Architecture of Rajasthan

Māru-Gurjara architecture (Rajasthani architecture) originated in the sixth century in and around areas of the state of Rajasthan in India.

The name Maru Gurjara has its genesis in the fact that during ancient times, Rajasthan and Gujarat had similarities in ethnic, cultural and political aspects of the society. Ancient name of Rajasthan was Marudesh while Gujarat was called Gurjaratra.

“Maru Gurjara art” literally means “art of Rajasthan”.

Māru-Gurjara Architecture show the deep understanding of structures and refined skills of Rajasthani craftmen of bygone era. Māru-Gurjara Architecture has two prominent styles Maha-Maru and Maru-Gurjara. According to M. A. Dhaky, Maha-Maru style developed primarily in Marudesa, Sapadalaksha, Surasena and parts of Uparamala whereas Maru-Gurjara originated in Medapata, Gurjaradesa-Arbuda, Gurjaradesa-Anarta and some areas of Gujarat. Scholars such as George Michell, M.A. Dhaky, Michael W. Meister and U.S. Moorti believe that Māru-Gurjara Temple Architecture is entirely Western Indian architecture and is quite different from the North Indian Temple architecture. There is a connecting link between Māru-Gurjara Architecture and Hoysala Temple Architecture. In both of these styles architecture is treated sculpturally.

Styles of Rajasthani architecture include:

Stepwell (baoli or bawdi)
Architecture in Rajasthan represents many different types of buildings, which may broadly be classed either as secular or religious. The secular buildings are of various scales. They include towns, villages, wells, gardens, houses, and palaces. All these kinds of buildings were meant for public and civic purposes. The forts are also included in secular buildings, though they were also used for defense and military purposes. The typology of the buildings of religious nature consists of three different kinds: temples, mosques, and tombs. The typology of the buildings of secular nature is more varied.

Chhatri , Chatrit , or Chhatri are dome-shaped pavilions used as an element in Indian Architecture . The word Chhatri means “tent” or “umbrella”. In the context of architecture, the word is used for two different things. The most common sense is that of a monument, usually very fancy, built in the place where the funeral of a prominent personality is performed. Such monuments usually consist of a platform enclosed by a series of ornamental colonnades holding a stone tent. The word chhatri is also used to refer to small pavements marking the corners of the entrance roof of an important building. These pavilions are simply ornamental and have no use, but are a small classical stronghold showing the status and wealth of the possessor. Chhatrit are usually used to represent elements of pride and reverence in Jati, Marathas and Rajput’s Architecture. They are widely used in palaces, fortresses, or for marking mortal sites. Drawing on the Raxhastani Architecture where they were royal monuments, they later adapted to a standard feature in all Marathas, Raxhastan and most importantly in Mogule Architecture . They are today seen in its magnificent landmarks, Humayun’s Tomb in Delhi and Taj Mahal in Agra. Chhatrit are the basic elements of Hindu architecture as well as that of Mogule . The term “chhatri” (in Hindi: छतरी) means umbrella or tent. In the Raxhastani Shekhawati region, Chhatrit is built on the sites of the cremation of wealthy or prominent people. Chhatrit in Shekhawati can consist of a simple structure of a four-columned dome, up to a building with many cubes and a plinth with plenty of room. In some places, the chhatrive interior is painted the same way as Havel’s apartments in the region.

In Raxhastan
In other parts of Raxhastani there are many other chhatri whose location includes:

