History of Jhalawar Rajasthan
The city of Jhalawar was founded by Jhala Zalim Singh (First), who was the then Dewan of Kota state (1791 A.D.). He established this township, then known as Chaoni Umedpura, as a cantonment. The township was surrounded with dense green forests and wild animals. Jhala Zalim Singh often came here for hunting and he liked the place so much that he wanted to develop it as a township. The objective to develop this place as a military cantonment was due to the fact that Maratha invaders passed through this central place from Malwa towards Kota to capture Hadoti states.
Founder of Jhalawar, Jhala Zalim Singh
Legendary Jhala Zalim Singh recognized the importance of this place and started to develop it as a military cantonment and township, so that he could use this place to attack and stop Maratha invaders before they can reach to Kota state. Chaoni Umedpura got developed as a cantonment and township around 1803-04 A.D. Colonel Todd, who visited the region in December, 1821 described this area as the cantonment established by Jhala Zalim Singh plus a well-established township with large houses, havelis, and surrounding walls. In 1838 A.D., English rulers seperated Jhalawar state from Kota state and gave it to Jhala Madan Singh, the grandson of Jhala Zalim Singh. He developed his administration services to develop the state of Jhalawar. He resided in Jhalara Patan for a long time and started to build The Garh Palace (1840 - 1845 A.D.). He was the first ruler of Jhalawar state and made his great contribution in the history of Jhalawar. Jhala Madan Singh ruled Jhalawar from 1838 to 1845. After his death, Jhala Prithvi Singh became the ruler of Jhalawar, and ruled for around 30 years. Rana Bhawani Singh Ji, who ruled Jhalawar state from 1899 to 1929 A.D., did remarkable work in the development of Jhalawar state. His active involvement was in the fields of social activities, public works (construction), education, administration, etc. During his time, a number of genius personalities of Jhalawar gave their active hand in these activities.
Great Celebrity Ravi Shankar
The renowned sitar maestro Ravi Shankar grew up in Jhalawar after his family moved here from Bengal. His father was the Prime Minister of Jhalwar then, and Ravi Shankar's brother, the celebrated dancer Uday Shankaralso lived here for a long time. Uday Shankar formerly used to dance at the Natyashala in Jhalawar before the European dancer Anna Pavlova discovered him and put him into the international arena.
The City is A Devotee of God Hanuman
Jhalawar's coat of arms revolves around a likeness of the monkey god Hanuman, known for his legendary feats of strength. Hanuman is depicted here more as a caricature than a real monkey, and is set within a shield. A horse and a lion flank each side of the shield which bears an inscription. The entire image is crowned off by a trident, representing the goddess Durga. Currently Zalim Singh's descendents are the unofficial 'rulers', although their titles and privy purses were taken away by the Indian government in 1970.