There is general consensus of opinion that the reactionary measures of Lytton and the Anglo-Indian agitation over the Ilbert Bill hastened the process which lad to the foundation of Congress towards the very end of the year 1885. The Indian National Congress was the fulfillment of and logical corollary to all the efforts at organising political associations in different parts of India. Towards the close of Lytton’s Vicroyalty, that is about 1878 and 1879, Allan Octavian Hume, a retired official of the Government of India, became convinced that some definite action was called for to counteract the growing unrest. Hume was an enlightened imperialist, alarmed at the growing gulf between the rulers and ruled. He had considerable misgiving about establishment of the Indian National Conference in 1883 by SurendraNath Banerjee, a dismissed government servant.
He decided to bypass the National Conference and instead organise a loyal and innocuous political organisation. Hume made the National Congress, at least in the beginning, a forum for Pro-British and anti-Russian propaganda. The establishment of the congress was in fact as much the work of the Indian Moderates as of the Government. There was an identity of interest between the two. The former wanted political recognition as a means to rise in social scale, the latter a non-official political organisation to act as barometer of public opinion. Hume secured the sympathy and support of the Government officials and public men in India and England for the Indian National Congress. Thus the movement was a child both of England and India.
The formation of the Congress represented from the point of view of Government an attempt to defeat or rather forestall an impending revolution. Hume own conception of the role of Congress was : ‘A safety valve for the escape of great and growing forces generated by our own action, was urgently needed and no more efficacious safety valve than our congress movement could possibly be devised.’ Something like a national organisation had been in the air, for quite some time. Hume took advantage of an already created atmosphere, helped by the fact that he was more acceptable to, Indians as free of regional loyalties. The nucleus of the Congress leadership consisted of men from Bombay and Calcutta who had come together in London in the late 1860’s and early 70’s while studying for the ICS or for law.. who all fell under the influence of Dadabhai Naoroji who was then settled in England as businessman-cum-publicist.
Early in December 1884, Hume arrived in Bombay, apparently to bid farewall to Ripon and stayed there far three months. He discussed with Indian leaders about the holding of an annual conference, the organization the charter of demands and the formation of an Indian Party in Parliament. Later he visited Madras, Calcutta, Simla and several places in North-Western province and Avadh and probably also in the Punjab. In June, 1885, before the congress was started, Viceroy Dufferin was one of the first person whom Hume consulted. Dufferin warmly approved the proposal. But Dufferin advised Hume; ‘don’t ask Lord Reay, the Governor of Bombay to preside because it will be awkward for him if..administration comes to be severely criticized whilst he is the chair.’
On the proposal of Hume, which was seconded by SubramaniaAiyar and supported by Talang and unanimously, carried, W. C. Bonnerjee was elected President of the first session of the Congress. Bonnerjee refuted the charge that congress was a nest of conspirators and disloyalists and affirmed that much had been done by Britain for the benefit of India and the whole country was truly grateful to her for it….. But a great deal still remain to be done.
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Marwar was a principality in Thar desert, established by Rathore rajputs in 14th century. A huge number of forts and palaces were built by the Rathore rulers but Many of those were already in existance in this region before the rise of Rathores. Naga rulers built Mandore and Nagaur forts. Pratiharas built Jalore fort. Chouhans constructed the fort of Siwana. The forts at Mehrangarh, Kuchawan, Bhadrajun, Malkot, Phalodi, Bhopalgarh, Rohat, Sojat, Bali, Jaitaran, Agewa, Kilon, Auwa, Pokhran etc. were built by Rathores. All these forts were good examples of military architecture.
Early rajputs have their own style of constructing the palacial buildings but With the coming of the Muslims into power in this area, architecture of this land also assumed Indo-Islamic character finding expression in forts, citadels and palaces. Though their builders were Hindus, they liberally borrowed the structural features from Muslim buildings. No doubt, the builders in Marwar started following the Muslim features in their creations; yet the architectural art was essentially Hindu in spirit till the early years of the fifteenth century. Slowly and gradually, in the subsequent three to four centuries this art in Marwar came under the influence of Pathan and Mughal art. The Pathan and Mughal influences led to the assimilation in the field of architecture. The chief characteristic of this new style was the mystic spirit of unreality, especially in the fairy-like aspect of the cool white marble, with its glittering incrustations of mother-of-pearl and precious stones.
Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh of Jaipur borrowed Aurangzeb's Baroque Style when he built the pink city of Jaipur as a new capital for his kingdom and he was soon followed by the States of Jodhpur and Udaipur. Therefore, the Baroque-Mughal style got itself blended with the Rocco style. The Chief characteristic of this late Rajasthan architecture is its 'musicality'- the structure of the buildings is almost lost behind the rich play of forms, of light and shadow and of colours.
