Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh of Jaipur, who reigned from 1880 to 1922, was a great devotee of Ganga ji and Radha-Krishna. He also had immense love for Haridwar and used to visit the city by train and stay there for a month every year. His queens, servants and chefs used to travel with him. He also built the Ganga ji temple in 1914, which costed 35,000 and the stones for its construction were brought from Karauli.
But why did the London newspapers call him a ‘religion devoted king’? Read this interesting story of Jaipur’s Madho Singh’s visit to England and get to know the reason yourself!
It was in the year 1902 that Madho Singh had to go to England for the crowning of the British king. The Ganga ji devotee Maharaja of Jaipur got special huge urns prepared especially for his England visit. He used them to carry water of River Ganga with him on the trip. These huge urns are still kept displayed at the City Palace.
One of the huge Silver Urns displayed at the City Palace
All through his trip, the Maharaja’s food was prepared using the holy water of Ganga and he used the same for drinking as well.
The maharaja left for Bombay via train and carried his Radha-Krishna along with him through a huge procession till the train.
Thereafter from Bombay, Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh was supposed to travel through a ship named ‘Olympia’. But before stepping on to the ship, he got it washed with the water of Ganga. In one of the rooms, he placed his Radha-Krishna with all rituals. He used to worship them during his journey.
It was the historic day of 3rd June, 1902 when a procession of Indian lords Radha-Krishna was seen on the streets of London.
During his stay in England the Maharaja ensured to clean his hands with soil carried from India and washing them with the water of Ganga, every time he shook hands with the foreigners there.
While many London newspapers titled him as the ‘Religion Devoted King’ for his incomparable devotion to River Ganga and Radha-Krishna, some mocked at him calling him insane for practicing blind faith on rituals and traditions.