Cenotaph in Jaipur – Gaitore of Maharajah of Jaipur. Located in a narrow valley, the cenotaphs of former Jaipur rulers consist of a somewhat typical chhatre or a monument to a umbrella umbrella. The Chhatri of Sawai Jai Singhut II is particularly remarkable because of the scales that adorn it.
Jodhpur – Chhatri on the white marble of Maharaja Jaswant Singhu II
The Bharatpur Cenotaphs of Jat Bharatpur’s royal family members who died fighting against Britain in 1825 were erected in the town of Govardhan. Chhatri of Maharajah Suraj Mal of Bharatpur has refined frescoes that illustrate the life of Suraj Mali, presenting alive the scene from darbari and hunting, royal processions and wars.
Udaipur, accompanied by a series of immense stone elephants, Lake Pichola Island has an impressive chhatri sculptured with gray-blue stones built by Maharana Jagat Singhu.
Haldighati – A beautiful chhatri with white marble columns, dedicated to Rana Pratapit, stands here. The cenotaph dedicated to Chetak, the famous horse of Rana Pratapi, is also to be mentioned.
Alwar – Chhatri Moosi Maharani ki is a cenotaf of sandstone and white marble of the rulers of Alwari.
Bundi – Chhatri Suraj and Chhatri Mordi Ki, Chhatri Chaurasi Khambon ki in Bundi and Chhatri Nath Ji found in Bundi. Rani Shyam Kumari, Raxhait Chhatrasal’s wife, built on the northern hilltop Chhatri Surajin and Mayuri, the second wife of Chhatrasal built Chhatri Mordi China on the southern hill.
Jaisalmer – Bada Baghu, a complex of chakri of Jai Singh II (of 1743) and subsequent Maharajah of Jaisalmer.
Bikaner – Devi Kundi near Bikaner is a cremation kingdom with a number of cenotaphs. Chhatri of Maharajah Surat Singh is the most impressive of them. He has Rajput’s spectacular paintings on the ceilings.
Ramgarh – Chhatri Seth Ram Gopal Poddar
Nagaur – Chhatri Nath Ji, Chhatri Amar Singh Rathore

In Shekhawati
Some of the most prominent chaters in Raxhastani Shekhawati region are located in the following cities and towns:

Ramgarh – Chhatri Ram Gopal Poddar
Bissau – Chhatri Raj and Shekhawat Thakuri
Parsurampura – Chhatri and Thakur Sardul Singh Shekhawatit
Kirori – Chhatri of Raxhait Todarmal (ruler of Udaipurwati)
Jhunjhunu – Chhatri of Shekhawat rulers
Dundlod – Beautiful chhatri of Ram Dutt Goenkas
Mukungarh – Chhatri Shivdutta Ganeriwala
Churu – Chhatri Taknet
Mahansar – Chhatri Sahaj Ram Poddar
Udaipurwati – Chhatri and the Joki Das Shah kit
Fatehpur – Chhatri and Jagan Nath Singhanias

Fortresses and Palaces of Raxhastani
Raxhastani has many strongholds among which the most famous are Rajasthani Hills Fortresses that are part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site .

Fortresses are largely located in the Aravalle Range and were built between the 5th and the 18th centuries. They include:

Chittorgarh Fortress
Fortress of Kumbhalgarh
Fortress Ranthambores
Gagron Fortress
Fortress of America
Fortress of Jaisalmer

The Indian state of Raxhastani is famous for its history, fortresses and palaces. Some of its palaces are:

Jaipur District
Alsisar Haveli, Jaipur. The former Shekhawat Thakuri residence, today a hotel.
Amber Palace ( Fort of America ). Former royal residence, Jaipur.
Palaces Bissau, Jaipur. Former residency of Shekhawat Rawal, the oldest heritage hotel in Jaipur.
Samoda Palace, Jaipur. The former Samodes dormant residence, today a hotel.
Palace of the City of Jaipur. The headquarters of Maharajah of Jaipur. Now a museum.
Samode Haveli , Jaipur. Former residency of a Prime Minister of Jaipur, today a hotel.
Pallati Rambagh, Jaipur. Former royal residence, now a hotel.
Jai Mahali, Jaipur. Former royal residence, now a hotel.
Jal Mahali, Jaipur.
Hawa Mahali (The Palace of the Winds), Jaipur. Former royal residence, now a museum.
Pallati Narain Niwas, Jaipur. The former Kanotas dormant residence, now a hotel.
Pala Mahal Palace, Jaipur. Former royal residence, now a hotel.

Udaipur District
Fateh Prakash Palace, Udaipur. Part of the city’s slate complex, now a hotel.
Fortress of Delwaras. Former royal residence located 30 km north-east of Udaipur. Now the hot spot of Devi Garh Palace.
Udaipur City Palace. The former headquarters of Maharana of Udaipur. Now a museum.
Jag Niwas (The Palace of the Lake), Udaipur. The former royal palace, now a hotel.
Jag Mandiri of Udaipur. The former royal palace. Shah Jahani fled here while he was the crown prince during a conflict with his father, Jahangir.
Pallati Shiv Niwas, Udaipur. The former royal palace, now a hotel.
Amet haveli. Former Haveli of Amet Rawat. Now a Heritage Hotel and Restaurant Ambari.

