Painting Art of Rajasthan
Painting is mentioned as 1 of 64 Kalas in ancient Indian texts. Historical art of Paintings in India can be classified into two different segments:
A. Murals or Wall Paintings
B. Miniature Paintings
A. Mural Paintings:
1. A mural is any piece of artwork painted or applied directly on a wall, ceiling or other large permanent surface
2. Architectural elements of the given space are harmoniously incorporated into the picture.
Methods of Painting:
• True Fresco Method
o The paintings are done when the surface wall is still wet so that the pigments go deep inside the wall surface.
o Technique of mural painting executed upon freshly-laid, or wet lime plaster.
o Water is used as the vehicle for the pigment to merge with the plaster, and with the setting of the plaster, the painting becomes an integral part of the wall.
• Tempora or Fresco-Secco
o Method of painting on the lime plastered surface which has been allowed to dry first and then drenched with fresh lime water.
• It is covered by the two modern districts of Jhunjhunu and Sikar
• Geometric and floral designs.
• The interior work is usually painted secco, using tempera, onto dry plaster.
B. Miniature Paintings of Rajasthan:
• Rajasthani Painting Themes – events of epics like the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, Krishna’s life, beautiful landscapes, and humans
• Precious stones, Gold and silver were used
• Mughal Influence
• Dominance of Chaurapanchasika group style in Indian Rajasthani Paintings.
Styles of Rajasthani Painting:
Starting from the 16th century, when the Rajasthani Painting originated, the main schools emerged, including:
• Mewar School: Chavand, Nathdwara, Devgarh, Udaipur and Sawar styles
• Marwar school: Jodhpur, Kishangarh, Bikaner, Nagaur, Pali and Ghanerao styles
• Hadoti school: Kota, Bundi and Jhalawar styles
• Dhundar school: Amber, Jaipur, Shekhawati and Uniara styles
• Considered to be place of origin of Rajasthani art of of Painting.
• Drawing is bold and the colours are bright and contrasting.
• Text of the painting is written in black on the top against the yellow ground.
• Maharana Kumbha contributed a lot to its development. After this Mewar style developed during Maharana Amar Singh-I (1572-1620), Kama Singh & Jagat Singh I (1628-52).
• Shravak Pratikramansutra Chumi – 1260 – is the oldest painted volume of this style
• Chitron Ki Ovari (Tasviron ka Karkhana) – was established during reign if Jagat Singh I.
• Nuruddin – painted Kaliya Damana (most famous painting) – during reign of Maharana Sangram Singh II (1710-34).
• Famous Painters – Nuruddin, Manohar, Sahibdin, Kriparam, Jivaram etc.
o Appearance of men & women in healthy & attractive height,
o Pointed nose, round face, large eyes, small neck, open lips,
o Imposing moustache, decorative figures of women with tender body,
o Elegant display of Nature.
• Nathdwara style is a sub-style of Mewar School of painting, but as of Mewar & Kishangarh styles.
• Rana Raj Singh I brought idol of Shrinath ji from Mathura during Aurangzeb reign, hence, artist from Mathura followed and gave birth to new style called as Nathdwara sub-style.
• Depiction of natural scenery is a distinct feature of the Nathdwara style.
• Nathdwara is famous for the pichwai paintings in Rajasthan. Pichhwai paintings are painted in permanent natural colors that do not lighten for years.
• Famous painters included Ilaychi & kalma among women and Ghasiram, Chaturbhuj, Udairaj, & Champalal among men.
• Very close to the Mewar style
• Rich and glowing colours, the rising sun in golden colour, crimson-red horizon, overlapping and semi-naturalistic trees
• Mughal influence is visible in the refined drawing of the faces.
• Style flourished mostly during reign of Rao Surjan Singh.
• Chitrashaala (colored paintings) – made during reign of Maharao Ummed Singh depict this style clearly.
o Pointed nose, receding foreheads, full cheeks, small stature o Use of red-yellow colors
o Use of fine clothes.
o Domes in background architecture, indicate Mughal influence.
o In female figures in Bundi style, the upper & lower lines of eyes meet in parallel.
o Lush landscapes painted in vibrant colors and massed with a variety of forms of trees and floral creepers, water ponds with lotus flowers in the foreground, fish and birds.
• Though a distinctive Kota Style evolved in mid 17th century, similarities between Bundi and Kota painting continued in many respects. Later, visible variations appeared in details, costumes and methods of shading the faces.
• Themes of tiger and deer hunt were very popular at Kota.
• During the period of Shatrusal, a concise volume of Bhagwat was painted in Kota Style.
• Credit for establishment of this style goes to Maharawal Ram Singh.
o Animals painted in this style include deer, tiger, lion and pig.
o Stout bodies, shining faces, bulging eyes.
• This school of painting originated at Amber but later shifted to Jaipur, the new capital.
• Because of close proximity to Mughals, the Jaipur style is strongly influence by Mughal school.
• The style got patronage under reign of Sawai Jai Singh I (1622-88). Under Jai Singh II (1693-1743), Ishwari Singh (1743-1750) and Madho Singh I (1750- (1779- 1803), there was a complete transformation of painting in Jaipur. The Mughal influence was eliminated and a genuine Jaipur- Rajpur style emerged.
• There are a fairly large number of portraits of the Jaipur rulers.
• Dominant themes of painting included Mahabharat, Ramayan, Krishna Teela, Geet Govinda & Kama Sutra.
o Large size canvas, ornate backgrounds and bright gorgeous borders.
o Female figures are depicted with large eyes, bunch of long hair, stout physique and pleasant mood.
• An independent Jodhpur style came into existence during reign of Rao Maldev.
• Paintings on Uttaradhyayan Sutra were made during his reign.
• Executed in a primitive and vigorous folk style
• Paintings in Mughal style developed under the patronage of Jaswant Singh (1638-1681), who served as the Viceroy of the Mughals for Malwa, Gujarat and the Deccan.
• Paintings of the legendary lovers like Dhola-Maru on camelback, hunting scenes are famous.
• Ajit Singh (1707-1724) & Abhai Singh (1724-1750) continued the patronage of painting.
• The late Jodhpur style, characterized by the lavish use of yellow, blue and green colors, spiral clouds on the horizon, reached its climax in the reign of Man Singh (1823-1843).
• Beautiful and attractive paintings were painted in the palace of Nagaur during the reign of Bhakhat Singh.
o Despite being influenced by the Mewar School, the Jodhpur style has its own striking features.
o Males are stoutly built and tall, with curved mustaches, touching their throats.
• Some of the Mughal artists were given patronage by the Bikaner court. So, Bikaner style has more Mughal elements than other schools of Rajasthani paintings.
• Apart from Mughal, there is considerable influence of Deccani style.
• Bhagwad Purana painted during period of Rai Singh is considered to be an early painting of this style.
• Developed peaked during reign of Maharaja Anoop Singh.
• Most of the paintings are made on the Ramayana, on the Mahabharata, lord Krishna legends, Ragmala and love scenes of Radha and Krishna.
o Slim and attractive females with eyes resembling those of deer, o Frequent application of blue, green and red colors.
o Turbans of the style of Shahjahan and Aurangzeb along with the high turbans of Marwari fashion.
• Developed under the patronage of Raja Sawant Singh (1748-1757 A.D.), who wrote devotional poetry in praise of Krishna.
• Most common theme of this style consisted of the depiction of the love between Lord Krishna and Radha
• Master painter Nihal Chand who, in his works, has been able to create visual images of his master’s lyrical compositions. He is also credited with making Bani-Thani during
Sawant Singh’s reign.
o Paintings are endowed with lakes, mountains, gardens and various birds.
o Principal colors were white, pink, rose, cream and deep red.
o Male figures are tall, attractive physique with blue aura-like bunch as of hair, elevated turbans.
o Female figures are fair in complexion with wide eyes.
Handicrafts of Rajasthan
Sculpture Art in Rajasthan
• Sculpture Art in Rajasthan started from Maurya Period.
• Different areas in Rajasthan are famous for different colour stones.
• Different Stones:
o Dungarpur – Green Black
o Dhoplur – Red
o Bharatpur – Pink
o Makrana – White
o Jodhpur – Badami/Brown/Buff
o Rajsamand – White with tint of Black
o Jalore – Granite
o Kota – Slate
• Sangmarmar (Marble)
o Sculpture art of Sangmarmar stone – Jaipur
o Meenakari on Sangmarmar stone – Jaipur
o Picchikari on Sangmarmar stone- Bhilwara
o Sangmarmar mines – Makrana
• Stone Sculpture
o Sompura Caste people of Dungarpur & Talwara (in Banswara)
• Terracotta essentially means baked earth.
• Molela near Nathdwara is especially famous for its Terracotta toys.
• Harji Village in Jalore famous for Terracotta Horses
• Nagaur district – Banuravta Village
• Origin – First developed by Mongol artisans who combined Chinese glazing technology with Persian decorative arts.
• With Turks & Mughals conquests came to India.
• Jaipur is famous – Started in the reign of Raja Man Singh I.
• Credit for development goes to – Sawai Ram Singh II (1835-80).
• However by 1950, the craft of Blue Pottery had declined. Post-Independence, it was redeveloped through efforts of Kripal Singh Shekhawat.
• His efforts were recognized by GOI, received Padam Shri (1974).
Ivory Works ( Haathi dant)
• Items include: Jewellery, Powder boxes, jewellery boxes, cufflinks, lamps, artistic decorations, idols of gods and goddess, brooches.
