Albums of Heritage

The Jaipur Chapter

Amit Parekh Ashwin Vir Dayal Hanumant Pandey Shashank Bharadwaj Tushar Bhargava


The haveli is one of twelve and two Mandirs restored by the Jaipur Virasat Foundation over 2005-06 in the Singhji ka Rasta. Illinois USA © 2007 . Funding for the restoration of the facades was provided by the Prince of Wales and Prince Charles Trust. Prince Charles subsequently visited these havelis in 2006. Albums of Heritage Chicago.Albums of Heritage The Jaipur Chapter Amit Parekh Ashwin Vir Dayal Hanumant Pandey Shashank Bharadwaj Tushar Bhargava LEFT A gate to the Bolee Walon Ki Haveli in the Sankari Gali.

Sharma Bhawan 9. Bari Chaupar 6. Modi ki Haveli 8. Ram Prakash Theater 13.1 1. Balanandji ka Math 4. Chaugan Stadium 15. Johari Bazar 12. Amber & Shoor Singh ki Haveli 2. Char Darwaza 3. Jargab Haveli 10. Ajmeri Gate (Back Cover) To Amber & Delhi 13 3 14 12 2 4 5 8 15 6 9 11 To Galtaji To Sanganer . Talkatora Lake 14. Mathuresh Bhawan 11. Choti Chaupar 5. LMB 7.

. .The Jaipur Chapters 3 PREFACE 4 6 8 FOREWORD THE ASTRONOMER’S CITY THE JAIPUR CHAPTERS THE EXPERIENCE 48 MEDIA NOTES 50 ACKNOWDGEMENTS THE TEAM 10 52 54 LEFT: A Google satellite image of the Jaipur City highlighting the sites featured in this book.

Every haveli or home was intricately designed with beautiful jharokas (windows). Jaipur was the unblemished conception of the vision of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II and the architectural genius of the Bengali architect Vidhyadhar Bhattacharya. and yet was an artistic expression of the cultural propriety of its owners. are held in various private collections and are in precarious condition. It is set in a grid system. and is considered by urban planners to be one of the best planned cities. A wall with seven gates was built to fortify the city from invaders and wild animals. we can only imagine what this city once was. perhaps ravaged by the inattention of the very people whose priceless legacy it was. plinths and pillars. . In the year 1890. with grand avenues resplendent in gilded palaces and majestic havelis. Jaipur was one of the great cities of its time. The beauty of the city was not lost on the well traveled pardesis. The studio of Gobindram and Oodeyram in Jaipur and various British photographers (Bourne & Shepherd) of the time took some of the best pictures of the city in the period 1880-1920 . the famed city is now a shadow of its former self. A hint of its former grandeur can be seen in a mid-19th century canopy fresco painted on one of the turrets of the old fort of Nawalgarh. Senior Citizen. The photographs that survive are scatter all around the world in various private collections. Jeypore Portfolio of Architectural Details. conversant with the great cities of the world of the time. Jacob. aangans (courtyards). Today. Jaipur was designed by Vidhyadhar according to the principles of Vaastu. recognized Jaipur for the treasure it was. S. Built in 1727. Jaipur In the early nineteenth century. The walls inside and on the outside of homes were embellished with colorful paintings and the ceilings bedecked in intricate mosaics of mirrors. These incredible printed volumes.4 Preface Albums of Heritage Vireshwar Dayal Mathur. Each building served a distinct utilitarian purpose. The Albums of Heritage Foundation is actively engaged in an effort to acquire digital copies of these images from various owners and present a pictorial record of the city on its website. One of India’s great treasures is being lost. arranged in nine rectangular sectors. Queens Library and the Smithsonian) and unavailable to the general public in India. libraries (see British Library. He commissioned his office to produce over three hundred hand drawn sketches of architectural elements of the city’s best known structures. Colonel Sir S. the traditional Indian system of architecture. By every conceivable measure. Unfortunately. British civil engineer. the city was the fitting abode of the maharajas and their people. it was said that Jaipur City had the best skyline in the world. cornices. a stunning photograph of which appears in Jaipur – The Last Destination by Aman Nath and Samar Singh Jodha.

such as the Hawa Mahal and Jantar Mantar are well preserved. When in the next instance. It is these secondary sites. that are the focus of this project. If only one more citizen of Jaipur adds her voice to those that say that “something can and should be done”. who have to raise their voice. A prominent historian has argued that Jaipur citizens.The Jaipur Chapters 5 The Album of Heritage Project emanated from the desire of a few concerned citizens of Jaipur to create a visual record of their historical city before it withered beyond recognition. We have to wonder if the generation of our forefathers will be remembered best for architecting one of the greatest cities of the world. outstanding in their own right. but are at risk of annihilation. a three hundred year old jharoka is torn asunder to accommodate a desert cooler or accommodate a chappal store display. Some ask how such a devastation of a national treasure was possible with no armies of pillaging invaders to assign blame to. in the post-independence years of economic development. In this manner a visual history of the architecture of the Jaipur city may be preserved. Vidhyadhar’s grand composition of a single great city of unprecedented scale and beauty is precipitously endangered. and a citizen of the city raises his voice. and commission artists to recreate images of what these structures may have looked like in their pristine state over three hundred years ago. much of the city itself is gone. and the generation of their sons remembered most for its destruction. whose rightful legacy and heritage it is. the citizens of Jaipur. The urban destruction surely has taken place in our times and on our watch – namely. who always relied on the Maharaja for the maintenance of the city. Without them. The goal of the project was to seek out the havelis that survive. other parts of the city are falling victims to neglect and urban destruction. But ultimately it is we. the Albums of Heritage will have found a voice. Today. the Albums of Heritage will have been heard. While the best known sites. but notably not long gone. . were never adequately prepared to live up to their own civic duty.