Forts of Marwar Region
In India, maximum forts are situated in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. There are 656 forts in Maharashtra, 330forts in Madhya Pradesh and 250in Rajasthan. In ancient and medieval period, the popular and shorter route from Delhi to Somnath was via Marwar. So invaders like Mahmood Ghazni, Muhammad Gouri, Kutub-ud-din Aibak, Ala-ud-din Khilzi etc. when attacked Gujrat or Somnath, they adopted this route. Military strategy dictated that fortifications be raised on an elevated spot. So rulers of this area built a strong chain of forts and fortresses. The prominent forts were- Nagaur, Kuchawan, Maroth and Malkot (Nagaur distrct), Mehrangarh, Phalodi and Bhopalgarh (Jodhpur district), Rohtas, Nadole and Bali (pali district), Sonalgarh, Bhadrajun, Ratanpur, Lohiyana and Sancore (Jalore district), Siwana (Barmer district), Pokran (Jaisalmer district). Many of these forts, like Ratanpur and Sanchore forts were completely diminished by enemies. Umarkot was also a prominent fort of Marwar principality but East India Company took over its management and in 1947, this fort was transferrsd to Pakistan. These forts were used for the safety of not only royal families but the public also. A Large number of soldiers and artillery were kept here for whole year. When Marwar state had a treaty of subsidiary alliance with East India Company and later on when aircrafts came into existence, the forts did not remain safe. So the construction of the forts and fortresses was stopped and the royal families started building their palaces and havelis in outer areas.
Forts of Ancient period
Mandore Fort :
This town was in existance in the 4th century A.D. Some names of individuals are engraved in two or three places near the cave of Nahadrao in characters of early Gupta period. According to a stone inscription of V.S. 894, Mandore was originally ruled by Naga rulers. Later on Gupta rulers conquered this fort and they also did some constructions in the campus of the fort. There was a fort when the town was taken into possession by the Pratiharas in the 6th century A.D. Bhogbhatta, Kakka, Rajjil and Dadda, the four sons of Pratihar Harishchandra constructed a wall around it. The place is of great historical interest from having been the capital of the Parihars till 1381 A.D., when it was wrested from them by Rao Chunda, and subsequently the seat of government of the Rathore Rajputs till 1459 A.D., when Mehranghrh fort and Jodhpur city were founded. The fort of Mandore was built by a Buddhist architect but now in ruins, contains a low and dark pillared chamber, in which is found the sculptured effigy of Nahar Rao, a famous Parihar chief. The two inscriptions of the time of Kakkuk brother of Bahuk from Ghatiyala (twenty miles north of Jodhpur) reveal that the son of Pratihar ruler Harishchandra built the boundary wall at Mandore after possession over it. Nag Bhalta built a temple of Nahadswami at Mandore fort. The elder son of Nahad sacrificed the whole domain, gifted it to the younger brothers and underwent penances at Mandore.
Nagaur Fort :
According to Dodwell, Nagaur fort was built by black Naga rulers in 2nd century A.D. Initially it was a mud fort. The town is said to take its name from its traditional founders, the Naga Rajputs. From the 7th century A.D., it was probably governed by Chauhans and was held succes¬sively by Prithvi Raj Chauhan, Muhammad Ghori, and the chiefs of Jodhpur, save for a time when it was possessed by the Bikaner chief by grant from Akbar, and by another Rathore family by grant from Shah Jahan. The fort, rising above the town, has a double wall nearly a mile long, the outer being 25 feet and the inner 50 feet above the ground, with a thickness of more than 30 feet at the base and about 12 feet at the top. The principal objects of interest in the fort are some palaces, a fountain with seventeen jets (dating from Akbars reign), a mosque erected by Shah Jahan, and a cave claimed by both Hindus and Musalmans as a place of retreat for their former saints.
Jalore Fort :
From Kuvlayamala, it is clear that in the 8th century A.D., Jalore was a flourishing town adorned with temples and buildings of rich men. It was ruled at this time by the Pratihar ruler Vatsraja. On a hill to the south and entirely commanding the town stands the fort, one of the most famous in Rajputana. Built by the Parihars of Mandore, its walls, composed of huge masses of cut stone, remain even now in a perfect state of preservation, although the place has been many times besieged. The fort is about 800 by 400 yards in extent, and accessible only by an ascent of 3 miles up a steep and slippery stone roadway, passing three distinct lines of defence, all of considerable strength. After the fall of Parihar empire, Jalore fort was held by the Paramaras till towards the end of the twelfth century, when the Chauhan Rao Kirthi Pal (of Nadol) took it and made it his capital. His grandson Udai Singh surrendered it to Shams-ud-dm Altamsh about 1210 A.D., but it was immediately restored to him. About 100 years later, Ala-ud-din Khilzi, after a lengthy siege, captured it from Kanhaddeo Chauhan, and a three-domed mosque, said to have been built by him, is still in good repair and daily use. About 1540 the fort passed into the possession of Raja Maldeo of Jodhpur. It remained in the hands of his ascendants till the independence. In the end of 18th century prince Mansingh of Jodhpur took shelter in this fort. Some buildings of that period still can be seen in the fort premise.