Bikaner District
Bhanwar Niwas, Bikaner. Havel’s historic, now a hotel.
Fortress and Junagar Palace, Bikaner. Maharaja’s Bikaner headquarters, now a museum.
Gouvernement Palace, the outskirts of Bikaner. The former hunting lodge of Maharajah of Bikaner.
Laxmi Niwas Buildings, Bikaner. Former royal residence, now a hotel.

Jodhpur District
Palaces Umaid Bhawanit, Jodhpur. The seat of the Maharajah of Jodhpah. Part of the palace has been transformed into a hotel.
Fortress of Mehrangarh, Jodhpur
Bal Samand Lake Palace, Jodhpur. This lake is a popular picnic site, built in 1159 by Balak Rao Parihar.
Palaces of Bilaras, Jodhpur.

Other districts
Mandawa Castle, Mandawa (Jhunjhunu district in Shekhavati). Former shekhawat residence of Mwawas, now a hotel.
Bhinder Garhu, Chittorgarh. The current residence of Bhinder’s Shaktawat Rawra.
Bansi Garhu, Chittorgarh. The present residence of Bansit Rawlings Shakta.
Deogarh Mahali, Deogarh Madaria. The former residence of the Deogarhut breed, now a hotel.
Devigarhu, Delwara, now a heritage hotel.
Golbagh Palace, Bharatpur. Former royal residence, now a hotel.
Palaces of Gorbandh. Jaisalmer .
Fortress of Khimsar, Khimsar (Nagour district). Former Khimsar thresher residence, now a hotel.
Fortress of Kuchaman, Kuchaman (dist. Nagour). Former royal residence, now a hotel.
Fortress of Jaisalmer , Jaisalmer. Maharajah’s headquarters in Jaisalmer.
Lalgarh Palace, Bikaner. Former royal residence. Part has been returned to the hotel while the rest is a museum.
Fortress of Laxmangarh, Sikar. Former royal residence, now a tourist monument.
Vilamoura Laxmi, Bharatpur. Former royal residence, now a hotel.
Fortress and the Mundotas Palace, a 450-year-old palace located 18 miles northwest of Jaipur. The former royal royal mansion of Mundotas has recently become a heritage hotel.
Nathmalji Off Who Haveli, Jaisalmer. Former residency of a Jaisalmer commander.
The Fortress of Neemranas. Located 40 miles northwest of Alwar. The former Neemranas raid residence, now a hotel.
Palaces Phool Mahal, Kishangarh.
Palaces Raj Niwas, Dholpur. The former royal residence of the maharajah of Dholpur, now a hotel.
Seengh Sagari, Deogarh Madaria. The former hunting lodge of the Deogarhut breed, now a hotel.
Pallati Sariska, Sariska, Alwar. Former royal hunting lodge, now a hotel.
Fortress of Khumbalgarh, Mewar.

Havel is a general term used for residential homes and apartments in India , Pakistan , Nepal and Bangladesh, usually one of historical and architectural significance. The word haveli comes from haveli arabic, meaning “partition” or “private space” made public under the Mogul Rule and disconnected from any architectural tradition. Later, the word haveli began to be used as a general term for various styles of regional housing, civic houses and temples located in India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh.

Traditional houses with a courtyard in South Asia are built according to ancient principles of Vastu shastras , claiming that all spaces come from a single point, the center of the house. Yards are a common feature in South Asian Architecture. The earliest archeological evidence of yard houses in the region dates back to the years 2600-2450 BC Traditional homes in South Asia are built around the yard and all family activities revolve around chowk or yard. Moreover, the yard served as a lighting well and one to accomplish an effective airing strategy in South Asia’s hot and dry climate. During the Middle Ages, the term Haveli was first used in the Rajputana region of Raxhastani by the Vaishnava sect to refer to their temples in the Gujarati under the Mogul Empire and the Rajputana kingdoms. Later, the general term haveli was identified with commercial houses and dwellings of the commercial class.