beset as it is by questions of property rights. I have come across many projects led by professional organizations interested in preserving the precious arts and architectural heritage of the Jaipur city. the Albums of Heritage is an initiative led by the citizens for the citizens. The task of restoring our great city’s architectural heritage is a diffcult one.6 Foreword Albums of Heritage Salahuddin Ahmad. Government of Rajasthan I congratulate the Albums of Heritage team on completing a remarkable project that celebrates the architectural heritage of the city of Jaipur. social equity. There is something unique about the Albums of Heritage project. In my tenure as the Principal Secretary of Arts and Culture for the state of Rajasthan. When a small band of high school students approached me about helping them with their Albums of Heritage project. This effort is therefore unique because in this instance the involved citizens asked only what they themselves could do and without much ado set about doing it. intrigued me and moved me to assist them. Firstly. national legacy. But the quiet passion with which the young men spoke of their desire to do something for preserving the city. Hence. Secondly. politics. whose heritage ultimately this is. and economic de- . many such efforts begin nobly but end quickly in frustration. The task is daunting and there are no easy answers to what to do and how. Principal Secretary of Arts and Culture. the complex task its restoration seems so much more worthwhile and doable. I was inwardly skeptical about what they could really accomplish in just six weeks of the hot season. When the children themselves take such pride in their city. it is an initiative conceived and conducted by the children of Jaipur.

The Jaipur Chapters 7 velopment. temples and courtyards that at one time were the pervasive adornments of the walled city of Jaipur. the contribution of the Albums of Heritage project will be immeasurably more far reaching than the pages of the Album themselves. when proud citizens of the city themselves make a personal commitment and Jaipur’s own children take steps to control their destiny. No reader can look at these images and not feel pride in and hope for our great city and heritage. a spirit of unparalled elegance. . This book presents a visually stunning collection of “before and after” images of the havelis. However. and especially children in schools. I hasten to add just how amazed and proud I am now at the result. If I said I was skeptical of the idea at the beginning. to participate in and support efforts to conserve the city in their own way. They were more than just impassive stone and stucco structures. They represented the very spirit of the city. In that manner. I am left feeling personally energized and optimistic about the future of the city. It deserves the widest possible circulation in the city and I hope it compels more citizens. honor and solidarity. This Album of Heritage is therefore a tribute to that spirit and perhaps the only such album of its kind.

was no ordinary tourist. Jaipur was surely special for him.” . temples and palaces are here present in number and variety. Elephants and camels. for in his introduction he gushes. monkeys and alligators. peacocks. tigers. Newell. A. He wrote succinct and highly regarded guide books on a handful of Indian cities before heading off to active service with the Expeditionary Force in France. Major H. the traveler realises the India of his dreams.8 Jaipur – The Astronomer’s City Albums of Heritage Perhaps there is no better way to introduce the erstwhile city of Jaipur than to let a traveler of the 1920s describe it. it introduces him to an undreamed world of Eastern romances. “In Jaipur. … Not only does the Dhoondar capital provide the Westerner with the mise en scene his fancy had conjured up as typically Oriental. greater even than his fancy had painted.

The Jaipur Chapters 9 LEFT & RIGHT: Scanned introductory chapter from Major The full 38 page booklet with a 2 day walking itinerary is available for download from albumsofheritage. A. Newell’s definitive travel guide to the city of Jaipur. SOURCE: Acquired by Shri Ashwin Dayal in an ebay auction .

Eventually. Shoor Singh was the kotwal of Amber and in charge of maintaining the discipline in the area. Zafferulah Khan. Over time. he realized that Amber was no longer large enough to meet the peoples’ needs. when the citizens of Amber moved to Jaipur. The building was used not only as Shoor Singh’s home. Hard as it may be to believe. SOURCE: Information supplemented by interviews with Dr. . Visitors in the late 1800s described the abandoned Amber as “the city of dead splendors”. They required a city that could support trade with the major centers of the Mughal Empire. Amber became a ghost town and its havelis started falling in disrepair. When Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II came to power. the haveli was abandoned. while being able to defend itself. Then it was the home to the Kachhawahas.10 Albums of Heritage Shoor Singh ki Haveli Before Jaipur city. people began to encroach upon the building. such as Delhi and Agra. the government attempted to intervene and protect the building as it had collapsed from decay. The Amber valley at one time must have had 20-30 havelis descending from the grand palace of Amber and down the hills. parts of the Haveli are still in use by the Bhattacharyas. The stunning image of the original building is also brought to life in a 3D rendering by Shri Surjit Singh and the Studio IMCON. including a Bengali priest named Bhattacharya. Superintendent of Amber and Hawa Mahal and Shri Prakash Verma. the Shoor Singh ki Haveli is a majestic building that has unfortunately fallen into ruin. which was established in 1135. RIGHT Artist Shri Hamlet uses a pencil sketch to show what the Shoor Singh Ki Haveli may have looked like in its original condition about five hundred years ago. Of the original havelis and mandirs. there was the town of Amber. Located by the Amber Palace. five to eight still survive and can be restored. that eventually built Jaipur. The government is currently involved in a court case with the Bhattacharya family over control of the haveli and has plans for its restoration. No exact images are available but the Albums of Heritage team was able to recreate the most probable view based on surviving elements of the building. After the migration to Jaipur. In both 1968 and 1974. Maharaja Man Singh I’s cousin. but also for holding court. FOLLOWING PAGES Show a July 2007 photograph of the ruins of the Shoor Sing Ki Haveli. a Rajput tribe. The site for Jaipur was finally chosen on land that used to be the Maharajas’ personal hunting reserve. location of the ruins and the advice of architects familiar with the Jaipur heritage architecture.

