The poetic Chittaur of Meerabai

मेरे तो गिरधर गोपाल दूसरो न कोई॥
जाके सिर सोई।
तात मात भ्रात
छांड़ि दई कुलकी कहा
संतन ढिग बैठि बैठि लोक ई॥
किये टूक लीन्हीं लोई।

After many battles & political tug-of-war, Chittaur was rising again but this time with the melody, like never before. Chittaur by then had witnessed many episodes of pride, valor & patriotism but never the true love – the love for someone who’s never seen, spoken with but always felt.

Meerabai Temple, Chittaur
Meerabai Temple, Chittaur

Meerabai or as her family called her, Meera, at a tender age, was married to the prince of Mewar, Bhoj Raj. Within seven years of her marriage, she lost her husband, her father-in-law (the brave Rana Sanga) & her father, She was all alone in this big, whole world & she found solace in Lord Krishna.

Meerabai Temple, Chittaur
Meerabai Temple, Chittaur

Legend has it that when Meera was a kid; she saw a wedding procession going by & enquired from her mother about what it was. When her mother explained the concept of wedding, little Meera curiously asked who will she get married to. Her mother, jokingly, pointed at the temple nearby. That temple was of no other but of Lord Krishna. And from that day onwards, Meera dedicated her life to Girdhar Gopal. Since then, wherever she went, there came a divine air with her filled with chants, poems & couplets:

मेरे तो गिरधर गोपाल दूसरो न कोई॥
जाके सिर है मोरपखा मेरो पति सोई।

Inside the fort premises of Chittaur fort, the immediate tourist attraction after Raja Kumbha’s palace is Meerabai temple. While taking you around the temple, the tourist will share the folklores with you that will leave you awed. I read those in school text books & being in the place where these incidents supposedly must have happened, left me in a state that was impervious to anything negative.

Meerabai Temple, Chittaur
Meerabai Temple, Chittaur

Meera used to frequent the temple early mornings every day against the wishes of her in-laws. Once when she was busy praying, she was sent a cup of nectar to drink from. It was in fact a cup of poison intended to remove Meera from the face of Mewar forever. However, Meera drank the cup of poison chanting the name of Krishna & look at the magic in the name of Krishna that the posion could do no harm to Meera and she continued to revel in Krishna-Bhakti.

पी गई मीराबाई देखो, राणा के विष का प्याला
कौन बिगड़ सका उसका, जिसका गिरधर रखवाला
गिरधर के रंग में दासी ने, जग से नाता तोड़ लिया

It’s also said that once Meera’s in-laws sent a basket full of flowers (which in actual were snakes) while she was busy singing the song of Krishna. But such was the magic of Krishna Bhakti, the snakes infact became flowers & happily donned Meera.

सापं पिटारा राणाजी भेजा, हार मौत के शुलों का
हंस कर मीरा ने पहना, हार बन गया फूलों का
प्रेम दीवानी मीरा देखो, मोह से बंधन तोड़ दिया
Meerabai Temple, Chittaur
Meerabai Temple, Chittaur

These two incidents along with countless others continued till Meera decided to leave Chittaur for good. And she did. It’s being said that as Meera left, the fortune of Chittaur forsook the place too.

Meerabai Temple, Chittaur
Meerabai Temple,

Many rulers came & went but none could bring Chittaur back to what it once was. Chittaur was never the same.


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