As we move upwards from the banks of Saraswati at the historic Anhilwad Patan, we come to Siddhapur. Just as Gaya is called the best place to hold the Shradda Sanskar for one's father, Siddhpur has the honor for similar rite for one's mother. It is said that Bhagvan Parshuram had performed this rite for his Mother and since then it has acquires this sacred aura for the later generations. Thus we find that even today this significance draws thousands for this rite here.
As we read the description of Rudra Mahal in treatises of the past, we find that this 'Mahalay' was true to its name a great and vast structure, with incomparable wealth of sculptured beauty. Mularaj of the Solanki dynasty had begun to construct it and Siddhraj Jaysinh completed it. When we read the grand narration about how it contained vast public halls, other big and small halls, stories and stories full of balconies and verandahs, with richly carved pillars and other sculpted beauties, and how thousands of Brahmans chanted Mantras for worship and uttered various Stotras, we feel that it was like another Somnath temple
However, Allauddin Khilji razed it to the grounds. Gradually it almost disappeared. Today we can see only four pillars with an arch. But even these little ruins can provide us an idea about the beauty and grandeur of the original structure. In a 100 m. by 75 m wide area, it was a structure of two to three stories, with 1600 pillars and a large public meeting hall (Sabha Mandap).
We also must take a note of the legend of Rudra Mahal about the laying of the foundation of this structure. When King Mularaj Solanki dreamt of making a grand Shiv-Rudra Mahalay on the banks of River Saraswati, he summoned the famous architect Prandhar, he invited many other architects and astrologers, besides the skilled arti.sans from far and near. These experts selected the stone for the construction and began their work
After Mularaj, the great architect Prandhar also died. Then came the great successors like Bhimdev: Kamadev and even the queen Minaldevi. On the throne of Patan now came Bhattark Siddharaj Jaysinh. Someone reminded him of the great dream of his ancestor Mularaj that was still incomplete. Siddharaj now took up the bid to complete that dream
He invited Markand Shastri from Malva, a great astrologer. Under his guidance a new place for laying the foundation of Rudra Mahal was undertaken. As the ceremony was being conducted the Shastri went on instructing. He said, 'Dig here for another yard and a little more. This is the 'Siddha Ghatika, the Honored Hour. Keep your eye on the stick held here and as soon as I call out, plant this gold nail into the ground." And at the auspicious second, under Markand shastri's instruction, this was done.
Markand Shastri was jubilant, "Dhanya, this is great fortune for everyone! 0 King, now nothing, not even TIME can touch this Rudra Mahalay, it would last until the Sun and the Moon last (Yavacchandradivakarau). Maharaj, the nail has been placed into the head of the Sheshanaga, One who holds the Earth on His head. Now this is a moment in time that does not move. It has no Beginning and no End.
The King Jaysinh respectfully bowed to him and said, "Acharyavar, even Lord Brahma has not made any Creation that has no End
Markandji replied, "Maharaj, according to my astrological calculations the auspicious time cannot go wrong. Even if the Pralay or the End of the World comes, it would only bow and touch the feet of this Mahalaya."
Jaysinh, "Oh! What End of the World, Gurudev? What head of Sheshnaga? -Just where is the Head that holds the Earth deep down, and look at the 1 Y2 inch of this little gold nail that went ointo it!! Guruji, say something that we can believe! Or, prove it at least
Markandji was upset, "0 King! Do not mock or test such things of Knowledge!"
Jaysinh haughtily replied, "Acharyaji! I too want to see the proof. Can you show it to me?"
Markandji said, "Maharaj! Well, take off the nail, and you will find blood flowing out! Just see for yourself!"
After a lot of discussion if such a step must be taken or not, as the King did not abandon his stance of doubt, Markand shastri agreed for pulling the nail out, "As soon as the nail is pulled, it should be pushed back once more." He directed.
The nail was pulled and just as it was being pushed back, the clothes of Jaisinh were sprayed with blood. The nail was pushed back once more. With absolute amazement and happiness, Jaisinh looked at Markand shastri. But Mrakandji was most unhappy. He said, "Maharaj, within the few moment of pulling and pushing back the nail, Sheshanaga has shifted. Now the nail has not struck his head but his tail!!"
Jaisinh asked, "So? What does that mean?"
Markandji said, "Adhishwar! I am unhappy to say that the result of this is that since you are sprayed with the blood of Sheshanaga, you would be invincible. However. ..
Jaishinh asked, "However ... ?"
Markandji continued, "However ... it means that your name and fame would suffer, and while Rudramahal would be completed, it also would be razed in time. The ringing of bells day and night would stop one day, each of its stone would be broken up with a hammer, its grandeur and significance lost in time. Only some ruins would tell us of its grandeur .... "
Thid may only be a legend, bu is indeed very intersting. When we recall it as we stand near the remnants of Rudramahal, we experience agreat thrill.