• Udaipur – most famous.
• Jodhpur – Black, green & Red strips bangles.
• Jaipur is famous worldwide for Meenakari on Jewellery.
• Meenakari Art was imported from Lahore for first time under reign of Man Singh I (1589-1614)
• Nathdwara is also famous
• Raitwali area of Kota – Meenakari is done on glass
• Bikaner & Pratapgarh also has significant skills.
• Golden Meenakari work on Camel leather is known as Usta Art.
• The art was developed by Padam Shri Hissayamuddin Usta from Bikaner.
• Camel Hide Training Center in Bikaner is an institution for Usta Art.
• Famous: Jaipur & Jodhpur
• Sawai madhopur, Laxmangarh (Sikar), Indragarh (Bundi) – Lac work on Wooden toys.
• Jaipur, Hindon, Karauli – Lac bangles.
Mat & Carpet Works:
• Jaipur and Tonk are famous
• Cotton & Wool are used for making fabric
• For better quality and strong mattress the thread & knots used for making fabric should be very fine(thin).
• Carpets are also manufactured in Jaipur & Bikaner jails.
• Salawas Village of Jodhpur is famous for carpets
• While carpet manufacturing is enthusiastically followed in Jodhpur, Nagaur, Tonk, Barmer, Bhilwara, Shahpura, Kekari & Malpura.
Textile Art of Rajasthan:
• Gota Work:
o Jaipur & Khandela (Sikar) are famous
• Zari Work
• Kota Doria
o Kota Doria is a fabric with unique blend of cotton and silk in a square check pattern.
o The checked pattern is termed as ‘kbat’
o The silk provides the shine while the cotton provides strength to the fabric.
o Craft originated in Mysore and then shifted to Kaithun Village near Kota. Hence, the Saris came to be known as Kota-Mansuria.
• Jaipuri Quilt (Rajai)
o Specialty: Very low weight but highly insulating
• Applique Work:
o In this art different pieces of cloth are fixed together.
o The interesting colour, shape and pattern combinations against contrasting background catch the eye.
• Hand-block prints:
o Bagru Print, Jaipur
■ This print is similar to Sanganeri print but while Sanganeri print has white field, Bagru prints have green fields.
■ Only Natural colors are used in Bagru Prints
o Alijarin (Ajrak) Print, Barmer
■ Mostly r ed and blue colors are used for printing
Tie and dye:
• Bandani, Batik, Mothra, Ekdali, Shikari, Cheent.
• Bandhej, Jaipur
o Cloth is tied and then colored and when the knot is opened different designs appear on cloth.
• Jhajam (Carpets)
o Printed in Chittor are famous.
• Lehriya – Jaipur
• Chunri – Jodhpur
• Dabu Print
o Akola Village in Chittorgarh is famous for Dabu Prints
o In Dabu, where in a particular portion of cloth color is not required, that portion is pressed with Loi or Lugadi. This loi or lugadi is called as Dabu, as it is pressed on the part of cloth where color is not required.
o Apart from skilled labour, Akola also has suitable conditions including water, soil, natural vegetation that favor this type of printing
o Dabu Prints from Akola include Bedsheets, Cloth, Chunari, and Fantiyan.
o In different areas of Rajasthan, different materials are used as Dabu
■ Sawai madhopur – Wax is used as Dabu
■ Baltora – Soil/Mud is used as Dabu
■ Bagru & Sanganer – Bighan made from wheet is used as Dabu
• Sanganeri Print – Sanganer
o Done on Lattha or Malmal clothes,
o Post printing, clothes are washed in river
o Aminshah Nalla has been traditionally associated with this print
o Use of only Red and black color is seen.
o Munna Lai Goyal made Sanganeri prints famous worldwide.
Folk Arts of Rajasthan
Rajasthani folk art has been divided into following types:
• Wall & ground paintings: Devra, Pathwari, Sanjhi, Mandav etc.
• Cloth Paintings: Pat, Pichhwai, Phad etc
• Painting on Paper: Paane
• Painting made on Wood: Kavad
• Painting on Human body: Mehandi, Godana
• Thape is a form of drawings on walls.
• In Rajasthan it is made up turmeric, geru, henna and kumkum.
• Pictures are drawn on the both side of the door, to invoke deities
• In Jodhpur, metal utensils used for drinking water have a layer of cloth or leather wrapped around them. These are called as Badaley.
• They are provided with beautiful designs & colors.
• Thewa art is minute painting on glass using gold.
• Glass used is colored Belgium glass.
• Different colors are used to make it attractive
• Mandana is an art of the tribal wall and floor paintings found in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh
• It is derived from the word ‘Mandan’ referring to decoration and beautification and comprises simple geometric forms like triangles, squares and circles to decorate houses.
• In tribal ideology they are famed for warding off evil and acting as a good luck charm.
• It uses white khariya or chalk solution and geru or red ochre.
• The design may show Ganesha, peacocks, women at work, tigers, floral motifs, etc
• Phad is a painted scroll, which depicts stories of epic dimensions about local deities and legendary heroes.
• Bhopas (local priests) carry these scrolls on their shoulders from village to village for a performance
• Represents the moving shrine of the deity and is an object of worship.
• Most popular & largest Phad – local deities Devnarayanji and Pabuji.
• Shahpura tehsil in Bhilwara is famous for Phad.
• 2006, Shri Laal Joshi – was awarded Padam Shri for contribution to Phad
Folk Dances of Rajasthan
- Folk dances of Rajasthan trace their origin to rural customs and traditions.
- These dances form an integral part of people’s lives and are performed on important occasions and festivals.
- The rise of princely states during medieval times, also added to growth of folk dances, as the rulers gave patronage to art & crafts.
- Jaipur Gharana is supposedly the first gharana of Kathak dance. Its pioneer was Bhanuji.
• Location: Udaipur, Chittorgarh, Banswara, Dungarpur
o Performed by: Both male and female dancers
o Occasion: Marriages
o Bhavai dance basically involves women dancers balancing 8 to 9 earthen-pots (matki’s) on their heads and dancing simultaneously.
o Additionally, dancers also put their feet on the top of a glass pieces or on the edge of a naked sword or on the rim of a brass thali (plate) during the performance.
• Famous Persons associated with dance form:
o Mrs. Krishna Vyas Chhangani from Jodhpur (Rajasthan).
• Location: Kishangarh, Ajmer
• Performed by: Women from Gujjar Community
• Occasion: Marriage, on the birth of a male child or any big festival celebration.
o This dance describes the art of collecting water in a chari or pot by the Rajasthani women in their day to day life.
o These ladies carry brass pots on their heads balancing it to perfection.
o These pots are kept ignited with the cotton seeds dipped in oil. These lit pots display beautiful effect in the dark night.
• Famous Persons associated with dance form:
o Falku Bai
• Location: Hadoti region of Bundi, Kota & Baran District.
• Performed By: Women of Kanjar tribe
• Occasion: Marriages & Festivals of Hadoti Region.
o Chakri dance involves a series of fast and vigorous spinning movements with the beats of the Dholak.
o Chakri dance is believed as same as the Raai dance of ‘Beriyas’ tribe of Madhya Pradesh. made this dance popular.
• Famous Persons associated with dance form:
o Shanti Devi, Phulwa Filma, Devi Lai Sagar
• Location: Jalore
• Performed By: Only Men
• Occasion: Marriages
o In this dance, beat huge drums that are tied around their necks.
o One dancer holding huge cymbals in his hands, accompanies the drummers,
The Credit for bringing this dance to limelight goes to Jay Narayan Vyas.
• Location: of Bikaner and Churu districts of Rajasthan
• Performed by: Jasnathis
• Occasion: On the festive occasions like Holi, Janmashtami etc.
o Jasnathi men and boys jump on to the fire with the accompaniment of drum beats.
o The dance involves breathtaking fire stunts wherein the dancers perform by holding fire rods in their hands and filling up their mouths with kerosene.
o The fire rods are also moved on their heads and legs by the dancers.
o Dancers walk on top of a flaming bed of charcoal.
• Location: Performed in Mewar region.
However, its variations like the Dandi Gair is found in the Marwar region and Geendad is found in the Shekhawati region
• Performed by: Both men and women dance together of Bhil tribe
• Occasion: Holi
o The Gair dance is performed by both Men and Womenfolk holding wooden sticks
o It is group dance consisting of two circles where groups of dancers moving in and out a big circle.
o According to rhythm, they perform various steps, striking their sticks & take turns in- between.
• Location: Udaipur, Rajsamand and Chittorgarh
• Bhil Tribe
• After the monsoons, in the months of September and October
o This tribal dance has a troupe which travel through village to village with their dance for a month.
o Gawari expresses the devotion and faith to Lord Shiva and his wife Parvati through Folk Dance, Music and Folklores.
o It also symbolizes human love for forests, animals and people, o Women do not take part in Gavri and all the female roles are played by men.
• Location: Across Rajasthan, originally by Bhil community, adopted by different communities including Rajputs
• Performed By: Females
• Occasion: Rajput Marriages
o Ghoomar is a very simple dance where the dancers move gently and gracefully in circles.
o Dancing includes pirouetting, which displays the spectacular colors of the flowing ‘ghaghara’, the long skirt of the Rajasthani women.
