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Rulers like to be remembered long after they are gone and in the medieval times, the rulers of central and western India believed that building monuments and cenotaphs were an excellent way to be remembered. Hence Umbrella shaped cenotaphs became very common in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Gujarat.

One such ruling class famous for their craftsman of Chattardis of Bhuj in Gujarat is the Jadejas. The exquisitely carved cenotaphs mark the reign of the Jadejas, the erstwhile royal family of kutch. The cenotaphs are located along the Hamirsar Lake in the heart of Bhuj. The jadejas who built them ruled the princely state of Kutch from 1147 to 1948. A custom of that time is very famous in the west today, that a person was to be cremated next to a Chattardi built by one of their closest relatives.

SOME IMPRESSIVE CHATTARDIS

The cenotaphs are made of red sandstones with variations in size, design, and ornaments. Some of the Chattardis is made up of blue tiles which tells us about their Persian influence.

One of the most impressive Chattardis have been built by Rao Lakhaji who ruled in the 18th century and played a central role in the development of Kutch.

Rao Lakahji

Today very few cenotaphs stand, as most of them were damaged in the 2001 earthquake. A lot of art, paintings, pillars, and sculptures were lost. The Chattardis of Bhuj is a testimony to the skill of the Kutchi artisans.

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