Siwana Fort :
This fort was built by Veer Narayana, the Parmara prince of king Bhoja in V.S. 1011 (954 A.D.). He called it "Kumthana". In 12th century A.D., Chauhans of Nadole won Jalore and later on they took possession of Siwana also. In 14th century, Sataldeo, the nephew of king Kanhaddeo of Jalore, was ruling over this fort. According to Kanhaddeo Prabandha, when Ala-ud-din Khilzi, the ruler of Delhi sultanate, headed towards Jalore, Sataldeo came forward and challenged him to attack on Siwana first and then go to Jalore. Ala-ud-din Khilzi changed his route and accepted the challenge to attack Siwana. Sataldeo was a brave warrior and he fought with full zeal against Khilzi. After a long and fierce fight Ala-ud-din Khilzi defeated Sataldeo. Khilzi changed the fort's name and thus "Kumthana" became "Siwana". Ptolemy, in his book "Geograpy" has mentioned about a desert city "Zoana", this is actually siwana. This city was situated in a hilly fort. In medieval period this fort remained under Rathore rulers of Jodhpur. In Tarikh-E-Alai, Ala-ud-din Khilzi decribes that Siwana was situated in horrible forest which was full of wild men who usually plundered the travelers. The fort of Siwana was located on a hilltop in which Sataldev lived like a Simurg and thousands of his nobles were doing his security.
Forts of Medieval period
Rathore rulers of Marwar and their nobles built many forts in Marwar during medieval period. The forts at Jodhpur, Bhadrajun, Bhopalgarh, Phalodi, Maroth and Kuchaman were prominent among them. The forts of Bhadrajun, Bhopalgarh, Maroth, Bali and Rohat were small in size. In 17th century, prince Akbar and princess Safiyat-Un-Nisa of Mugal empreror Aurangzeb were kept for some time in Rohat fort by Veer Durgadas Rathore. Lohiyana fort was destroyed by Jaswantsingh II of Jodhpur as the Thakur of Lohiyana became rebellious against the ruler of Jodhpur. In 1752 A.D., Phalodi fort was completely diminished by Maharaja Vijay Singh of Jodhpur to crush the rebellious Rathore noble Jogidas. It might have rebuilt during 18th century as Phalodi was an important cener for salt producing and it was situated at Jaisalmer State's border.
Jodhpur was capital of the state of Marwar. Dominating the city is Meherangarh, one of Rajasthan's great hilltop forts.Meherangarh appears impregnable, and with good reason. The fort stands out in great magnificence on an isolated rock about 400 ft. above the sandy plains. It is one of the most gigantic and majestic fort of erstwhile princely states enclosing within it oblong space of about 500 yards in width. This enclosure is almost completely covered by palaces, bar-racks and magazines. The height of its walls varies from 20 ft. to 112 ft. Seven barriers are thrown across its circuitous ascent, each having eminent portals and their sepa¬rate guards. There is no access to the ramparts, apart from one entrance of seven successive gateways, each with its own protective devices for the defence of the fort. The strength of the fort's massive walls, and of its gateways, are in direct contrast to delicately lovely residential buildings within. They feature few of the refinements of inlay and wall painting that are evident in states where there was more time for leisure and the pursuit of aesthetics.
Nevertheless, Meherangarh has its own architectural drama, such as brilliant stained glass that creates colourful mosaics on the floors with the passage of the sun through the day. Meherangarh is the example of the most extensive fort ever built in Marwar. Rao Jodha got it constructed. Foundation of the fort was laid down by famous Charan Devi Kaniji on 12th May 1459. The Fort is surrounded by a wall 12 to 17 feet wide and 20 to 150 feet high. Maximum width of the Fort is 750 feet and length 1500 feet. This magnificient fort on a 400 feet high hill can be seen from a great distance.