Kachi Ghodi Dance:
• Location: Shekhawati
• Performed By: Men
• Occasion: Generally performed for the entertainment of the bridegroom’s party, Holi.
o This dance is performed by men on dummy horses.
o Men wear elaborate costumes- red turbans and dhotis and kurtas, embellished with brilliant mirror-work and ride the dummy horses.
o These dancers move rhythmically to the beating of drums and fifes by holding a naked sword on the hand while a singer narrates the exploits of the Bavaria bandits of Shekhawati region through his song.
Kalbelia dance is included in UNESCO’s list of the Cultural Heritage of Humanity from the year 2010
• Location: Pali district, Ajmer, Chittorgarh and Udaipur district.
• Performed By Women from Kalbelia community.
• Occasion: Kalbelia songs are based on stories taken from folklore and mythology and special dances are performed during Holi.
o The dancers are women in flowing black skirts who dance and swirl, replicating the movements of a serpent.
o The cloths are mixed in red and black hues and embroidered in unique patterns.
o Kalbelia dance has a traditional musical instruments which is Poongi also called Been.
o Other traditional musical instruments used by the Kalbelia tribe are Dufli, Morchang, Dholak, Khanjari and Khuralio.
- Kathputli Dance means the dances of puppets. Kathputli is a join of two words, Kath meaning wood and Putli meaning a doll, hence Kathputli means a doll made of wood.
- Kathputli are usually made of mango wood and stuffed with cotton.
- These puppets are generally one and half feet in height and are made in Sawai-Madhopur, Bari, and Udaipur.
• Location: Performed across Rajasthan.
• Performed by: It is believed to be initiated 1000 years back by Bhat Community.
• Occasion: All Festive Occasions
O Kathputli is not just source of entertainment but also they taught society the social and moral education.
o These acts of puppetry portrayed major social issues like stories from mythology, folklores, historical heroes.
• Famous Persons associated with dance form:
o Organisations: Rupayan Sansthan in Jodhpur founded by Vijaydan Detha and Komal Kothari in 1960 and Bharatiya Lok Kala Mandal, Udaipur, founded by Devilal Samar in 1952, are working in the field preserving and promoting the art of Kathputli.
o New Delhi also has an area known as ‘Kathputli Colony’, in Shadipur Depot, where puppeteers have lived long.
Terah Taali Dance:
• Location: Ramdevra, Didwana, Dungarpur, Udaipur
• Performed by: Woman from Kamad tribe while sitting on the floor before Baba Ramdev’s image.
• Occasion: In honor the folk hero, Baba Ramdev
o The women have 13 ‘manjeeras’ (little brass discs) tied to different parts of their body which they strike with the ones they hold in their hand.
o Often a swords is also used by the professional Terah Taali dancer and also a pot on her to make the dance more attractive.
o Male artists sings local Rajasthani folk songs as a background music and play different instruments like pakhwaja, dholak jhanjhar, sarangi, harmonium etc.
• Famous Persons associated with dance form:
o Mangi Bai, Mohni Narayani, laxman das kamad
• Location: Udaipur, Pindwara(Sirohi), Abu Road
• Performed by: Women from Garasia community
• Occasion: Gangaur & teej festivals.
o Involves simple circular movements of dancers on beats.
o Generally accompanied by the beats of the mandal, chang and a variety of other musical instruments.
Folk Dramas of Rajasthan
- Rajasthan is a hub of folk art, theatre, music, dance and craft. The tribal culture of Rajasthan has done much to preserve and nurture the folk theatre tradition of Rajasthan.
- Khayal is the most prominent form of folk theatrical form of Rajasthan. Other important folk theatre includes Swang, Phad, Rammat, Nautanki, Bhawai, Gavari etc.
• Khayal theatre emerged near about 18th century and remained the same for the next 200 years
• The subject of Khayal is usually a mythological story or an ancient episode.
• Due to the diversity of culture in Rajasthan, Khayal theatre has different forms in the name of the city, acting style, the community or the author’s name such as:
- Kuchamani Khayal
- Shekhawati khayal
- Jaipuri Khayal
- Ali Bkashi khayal
- Turra Kalangi Khayal
- Kishangarhi Khayal
- Hathrasi Khayal
- Nautanki Khayal
• Tamasha a folk-drama began in Jaipur state during the times of Maharaja Pratap Singh for the first time.
• The Bhatt family of Jaipur included Jaipuri Khayal and Dhrupad Gayaki (style of singing) in Tamasha Theatre.
• The dialogues of Tamasha are poetic in nature and predominantly include music dance and singing
• Tamasha is perfomed in an open stage called as Akhada.
• This drama originated about 140 years ago in Bikaner region through a folk-poetry competition.
• The characters playing this musical drama are known as Khelar.
• A devotional song in praise of Ramdev ji is usually sung before starting Rammat.
• The main instruments of Ramat are Nagada and Dholak.
• The songs of this drama are mainly connected with Chaumasa, rainy season, Tavani and Ganapati Vandana.
• Mani Ram Vyas, Tulsi Ram, Phagh Maharaj, Sua Maharaj etc. were main Rammat writers
• This type of drama is mostly performed in Bikaner, Jaisalmer & Phalaudi regions.
• Phad is a life-sketch of some Lok Devta depicted on a cloth.
• While reciting Phad, Bhopa plays Jantar or Ravanhathha musical instrument.
• Swang theatre is considered its origin near about the 15th century.
• Braj language text ‘Hasyarnava’ written by Rasarup or Kamarup is considered the first written text written for Swang theatre between 1686 and 1689.
• Swang theatre has good combination of dance, songs, dialogues, mimicry (Nakal) and presentation of dance-drama.
• The performer of Swang is called Behrupiya.
• Gavari is style of drama of Bhils of Mewar region.
• Gavari is played as part of festival that continues for 40 days during months of July -August.
• Hero of Gavari dance is an old man who is supposed to be incarnation of Shiva.
• Major themes of Gavari are – Devi Ambad, Badshah Ki Sawari, Banjara, Khadaliya Bhoot and fight lion & pig.
• Nautanki is performed in the region of Bharatpur, Karauli, Dholpur, Alwar and Gangapur city.
• The story plot of the Nautanki is generally based on mythology, historical narrations, folklores, romances and contemporary Socio-Political issues.
• Bhavai folk theatre is very similar to ‘Swang’ and considered to have originated in the 13-14th century in Apabhramsa-Jain religious verses.
• Abul Fazal also mentioned in his book ‘ Ain-e-Akbari’ about Bhavai.
• Baagha ji was the father of modern Bhawai in Rajasthan.
• Bhawai Natak is presented by Bhopa & Bhopi in the form of Saga and Sagi in the areas of Rajasthan adjacent to Gujarat
• A major play written in Bhawai style is Shanta Gandhi’s – Jasma Oden.
• Gandharvas are resident of Marwar.
• Their themes are based on Jain Sect.
- Anjan Sundari & Maina Sundari are two dramas performed in this style.
• Raas Leela is staged based on stories of Puranas.
• Leela’s or acts of Krishna are performed.
• The main character is called Raasdhar.
Folk Musical Instruments of Rajasthan
The vast array of Rajasthani folk instruments are made ingeniously from a variety of materials available in Rajasthan, that give them a peculiar sound.
Both percussion instruments and stringed instruments have been used in Rajasthani folk songs.
Shells of dried gourds of all shapes and sizes are used for string instruments, gorse stems or bamboos segments for flutes and baked clay pots for drums.
The folk music instruments are classified into following major types:
• String Instruments
o Sarangi, Ravanhathha, Kamaycha, Ektara, Moorchang
• Wind Instruments
o Pungi, Satara, Algoza, Murla, Nad and Shehnai
• Autophonic Instruments
o Ghanti, Ghungroo, Manjeera, Khartal & Jhalar
• Percussion Instruments
o Dhol, Chang, Moisang, Nagara
I. TATYA VADYA – String Music Instruments
• Instruments having strings fall under this category.
• Sound is produced by the vibration of a string or chord.
• Vibrations are caused by plucking or by bowing on the string which has been pulled taut.
• Length of string/wire and the degree to which it has been tightened, determines the pitch of the note and also to some extent the duration of the sound.
• Most well-known string instrument of Rajasthan.
• Multi-stringed instrument that is played by using a bow drawn across the strings and running of fingers on the strings.
• Langas of Jaisalmer, Barmer and Jogis of Marwar use Sarangi.
• Jantar resembles Veena in form and has two tumbas.
• Its Daand is made up of Bamboo with 5-6 wires.
• This instrument is used by Bhopas of Gurhars when singing story of Bagadawats.
• Ravanhatta is also a kind of sarangi.
• The Instrument is made from a belly of half coconut shell and has a body of bamboo.
• It has two main strings(horse hairs) and a variable number of supporting strings
• The Rawanhathha of the Bhopas is probably the earliest instrument played with a bow, and this humble instrument could well be the precursor of the violin.
• The bow has ghungroos (bells) attached to it.
• Ravanhattha is main instrument used while reciting Phad of Pabuji.
• Kamachya has three main strings of gut, besides nine supplementary and four sympathetic steel strings all passing through a broad bridge.
• The long wooden curved bow of horse-tail hair moving on all the strings is characteristic of this instrument.
• It is used exclusively by the Manganiyars in the Jaisalmer-Barmer region.
• Iktara is generally played by Nath, Kalbelia saints.
• It is a single string instrument, mounted on the belly of a gourd attached to a body made of bamboo.
