Though Shrimant Sayajirao III , then the ruler of Vadodara state commissioned Shri V . R . Talawalakar , the State Architect to prepare a plan in consultation with Sir Edwin Lutyen for a Royal Cenotaph, on the lines of Pantheon at Rome , to perpetuate the memory of his ancestors , the edifice completed in 1936, at the cost of Rs 5,60,392 /- is instrumental in helping the Vadodarians to praise in perpetuity the noble deeds carried out by Him and His Grandsons Shrimant Fatehsinhrao and Shrimant Ranajitsinhrao .
While browsing Gujarat's Glory today , I learnt that Master Painter Shri Nandlal Bose of Shantiniketan had drawn murals on first floor of Kirti Mandir , cenotaph of the Gaekwads , I could not control my eagerness to see the murals today itself .
So I happened to be at the entrance of kirti Mandir at 1215 , where the inscribed words " Truth , Morality , Ambition and Fame " greeted me . After parking my car , when I approached the main wooden gate , I found it was closed to my dismay . I drove back to the exit , when I saw a Chowkidar . When I asked him , whether the Mandir was closed due to Sunday , he declined and offerred me to show the Mandir .
This magnificient " E " shaped Kotah stone building with balconies ,domes , terraces and 33 m high pinnacle is of Indo Aryan style and has a finial in Bronze having figures of Sun , Moon and Earth with a map of Akhand Bharat .
On ground floor , in the main hall there was an impressive bust of Shrimant Sayajirao III . After paying my humble homage to him , I paid my tributes to the beautiful marble bust of Rajmata Shantadevi . She really loved her city . When she passed away , many citizen including me observed a fast . Opposite her bust in the same hall there was the bust of her late husband , Shrimant Pratapsinhrao , whose funeral procession I witnessed . He passed away in England . But when the procession was snailed on the arteries of Vadodara , we were in awe in seeing the Royal glory on his impressive face even in his death .
Then I was ushered upstairs by Shri Babu Umrath , the Chowkidar to show me the treasure of Kirti Mandir , themurals of Nandlal Bose . After coming in the balcony , when I glanced back , there was famous mural of Meerabai . First picture showed Meerabai in full Marwadi dress engrossed in meditation . Second panel showed Meerabai gazing beyond a lake wondering when she would meet her Giridhar Gopal . Last scene depicts Meerabai going on her last journey to Dwarakadhish temple at Dwaraka .
The next mural was telling the story of Mahabharat War . The central panel showed Lord Krishna instigating Arjuna to fight . On the left panel there were Abhimanyu and Uttara in their tent . The last panel illustrated how Dhritrashtra and Gandhari were dismayed after seeing their sons' dead bodies consigned to the flames .
The third mural was an egg tempera fresco about Gangavataran . At the central there was six armed Shiv . He was represented with three faces representing three aspects of life : past , present and future . He held , trident , bowl of nectar , poison , ground and damaru in his five hands . He extended his sixth arm in consoling gesture .He wore a garland of human sculls around his waist . To the right of Shiv was Brahma from whose kamandalu Ganga emerged in three parts : first over His head , then at the middle and lastly at His feet . The three parts of Ganga were depicted in human forms . One on the right was Bhogawati which flows underground to the Patal . On the left was Mandakini which flows to the heaven . At the centre was Ganga flowing to the Earth .
The last mural was based on Rabindranath Tagore's Natir Puja . On Vasant Purnima , a palace dancer Shrimati appeared all decked up for her dance at the stupa . As she danced on and on , she so lost in the religious preachings offerred by Lord Buddha that she started discarding all her ornaments one by one and later her gorgeous apparels too .
Later on , I visited the room where the bust of the last commoner ruler Shrimant Ranajitsinhji was placed . He was so down to the earth that many times I had seen him moving in the premise of the Faculty of Fine Arts wearing worn out slippers and sometimes even sleeping under a tree . I paid my respects to the true monarch and left the Mandir with heavy heart .
If you own or manage Kirti Mandir, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.