Jham Singh Temple



Rajput’s of yore are extolled for their valor and chivalry imbued with their spiritual and ecclesiastical sensitivity displayed by graphics in Hindu pantheon .Rajput Rulers, Chieftains and Zamindars were generally worshippers of Lord Ram . Many had their own family deities consecrated in exclusively maintained temples. Several magnificent temples were built by Rajput kings to fulfill their vows, and to give expression to the spiritual aspects of Hindu culture. They were, at the same time, great patrons of art and architecture. Such an inimitable blend of faith in spirituality with erotic art and intricate architecture is splendidly portrayed at Khajuraho.

The common Rajput folks had, in and around 17th and 18th centuries and from time thereafter, moved from north India as migrants and scattered all over south India settling down in tiny groups in far flung pockets located and distanced away from each other. Undaunted by obstacles and difficulties of isolation, social and linguistic barriers, they soon joined the main stream of the society with which they were destined to live. Many a families snapped their roots but continued to maintain their identity by clinging to their language and customs.

One such Rajput migrant from Uttar Pradesh was Sri Jham Singh a Cavalier in the Army of Nawab Sikander Jah Nizam III of erstwhile State of Hyderabad who reigned during 1803-1829 A.D. The sketchy chronicles available in the archives and the misty records and inscriptions give a glimpse of how Jham Singh had set up a huge temple complex in which he consecrated the Deities, universally worshiped by all Hindus, irrespective of their cults.

The magnificent temple was built around 1810 and has come to be popularly known after his name as Sri Jham Singh Balaji (Venkateswara Swami) Temple at Gudi Malkapur near Mehdipatnam, Hyderabad City (India). There is a legend that the then ruler Sikander Jah was infuriated when he was informed about the construction of the temple by Jham Singh at the expense of Army funds. He initiated penal action against him. Fortunately Raja Chandu Lal the Hindu Prime Minister interceded. Granting his entreaties the Nizam relented on condition that a mosque be built by Jham Singh close to the temple .Obviously it was an extra-ordinary way of showing mercy .The mosque was therefore built by Jham Singh opposite to and on the other side of the temple ,which is included in the SANAD(Decree)awarded to the Founder . There is also another legend that Jham Singh, while traveling to purchase horses at a far-off place in neighboring state, got a revelation in his sleep and returned to Hyderabad without purchasing any horses. Inspired by the revelation he embarked on construction of the temple by putting in all his resources, on the same analogy as Bhakt Ramdas of famed Bhadrachalam Temple.

When this noble activity was brought to the notice of Nizam III he visited the place and to his surprise he found stone horses in front of the temple which would not move. The ruler was awe-struck by the spectacle and dropped penal action against Jham Singh .In admiration for the noble act he awarded a Jagir now called Jham Singh Lingapur Village in Medak District of A.P. which has also been dedicated with all its income to the Temple by the founder. A brief description of the temple may be worth-while. The presiding Deity of this temple is Lord Venkateswara Swami (Lord Vishnu) whose idol is sculptured in black granite, flanked by Lord's two consorts. Next to main sanctum sanctorum, on one side an idol of Lord Shiva and on another side idol of Lord Krishna are consecrated into smaller temples with beautiful Gopurams.

The temple complex has been built strictly in accord with the traditional Hindu architecture. It is almost patterned on the famous South Indian temple of Srirangam, Kanchi and Tirumalai. The stone pillar (Dhwajasthambham) has no parallel in twin cities of Hyderabad. The main entrance towards East is adorned with a beautiful Gopurams. A double storied Naggar Khana (Room of beating of Drums) is adjacent to it. In the Centre is a Mandapam with twelve pillars holding it. In front of the pillar of Garuda, the mythological bird vehicle of Gods with idols of Lord Hanuman and other Gods around it. On one side of Tulasi Vrindaban are embossed figures of Jham Singh and his consort in a worshipping posture.

There are two drinking water wells inside and outside the portals of the temple. On a black stone plaque, which is embedded on the steening wall of the outside well, is engraved a quatrain in Persian, carved in perfect hand, inviting pilgrims and way farers to relax and refresh with its sweet and cool water. The Rathshala and Dharam-Shala which were in shambles are being renovated. The encroachments by Land Grabbers with the blessings of local politicians are now dealt with following legal processes. A Kalyana Mandapam, in dilapidated condition, is situated at a distance on temple's land, which is illegally claimed by unscrupulous people against whom suits have been filed. The daily poojas and services are performed punctually.

The main Jathra is held in the month of Magh (February) when the Deity is carried in procession and the Chariot is drawn followed by cultural activities such as Kirtans by Bhajan Mandalies and jatras. Vijay-Dhashami is celebrated with profound religious fervor, and with pomp and gaiety. The effigies of Ravanasur and other demons are set on fire symbolizing burning of evils. There is always a big congregation on all such occasions. The genealogy of the family of Founder in descending order is as follows :- Sri Jham Singh Thakur Bhabuti Singh Thakur Mansukh Singh Thakur Keshav Singh Smt. Rampyari Bai Thakur Vinay Kumar Singh The sale proceeds of temple lands in the city acquired by the government have been kept in bank deposits in the joint account of the Commissioner Endowment Dept. and the Chairman of the Temple Trust .The management and administration of the affairs of the Temple are under the direct control of the Commissioner Endowment Dept. .An Asst. Commissioner has been appointed as the Executive Officer and other staff including three Archakas, a Ved Pandit to perform pujas and to impart Sanskrit and Vedas to children.

The credit for protection of the Temple and all its properties and the developmental activities to improve resources of the Temple goes to Dr. H. Kishan Singh whose selfless services and dedication may not be over-emphasized .I got involved in the service of the Temple inspired by the faith and dedication of Dr. H. Kishan Singh. A proper tribute to the memory of the Founder Late Sri Jham Singh will, in my view, be to create infrastructure and avenues for imparting religious teachings coupled with scientific knowledge and skills by spending a part of income if not the corpus fund of the Temple .

Kshatriya Rajput Sabha