The Elusive Mariam Mahal Ruins in Jaipur

I found information related to the Mariam Mahal ruins in Jaipur two years ago & ever since then I wanted to explore this place. Despite all efforts to find the Mariam Mahal ruins for over a year in the jungles around Jaipur, I wasn’t too lucky. But the quest for elusive Mariam Mahal continued!


Mirza Man Singh I, the ruler of Amer was one of the Navratana (nine gems) in the court of Mughal king Akbar. He led the Mughal army as a general, from Afghanistan in the west to Bangladesh in the east. He was instrumental in growth of Mughal rule in India. Despite his popularity, hardly anyone knows about his eldest son Jagat Singh who also fought many wars along with his father, Mirza Man Singh. He built a palace for his lover Mariam located far away from the famous Amer Fort. It was called Mariam Mahal. Jagat Singh died at an early age around 32-34 due to the habit of excessive drinking. Mariam continued to live in this place till her death. The daughter born to the duo got married to the Mughal ruler Jahangir, whose 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. Jagat Shiromani temple in Amer was built as a remembrance to the Jagat Singh.

Read complete post on Amer Fort

Who was Mariam?

There are no written records to answer this question. But from what some historians infer she must have been an Armenian Christian. During the Mughal emperor Akbar’s rule many Armenians were granted special privileges to settle and trade in India. It is believed that she must have come to India when Armenians first emigrated. Probably, we will never know the truth!

The Ruins of Mariam Mahal

Picture shot from the  Mariam Mahal of the surroundings.

Mariam Mahal is in idyllic surroundings amidst dense forest. Even though there is no confirmed information, the popular belief holds that this palace is 400-450 years old. The floods of 1981 caused extensive damage to the Mariam Mahal. It’s cannot be reached through a road; it is accessible only through trekking path amidst the thick forest.

On way to Mariam Mahal

Previously, there was a cobble stone path but now it’s hidden under the thick foliage. The palace overlooks the valley on the edge of a hill. The drop from the edge is at least 170-225 feet.

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 meant for the security guards.

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

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

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

It’s really sad this piece of history will be completely gone in a few years, escaping the attention of conservationists and authorities.

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

Here are a few more pictures of the ruins of Mariam Mahal. The first one seems to be a reception area in the form of a Chhatri.


Some people in the anticipation of hunting for old treasure have caused extensive damage to Mariam Mahal in Jaipur. Here is a picture that depicts the sad state this building is currently in. People have been digging up the various parts of this heritage structure.


Coming back to the main story of locating Mariam Mahal, it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of a local who lives in the this jungle. It was a chance meeting during a hiking exploration. His traces his lineage to 400-500 years and narrated a few incidents and stories from his ancestors of Jagat Singh. He pointed out a broken path through which the prince would arrive riding on an elephant or horse.

Ruin at  Mariam Mahal

Some more pictures that show depict the path to Mariam Mahal. The first one if the entrance to Mariam Mahal.


Another picture of the path to Mariam Mahal which hardly exists now and has almost vanished.


It’s a dense jungle where finding your way is not easy apart from the danger of encountering the wild beasts. It’s almost impossible to reach this place on your own.

Confusing path to Mariam Mahal …or no path actually?

We heard many incidents & habits of panthers who live in these jungles from the locals who accompanied us. We visited one of the panthers’ hideouts, a den! The quest finally ended!

Read  Jagat Shiromani temple

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

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62 thoughts on “The Elusive Mariam Mahal Ruins in Jaipur

    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

      1. Thanks Arv! I always read your posts, they are thoughtful and entertaining. Any commentary is meant to enhance, not denigrate.

        Please continue giving us your blogs, about Jaipur. Thanks! Cheers Jamie.

        Liked by 2 people

  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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