• Versions: The Galaleng Jogis of Dungarpur and Banswara have twin gourded Kendru appears akin to the ancient Kinnari Veena, and it has often been called the Keengri in Rajasthan literature. The Chautara, also called the Tandoora or Nissan, is also a popular five stringed drone and beat instrument used as an accompaniment to devotional music and for the Terathali dance.
• This instrument is similar to Sarangi.
• It is played by using nails and had 12 strings.
• It is usually played by Raos and Bhats of Mewar
• Bhapang is a single stringed instrument & is also known as ‘talking drum’.
• Bhapang is mainly played by jogis of Alwar region.
• The instrument is made up of tumba made out of long gourd. The lower part of tumba is covered by animal skin while upper part is empty.
II. SUSHIRA VADYA – Wind Music Instruments
• Instruments in which air is blown by mouth for producing music. Sound is produced by blowing air into a hollow column.
• Pitch of the note is determined by controlling the air passage and the melody is played by using the fingers to open and close the in the instrument
• The simplest of these instruments is the flute. Generally flutes are made of bamboo or wood and Indian musicians prefered these due to the tonal and musical attributes of these materials.
• Excavations of the Indus civilizations have shown bird whistles of clay, and seals which show wind and percussion instruments.
• There is reference in the Vedas to an instrument-the Venu which was used as an accompaniment to chanting and recitation. There is also mention of a kind of a flute called the Nadi.
• Pungi is made of gourd or tumbi.
• Pungi is generaly played by snake charmers (Kalbelias & Jogis.)
• Algoza is a flute made of Bamboo tube.
• Algoza is the favourite instrument of Bheels & Kalbelias.
• Satara is an integrated form of Algoza, Flute and Shehnai.
• It has two long tubes and has six holes like shehnai.
• Shehnai is made out of wood, with a double reed at one end and a metal or wooden flared bell at the other end.
• It usually has between six and nine holes.
• By controlling the breath, various tunes can be played on it.
III. GHANA VADYA – Autophonic Music Instruments
• These are said to be the earliest instruments invented by man
• Once constructed, these instruments do not need special tuning prior to playing.
• These are principally rhythmic in function and are best suited as accompaniment to folk and tribal music and dance.
• These instruments are made of metal.
• It is round in shape and made of brass & bronze mixed together.
• The shape is that of two hemispherical metal cups struck against each other. They have different kinds like jhanit and the taala.
• Manjeera is the main instrument in Terah Talli dance.
• Khadtaal is made of small cymbals incrusted into wood blocks.
• Jhalar is another variety of musical instrument ,which is formed by a single metal plate, the thali.
• This is struck in various ways producing different kinds tones and rhythms.
• Ghungroo is one of many small metallic bells strung together to form ghungroos.
IV. AVANADDHA VADYA – Percussion Music Instruments
• A percussion instrument produces a sound by being hit with an object.
• Sound is produced by striking the animal skin which has been stretched across an earthen or metal pot or a wooden barrel or frame.
• The earliest references to such instruments have been found in the Vedas where there is mention of Bhumi Dundhubhi; this was a hollow pit dug in the ground and covered with the hide of a buffalo or ox which was stretched across the pit.
• The Nagara is a folk drum played with the Surnai and Nafeeri (the two sticks).
• During ancient times, they were usually played during important ceremonies.
• The Tasha and Shehnai usually accompany this instrument.
• The Matkas and the Ghada of Pabuji are a pair of huge earthenware pots, their mouths covered with membrane.
• One player plays each Matka, and the Bhopas use it to accompany their singing. The whole effect is heightened by the graceful dance of the player.
Fairs & Festivals of Rajasthan
Rajasthan is a land of fairs & festivals, but before we can get understanding of these it is essential to learn the names of Indian seasons & months, as the India festivals & fairs are organized based on Hindi calendar, which is lunar.
|Seasons (Ritu)||Months as per Hindu calendar||Months (in English)|
No. Name (Sanskrit) Length Start date (Gregorian)
1 Chaitra 30/31 March 22/21
2 Vaishākha 31 April 21
3 Jyēshtha 31 May 22
4 Āshādha 31 June 22
5 Shrāvana 31 July 23
6 Bhaadra 31 August 23
7 Āshwin 30 September 23
8 Kārtika 30 October 23
9 Agrahayana 30 November 22
10 Pausha 30 December 22
11 Māgha 30 January 21
12 Phalguna 30 February 20
• Saka Samvat is the Official Government calendar in India
• In Hindu calendar, year begins with 1 Chaitra.
• Years are counted in the Saka era, which starts its year 0 in the year 78 of the Common Era.
• Usage started officially at 1 Chaitra 1879, Saka Era, or 22 March 1957
• Chaitra has 30 days and starts on March 22, except in leap years, when it has 31 days and starts on March 21.
• The months in the first half of the year all have 31 days, to take into account the slower movement of the sun across the ecliptic at this time.
Festivals and Fairs in Chaitra:
• Worship of Isar ji & Gauri ji idols made of clay.
• 16 days’ festival
• Main Celebration: Jodhpur, Jaipur, Udaipur, Kota
• Colonel Tod described Gangor of Udaipur
• Chaitra Shukla Astami
• Kami Mata Mela (I) – Bada – in Nokha, Bikaner – from Shukla – 1st to 10th
• Mahavir Mela at Mahavir Ji, Karauli from Chaitra Shukla 13th to Vaisakha Krishna 3rd
• Kaila Devi Mela at Kaila Devi, Sawai Madhopur from Chaitra Krishna Ashtami (8th) to Chaitra Sukhla Astami. Also called as Lakkhi Mela.
• Kesariyanath ji ka Mela at Rishabhdev, Udaipur on Astami (8th).
• Sheetla Mata mela is held at Sheel ki Dungari, Jaipur on Krishna Ashtami.
Festivals & Fairs in Vaisakha:
• Vaishakha Shukla Tritiya
• Brith Hari Mela in Alwar
• Mata Kundalini Mela is held at Rashmi, Chittorgarh on Vaisakh Poornima.
Festivals & Fairs in Shravana:
• Shravana Shukla Tritiya – Chotti Teej
• Kalyan Ji ka Mela at Diggipuri-Malpura- Tonk on Amaysya
• Teej ka Mela (most famous at Jaipur) on Shukla -Tritya
Festivals & Fairs in Bhadra:
• Bhadra Krishna Tritiya – Badi Teej
• Shukla Chaturthi
• Baba Ramdev Ji ka Mela at Runicha – Pokaran- Jaiselmer from Shukla Paksh – Dooj(2nd) to 11th
• Gogaji Mela at Nohar, Hanumangarh from Krishna Ashtami to Ekadashi
• Goga Ji Mela at Dadrewa, Churu from Krishna Navami to Shukla Navami.
• Brithari Mela(II) in Alwar
• Karjali Teej Mela in Bundi on 3rd
• Ganesh Mela at Ranthmabore, Sawai Madhopur on Ganesh Chaturthi (4th)
• Charbhuja Mela at Charbhuja, Udaipur on Shukla Ekadashi.
Festivals & Fairs in Ashwin:
• Karni Mata Mela – in Nokh, Bikaner – from Shukla 1st to 10th
• Jambeshwar Mela at Nokha, Bikaner
Festivals & Fairs in Kartik:
• Kartik Amavasya
• Kapil Muni Mela in Kolayat Bikaner on Kartik Purnima
• Puskar Mela in Pushkar, Ajmer from Kartik Shukla Ekadashi to Purnima.
• Neelapani Mela at Hathod village, Dungarpur on Kartika Poornima.
Festivals & Fairs in Magha:
• Beneshwar Mela in Beneshawar, Dungarpur – from Shukla Ekadashi to Purnima (Shivratri). This fair is called Kumbha of Tribals.
Festivals & Fairs in Phalguna:
• Falugun Poornima
• Khatu Shyam ji Mela – in Sikar – from Shukla 10th to 12th
• Jambeshwar Mela at Nokha, Bikaner
Forts & Palaces of Rajasthan
• The extensive and majestic hill forts of Rajasthan together reflect the elaborate, fortified seats of power of Princely States that flourished between the 8th and 18th centuries and their relative political independence.
• Scattered all around in the state, these forts have a uniqueness of their own, with each one of them narrating a story about its kings, kingdom and colourful culture.
• Their beautiful structures, enchanting edifices and stunning architecture are beyond any comparison.
• Recognizing their value, six of these Hill Forts of Rajasthan have been declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
• They are, Chittorgarh Fort, Kumbhalgarh Fort, Ranthambore Fort, Gagron Fort, Amber Fort and Jaisalmer Fort.
Taragarh Fort, Ajmer
• Taragarh fort was first built by Chauhan king Ajaipal on Taragarh Hill. It is also said that Rana Sanga’s brother Prthvi Raj made a portion of for his wife Tara and named it Taragarh. The fort guarding Ajmer, was the seat of the Chauhan rulers and was again believed to be built by Mughal ruler Akbar.
• Taragarh is reputed to be one of the oldest hill forts in India and the world. The battlements run along the top of the hill. The walls are two miles (3 km) in circumference and the fort can only be approached by way of a very steep slope.
• When it fell to the British Raj, the fort was dismantled on the orders of Ford William Bentinck and was converted into a sanatorium for the British troops.
Akbari Fort & Museum, Ajmer
• This fort was constructed in 1570 by Akbar and is also called as Daulat-khanna or Magazine. Plans for battle of Haldighati were finalized in this fort in 1576 and Jehangir camped in the fort for 3 years to bring Mewar under Mughal control.
