This will be one of my shortest blogs ever, which is probably just as well as I’m about to embark on the mammoth task of blogging about all the temples of Khajuraho !
Located directly opposite the western group of temples behind a row of shops and restaurants is quite an impressive chhatri. You can just catch a glimpse of its upper levels from the road, but one could be forgiven for missing it if you have spent a day looking around the magnificent temples of the World Heritage Site just a few meters away.
Access is via an arched gateway, the complex is very compact and the monument itself never seems to be open. The rooms around the outer edge of the courtyard are used as a school, but you can get access to the upper levels of the perimeter wall via some steps.
As the sun was setting it was quite a pleasant way to end the day, and in all likelihood you won’t find another soul here.
Two signs attached to the chhatri give slightly conflicting information. One states it is a memorial to the late Maharaja Shri Pratap Singh, the other says it was built by Raja Pratap Singh, ruler of Chhatarpur. I’ve tried to find out more information about the monument, typically rulers didn’t build their own chhatris so I’m guessing the second sign has a slight error.
What I did find out from my research, if I have the correct person, is that Raja Pratap Singh succeeded his father Raja Sone Shah, the first Raja of Chhatarpur, in 1816.
In 1827 he was granted the title of Raja Bahadur. This was a title bestowed during the British rule in India to individuals for their service to the Empire and was accompanied by a medal called a Title Badge. Raja means “prince”, Bahadur means “brave” or “most honourable”. The equivalent title for Muslim subjects was Khan Bahadur, for Sikhs it was Sardar Bahadur.
As one of the signs gives him the title of Maharaja, perhaps at some point he was further elevated by the British Empire. He died in 1854, so this monument is likely to have been built shortly after that date.
Raja Pratap Singh is also responsible for the building of the newest temple you can see across the road inside western group complex, the Pratapeshwar Temple. You’ll notice how architecturally some of the elements used are very similar.
It only takes about 10 minutes to see all there is here, and please be sensitive to the fact that there are people living in the compound.
|Western||Lakshmana ♦ Varaha ♦ Kandariya Mahadeva ♦ Mahadeva Shrine ♦ Jagadambi ♦ Chitragupta ♦ Parvati ♦ Vishvanatha ♦ Nandi ♦ Pratapeshwar ♦ Bhairava Statue ♦ Matangeshvara ♦ Chausath Yogini ♦ Lalguan Mahadeva ♦ Chopra Tank|
|Eastern||Hanuman ♦ Brahma ♦ Vamana ♦ Javari ♦ Ghantai ♦ Adinatha ♦ Parshvanatha ♦ Shantinatha|
|Southern||Duladeo ♦ Chaturbhuj ♦ Bijamandal|
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