It is said that when the sky becomes clear after rains, Mehrangarh can be seen from Jalore Fort. According to astrology, the name of this fort is Chintamani but it was famous as Mihirgarh. Mihir means Sun and garh means fort. This Mihirgarh has now changed to Mehrangarh. Because it's shape is like that of a peacock's tail, it is also called Mayur Dhwaj Fort.The fort encloses the Palace, gates, temples, artillery, memorials, armoury etc. During Jodha's reign the area under the Fort was called Jodhaji ka Falsa. The construction of the front part of Loha pole (Gate) started in 1548 A.D. during Rao Maldeo's reign and was finished in 1752 A.D. during Maharaja Vijai Singh's reign. The walls of this gate have imprints of Sati Hands.Jai Pole is Located in the North West of the Fort, this gate was constructed by Raja Mansingh in 1806 A.D. in the memory of winning a battle against Jaipur. The Iron Gate fixed in this pole was brought by Udawat Amar Singh, Thakur of Nimbaj in 1730 A.D., from Ahmedabad during the reign of Maharaja Abhay Singh. Maharaja Man Singh fixed it in Jai Pole.In memory of winning the battle with Mugals, Fateh Pole was made by Maharaja Ajit Singh in 1707 A.D. Between Fateh Pole and Palace there are six other gates called Gopal Pole, Bheron Pole, Amrit Pole, Dhruv Pole, Loha Pole and Suraj Pole. Important buildings inside the fort are the Motimahal, Fatehmahal, Phoolmahal, Sringarmahal and the temples of Chamunda, Murlimanohar and Anand-ghan.
Kuchawan Fort :
Kuchawan was a head-quarter of a jagir estate of the earstwhile State of Jodhpur. A strong and well-built fort containing 18 Towers (Burj), several palatial buildings, temples and water reserviors was built by Rathore nobels on a hilltop near the town. The Thakurs of Kuchawan belongd to the Mertia sept of Rathore Rajputs, In state time a mint was established in this fort where silver coins were casted. The one rupee silver coin was known as Kuchawani rupia. In Jodhpur state, only Kuchawan Thakur among the nobels could issue currency.
Palaces Of Marwar Region
In times of peace, the rulers of Marwar built delicate palaces, incorporating the best from Rajput, Mughal and British architecture. These buildings are splen¬didly handsome, as Umaid Bhawan Palace in Jodhpur is, or exquis¬itely pretty, such as the Sheesh Mahal in Mehrangarh fort. Rarely has the world seen such thoughtful divisions of space as exists in Jodhpur. The palaces had to suit the dual lifestyle of the royals. They had to function as modern residences, as well as traditional Indian style palaces in which it was essential that there be separate women's quarters and corridors through which women could move from one area to another in privacy. Though the maharajas also built separate summer residences, the main palace almost inevitably had a room designed so that breeze flowed freely through it, where the royals could relax on a hot summer afternoon in the comfort of perfumed, cooling breezes. While later palaces had grand, sweeping staircases in the best Continental tradition, and were surrounded by open gardens, many of the earlier palaces were built within fortified walls and characterised by narrow staircases and unimpressive entrances to the royal apartments.
A large number of luxurious palaces were built in the 19th and early 20th century for a variety of reasons. Jodhpur's Umaid Bhawan Palace was built to provide employment during a terrible famine.It was not just the architecture of the palaces that was spectacular; their furnishings also set them apart from other grand residences. Elaborate architectural motifs were picked out in window screens, pavilions, balconies, cupolas and turrets. Inside the palaces, French tapestry, French and English furniture, Belgian suites and Bohemian crystal chandeliers were used to create the world's richest homes. The look could be formal, or art deco. Often, sadly, it was eccentric because the royals shopped indiscriminately and shipped back everything that caught their fancy in Europe and England. Faberge eggs sat beside onyx lamps, and the Swiss watch industry worked overtime to keep royal households supplied with a clock for each mantelpiece, and there were often more than a hundred! Carpets worth small fortunes were casually flung in the halls, on staircases, and in cars. Silver and gold appointments in certain palace suites were common. In the ballroom, wood floors were provided for Western ballroom dancing. Those halls in which traditional mujras were staged were heavily carpeted. Inevitably too, trophies of hunts graced dining rooms and billiard rooms, and the maharaja's study.
Palaces in Mehrangarh Fort :
The palaces in Mehrangarh fort were built in an informal pattern over several centuries. They follow their own rhythm, with narrow staircases serving as the only means of access to the royal residences. The maze of buildings would have made it difficult for any invader to discover the right route to the innermost apartments, and this acted, therefore, as a defence, an essential element since Jodhpur was often at war! Main palaces at Meherangarh include Moti Mahal, the pearl palace, with its pierced stone screens and Shringar Chowki where coronation ceremonies were held. The Shringar Chowki was constructed during Maharaja Vijay Singh's reign. Jhanki Mahal in the women's area has a view of the public areas so that the royal women could watch the day's proceedings. Chandan Mahal was a hall of private audience in which affairs of state were discussed by the luminaries of the state. Rang Mahal is a pleasure palace, the Durbar Takht throne room contains an octagonal gaddi upon which the maharaja sat in state. The sheesh mahal was formerly a house of worship. The palaces have beautiful carved panels and perforated screens of red stone.