• This fort is a magnificent example of Mughal architecture and it is the location from where Salim, as the Emperor Jahangir read out the farman permitting the British East India Company to trade with India.
• In 1801 control of fort passed to British who converted it into magazine (armory). Currently, the fort is converted into a state museum and houses a collection of Mughal, Rajput armor and sculpture. The fort also has beautiful paintings and Janana portion has excellent picchkari works.
Kesroli Hill Fort, Alwar
• This 14th century fort is best known for its turrets, ramparts and arched verandas.
• The Yaduvanshi Rajputs, who are said to be descendants of Ford Krishna, built it.
• Today, the fort has been converted into a heritage hotel.
Bala Quila, Alwar
• The Bala Qila (meaning young fort) was built on the foundations of a 10th century mud fort and is a towering structure set atop a hill.
• Strong fortifications, graceful marble columns and delicate latticed balconies make up the fort.
• Bala Qila can be entered through six gates, namely Jai Pol, Suraj Pol, Laxman Pol, Chand Pol, Krishan Pol and Andheri Gate.
Alwar City Palace
• Raja Bakhtawar Singh built the city palace in 1793 AD.
• The palace is an amazing melange of the Rajputana and Islami styles of architecture. The highlight of this palace is graceful marble pavilions set on lotus flower bases in the central courtyard.
• The palace that once belonged to the Maharaja has been converted into the District Collectorate. Its grand halls and chambers now house government offices.
Neemrana Fort, Alwar
• History says that Neemrana Fort was built by the Yaduvanshis, believed to be the descendants of Ford Krishna.
• Its story is rife with conquests and defeats and it has passed from the Rajputs to the Mughals and the Jats, before finally coming back to the Rajputs in 1775.
• Today, it is being run as a famous heritage hotel.
Shahbad Fort, Baran
• Shahabad fort is one of the strongest forts in Hadoti area. It is located at about 80 km. from Baran.
• The Chauhan Vanshi Dhandhel Rajput Mukutmani Dev constructed Shahbad fort in the 1521 A.D. (Samvat 1577).
• This is situated in the dense forest area on the high mountain ranges and is surrounded by Kundakoh valley, waterfalls and a lake.
• The Topkhana (artillery) has Nawalbaan tope(cannon), Barudkhana and some temples in the forts are still secure.
Shergarh Fort, Baran
• Shergarh fort is situated in Atru tehsil, about 65 km. from Baran district headquaters. The fort is located atop a hillock on the bank of Parban river.
• Shershan named the fort as Koshvardhan. A stone edict of 790 AD proves the antiquity of the place.
Nahar Garh Fort, Baran
• The fort is about 73 km from Baran in Kishanganj tehsil.
• Fort is an impressive structure in red stone and a fine example of the Mughal architecture.
Siwana Fort, Barmer
• Siwana Fort was constructed in 10h century by Narayan Panwar. In local language its name is Gadh Siwana.
• After the battle of Giri Summel Rao Maldeo took refuge in this fort from Sher Shah. During 1308-09 under reign of Sataldev, the fort was attacked by Allaudin Khilji which resulted in first Jauhar/Saka.
• In 1597, Akbar with Motaraja Udai Singh attacked Siwana fort at the time of Kalyanmal which resulted in 2 Jauhar.
Lohagarh Fort, Bharatpur
• Lohagarh fort was built by Jat Raja Surajmal in 1733. True to its name, Lohagarh Fort has withstood many attacks by the British, but was ultimately captured by Arthur Wellesley. The famous door of Lohagarh fort was brought by Maharaja Jawahar Singh from Delhi in 1765.
• Lohagarh Fort differs from others by its aura of rugged strength. The fort is surrounded by a moat which used to be filled with water to keep enemies out. Interesting monuments inside the fort are Kothi Khas, Mahal Khas, Moti Mahal and Kishori Mahal.
• Raja Suraj Mai built Jawahar Bhurj and Fateh Bhurj to commemorate victories over the Mughals and the British.
Bharatpur Palace and Museum
• Located within the premises of the Bharatpur Palace is Kamra Khas, a museum that contains a vast number of antiques, over 581 stone sculptures, 861 local art and craft wares and ancient scriptures that depict the art and culture typical of Bharatpur.
• The palace itself was built in stages by various Maharajas and is a fine fusion of Mughal and Rajput architecture.
• The various apartments in the palace have a variety of richly patterned floor tiles decorated with exquisite designs.
Mandalgarh Fort, Bhilwara
• Mandalgarh Fort Bhilwara is believed to have been built by Rana Kumbha and is the 3rd fort of Mewar region, the other two being Chittoragrh and Kumbhalgarh.
• However, According to Veer Vinod, the fort had been constructed by Mandiya Bhil and Chanana Gujjar.
• The fort is located on a part of Aravali hill range along confluence of Banas, Berach & Menali.
Junagarh Fort, Bikaner
• Junagarh Fort was constructed in the year 1588 A.D by Raja Rai Singh, one of Emperor Akbar’s most distinguished generals. It is believed that crocodiles were bred in the water moat surrounding the formidable fort.
• The construction is a fine blend of Mughal, Gujarati and Rajput style of architecture. The picturesque courtyards beautify the fort.
• The fort complex houses some magnificent palaces constructed in red sandstone and marble like Anup Mahal, Chandra Mahal, Hawa Mahal, Dungar Mahal, Diwan-e-khas and Ganga Mahal.
• The fort also houses a Prachina Museum which contains royal costumes, textiles and accessories of Rajasthani royalty.
Lalgarh Palace, Bikaner
• Lalgarh Palace was built by Maharaja Ganga Singh in the year 1902 in memory of his father Maharaja Tal Singh Ji.
• The red sandstone construction is a fine blend of Mughal, Rajput and European architectures styles. The design was conceptualised by Sir Swinton Jacob.
• The first floor of the Palace houses Sadul Singh Museum. The lives and the passions of the three successive kings of Bikaner are reflected in the art museum. The rare artifacts, Georgian paintings, and the photographs seen here stand proof of the interests and the heroics of the three kings namely Maharaja Ganga Singh, Sadul Singh and Kami Singh.
Gajner Palace, Bikaner
• The Gajner Palace was founded by Maharaja Gaj Singh ji of Bikaner in the year 1784, and then completed by the great Maharaja Ganga Singh of Bikaner on the banks of the lake. The palace served as retreat after hunting for the royal family.
• The red sandstone construction is a glowing example of stunning architecture. The palace is situated in the view migratory birds flock in great numbers.
Taragarh Fort, Bundi
• Taragarh Fort was constructed by Rao raja Bair Singh in 1354 on a hilltop 1426 feet high. In the centre of the fort is located Bhim Bhurj on which was once mounted a particularly large cannon called Garbh Gunjam, or ‘Thunder from the Womb’.
• With its curved roofs topping pavilions, excess of temple columns and elephant and lotus motifs, the palace is a tribute to Rajput style.
• The fort includes Hazari Darwaza, Haathi Pol, Nau Dhaan, Ratan Daulatkhana, Darikhana, Ratan Niawas, Chatra mahal, Badal Mahal & Moti Mahal.
Sukh Mahal, Bundi
• Sukh Mahal, a small, two-storied palace was a summer retreat of past rulers. Tocated on banks of JaitSagar lake, the palace was constructed by Rao raja Vishnu Singh in 1773 A.D.
• Today, it is quite famous for being the place where Kipling wrote ‘Kim’. Many credit the palace as a having played muse to the renowned novel. In fact, part of a movie based on the novel was even shot here.
• Chittorgarh Fort is the largest fort in Asia. The Fort of Chittorgarh is strategically located on the top of a high hilly outcrop of the Aravallis about 180 mabove the plains of the valley drained by the Berach River.
• The fort also contains Gaumukh Reservoir, which is a deep tank fed by a spring. The spring emerges from a rock formation resembling a Gaumukh or ‘cow’s mouth’.
• The tank is considered sacred by the locals. It is said of Chittorgarh that – “Garh toh Chittorgarh baaki sab Gaddhaiyan hain”.
Padmini’s Palace, Chittorgarh
• The Padmini palace is Amazing place to visit in Chittorgarh. It was the residence of Rani Padmini who was known for her gorgeous beauty.
• The palace is a popular tourist attraction because of its rich architecture and association with the Rajput heritage and history. There is a lotus pond near this palace.
• Ala-ud-din saw the reflection of Queen Padmini in this pool. He was so captivated and entranced by her that he fought a furious battle with Maharana Ratan Singh (husband of Maharani Padmini) in 1303.
Rana Kumbha Palace, Chittorgarh
• Rana Kumbha palace is 15th century palace where Rana Kumbha lived and spent his royal life. This historic monument is very popular among tourists due to its charming and artistic architecture.
• The founder of Udaipur, Maharana Udai Singh was born in this same palace.
• Rana Kumbha palace have the cellar where brave Rani Padmini performed an act of jauhar along with other women during an attack of Khilji.
Bhainsrorgarh Fort, Chittorgarh
• Bhainsrorgarh is an impregnable fort, inhabited from at least the 2nd century BC. It is dramatically positioned between two rivers, the Chambal and Bamani.
• It had passed through the hands of several clans before becoming the seat of a premier noble of Mewar, the large region around Udaipur and Princely State of the Sisodia clan. It contains five tanks, temples to Devi Bhim Chauri, Shiva, and Ganesh.
