Sunday, 11 December 2016

MONASTERY OF LAL JAS RAJ


Monastery of Lal Jas Raj is located in north-east part of Depalpur fort city having coordinates 30°39'52.48"N, 73°39'18.71"E. Besides doors with decorated latches, Jharokhasbay windows and cut brick works, the most noticeable feature inside old Dipalpur is the monastery of Lal Jas Raj, a guru much venerated by the local people. Initially it was not in our plan to visit this place; in fact we never heard or know anything about this monastery. Thanks to our friend Adnan Tariq a local from Depalpur city who shown us gem of architecture.

There are different theories about the foundation of this city, which ascribed this to Raja Deva Pala, of whom nothing is known. Its antiquity, however, is undoubted, as the interior surface on which the houses are now built is on a level with the terreplein of the ramparts. The old coins, also, which are found there in great numbers, show that Depalpur was in existence as early as the time of the Indo-Scythians. Depalpur is first mentioned in the campaign of Muhammad-bin-Qasim, who in A.D. 714, after the capture of Multan advanced by Depalpur towards Kashmir. But the coins show that it had existed for many centuries previously

According to another source Raja Dipa Chand was the founder of Dipalpur.  Lal Jas Raj was the young son of Raja Dipa Chand, the founder of Dipalpur. He sank into the earth due to a curse by his stepmother Rani Dholran.  Raja Dipa Chand constructed this monastery in the memory of his son. Today, the chamber is dilapidated, the doors are jammed and a stairway is used for storage. The structure itself is crumbling. According to local residents, there used to be a grand annual "mela" held here. It was also used by Hindus as a place to perform the Sardukahr until the partition, but "nobody comes anymore.















Sources, Archaeological Survey of India, Report for the Year 1872-73 by Alexander Cunningham (1814 1893) (Director General of archaeological survey of India)