariam Mahal overlooking the valley and broken path to the palace .

The ramparts are  gone, visible in barely few places. In the palace section, living quarters barely exist. A small section of a dwelling unit is all that remains now apart from the base of a turret.

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Walls and roof have almost vanished and base of the turret is all that is left. at Mariam Mahal

It’s really sad that this piece of history will be gone in barely few years, escaping  the attention of conservationist and authorities.

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This is all that is left of the palace section of the Mariam Mahal

Coming back to the main story of finding this palace, it wouldn’t have been possible to find Mariam Mahal without the help of a local who live in the vicinity.  We met him by chance during one such exploration. His ancestors have continued to live in the  same place for almost 400-500 years. He has heard few incidents and stories from his ancestors related to the prince who used to live here, although he has no idea about the name of this prince. He pointed out a broken path through which the prince would arrive riding on a elephant or horse.

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Ruin at  Mariam Mahal

It’s a dense jungle where finding your way is very difficult apart from the danger of encountering wild beasts. It’s almost impossible to reach this place on your own.

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Confusing path to Mariam Mahal …or no path actually?

We heard many incidents & habits of panthers who live in these jungles from the local who accompanied us along with the visit to one of panthers  hide outs -Den! The quest finally ended!

Don’t forget to check out write up on  Jagat Shiromani temple

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We had to be doubly sure before approaching this den. We found some quills of porcupine here. Can you spot one?

The trail to Mariam Mahal is one of the best trekking places in Jaipur.

This post is part of  Weekly Photo Challenge –Quest. Check out previous posts on Weekly Photo ChallengeClick here

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59 thoughts on “The elsuive Mariam Mahal ruin

    1. You said it well on our attitude towards everything heritage… Vaibhav!
      only if we can turn them around and generate some revenue, i’m sure it’ll work well for their maintenance. Thanks for sharing your views vaibhav!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Fascinating, Arv. As I think we’ve said before, there are so many wonderful ruins and old buildings in India, many of them just get overlooked. I understand there are 10,000 recognised sites in Delhi, for example!

    This place looks really exciting, though. It must be a fantastic experience to find a place like this in the jungle.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. you nailed it right Mick! sometimes the build up of excitement really steals the show! What I really loved about this place is the serenity! desolate location just adds on! I was just wondering what it would be like to live in such environs!! …just a thought! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve always thought that I would like to live remotely. Whenever I have the chance to spend time in a location that is remote, I always feel a sense of loss on returning to ‘civilisation’.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You are right..we humans are programmed as a “social animal”. I guess beyond a point isolation doesn’t work for us. what is the limit for each of us?…that’s another issue! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice post !

    I am likely in the minority of those who say, “it should continue, to rot away into the surroundings”? I enjoyed this post immensely. Yet really, 400 years old is not that long in Earth terms. Perhaps in the measurement of people’s lives?

    The lives of those who once inhabited, I believe, should not be disturbed. I get a little tired of those who want to dig up stuff, from the past. When those who were interred and their possessions, were meant to be respected. Not put in a jar, in some lab or museum. Though, I digress.

    Was the place an imposing edifice when being used? Probably, a bit. Though the stonework appears less impressive than … say? Mohendro Daro? That place is considerably older, too.

    As for the Panthers? We do not have them in Canada, but we do have a close relative. Called Cougars, or Mountain Lions. Of meeting them or Porcupines. I would likely be more afraid of the Porcupine. For a face full of those quills, is fearsome. Though at my age, now. I would be glad not to meet either while hiking and would be respectful of both them and their habitat. Nice post and at least you captured on images, what is left today. Cheers Jamie.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I appreciate your point of view Jamie…always fresh and different!
      while I do think that somethings need to go as they were intended to, at the same time, what was important part of history needs to be preserved and documented! while we can’t compare it with Mohenjodaro since it’s a lone building and unlike that city which got buried and preserved somehow in it’s own way, this one had beating of all elements of nature. well, now it’s almost gone…
      well, panthers themselves avoid humans for it’s the only race that has caused extinction of majority of extinct species on this planet.Need I say more? Only humans have such “animal-istic” attitude.

      As I said earlier, I always appreciate your comments Jamie! Thanks for sharing one here. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Arv, I am amazed at the history of the elusive Mariam Mahal ruins. It’s a really interesting story and you told it so well! 🙂 I really love ALL your photographs you have captured some nice angles and the greenery is so stunning! It’s sad what’s left of the Mariam Mahal but I’m so glad you were able to see it since you have been searching for it for so long. 🙂 I was even able to see a porcupine quill 😉 Good thing you didn’t see an actual porcupine!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Jennifer while it’s much easier to visit and explore protected heritage sites which are major tourist attractions, finding information about this kind place is very difficult. Locating one -almost impossible!
      With the quantum of heritage sites we have it’s very difficult to preserve all of them.
      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and views Jennifer! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I know what you mean here….The sad aspect of technology that often information is lost forever due to technical glitches, who knows…? I have many friends who have lost pictures saved on their laptop hard disk due to crash or accidental “delete”. Books on the other hand tend to survive for centuries. I myself own books that are at least 150-170 years old owned by my ancestors.I wish there was some way in which this monument could be saved, but it’s too late now! Thank you for sharing your thoughts here & your kind comment. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank You for considering & nominating me for the award. However, I have maintained award free blog therefore I have never posted for it. I’m happy that you found me worthy enough for nomination.appreciate that…. Thank You! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. well I guess it’s a fact that it’ll be lost forever…very soon.Going same way as many other things have! Well, don’t worry there’s so much to explore here in India, that it’ll take many years to complete the quest. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh! That’s nice.Way back in the sense??
        In fact Colombo had drastically advanced within the last five years.On progress of rapid advancement after 3decades of ethnic war.

        Liked by 1 person

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