• The present fort is around 260 years old and was built in the 1740s.
• Khawaraoji is famous for residence of the then rular Raoji and natural beauty. It is situated at about 25 Kms from the district headquarter towards Sikrai.
• Though, it has typical way to reach this place, the fort like residence is converted into the Khawaraoji Heritage Hotel.
• Surrounded by hills at the three sides, and having Amol Ghati nearby with natural beauty, this place has worth to visit by tourists.
Shergarh Fort, Dholpur
• Located on Banks of river Chambal, Shergarh fort is, said to be first constructed by Raja Maldev during Kushan Period.
• In 1540, Shershah reconstructed the fort and named it Shergarh.
Juna Mahal, Dungarpur
• Juna Mahal (Old Palace) is a 13th century, seven-storeyed edifice. It is built on a high platform constructed from Pareva stone and its rugged exterior gives it a resemblance of a citadel.
• It has been elaborately planned with fortified walls, watchtowers, narrow doorways and corridors to delay the enemy for as long as possible.
• What lies inside is a complete contrast to the exterior. Visitors will be spellbound by the beautiful murals, miniature paintings and delicate glass and mirror work that adorn the interiors.
Udai Bilas Palace, Dungarpur
• Its striking design follows classic Rajput architectural style and boasts of detailed designs in its balconies, arches and windows. A beautiful wing built of the local bluish grey stone called Pareva overlooks the lake.
• The palace is segregated into Raniwas, Udai Bilas and Krishna Prakash, also known as Ek Thambiya Mahal.
• The EkThambiyaMahal is a veritable marvel of Rajput architecture featuring intricate sculptured pillars and panels, ornate balconies, balustrades, bracketed windows, arches and frieze of marble carvings.
• Today, Udai Bilas Palace functions as a heritage hotel.
Bhatner Fort, Hanumangarh
• The Bhatner Fort, otherwise known as the Hanumangarh Fort, is located on somewhat elevated land with gigantic barricades along the banks of the River Gaggar in the centre of Hanumangarh.
• In 295 AD, Bhupat, son of Jailsamer’s King Bhatti built this strong fort.
• Since then, rulers like Timur, Ghaznavis, PrtihviRaj Chauhan, Akbar, Qutub-ud-din-Aibak and Rathores had captured this fort. The strength of this fort has been mentioned in the autobiography written by Timur called Tuzuk- e- Timuri. Even Mughal Emperor Akbar described this fortification in his book “Ain- i- Akbari”.
• It has many towering gates surrounding the fort and many big rounded bastions that stand at intervals. There are three statues, which bear inscriptions, and an ancient building called “Jain Pasara” is situated inside the fort.
• There is also a tomb inside this fort, where Sher Khan is kept. Sher Khan was the nephew of Sultan Ghiyas-ud-din-Balban (1266 – 1290) as well as the Governor of the Fort.
Amber Fort, Jaipur
• Amer Fort is the complex of palaces, halls, pavilions, gardens and temples, which were built by Raja Man Singh, Mirza Raja Jai Singh and Sawai Jai Singh over a period of about two centuries.
• It is made of red sandstone and white marble and incorporates both Rajput and Mughal architecture.
• The palace complex rises from the placid waters of the Mootha lake, which contains Mohan Bari or Kesar Kyari in the center.
Jaipur City Palace, Jaipur
• Jaipur City Palace was built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the founder of Jaipur, he palace is a beautiful blend of Mughal and Rajput styles of architecture. The previous royal family continues to reside in one section of the palace.
• Located within the walls of the City Palace, Chandra Mahal is a seven-storeyed tower.
• However, the ground and first floors have now been given over for the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum.
Hawa Mahal, Jaipur
• The Palace of Wind or Hawa Mahal was constructed in 1799 by the poet-king Sawai Pratap Singh.
• The five-storied structure is made of pink sandstone and has 356 intricately carved jharokhas (windows).
• It was designed for the women of the royal family to sit in privacy while observing life on the street.
Nahargarh Fort, Jaipur
• The northern frontier of Jaipur is fortified by Nahargarh Fort. Situated on a rough crest of the Aravalli range, the fort, which literally means ‘abode of the tigers’, was built in 1734 by Jai Singh to further defend Amber.
• Later, in 1868, the fort was extended to its present size.
• Much of the original structures are now in ruins, but the lovely building added by Sawai Ram Singh II and Sawai Madho Singh II still survive.
Jaigarh Fort, Jaipur
• It is one of the few military structures of the medieval India preserved almost intact containing palaces, gardens, open and covered reservoirs, a granary, an armoury, a well-planned cannon foundry, several temples, a tall tower and a giant mounted cannon-the Jai Ban – the largest in the country.
• Jaigarh Fort was built by Sawai Jai Singh II sometime in the early 18th century amidst the arid, rocky and thorn-scrub covered hills.
Jai Mahal, Jaipur
• Jai Mahal is a tiny palace located in the middle of small Man Sagar lake.
• Also called as Golden Fort or “Sonar Kila“, it is a world heritage site. It was built in 1156 AD by Rawal Jaisal and stands on Trikuta Hill (the triple peaked hill) among an undulating sea of sand.
• The fort is built in Sandstone, protected by high walls, approachable through four successive gates, the Akhaiy Pol, the Ganesh Pol, the Suraj Pol and the Hawa Pol.
• Jalore Fort is one of the nine castles of the Maru, under the Paramaras in the 10th century. It has been known through history as the Sonagir or the ‘golden mount’.
• The precise year of its construction is not known however it is believed to be built between the 8th and 10th centuries.
• Jalore fort is located atop a steep and perpendicular hill 336m high, fortified with a wall and bastions with cannon mounted upon them. The fort has four gigantic gates and is approachable only from one side, after a two-mile long serpentine ascent.
Gagron Fort, Jhalawar
• Gagron Fort is an example of ‘Jai Durg’, or Water Fort surrounded by waters of Ahu, Kali and Sindh rivers on three sides.
• It is included in the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
• The foundation of this impregnable, magnificent fort was laid in the 7th century. Outside the fort is a Durgah of Sufi Saint Mitheshah, where a fair is held every year during the Islamic month of Moharram.
• Nearby is a monastery of Saint Pipa, a contemporary of Saint Kabir.
Mehrangarh Fort, Jodhpur
• Situated on a steep hill, Mehrangarh fort is one of the largest forts in India.
• The beauty and the grandeur of numerous palaces in the fort narrates a saga of hard sandstones yielding to the chisels of skilled Jodhpuri sculptures.
• The fort is known for its exquisite latticed windows, carved panels, intricately decorated windows and walls of Moti Mahal, Phool Mahal and Sheesh Mahal.
Moti Mahal, Jodhpur
• Moti Mahal, as the name suggests, is the Pearl Hall where the royal families held their audience.
• The hall is known to have glass windows and five nooks that enabled the queens to listen to the proceedings taking place in the Sringar Chowki, The Royal Throne of Jodhpur.
Khejarla Fort, Jodhpur
• Located 85 kilometres from the main city, the 400-year old Khejarla Fort is situated in a rural setting.
• The stunning red sandstone monument, now a hotel, is an example of Rajput architecture.
• Visitors will be mesmerized by the fort’s picturesque settings, latticework friezes and intricate Jharokas.
Ummaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur
• Umaid Bhawan Palace was built by Maharaja Umaid Singh in 1929 to counter a famine which had hit the state at the time.
• It was also known as the Chittar Palace while being constructed thanks to the use of stones drawn from the Chittar hill.
• The palace was designed by HV Lanchester, a renowned British architect, and was completed in 16 years.
• Built with sandstone and marble, the architecture of the palace is described as a blend of lndo-Saracenic, Classical Revival and Western Art Deco styles.
• It is recognised as one of the largest private homes in the world and also one of the more spectacular buildings.
• It is the only palace built in the 20th century.
Unt Giri Fort, Karauli
• This fort was established during 15h Century in Kalyanpura village on a tunnel shaped high mountain range.
• The fort is spread over 4 Km of area, and has a 100 feet high waterfall which directly drop water over a Shivlinga.
• Till last Mughal Empire, this fort remained in ownership of Yadhuvanshi.
Dev Giri Fort, Karauli
• The Fort is located on east of Unt Giri on bank of Chambal River.
• In year 1506-07 attack of Sikander Lodhi caused major damage to this fort.
• In present it has one Bavdi, ransacked stone scriptures and few remains of palace are available.
Jagmandir Palace, Kota
• The Jagmandir Palace was built by one of the queens of Kota between 1743 and 1745, and is situated in the middle of the Kishore Sagar Take.
• Built in red sandstone, it is a monument of exquisite beauty.
• The palace is open to tourists who can enjoy boat rides in the Kishore Sagar Take and the panoramic view of the palace from the lake.
• The Keshar Bagh, situated near the Jagmandir Palace is well known for its royal cenotaphs.
Garh Palace, Kota
• This large complex, also known as the City Palace, is built in a predominantly Rajput style of architecture.
• The palace is a sprawling complex of suites and apartments built by different rulers of the Rajput dynasty at different times in history.
• Situated within the walls of the Garh palace is Maharao Madho Singh Museum which houses a splendid collection of Rajput miniature paintings of the Kota school.
• The exquisite sculptures, frescoes and murals present a breathtaking view.
• It is said that Nagaur fort was initially built by ruler of Nag dynasty in 2nd century and was then rebuilt in the early 12th century.