The Jaipur Chapters 11 THEN .

12 Albums of Heritage Shoor Singh ki Haveli .

The Jaipur Chapters 13 NOW & THEN .

in a July 2007 photograph. . Shri Vinod Joshi and Sushri Reema Hooja. one of the four gates that make up the Char Darwaza. FAR RIGHT: A painting by Shri Hamlet of the Moti Katla Darwaza depicts the structure as it may have looked today had it been preserved in its original state. a model number in a temple designed according to the shastric principles. SOURCE: Information supplemented by interviews with Shri Ranbir Sing. The more exposed southern side. west and northern flank and four on the south. RIGHT: Moti Katla Darwaza. There were other smaller gates inside the city that separated some of the city’s chowkris (wards) one of which were the Char Darwazas. or the Four Gates. one each on the east. The gates were closed at night. was further protected by a ditch. the Moti Katla Darwaza is not one them. a practice continued in the city until as late as 1942. which is now mostly filled.14 Albums of Heritage Char Darwaza The old city of Jaipur was surrounded by a wall about 6 meters high and 3 meters thick. It had seven gates. While two of the gates have been restored and one is currently being worked on.

The Jaipur Chapters 15 NOW & THEN .

The head gurus of the Math were highly revered because they led the Jaipur army into battle. Behind the tree. astride on their elephants. the only standing right tower of the building is visible. The west side of the Math was the city wall. RIGHT: A traditional Jaipur style painting by Shri Vishnu Soni shows what the Math may have once looked like in its day. SOURCE: Interviews with Shri Vinod Joshi and the temple priest. . Laxamanandcharya. The surviving right side of the building as well as old documents with the priest helped the team recreate the dramatic original façade.16 Albums of Heritage Balanand Ji Ka Math The Math was built on land given by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II to his guru Shri Balanand Ji. the temples of Jaipur are among the few structures that have not been ravaged by urban development. It preceded Jaipur and was an important gathering place. Interestingly . is the 22nd guru of the sect. including this Math. though many. Shri Balanand Ji belonged to the Balanandi Ramanandi Vaishno Sect. the current mathadish. 2007photograph. BELOW: Balanand Ji Ka Math in a July. A government school also operates in the Math now. The small Balanand Ji ki Mori (tunnel) in the wall provided the only city access for late night travelers as the main gates would be closed. given the god fearing nature of Indians. a community famous for having ascetic warriors. The Math had a pond that supplied water via canals to tanks in the Chaupars (see later pages). suffer from the lack of funds and neglect.

The Jaipur Chapters 17 NOW & THEN .


Albums of Heritage

Choti Chaupar
The Choti Chaupar forms a large town square which was constructed along with the rest of the city. It originally had a water tank and well. A fountain was added later. The source of the water to the tank was another tank in the Balanandji ka Math. In the 1900s, the tank was

filled and replaced with the square that exists today. The removal of the original water collection points has been an endemic problem for the city. It faces depleting ground water levels caused by the destruction of wells previously used for rain water harvesting and a rapidly growing population. Furthermore, street merchants have encroached upon the square on all sides, worsening its condition.

BELOW: Choti Chaupar in a July 2007 photograph. RIGHT: Choti Chaupar in a rare postcard created before 1875 from the private collection of Shri S. D. Mathur. SOURCE: Information supplemented by interviews with Shri Pankaj Sharma. NEXT PAGE: Panoramic 1900 photograph of Bari Chaupar by the Gobindram and Oodeyram Studio of Jaipur. Some of the finest photographs of Jaipur were produced by this duo and their studio survived until 1975.

The Jaipur Chapters




Albums of Heritage

Bari Chaupar

The Jaipur Chapters 21 EARLY 1900 .

The LMB hotel. or sweets maker. this changed in the 1900’s. the location attracted the interest of a man named Mr. Shortly afterward. or Lakshmi Mishthan Bhandar. Maliran Ghodhawat. He then began constructing LMB Hotel in 1958 and finished in 1962. He was inspired to convert the building into a vegetarian hotel and restaurant. was thus . with the opening of the Lakshmi Industrial Works’ Jaipur branch known as the Lakshmi Bhandar. and felt that Jaipur lacked good vegetarian food. Maliran had little money and had to sell many of his possessions and take heavy loans. He was a neighborhood halwai. The lowest storey was used for shops and the upper two as a residential area. He built the hotel by demolishing the original structure in favor of a more modern look with glass windows. The shop owners likely sold jewels as the building was situated in the jewelers’ bazaar. the LMB Hotel may have been a classic example of Jaipur architecture and lifestyle.22 Albums of Heritage The LMB Hotel At one time. including an especially popular type of hair oil. but eventually bought all of the Lakshmi Bhandar. This business was established in 1929 and sold cosmetic products. However.

Johari Bazaar. now is lined mainly by many unsightly urban structures that have replaced the old havelis. . it may have unknowingly set a precedent at the time and inspired others to follow suit. while the LMB Hotel is a great success story. 3D rendering by Shri Surjit Singh Ji of architectural design firm Studio IMCON SOURCE: Information supplemented by interviews with LMB owner Shri Ajay Agarwal and Shri Om Prakash Sharma. where the LMB hotel is located. Head of Archaeological Society in Albert Hall. Unfortunately. LEFT PAGE The LMB Hotel as seen in a July 2007 photography RIGHT PAGE 3D depiction of what the LMB hotel may have looked like had it been developed within the constructs of its historical architecture.The Jaipur Chapters 23 NOW & THEN born.

