‘A magical place filled with beauty, grace, and life.’
Scattered around the starting of the weathered Aravalis are beautiful cenotaphs that commemorate the valor and courage of the erstwhile Maharajas of the Mewar kingdom. Ahar is a small town in the Udaipur district of Rajasthan, India.
The cenotaphs are essentially a Royal cemetery for Udaipur’s late Maharajas. However, what might sound like a dark place on paper is, in fact, a spot of peace and serenity. About 3km east of the old city, is the royal cremation ground with 372 cenotaphs of maharanas and queens of Mewar forming a spectacular city of domes built over 400 years.
The Ahar Cenotaphs is the most famous archaeological site in the whole Rajasthan as the wives were immolated with the king’s cremation. The wives would sacrifice themselves whenever the king passed away; even Maharana Sangram Singh was cremated at this ground with his 21 wives.
Each cenotaph represents each king who ruled the Mewar along with the wives and the cenotaph was carved in a unique design. The Ahar Cenotaphs refer to the empty tomb monument which was built as honor or memorial of the king.
Image of Lord Vishnu, the maharana, and the queens are carved into the dome of the cenotaph and the architecture is very similar to that of a Hindu temple. All the royal cenotaphs consist of 8 hand-carved pillars supporting the octagonal dome in the middle. The architraves of the roofs are embellished with ornamentations.
Many times, the charm of this place has been presented in the movies of Hollywood. In the complex, you can trace some small and intricate tombs of ancient times. The remnants support the fact that Ahar has been a crucial part of a bygone era. Ahar Archeological Museum is also located within the vicinity of the cremation ground.
The State Government of Rajasthan created this museum to protect the artifacts and other items which were excavated from the Mewar period. It became the most famous tourist site within months and tourists had a chance to view hoe people of Mewar used to live and what kind of object they used in the ancient period including the relics and the religion they used to follow.
If you are on a trip to Udaipur, don’t miss these cenotaphs by any chance. They are open from 6 am to 6 pm and there are no tickets for the entry. However, the museum has a fee of INR 20 per person and is open from 10 am-4:30 pm.
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