• This fort has witnessed several battles and has also been altered multiple times. Being one of the first Mughal strongholds in North-India it is an outstanding example of Rajput-Mughal architecture.
Khimsar Fort, Nagaur
• It is said that the Nagaur fort was initially built by the ruler of the Nag dynasty in 2nd century, and this 500 year old fort, located on the eastern edge of the Thar Desert was built in about 1523.
• Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb used to stay at this fort. Black deer roam in herds around this fort.
Kuchaman Fort, Nagaur
• Kuchaman Fort is the oldest & most inaccessible forts of Rajasthan.
• Situated on top of a straight hill, it possesses unique water harvesting system, a beautiful palace and stunning wall paintings.
• The rulers of Jodhpur used to mint their gold and silver currency here.
Kumbhalgarh Fort, Rajsamand
• The Kumbhalgarh Fort was built by Rana Kumbha between A.D. 1443 and 1458 on the site of a still older castle which tradition ascribes to Samprati, a Jaina prince of the second century B.C.
• It is the second most important fort of Mewar after Chittaurgarh. It is defended by a series of walls with battlements and bastions built on the slope of the hill which is reached through seven great gateways viz. Aret Pol, Halla Pol, Hanuman Pol, Ram Pol, Nimboo Pol, Bhairon Pol.
• Among important temples are those of Mahadeva, Pitaliya Dev, Neelkantha, etc. Bawan Devri and Golerao temples (nine in numbers) are Jain temples. The most important building, though of later period, is the Badal Mahal or Cloud Palace.
Ranthambore Fort, Sawai Madhopur
• Ranthambore Fort was built by the Chauhan rulers in the 10th century. It has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site under the group Hill Forts of Rajasthan.
• The fort is characterized by temples, tanks, massive gates and huge walls. The fort is well protected by a massive fortification wall provided with stepped and Z-shaped gateway with two strong and massive doors.
• An architectural marvel, the fort includes the Hammir Badi Kachahari, hhoti Kachahari, Baths Khambha Chhatri, Hamir Palace, Rani Palace, Toran Dwar, Mahadeo Chhatri and Sameton ki Haveli within its premises.
• Among temples, the Ganesa temple is important besides a few Jain temples.
Khandhar Fort, Sawai Madhopur
• The imposing Khandar Fort is a place worth visiting and is situated just 45 kms from Sawai Madhopur.
• Located on top of a strategic vertical hill, could never come under an easy attack and thus was truly regarded as invincible.
• This magnificent fortification was long ruled by the Sisodia Kings of Mewar after which it was taken over by the Mughals.
Laxmangarh Fort, Sikar
• Laxmangarh town is a popular tourist place that is known for the Laxmangarh Fort.
• The fort was built on the hill in 1862 by Laxman Singh, Rao Raja of Sikar.
• It is believed that the foundation of the Laxmangarh town was based on the planning system of the capital city Jaipur.
Anoopgarh Fort, Sri Ganganagar
• Anoopgarh Fort is a ruin in the city of Anoopgarh. It was built by Anoop Singh Rathore.
Udaipur City Palace
• City Palace, Udaipur, was built over a period of nearly 400 years, with contributions from several rulers of the Mewar dynasty.
• Construction began in 1553, started by Maharana Udai Singh II of the Sisodia Rajput family as he shifted his capital from the erstwhile Chittor to the new found city of Udaipur.
Lake Palace, Udaipur
• Now a hotel, The Lake Palace was originally called Jag Niwas Palace and served as a summer palace.
• Built between 1743 and 1746 on the island near Jagmandir Palace in Lake Pichola, the palace, which faces east, is a wondrous sight to behold.
• The walls made of black and white marbles are adorned by semi-precious stones and ornamented niches. Gardens, fountains, pillared terraces and columns line its courtyards.
Jag Mandir, Udaipur
• Jag Mandir is a palace built on an island on the Lake Pichola.
• Also called the ‘Lake Garden Palace’, the construction for this began in 1551 and was completed around 1652.
• The royal family used the palace as its summer resort and for hosting parties. Interestingly, Prince Khurram – later Emperor Shah Jahan – was given shelter here when he rebelled against his father Emperor Jahangir.
• The palace had such an impact on Emperor Shah Jahan that it went on to become the inspiration for one of the most magnificent Wonders of the World, the Taj Mahal.
Monsoon Palace (Sajjan Garh), Udaipur
• This 19th century palace is built by Maharana Sajjan Singh on top of Bansdara Mountain.
• Built with white marble, the palace offers a panoramic view of the city’s lakes, palaces and surrounding countryside.
Temples & Mosques of Rajasthan
Adhai din ka Jhopra, Ajmer
• Adhai din ka Jhopra is actually a Masjid built by Qutub-ud-Din-Aibak, first Sultan of Delhi, in AD 1199.
• Sultan Iltutmish had subsequently beautified it in AD 1213 with a screen pierced by corbelled engrailed arches which appears in this country for the first time.
• However, a large number of architectural members and sculptures of temples are lying inside the verandah of the complex for safety and security purposes by the department which shows the existence of a Hindu temple in its vicinity during circa 11th-12th Century AD.
• This mosque, built from the dismantled remains of temples, is known as Adhai-din-ka-Jhonpra possibly from the fact that a fair used to be held here for two and a half days.
The Ajmer Sharif Dargah
• Ajmer Sharif, situated at the foot of the Taragarh hill, is the shrine of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti.
• It contains the domed tomb of the saint and several white marble buildings arranged around two courtyards, including a massive gate donated by the Nizam of Hyderabad and the Akbari Mosque, built by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan.
• Akbar used to come here by foot on pilgrimage from Agra every year in observance of a vow when he prayed for a son.
• The large pillars called “Rose (‘Mile’) Minar”, erected at intervals of two miles (3 km) along the entire way between Agra and Ajmer mark the places where the royal pilgrims halted every day.
Tijara Jain Temple, Alwar
• About 60 kilometres from the Alwar-Delhi route lies this important centre of Jain pilgrimage.
• The exquisitely decorated ancient temple was built to commemorate the eighth Tirthankar, Shri Chandra Prabha Bhagwan.
• The son of King Mahasen and Queen Sulakshana, he ruled his kingdom for several years before receiving Diksha and being initiated.
• After serving mankind for several years, he meditated for a month and attained Nirvana.
Bhand Devara, Baran
• Ramgarh-Bhand Devra temples are situated about 40 km. from Baran.
• The Shiv Mandir of Ramgarh was built in 10th century on the Khajuraho style. Due to the Maithun Statues, the place is named as Bhand Devra.
• This temple is situated on the bank of pond and is now under the Archaeological department. This temple is known as Rajasthan’s mini Khajuraho.
Kiradu Temple, Barmer
• Keradu Temple might have been constructed before the 6th century at the time of Parmar Dynasty.
• There are five temples in all and most remarkable of them is Someshvara Temple. These temples feature impressive sculpture and a Solanki style of architecture.
• The temple is referred to as “Khajuraho of Rajasthan”. The design of the temples is identical to the Khajuraho Temple and Sun Temple at Odisha.
• It was attacked by Mohammad Gauri in 1140 AD who destroyed the temple structure and its images.
Vankal Mata Temple, Barmer
• Vankal Mata Temple is situated at the west end of the city on a 675 feet high hill, the ancient citadel of the 16th century (fortress), which was called Barmer citadel, whose remains still exist.
Shri Parshwanath Jain Temple, Barmer
• Shri Parshwanath Jain temple was originally a temple of Mahavira. This temple was renovated in the fifteenth century.
• 120 idols were brought here from Kalidrah and this beautiful and miraculous idol was installed here as Mulnayak (main idol of the temple) in the year 1429 of the Vikram era (1373 AD).
• It is among the hills in the distant forest at a distance of 13 kilometers from Balotra.
Jain Temple Bhandasar, Bikaner
• Jain Temple was commissioned by Bhandasa Oswal in the year 1468 and completed in the year 1514.
• The structure is influenced by Rajputana architecture and includes unique and intricately sculpted pillars, frescos and the gold leaf work, with a blend of red sandstone and white marble used in the construction.
Meerabai Temple, Chittorgarh
• Meerabai, an ardent devotee of Lord Krishna’s, worshipped him at this temple. The structure is designed in the classic North Indian style of temples.
• It rises from a raised plinth and its conical roof can be seen from far. The temple houses a beautiful shrine surrounded by an open porch with four small pavilions in four corners.
Deo Somnath, Dungarpur
• On the banks of Som river, there is an old and beautiful Shiva temple called Deo Somnath built in the 12th century.
• Built of white stone, the temple has imposing turrets. One can see the sky from within the temple.
• Though there is a perfect adaptation of parts in the masonry, yet it gives the impression that individual stones are crumbling. The temple has 3 exits, one each in the east, the north and the south.
• The entrance gates are two storied The Garbha Garah has a high dome. In front of it is the Sabha Mandap – built on 8 majestic pillars. There are Twenty Torans of which four still exist. Others were destroyed by the flood waters of the Som.
• The idol of the deity is in a chamber, eight steps below and the entrance is from the Sabha Mandap.
• There are several inscription by pilgrims and the oldest belongs to 1493 A.D. Several warriors were cremated near the temple and memorials have been raised in their honour.
• Nagfanji is renowned for its Jain shrines and not only does it attract devotees from Dungarpur but also tourists who travel from far to see the temple.