CENTER Modi Ki Haveli in a July. His eldest son. Ramnath Modi. But poor execution only contributed to the deterioration of the haveli. but cannot be evicted. The eventual owner. Lalith Modi.24 Albums of Heritage Modi Ki Haveli Modi Ki Haveli was built 150 years ago on land called the kuncha upaad zameen (uncleared land). In 1952. currently has control and has left the haveli largely unattended. divided the haveli amongst his four children. Drawing by Shri Surjit Singh and the Studio IMCON FAR RIGHT A pencil sketch by Ajit Singh also shows a restored perspective of the Modi Haveli. 2007 photograph. The ground floor of this grand home now serves as a collection point for discarded paper which is recycled into hand-made paper. 25 per month in rent. electricity and water was added to the building to improve the living conditions. Pro-tenancy laws may have forced owners to give up on the haveli. LEFT A 3D rendering of the Modi Ki Haveli depicts the structure in its original state. SOURCE: From interviews with Shri Vinod Joshi. Some tenants pay only Rs. . It has one courtyard and is three stories high.

The Jaipur Chapters 25 NOW & THEN .

had it painted pink and the name “The Pink City” for Jaipur has since endured. who renovated the city in the 1870s. RIGHT A 3D rendering of the Sharma Bhawan depicts the structure in its original glory. LEFT Sharma Building in a July 2007 photograph. Maharaja Man Singh. SOURCE: Information supplemented by interviews with Shri Vinod Joshi.26 Albums of Heritage Sharma Bhawan The Sharma Bhawan on Maniharon ka Rasta derived its name from its original owners who belonged to the Sharma caste. Unfortunately. much of the history of this building is lost. most were white as shown in this image. . in her book "Ten Heritage Walks of Jaipur". Today the Sharma Bhawan has a tunnel that connects Maniharon ka Rasta to Kishanpol Bazaar and is a key route on a heritage walk designated by Dharmendar Kanvar. Drawing masterminded by Shri Surjit Singh and the Studio IMCON. While some buildings in the original city were made of pink sandstone.

The Jaipur Chapters 27 NOW & THEN .

it was a large estate that included three separate courtyards and dozens of rooms. Likewise. To the far right. After that the building was sold multiple times. arched doorways have been replaced by wooden doors. planked windows to allow residents to close and lock them. The original windows on the building are seen to be intricately carved meshes from stone. In many ways. whose family owns the Sankotra Haveli. FOLLOWING PAGES Artist Shri Hamlet uses masterly strokes with his paint brush and pencil to restore the Jargab Haveli to its former glory. The courtyards were used for music and dance performances as also for holding court and conducting business. RIGHT Jargab Haveli in a recent photograph in July. The last feudal lord to live in this house was Mohan Singh. Even though the structure is clearly in neglect. The majority of its owners were farmers who ran shops from the haveli.28 Albums of Heritage Jargab Haveli The Jargab Haveli or Pahari House is located in Johari Bazzar. Built by a feudal lord in the 1700’s. as so many others have done. These courtyards still survive today but lie locked up and in neglect. A window at a time. one can see that some of those open jharoka have been replaced by crude. Had it been sold. the ownership of the haveli is in dispute. At the present time. visitors passing by are still awed by the breathtaking beauty of its façade. another prominent home in Johari Bazaar. this building is a perfect example of how the skyline of Jaipur was lost to surreptitious ravaging by its residents. but on the other it may also be the reason for survival. history itself is disappearing. almost directly opposite from the LMB hotel. 2007. SOURCE: Information supplemented by interviews with Shri Hem Singh and his father. Pratap Singh. the haveli’s new owners would have been free to tear it down and replace it with lucrative commercial structures. It is a typical example of the old Jaipur architecture and was painted in the pink color made out of sand stone (garu). . On one hand this is the reason for its decay. who owned the building until 1948.

The Jaipur Chapters 29 NOW … .

30 Albums of Heritage Jargab Haveli .

The Jaipur Chapters 31 … THEN .

Drawing by Shri Surjit Singh and the Studio IMCON. SOURCE: Information supplemented by interviews with Shri Vinod Joshi. . shops have encroached upon the home including in front of the entrance. the third and fourth floors were made by Jag Mohan Prasad Saxena.32 Albums of Heritage Mathuresh Bhawan LEFT: Mathuresh Bhawan in a July 2007 photograph. In 1936. electrical lines were set up in front of the house and water lines followed four years later. the building of the third floor began and six years later. Now. The Mathuresh Bhawan was so named because it was originally owned by Shri Mathur Prasad Saxena of the Kayastha caste. RIGHT: A 3D rendering of the Mathuresh Bhawan depicts the structure in its original state. a temple was added to the haveli when the owner’s eldest daughter’s husband died at a young age. In 1892. In 1952. The building was built in 1890 and had one courtyard.

The Jaipur Chapters 33 NOW & THEN .

The beautiful haveli facades that once lined this street on both sides.34 Albums of Heritage Johari Bazaar ABOVE: The bustling Johari Bazaar in a July 2007 photograph. are all but gone. The lampposts running through the center of the street adorn an .

. The original street was partially cobblestone and had broad sidewalks. Diwan f Jaipur 1942-46.The Jaipur Chapters 35 NOW image of the rising sun. The verandahs to shops were added later by Mirza Ismail. a common symbol of the ruling dynasty.

