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200-years-old ‘Jaisamand Prashasti’ found in London library

Udaipur : The discovery of ‘Jaisamand Prashasti’ a treasured transcript written in April 1819 by poet Yati Gyanchandra, at the Royal Asiatic Library, London recently has elated historians and writers of Mewar region. The transcript illustrating the glory of the Mewar Kingdom and the world famous Jaisamand Lake had been compiled for Colonel James Todd who took them with him in 1828 to the British land. Eminent scholar and historian SriKrishna Jugnu has attained an electronic copy of the manuscript from London who has now embarked on the task of translating the Sanskrit text into Devanagri one. The translation is expected to bring out many interesting and unknown facts related to the royal lineage, Jugnu claims.

The original ode (Jaisamand Prashashti) was a masterpiece by Pandit Ranchhod Bhatt, who also wrote the ‘Raj Prashasti’ which is acclaimed as the longest etchings in the country narrating the royal history and  inscribed in 1017 stanzas on 27 marble slabs at the Rajsamand lake in Rajsamand.  The script of Jaisamand Prashasti had gone missing and hence the stone inscription hadn’t been possible at the lake sides.  Years later Yati Gyanchandra compiled its transcript for Colonel Todd. The transcript which constitutes of 18 chapters containing more than 1500 shlokas gives a detailed account of the massive water body.

The Jaisamand Lake (also known as Dhebar jheel) was built by Maharana Jaisingh in 1685 because as there was a great need for water for cultivation in Mewar’s southeastern corner. The Maharana emulated his father (Maharana Raj Singh who built the Rajsamand Lake), by damming a small river, the Gomati, and building a massive embankment.  On the day of its inauguration, June 2, 1691, Maharana Jai Singh walked around the dam charitably distributing gold equal to his own weight. The statistics of the lake is amazing with 14 km in breadth, 102 feet (31 m) deep at its deepest end, a circumference of 30 miles (48 km), with marble staircases leading into the water. The summer palaces of the Queens of Udaipur surround Dhebar Lake on all sides.

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