Mewar’s highly revered Lok Devta
Located in several parts of Udaipur city, the ‘sthanaks’, places of worship of different Sagas Baoji attract a large number of devotees. Some members of noble families, who died untimely death, left their mortal body and their soul became Lok Devta to alleviate the pain and suffering of their devotees. Being symbols of valour and strength, they were called Sagas that means power and with the addition of ‘bao’ and ‘ji’ that are marks of respect, they came to be called Sagasji or Sagas Baoji.
Out of the several ‘sthanaks’ of Sagasji in the town the one at Sarvaritu Vilass inside Udiapole is the oldest and has the greatest following. Worshipped here is Sultansinghji, the eldest son of Maharana Rajsingh. This shrine built at the place where Sultansingh died has an interesting incident related to it. The Maharanas of Mewar had through the ages considered Lord Eklingji as the ruler of the state and they themselves being just these ministers. So, only the princess of the royal family can visit this shrine of Sagasji but once they became Maharana they cannot do so. It is said that once Maharana Bhupalsingh got seriously ill. His mother Rajmata Veerath Kunwar prayed to Sagasji for his quick recovery promising that the Maharana would visit his shrine when he got well. But when he was fully cured, the customs and traditions stood in his way to have the ‘darshan’ of Sagasji. As a solution to this problem, a mirror was put in front of Sagasji’s picture and through a newly made window on the right, the Maharana was able to have the ‘darshan’. A large number of devotees from distant places in Rajasthan and other states come here for ‘darshan’ every day, especially on Friday. The ‘snathak’ is open twenty-four hours a day.
There are several other shrines of Sagas Baoji in different parts of Udaipur including those of Ransinghji at Varion ki Ghati, Bherunsinghji at Karjali House, Sardarsinghji at Mandi ki naal, Jagatsinghji at Ghantaghar area, Bheemsinghji at Motimagri, Sultansinghji at Piccholi, Arjunsinghji at Gulab Bagh Baori, Bakhtawarsinghji between Nanigali and Ghantaghar, Rudrapratapsinghji at Naiyon ki Talai, Baktawarsinghji in Kanwarpada School, Dhansinghji and Sukhramsinghji at Kotharion ki Gali and Sultansinghji at Rajmahal.
One deeply revered shrine is that of Bherunsinghji Annadata Karjaliwale at Mahasatiya, Ayad. Other shrines include those at Udiapole, Bhatiyana Choutta Ayad Pulia, Guru Govindsingh School, Jagdish Chowk School, Sahiwalon Ki Sehri, Khemanghati, Salumber ki Haveli, Shivrati Haveli, Babelon ki Sehari, Bagore ki Haveli and Madanpol.
On Friday evening at many shrines is held ‘durbar’ where the devotees get relief from their physical, mental, family problems, etc.
One of the salient features of Sagas Baoji is that persons who have deep faith in them and pray to them sincerely get their wishes fulfilled.