These jagirdars. City residents. and it deteriorated steadily. The codes that regulated the building construction within the walled city. After independence. Maharaja Ram Singh the IInd modernized Jaipur adding gas lights throughout the city and its avenues. the Maharaja of Jaipur relinquished power to the government of India. were unprepared to take on the responsibility of maintaining their city. RIGHT: A watercolor painting of Johari Bazaar by Shri Hamlet portrays an impressionistic view of the erstwhile havelis that lined the street on both sides. this main road connected the old city of Amber to the town of Sanganer. the gate at the entry of the bazaar was called the Sanganeri Gate. Originally. Jai Singh decided to build houses for all the important jagirdars of his state in the city. The advent of the British brought about the influence of the western architecture. ordering them to send 10% of their income to Vidhyadhar annually. He also built the Ram Prakash Theatre which was based on the Victorian style of architecture (see later pages). Jaipur had prospered quickly and become a major regional trading center. . one can barely see remnants of the havelis of the jagirdars that at one time must have dotted the peripheries of Johari Bazaar. were effectively erased and the door to urban destruction opened. business persons and government officials formed a large population of the city and there was thus a market for costlier luxuries. who had always relied on the Maharaja to provide order and civic services. Now. a major trading post.36 Albums of Heritage Johari Bazaar Johari Bazaar was built along with the rest of the city around 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. who likely served the needs of this affluent community. The term johari literally means jeweler and Johari Bazaar was and is home to jewelers. From the outset. Hence.

The Jaipur Chapters 37 THEN .

Pankaj Sharma nd Sushri Reema Hooja. Vinod Joshi. BELOW Ram Prakash Theatre in July 2007. Ram Prakash was the first theatre to be built in Jaipur. SOURCE: Information from interviews with Shri Ranbir Sing.38 Albums of Heritage Ram Prakash Theatre Built in 1879 by Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II. Upon completion. It had one of the largest collections of translated Sanskrit plays and at its time was something of a revolution. . It was part of Ram Singh’s strategy to modernize the city and its design reflected Victorian architectural principles. Ram Prakash not only was the home to Parsi (Hindi) theatre. it was promptly listed amongst the top performance theatres of India. but also was frequented by the traveling British theatre groups. the plays RIGHT: A pencil sketch of Ram Prakash Theatre by Shri Manish Raj depicts the front facade in its original state. a model of which lies in the City Palace. Back when men and women were separated by the purdah system.

but is now in disrepair and used as a bakery. .The Jaipur Chapters 39 THEN & NOW staged at Ram Prakash were amongst the first in India to have female roles played by women. The back area was once oranate and had a fountain. In the 1940s. Originally cream-colored. Some therefore argue that the government should withdraw property taxes for owners that maintain their buildings in a heritage condition. it was remodeled into a cinema hall and the rear that harbored the stage fell in disuse. After it was sold to a new owner. Ram Prakash received a pink coat later to match with the rest of Jaipur. Ram Prakash was closed down and its ownership disputed by the government and a private citizen who did not pay the property tax.

What is now the Badal Mahal was then a Shikar Odi. a tug-of-war ensure between him and the men holding the rope. The tank is now crowded with alligators. The Talkatora. This is thrown out into the tank and there is soon a battle royal for its possession. traveler B. when full with water and with its inmates. who wrote “A Guide to Jaipur and Amber”. They were approached fro the Palace by the corridors on either side of the Badal Mahal. This Palace may therefore claim to be the oldest building in Jaipur. Dhama. Between the central pavilion and the corner chatris are built rectangular pavilions with flat roofs and their openings filled with jails. dances and singing in durbar held on the occasion. Here in the tank the immersion ceremony of Gangaur and Teej is performed which is watched by the Royalty in the midst of amusement. described Talkatora thus: “From the vicinity of (Maharaja Ishwari Singh’s) cenotaph a view of the Talkatora may also be had … enclosed on three sides by broad embankments and on the fourth or the south side by Badal Mahal … The embankments were once laid out with fine gardens. rope and all. The successful combatant having bolted the bait. lies at the northern extremity of the Palace Gardens and immediately beyond the Badal Mahal (Cloud Palace). A pastime occasionally indulged in is the feeding of the alligators with a bait tied to a long rope. situated in the midst of the lake. the . L. Finally he bites the rope through and escapes. and in the days when Amber was still the Capital the forests about the lake provided a favourite hunting ground for the Chiefs. The north bank of the Talkatora is odorned with octagonal pavilions placed at the corners and a fine curvilinear roofed pavilion in the middle. They are quite tame and come up the steps of the tank to receive food from the hands of the attendants. There was always a lake in this place. It takes many men to haul the monster on shore. the Raja Mull-ka-Talao.40 Albums of Heritage Talkatora Lake Traveler H. Showers described Talkatora in his “Notes on Jaipur” in 1909 as follows: “The Talkatora (Cup Lake) or as visitors call it the Alligator Tank. These are regularly fed at the Darbar expenses. L.” Later in 1948.

SOURCE: Shri Vinod Joshi. accounting for the black color of the water. . Commercialization of the northern part of the lake resulted in further disposal of wastes into the lake. is usually barren. The area next to Talkatora Lake was used as a major dumping ground for the city’s solid wastes until 1991 . the persistence of mosquitoes and risk of epidemics. the Talkatora lake. the surrounding odor. its famous crocodiles a distant memory. thus making in all twelve orifices which are called Bara Mori (Big Channels). The Bara Mori are situated at the foot of the Nahargarh Fort and close to the Tiba or the sand-mound of Fatehram which fall ahead on the road from Gangauri Bazar to Brahmpuri. The lake of Raja Mull. while the sluice of the lake exists by the north side of Madhobilas. maintaining the existing sewer as well as a planning a comprehensive public education program.The Jaipur Chapters 41 NOW & THEN crocodiles. NEXT PAGE (RIGHT): Talkatora Lake in an early 1990’s antique photograph acquired by Shri Ashwin Dayal in an ebay auction. must have indeed appeared to be like what its name implies. named after the eminent prime minister of the founder of the city. The ravine along the foot of the Nahargarh hill is called Nandi (nadi) or river which flowed full in the time of good rains into the Raja Mull-ka-Talao. if it can be called that anymore. A mitigation plan was submitted to the Jaipur Municipal Corporation that included covering the drains to prevent open defecation.” Today. The population along the Nandi is largely or exclusively of cloth printers. The two guides references in the text are available in the University of Chicago Regenstein Library. A 1999 study by the Malaviya Engineering College found significant amounts of pollution in the lake. Collector canals that were the life line of its water supply have been blocked by urban development. a cup floating in a lake. These improvements are needed urgently. namely. spreads over an extensive area. The latter is first received into a catchment area by twelve huge and massively built arched openings placed at skew in the fortification wall and then discharged into the lake by means of three rows of four square orifices arranged one over the other. NEXT PAGE (LEFT): Talkatora in an October 2007 photograph. developing a solid waste disposal system including scheduling a solid waste pick-up by the Municipality. It receives the drainage of the north part of the city and that of Nahargarh hill.

