Every hometown has its hero and Ranthambhore is no different. Rana Hammir (or Hamir) was a chivalrous romantic figure, a Rajput warrior king who held Ranthambhore Fort in the heart of what is now the National Park against the Delhi Sultanate. Here's a snippet from a badly written wiki entry,
in its stately walls, a glorious history of the Rajputs. Ranathambhor's
venerable structure, rapturous beauty and sublime expressiveness seem
to be continuously vocalizing the great legends of Hamir Dev, the
Rajput king, who ruled in the 13th century.
Hamir Dev belonged to the Chauhan dynasty and drew his lineage from
Prithviraj Chauhan who enjoys a respectable place in the Indian
history. During his 12 years' reign, Hamir Dev fought 17 battles and
won 13 of them. He annexed Malwa, Abu and Mandalgarh and thus extended
his kingdom to the chagrin of Delhi Sultan, Jalaluddin, who had
misgivings about Hamir's intentions. Jalaluddin attacked Ranathambhor
and had it under siege for several years. However, he had to return to
Anyway, this statue of Veer (Brave) Hammir in the heart of Sawai Madhopur, was commissioned to commemorate his courage and spirit but stands here today, about a year and half later, with his face covered with a handkerchief. Curious, I asked my local guide what was the reason for this impromptu purdah?
It turns out that right after the statue was installed on its base the high muckymuck who was supposed to come down from the state capital for the formal unveiling and dedication ceremony cancelled and they've not yet got together another event appointment. So in the meantime, they've 'veiled' the statue in the most efficient manner until the day the ceremony actually happens and the rest of the statue graces the city's main roundabout. Its too late to pretend its not already there!