Installation of the statue of the legendary Maharana Verisali I of Rajpipla in the precincts of Harsiddhi Mataji temple

A magnificent statue of Maharana Verisali I of Rajpipla was installed in the precincts of the Harsiddhi Mataji temple. It was Maharana Verisalji I, the 26th Gohil Rajput ruler of the principality of Rajpipla who went to Ujjain in the year 1705 and paid obeisance at the original temple of Harsiddhi Mataji. This was thanksgiving for the glorious victory of the Rajpipla State army under him over the forces sent by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb the same year. Maharana Verisaji then brought an idol of Shri Harsiddhi Mataji and installed Her on the northern fringe of Nandod (New Rajpipla) town, later the capital of Rajpipla State.  

Harsiddhi Mataji temple at Rajpipla.
Shri Harsiddhi Mataji.

The ancient Gohil Rajput dynasty, its origin dating back to the 6th century AD, came to rule the principality of Rajpipla around the year 1340. The 4,000 square kilometres territories lay largely between the Narmada in the north, and for some distance the Tapti in the south. The mediaeval capitals of Devchhatra and Junaraj nestled high up in the scenic western Satpuras.

The Sisodia dynasty of Mewar too draws its origin from the Gohil dynasty, which was founded by Muhideosur Gohadit or Guhil, whose descendant Bappa Rawal or Kalbhoj captured Chittor in the 8th century.  After the fall of Chittor in 1567 to Mughal Emperor Akbar, Maharana Udai Singh of Mewar was honoured guest of Maharana Bhairavsinhji of Rajpipla for some time.

The Gohil rulers of Rajpipla then gave refuge to the last Sultan of Gujarat, Muzaffar Shah III, and incurred the wrath of Emperor Akbar. The imperial troops led by Mirza Khan Khas took Gujarat in 1584. Akbar then levied tribute on Rajpipla, took away Nandod Taluka in the plains and granted it to Haider Kuli Khan.

With the weakening of the Mughal Empire, Maharana Verisalji I asserted his independence, and in 1705 laid waste south Gujarat. The force sent by Aurangzeb under Nazar Ali, the Nawab of Baroda, was defeated in alliance with Maratha army of the Chhatrapati led by their commander Dhanaji Jadhav at Ratanpur near the western border of Rajpipla State.

Maharana Verisalji I’s son Maharana Jeetsinhji succeeded in wresting Nandod Taluka from the Mughals, having forged a treaty with Maharaja Peelaji Rao Gaekwar of Baroda. The Gaekwars had started ruling Baroda since 1721. In 1730 Maharana Jeetsinhji transferred the capital of Rajpipla State to Nandod, now modern town of Rajpipla, on the banks of the River Karjan.

In the year 2021 the Maharana Verisajli Smarak Samiti was formed by the Rajput Samaj in association with the royal family of Rajpipla. The samiti had a statue of Maharana Verisalji I crafted. The statue was installed in the precincts of the Harsiddhi Mataji temple on 9th November. Shri Harsiddhi Mataji is the family deity of the royal family of Rajpipla. Along with the royal family, a vast number of people have unflinching faith and devotion towards Harsiddhi Mataji. It is a fitting tribute that a statue of Maharana Verisalji I has been installed in the precincts of the Harsiddhi Mataji temple, a splendid reminder for generations to come of the stirring history of Rajpipla and the belief in the powers of Shri Harsiddhi Mataji.

One thought on “Installation of the statue of the legendary Maharana Verisali I of Rajpipla in the precincts of Harsiddhi Mataji temple

  1. Well design statue of Maharana Verisalji of Rajpipla. I was invited but due to other engagements I just missed it. It reminds me of Sir Sayarao Gaekead statue opp. railway station of Baroda. Ofcourse, there is a ocean of difference between two but it does Remi d of that. My association with Rajpipla dates back to 1955.

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