42 Albums of Heritage Talkatora Lake .

The Jaipur Chapters 43 NOW & THEN .

which was built by Ishwar Singh. . where the elephants were kept. The game played with that stick and a ball was also referred to as Chaugan. Further at the north-east corner of another playground. In the northeast corner is also the Chatar Mahal with fine arched dalans and the Chatar Burj. The stadium was built as a fortified maidan (ground) consisting of a larger enclosure and several smaller playgrounds.44 Albums of Heritage Chaugan Stadium Chaugan literally means an open space. The dalans were used by the Royalty as pavilions for watching the elephant fights within the enclosure below. is known as the Chini-ki-Burj. This was reserved for the Raja himself. Within it was a big well. adjoining the Palace is the Moti Burj. Chaugan is also a pharsi word for a hockey stick like piece of wood which is curved on one end. There are three octagonal bastions at the Chaugan Stadium surmounted by pillared and flat roofed pavilions within the larger enclosure. Its walls and ceilings were covered with blue porcelain (Chini) tiles. It is situated between the Gangauri Bazar and the west wall of the City Palace and is close to the Talkatora Lake. whose water was raised to a high level to work the fountains in Palace Gardens. The latter continued till the early 1900s. The roof was used by the Maharaja and his nobles. The first burj on the right at the north-west corner of the smaller playground. as also other amusements. including equestrian displays and elephant fights. To the north of the Moti Burj lies the Shyam Burj. even the princesses used to play Chaugan astride on their horses. The Teej festival used to be held here and still is. The British resident and other foreign officers watched the festivities from here. On its upper storey was an octagonal verandah whose arched openings were fitted with jails (meshes) for the privacy of the Royal ladies watching the sports. At the time of Akbar and other Moghul emperors.

Cow elephants are made to wear payals or anklets. The elephants put up a variety program and Chaugan Stadium blooms with musicians and dancers. The most exciting part of the festival is playing holi while seated on the elephant. canons and palanquins. when an elephant festival is held at the stadium. lancers on horses. Some of the events are a polo match. Those that feel that the challenge is unfair will take heart in noting that the elephant usually wins hands down dragging the tourists around the stadium for good measure. all is not lost and the stadium comes alive during Holi. The ceremonial procession has caparisoned elephants. camels. jhools (saddle cloth) and jewellery. often tourists.The Jaipur Chapters 45 NOW & THEN Today. the Chaugan Stadium has lost its royal amphitheater like elegance. The owners decorate their elephants with bright colours. . an elephant race and even a tug-of-war between one elephant and 19 men and women. Prizes are given for the most beautifully decorated elephant. A number of structures have been erected without much planning and unsightly buildings surround the stadium. chariots. which tinkle as they walk. However.

46 Albums of Heritage Chaugan Stadium .

. In the “bhurji” on the left one can see purdahs sheltering the women above and perhaps the Maharaja himself standing below watching the fight from a vantage point. from a safe distance atop the gate. Farther away the crowds of commoners watch the spectacle free. from the private collection of Shri Ashwin Dayal (purchased on ebay) shows an Elephant Fight in progress sometime in the early 1900’s.The Jaipur Chapters 47 NOW & THEN BELOW: An antique postcard by the studio of Gobindram Oodeyram.

undeterred by the 46 degree heat did spend one morning working at the site. these lessons will shape our lives and future endeavors in innumerable ways. Many of our interviewees.48 The Experience Albums of Heritage Traveling to Jaipur and working on the Albums of Heritage project has been an experience that none of us will ever forget. liked to chat cordially before settling down to “business”. and adapt to a new culture. While we greatly enjoyed the group camaraderie. The original plan had been to have four students from local schools join the team so as to have some members with local knowledge. Ashwin Dayal. But two of the girls dropped off immediately upon learning how much work was entailed at a time when they needed to focus on their board exams and one other student had a family emergency. but also understand the local “style” of communication. we saw incredible but deteriorating havelis. navigate a city unfamiliar to most of us. By the end of the first day a much more had happened. Many questioned the value of a “fruitless” exercise to preserve the city given its impending . but never did we imagine that the challenges would descend upon us from the very first day. we tended to be very direct in our approach and were eager to get to our questions quickly. We did not buy the haveli but the intrepid. Young Hanumant who had been following us around everywhere was quickly drafted to the team and went on to become a popular media icon and project spokesperson. one owner offered to sell us his for the trivial sum of $1 million and a conservation team invited us to roll up our sleeves and work at an actual restoration in progress. however. Hindi speaking skills and the means to continue the work beyond the summer. We learned how to work with different kinds of people (from government officials to art experts). even learnt to savor the tea and cookies first and adjusted our interviewing techniques to local customs and practices. Eventually. another difficulty arose when we tried to get our viewpoint across to the school children of Jaipur. Ultimately. we figured the system out. We surely expected the work to be hard. it was the lessons that this experience taught us that were invaluable. We had to not only overcome the language barrier. Initially. we had met the Maharaja of Jaipur who bought the entire team a round of ice cream. Much later.