• The temple houses statues of Devi Padmawati, Nagfanji Parshwanatha and Dharnendra.
• The Nagfanji Shivalaya, which is located close to this temple, is also a tourist attraction.
• Towards the north of Jodhpur is the ancient capital of Marwar, Mandore.
• This area is of major historical importance and you will find the dewals or cenotaphs of Jodhpur’s former rulers.
• Unlike the original chhatri-shaped cenotaphs that are typical patterns of Rajasthan architecture, these are built along the lines of Hindu temples.
• 65 Kms from Jodhpur lie the ruins of an ancient city called Ossian.
• This city is famous for Brahmanical and Jain temples, which belong to 8th and 11th century.
• This town, which was once a great trading centre, is an oasis and houses an abundance of peacocks.
• The largest of the 16 Jain and Brahmanical temples is dedicated to Mahavira.
Harshnath Temple, Sikar
• The 10th century, Harshnath temple, belonging is located on the Aravalli Hills near Sikar. It is an ancient site containing remnants of old Shiva Temple of 10th Century .
• Another Shiva temple, constructed in the 18th century by Shiv Singh of Sikar, is situated near the Harshnath temple.
Jagdish Temple, Udaipur
• An example of the Indo-Aryan style of architecture, Jagdish Temple was built in 1651 and continues to be one of the most famous temples in Udaipur.
• Dedicated to Tord Vishnu, the structure is an architectural marvel with carved pillars, graceful ceilings and painted walls.
• This three-storied temple was built by Maharana Jagat Singh.
Cenotaph & Tombs Rajasthan
Maqbara Shaikh Husain, Ajmer
• It houses the tomb of Khwaja Husain Chishty (Shaikh Husain Ajmeri) who was the Peer of Ajmer Sharif Dargah in Emperor Akbar’s time.
• He was the great grandson of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty
• His tomb was built in 1637-1638 by Khwaja Alauddin Chishty and Sajjadanashin Hazrat Khwaja Moinuddin.
Moosi Maharani ki Chhatri, Alwar
• This cenotaph, built in the memory of Maharaja Bakhtawar Singh and his queen, Rani Moosi, reflects the Indo-Islamic style of architecture.
• The upper portion comprising columned pavilions and domed arches is made of marble while the lower section consists of pillars in red sandstone.
Fateh Jung Gombad, Alwar
• This spectacular tomb, which is a combination of domes and minarets is an artistic marvel.
• Constructed from high quality sandstone, its massive dome can be seen from afar and is a blend of Hindu and Muslim architecture.
• It is dedicated to Fateh Jung who was a kind-hearted minister of the Mughal Emperor, Shah Jahan.
Battis Khambon ki Chhatri, Bhilwara
• This place is situated in Mandal far 16 km from Bhilwara city.
• It has chhatri made of sandstone with 32 pillars.
84 Pillared Cenotaph, Bundi
• As the name suggests, the 84 Pillared Cenotaph is a structure supported by 84 columns.
• Commissioned by Rao Anirudh, the Maharaja of Bundi, this cenotaph is a tribute to his beloved wet nurse, Deva, who he loved dearly.
• A popular tourist attraction, this impressive structure is decorated with carvings of deer, elephants and apsaras.
• At a distance of 58 kilometres from Dungarpur, located on the banks of River Mahi, is a hamlet called Galiakot.
• The place is known for Syed Fakhruddin’s shrine. He was a renowned saint who was buried in the hamlet after his death.
• The shrine is made from white marble and has his teachings engraved on it walls.
• The inner portion of the dome is decorated by beautiful foliage while teachings of the Quaran are engraved in golden letters on the tomb.
Bara Bagh, Jaisalmer
• Literally meaning Big Garden, this garden complex houses chhatris or royal cenotaphs of the Maharajas of Jaisalmer state, including that of Jai Singh II.
Dargah Huzoor Najam Sirkar, Sikar
• The holy shrine ofHazrat Khwajah Haji Muhammad Najmuddin Sulaimani Chishti, famous as Huzoor Najam Sirkar, is is located at Fatehpur Shekhawati District Sikar 165 km away from Jaipur and 55 km from Sikar on N.H. 12.
• He belongs to the great silsilah-e-Chishtiah and in the 13th century Hijri he played a prominent role in spreading the Silsilah in the all parts of the country.
Laila Majnu Tomb, Sri Ganganagar
• The tomb (mazar) of Taila-Majnu at Binjaur village is situated near Anoopgarh city.
• Many people associate this Mazar (mausoleum) with fictional and legendary lovers Laila and Majnu.
• According to the traditional belief Laila-Majnu were from Sindh and came to this place escaping from the clutches of Laila’s parents and her brother who were against the love of Laila-Majnu.
• Laila and Majnu died here and were buried together at this place. Thus this place became a symbol of love and people come here to seek blessings from Laila and Majnu.
• A fair is held here in June which is attended by hundreds of newlyweds and lovers.
Havelis & Sculptures of Rajasthan
Rampuria Group of Havelis, Bikaner
• Bikaner has several havelis (aristocratic homes), the most famous cluster being the Rampuria Group of Havelis.
• The havelis are built of dulmera (red) stone, include – jharokhas (casements), entrances, latticed windows, divankhanas, gumaharias or basements.
• These massive havelis are decorated with golden work of the highest quality and Jharokhas are decorated with designs of flowers & leaves.
• There is Victorian influence in the design and also include exquisite wood carvings.
Kothari and Surana Haveli, Churu
• Oswal Jain merchant families constructed these beautiful painted havelis.
• Malji’s Haveli made by Malaji Kothari is the most popular haveli.
• Another famous haveli is the Surana Double Haveli.
Patwon Ki Haveli, Jaisalmer
• One of the most exquisite buildings in the walled city, which truly exemplifies the architectural style typical of erstwhile Rajputana.
• It is five storeys high and the extensive corridors and chambers are supported by intricately carved pillars.
• While the haveli has lost some of its early glory, a few paintings and mirror work art can still be seen on the inside walls.
Nathmal ki Haveli, Jaisalmer
• Carved by Lalu and Hathi, two brothers for the Prime Minister of State, Nathmalji in 19th century.
• The most interesting fact is that the brothers worked separately, one on the right side and other on the left side, the result is a absolute symphony epitomizing the side by side symmetry during construction.
• The haveli is richly carved and the inner chambers are decorated with miniature paintings.
Salim Singh ki Haveli, Jaisalmer
• This haveli was built in the first half of the 18th century by Salim a powerful Chief Minister of Jaisalmer and a part of it is still occupied by descendants of the original residents.
• The high arched roof is supported by carved brackets designed in the shape of peacocks.
• The five-story structure dominates the skyline of the walled city due to its form.
• The haveli begins with a narrow dimension below with an elaborate projecting balcony on the top storey. It is distinguished by the blue cupola roof.
Havelis of Laxmangarh, Sikar
• There are numerous havelis in the town, namely the Sawant Ram Chokhani Haveli, Bansidhar Rathi Haveli, Sanganeria Haveli, Mirijamal Kyala Haveli, Char Chowk Haveli and Kedia Haveli, adorned with fresco paintings in the Shekhawati style.
Havelis & Bawdi’s of Fatehpur, Sikar
• Fatehpur is a town in the Sikar which is part of the Shekhawati region.
• Located on midway between Jaipur and Bikaner (NH-11), Fatehpur is famous for grand havelis with frescos and a number of bawdis.
• Main attraction of Fatehpur are
• Sitaram Kedia Ki Haveli
• Jagannath Singhania Haveli
• Saraf Haveli
• The Nadine Le Prince Cultural Centre
• The Dwarkadheesh Temple
• Abhaneri is famous for its Post-gupta or early medieval monuments.
• The Chand Baori(Step Well) and Harshat Mata Temple are prominent monuments.
• The temple is an excellent example of intricate carving on stone whereas the Baori has stairs with unparallel artistic and architectural beauty.
• It is situated at about 33 Kms from the district headquarter towards Bandikui.
Hadi Rani Baori, Todaraisingh, Tonk
• The step-tank is rectangular on plan with double-storeyed corridors on the western side, each having arched doorway.
• Below the lower storey, there are images of Brahma, Ganesa and Mahishasuramardini which are enshrined in niches.
• On all the three sides, steps are arranged in sets of thirteen each at higher level and five each at lower level, going up to the water level.
• It is datable to circa twelfth-thirteenth century A.D.
Vijaya Stambh, Chittorgarh
• Vijaya Stambh is a huge nine storey tower which was built by Maharana Kumbha to commemorate his victory over the Muslim rulers of Malwa and Gujarat in 1440, the tower signifies the victorious spirit of the Rajput Kingdom after securing a victory over the intruder Mohammed Khilji.
• The tower stands at a height of 37 meters and compromises of 9 floors offer a great view of the city of Chittorgarh and the Chittorgarh Fort.
Kirti Stambh, Chittorgarh
• Kirti Stambh or the tower of fame is part of the two popular stambhs or pillars inside the Chittorgarh Palace. Kriti Stambh is a 12th-century tower situated at Chittorgarh fort.
• Dedicated to the first Jain Tirthankar Adinath, the stambh is a 22-meter-high seven story tower having a sculpture of Adinath in the second floor.
• Kirti Stambh is older than another tower in the same fort, known as the Vijaya Stambh (Tower of Victory).
• The topmost floor of the pillar offers a panoramic view of the whole Chittorgarh city and attracts many travellers, historians and photography enthusiasts.