Socio-cultural aspects: Chowku or courtyard served as a center of ceremonies and rituals. The holy tulip plant was placed here and worshiped daily to bring prosperity to the home.

Security and privacy: Chowku, from time to time, divided the areas for men and women by enabling them more privacy.
Climate: Addressing the empty space in the design of the building to respond to the local climate. Air circulation caused by temperature changes was used through the natural ventilation of the building.
Activities at different times: Use of the yard during the day, mainly by women, to perform their jobs and interact with other women in private uncovered spaces. Commercial class flats had more than one yard.
Space articulation: In Mor chowk, the Udaipur City Palace, the concept of the yard is like a dance hall. Similarly, in havel, a yard has many functions, usually used for weddings and celebrations.
Materials: baked bricks, sandstone, marble, wood, stucco and granite are commonly used materials. Decorative facets are influenced by local cultures and traditions.
All these elements come together to form a siege that gives the yard a sense of rule and security. Architectural design of havel construction has evolved in response to climate, lifestyle and availability of materials. In hot climates where refreshment is a need, the buildings with inner porches were considered the most suitable. It acted as a perfect refreshing technique, while also allowing the light inside. Harkada along the yard, or the high wall around it, kept the interior of the fresh buildings.

Many of India and Pakistan’s havers were influenced by Raxhastani Architecture. They usually contain a yard often with a centered crown. The old towns of Agras , Lucknow and Delhit in India and Lahore , Multani, Peshawari , Hyderabadi in Pakistan have many examples of Raxhastani Architectural Style havelas.

Havel Famous in Raxhastan
The Haveli term was first applied to the Rajputana region of Raxhastani by the Vaishnava sect to refer to their temples in Gujarati . In the northern part of India. Havel for Mr. Krishna are predominant with huge buildings as dwellings. Havel are remarkable for their frescoes featuring images of gods, animals, scenes from British colonization and narratives of the life of the deities Rama and Krishna . The music here was known as Haveli Sangeet. Later these temples and frescoes were imitated as large individual dwellings were built and now the word is popular to determine the dwellings themselves. Between the 1830s and the 1930s, the Marbles built buildings in their hometown, Shekhawati and Marwar. These buildings were called haveli. The Marbles agreed artists to paint those buildings that were heavily influenced by Mogule Architecture . Havel were marble status symbols as well as homes for their large families, providing security and comfort in closing off from the outside world. Havel’s closed from all sides had a major gateway.

The typical Havel in Shekhawati consisted of two yards – one out of the men who served as a large entrance and interior, women’s area. Larger heights may have up to three or four yards and were two or three floors. Many haveles are already empty or maintained by a guard (usually an old man). While many others have become hotels and attractive tourist sites. The towns and villages of Shekhawat are famous for their beautiful frescoes on the walls of their magnificent havelands, which are becoming important tourist attraction. Havel inside and around Jaisalmer Fortress (also known as the Golden Fortress), located in Jaisalmer of Raxhastan, of which the three most impressive are Patwon Ki Haveli, Salim Singh Ki Haveli and Nathmal-Ki Haveli, deserve to be highlighted . These were the refined houses of the wealthy merchants of Jaisalmer . Extravagant sculptures in sandstones with endless details and then precisely fused into different models each louder than the other agreed to decide to show the status and property of the owner. Around Jaisalmer , they are typically sculpted of yellow sandstone. They are often characterized by sashes, frescoes, jharokha (balconies) and vaults. Patwon Ji out Haveli is the most important and greatest, just like the first built in Jaisalmer. It is not a single havel but a complex of 5 havelis small. The first in the queue is also the most popular and is known as Patwa Haveli of Kothar. The first among them agreed and built in 1805 by Guman Chand Patwa, then a wealthy merchant of refined stolen and brocade that is the largest and most exaggerated. Patwa was a wealthy man and a prominent merchant of his time and could thus afford to build separate buildings for each of the five boys. These were completed over a period of 50 years. The fifth buildings were built in the first 60 years of the 19th century. Patwon Ji Ki is prominent for his ornamental murals , jharokhat (balconies) sculpted in yellow sandstone, porticoes and arches. Though the building itself is made of yellow sandstone, the main porch is in brown color.

Source From Wikipedia