we learnt that the Mayor of Jaipur. They even learned where the best dosa restaurants were! Thanks to the family with whom we stayed. Two of our members had never been to Jaipur before. the end result was quite exciting. had invited Hanumant to an important meeting held with the citizens of Jaipur to discuss the heritage of the city. funds that will be used for the printing of the Jaipur Chapter of The Albums of Heritage. but by the end of the trip. Shri Ashok Parnami. He expressed hope that the children of Jaipur would draw inspiration from the Albums of Heritage project and continue the work in future years. After we had returned to our respective countries. smoother process. integrating into a new lifestyle was made into a much easier. We tried desperately to convey both our enthusiasm for our project and our concern for Jaipur. they felt like they knew the city of Jaipur inside and out. he made a spot honorary award of Rs. ABOVE: The Albums of Heritage team at the Ganesh Pol in Amber Palace . we felt uncomfortable preaching to local students about the need to preserve their own city. All in all. To our great surprise. Adjusting to a new city was in itself a terrific learning experience.The Jaipur Chapters 49 and certain destruction.000 to the team. We hope we were successful. 21. Being outsiders to the city.

50 Media Notes The Albums of Heritage team held four exhibitions highlighting its research and the picture collection. a leading center for the developments of arts and culture. To engage high school students in a dialog of heritage. 2007 . Jaipur’s architectural heritage may be lost in as little as ten years. July 21. Albums of Heritage Hopes! Hopes!.. on radio and on national television (Doordarshan and Bhaskar TV). If these buildings continue to be ignored. “I hope in subsequent years such an effort is unnecessary and that Jaipur citizens themselves put those that would destroy the heritage on notice” … If Jaipur’s great havelis are to survive. citizens have to have respect for their heritage. three exhibits were held at St. Several people from Jaipur attended the event and the Albums of Heritage project was covered extensively by the local press. The following are translated excerpts from some of the local Hindi newspaper coverage. researching the history of the havelis by interviewing surviving elderly owners and residents. the Maharani Gayatri Devi School and the SMS School. … The five students traversed every corner and little streets of the walled city. A final two day exhibit was held at the Jaipur Kala Kendra. The conservation of heritage and modernization are not ideals at odds with each other but must live together. Several of the attendees also wrote words of encouragement to and support for the team in a guestbook. taking thousands of photographs. With the help of artists and computers they recreated the images of these buildings… Team spokesman Ashwin said. Xaviers School..

2007 Pictures Tell the Secret Story of Crumbling Havelis A group non-resident. which has brought residents of the city face-to-face with the delicate condition of their havelis and maths. 2007 .The Jaipur Chapters 51 A Heritage Wrapped in Pictures Five students take on the responsibility of highlighting the city’s heritage in pictures If Jaipur’s heritage is not protected in a timely fashion. The team wants to gift its pictures to the children of Jaipur so they develop an interest in the heritage of the city. Indian origin and local students joined hands to put together the “Albums of Heritage” project. July 24. These students researched the city’s buildings. and streets extensively … and produced pictures that show them in their current condition and under the possible and beautiful restored condition. To direct peoples’ attention to the city’s rundown havelis. They will be assembling an album of these images and take the message of conservation of Jaipur’s havelis to a worldwide audience. … Guru Padamshri Kripal Singh inaugurated this colorful exhibit at the Jawahar Kala Kendra …He said the exhibit was a “must see” for the responsible leaders of the state so that they may pursue efforts to preserve the true heritage of Jaipur with renewed vigor. havelis. July 24. then in a few years we will have to content ourselves by looking at these pictures alone. five students set up an intriguing exhibition of pictures called the “Albums of Heritage”.

traveled all the way from Gurgaon and hoteling in Jaipur for three days to paint some of the most fascinating watercolor impressions and pencil sketches. Sharma. Critical to the success of the Albums of Heritage was the genius of its artists. Curator of the City Palace Museum. was so passionate about our cause that he allowed the team to in effect hijack his design studio and redirect its talents to the building of the Albums of Heritage. director of Tourist Guide Service. An undertaking of this magnitude would have been impossible without generous assistance from many in Jaipur. so that work that should have taken months took only days and weeks. A. D. Always mi- . He prepared the group meticulously for its myriad tasks. Shri Garg arranged for us to get hands on experience in restoration work. bringing near dead havelis to life with the brilliant strokes of his brushes. personal lesson on the different techniques used for painting the buildings of Jaipur (photo on next page). Three of the five team members came from abroad. an 80 year resident of the city and ex-Senior Vice President of NEI. a veritable walking-talking human encyclopedia on the history of Jaipur havelis and galis. D. an anthropologist with the Jaipur Virasat Foundation. Many others helped with valuable research. Mathur. many of these havelis would be consigned to be being faceless buildings without a living past. several prominent Jaipur residents stepped forward to give us a crash course in art and architecture. and people. Shri Nikhil Pandit. Recognizing our inexperience. among them Dr. Sushri R. Without his assistance. taught the group the technical aspects of Jaipur architecture. but babaji to us. He and his colleagues worked with the us to create sophisticated Autodesk 3D renderings. gave the Albums of Heritage team a running start. an accomplished professional artist in his own right. Shri V. history. K. In a rare treat. They also helped setup the Jawahar Kala Kendra exhibition. Shri Vinod Joshi. Kanwar led us on heritage walks. mentored the group brilliantly with his knowledge of Jaipur. hanging pictures on the wall and arranging exhibits. sometimes till the wee hours of the morning. its architecture. a leading architect of the city. Shekhar and Shri P. Hooja enlightened us on the hard-to-find histories of many buildings. gave us a personal tour of the city and helped select the final sites for this album. Shri Surjit Singh of IMCON. who provided us with access to the INTACH listings and museum archives respectively. Shri V. Shri Hamlet. Principal Secretary of Art and Culture of Government of Rajasthan Shri Salahuddin Ahmad opened doors and provided valuable counsel on the conduct of the project. Dr. Padamshree Kripal Singh gave the group an impromptu. helped create a list of deteriorating sites and educated us on the methods of restoration. spoke no Hindi and had not lived in India for more than a week or two at a time.52 Acknowledgements Albums of Heritage The Albums of Heritage project was completed in only eight weeks of the summer of 2007. It is his commitment to the city of Jaipur that made this album possible. Mathur.

