Mumal & Mahendra – An Immortal Rajput love story
I am at the top of a small hillock where once was a Medhi (small palace) belonging to a girl called Mumal or Momal who was from Lodhruva, Jaisalmer. A broken wall, small platform and a single window are the only remains of this monument which was earlier named as Kak Mahal. Below I can see a dry river bed, where, once upon a time gushed in full swing, a river by the name of Kak.
During those times the Medhi had beautifully carved windows, a scenic garden, many mazes, fake ponds and other illusions. It has witnessed the love story of Mumal and her lover Rana Mahendra which stood the test of the time.
Mumal was an extremely beautiful Rajput girl whose beauty and charms were famous not only in Jaisalmer but also far and wide. She wanted to marry someone who would win her heart with his bravery and intelligence. Mumal, along with her seven sisters and attendants would weave a web of magic in Kak Mahal to test them. Several kings and princes tried their luck but in vain.
Remains of the Medhi.
The reputation of this palace, and of Mumal’s dazzling beauty soon became a legend. Once Rana Mahendra Sodha, the ruler of Umer Kot in Sindh (now in Pakistan), reached the banks of the river while hunting. He too was attracted by the magical Kak. From the window of her palace Mumal saw Mahendra and his friend resting by the river bank, so she sent water and some refreshments for them. She invited them to rest in the palace till next morning.
Like others, Mahendra also had to cross the labyrinths and other hurdles to reach the palace. He was an intelligent and courageous man which led him to succeed in reaching the palace, unharmed. Mumal was very impressed and decided to accept him as her consort. Mahendra spent the night at the palace and returned to Umer Kot in the morning.
Mahendra on his love journey.
Eventually their love blossomed. Mahendra found a camel which was fast enough to cover long distance from Umer Kot to Kak & back in few hours. Each night Cheetal, the camel, used to take him to spend time with Mumal and they would return to Umer Kot by dawn. He could not keep his mind off Mumal and would keep humming “हाले नी मूमल म्हारी अमराणे रे देश” (Come with me to my Umer Kot, Oh Mumal).
One day, when Mahendra’s family got to know of his love for Mumal, they ordered to break the legs of Cheetal. That night another camel was arranged for him by his friends. The camel was not as fast and experienced as Cheetal. Mahendra didn’t have any option and started his journey. After a while he whipped the camel in order to make her go fast. The camel started running. In the dark Mahendra couldn’t figure out the direction and the result was that he reached Barmer instead of Jaisalmer.
Once upon a time the River Kaak flowed here, now a dry bed.
At the same time at Medhi, Mumal kept waiting for Mahendra and started playing games with her sisters. One of her sisters Sumal dressed like a man. Time passed and they were tired and sleepy. Sumal slept in man’s attire with Mumal on her bed.
At Barmer, on realizing his mistake, Mahendra raced towards Jaisalmer and when he reached Kak Mahal, he mistook Sumal as Mumal’s paramour. Disgusted, he left his riding cane besides Mumal’s bed and returned to Umer Kot. He was highly distraught that Mumal had cheated on him.
Mumal pleaded Mahendra to forgive her but he ignored her requests. To prove her innocence, Mumal set a fire and jumped in it. When Mahendra came to know of this, he rushed to the place where Mumal was already in flames; he joined her to be consumed by the fire along with Mumal.
And that was the end of a fervent legendary love story. If you can read Hindi, here is a longer version of the story.
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