Shri Sundar Bharadwaj. it was the close inspection of his inscrutable traffic hopping skills that revealed to us the secrets of crossing Jaipur streets without being run over by rickshaws or muscled out by cows. Shrimati Sujata Dayal and Shri Sandeep Dayal for their unstinting donations.000 in cash to fund our activities. not including travel or equipment. Shri Rajiv Acharya gave us free use of the JKK exhibition space for two full days. 3. he schooled the team on digital SLR photography. Sometimes the best of intentions can go a little farther with a bit of funding. Shri Puran Arya and Shri Dinesh Pandey kept the team in fighting fit shape with a factory stream of samosas. As our designated photography advisor. Furthermore. public relations machine.00. boiling summer had it not been for the unrelenting pampering by host Shrimati Damyanti Mathur. a one-man. Shrimati Sujata Parekh. His efforts resulted in the project being covered in all of the major local publications in Jaipur. mutton pullao and daal chawal. helped the Albums of Heritage find a voice well beyond the exhibition. (hand-delivered card. Mathur. Mathur educated us on the fine art of inviting residents to the exhibition in the Jaipur way. young Nikita and Shrimati Chandralekha Sahai aided the group in setting up the exhibitions and ensuring that the images did not simply flutter to the ground with the first whisper of the monsoon winds. The team may have quickly wilted in the face of the 460. Shri Nikhil Pandit. Shri and Shrimati S. Driver Shri Deepak Bahadur made it physically possible for us to be where and when we needed to be with adroit gali navigation. Shri Ishwar Mathur. personal entreaty and reminder in that order). “Nikhil Uncle” was virtually a team in just one week and continues to provide high-tech support to the team. Shri V. . Shri Harish Tyagi’s technology firm Taarak built the first website albumsofheritage. Amber and traversing every nook and corner of the city.The Jaipur Chapters 53 raculously present in times of dire need. or Daadi. D. hiking up the hills of Galtaji. D. Several individual stepped up to the plate and donated nearly Rs. The Albums of Heritage exhibitions would have been bereft of an audience without timely rescue efforts from other Jaipur citizens. and on Radio and national television (Doordarshan and Bhaskar TV). For all of that and much more. we are deeply grateful to these individuals and so many others. spending many sunny and odd hours of the day taking pictures. We thank Shri Vijay Parekh.

reading non-fiction. but knows that in whatever he elects to do in the future. and teaching his nine-year old younger brother obscure facts. When he grows up. just 13 years old. running errands and helping anybody and everybody. He enjoys playing tennis. On the team. When that is not enough. following sports and reading. he bails out of airplanes in tandem parachute dives with his instructor. Amit was finance manager and photographer. Hanumant was chief assistant to anyone that needed help and a passionate and eloquent advocate of the cause in interviews with the media. scholarship student at the St. He is also a sharp “techy” and took the lead in managing the “freewebs” website for the project. Never shy from . history. people. Ashwin was the project coordinator. researcher and PR manager. he would like to go to a leading college in engineering and finance. Shashank Bharadwaj is 15 years old and in grade 10 of Westminster Schools in Atlanta. Back on earth and in the future. is the youngest team member and an 8th standard. and doing more of the right stuff will matter. Hanumant Pandey. He enjoys playing tennis and chess and likes to travel. near Chicago. 11th grade student at the Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire. He retains a passion for continuing the work on preserving the heritage of Jaipur. history and politics. programming babaji’s computer. Ashwin Vir Dayal is a 16 years old.54 The Team Albums of Heritage Amit Parekh is 15 years old and in grade 10 in the Singapore American School. He was the scribe of the teams daily journal and managed the guest book. He has broad academic interests. Xaviers School in Jaipur. On the Albums of Heritage team. He also led the production of the printed volume of the Albums of Heritage. His interests include traveling to interesting parts of the world. On the Albums of Heritage team. rollerblading at breakneck speeds around the neighborhood. Hanumant wants to be a computer engineer. His interest include watching and playing cricket.

At the moment. . is 16 years old. Xaviers School in Jaipur. and Ashwin Dayal (16). BELOW: From left to right: Amit Parekh (15). Shashank Bharadwaj (15). Tushar Bhargava (16). Tushar Bhargava. Tushar was the local culture liaison and helped the team navigate its way in the city as well conduct field research. Shashank has a passion for social causes. he is undecided on what career he will pursue. Hanumant Pandey (13). On the Albums of Heritage team. He is an avid football (soccer) player and wants to serve in the Indian Armed Forces when he grows up.The Jaipur Chapters 55 engaging in political debates and always ready with a thoughtful word. 10th standard student of the St.


2007 . Rajasthan 302001 INDIA If you wish to volunteer to work on the Albums of Heritage project. or share historic Illinois 60047 USA 2 Bhagat Marg C-Scheme Jaipur.Albums of Heritage Foundation 1747 RFD Tanager Way Long Grove. postcards and movies about Jaipur Havelis. or request the team to cover other parts of the city’s heritage buildings please contact us at: info@albumsofheritage. July. © 2007 BACK COVER: Ajmeri Gate. old photographs.

58 Albums of Heritage .