Umaid Bhavan Palace :
Umaid Bhavan Palace is built of pink Chheetar stone. The palace rises above the surrounding landscape, towering above the city in regal isolation, on its own hill.The 20th century Umaid Bhawan Palace was built in a time of peace and is open and Western in its design. Maharaja Umaid Singh hired an English engineer, H. V. Lanchester to design his new palace. Lanchester brought with him the heavy civic style of building to which he was accustomed. The building is located on Chheetar Hill. A special rail line was laid to transport building materials to the site. Slowly the great domes rose in royal splendour above the sur-rounding plain. Its builder and the architect had only one ambition: when complete, it was to rival the Viceroy's Palace in New Delhi, then also under construction. Under a dome, the like of which no other palace in Rajasthan has, Umaid Bhavan Palace contains over 300 rooms. It has its own theatre, eight dining rooms, and a banquet hall which seats three hundred people. A Ball Room catered to the westernised royal life-style. Much of the interior of the palace is in the art deco style. In fact it is said to be one of the finest surviving examples of art deco in the world. In the luxurious suites designed for the maharaja and maharani, Indian themes were painted by European artists. Entire baths were carved out of single blocks of marble. Deep within the bowels of the palace is an indoor swimming pool, with a mosaic of zodiac symbols.The royal family is still in residence in the palace, but so huge is the building that it also houses a magnificent museum and an impressive hotel.
Palaces on Foot hills :
Sawai Maharaja Sur Singh made a palace on a big rock in the plains of Mehrangarh. This palace can still be seen on the road between Ada Bazar and Juni Dhan Mandi. Sur Singh had made this palace for his queen Saubhagya Devi. Later this palace became the residence of widows of the royal family. The treasury and families of Maharaja Man Singh and Jaswant Singh II were also kept here. A tunnel was made from Fateh Pole at the fort to this palace passing Ranisar. This tunnel was used by queens in normal days and by the spies during emergency.Some secret rooms were also made in the palace which were used for keeping arms and treasure. The entrance of the palace is like a valley in which a large arch was constructed. Main entrance comes after a slight turn. The palace is made like the Bhool Bhuliya of Lucknow, to prevent the enemy from entering easily. Its stone work is extremely fascinating. The remains of the delicate carving on red sandstone can still be seen.
Sur Sagar Palaces :
About 1.5kms away from Jodhpur city, Maharaja Sur Singh got constructed a pond with beautiful gardens and palaces. These palaces are made on rectangular platforms made of white Marble. Two palaces opposite each other belong one each to ladies and gents. The palace for men was used by the king and other royal men, while the ladies' palace was used by the queens and their friends. Two large halls were constructed on the sides of the palaces, which were used by the maids and servants. The security walls made around the palaces, carved domes and arches are proof of the fine architecture of medieval period. The passage to the palaces starts after a large gate. When Marwar entered in an agreement with British government in 1817, these palaces were converted into the residence and office of the British Ambassdor in 1838. Jodhpur's first Post Office was opened in the meeting halls of these palaces. In 1909 when Lord Kichner came to Jodhpur, a museum was made in these palaces for him.
Bijolai Palaces :
Maharaja Takhat Singh built 'Bijolai Palaces'. These are located about 11 kms from Jodhpur city.Maharaja Vijai Singh used to come to this place for hunting. Bijolai palace is divided into three parts. The stairs near the main wall reach the top of the palace. In the centre of the main palace is a large open space adjacent to the kitchen. The central part of the second and third floors have large halls each surrounded by 40 pillars. These are made of red sandstone and the interiors of the palace have been polished with shells. Maroon and blue shades can still be seen on the ceilings of the halls. All the sides of the halls have stone frame fittings from which doors are missing. Small almirahs are made on both sides of the doors which earlier had gold sheets covering them.
Raikabag Palace :
This palace is situated near Raikabag palace railway station. It was constructed in 1663 by Hadiji, queen of Maharaja Jaswant Singh I. Maharaja Jaswant Singh-II also liked this palace very much. He mostly stayed in the octagonal bungalow of this palace. In 1883 when Swami Dayanand Sarswati came to Jodhpur, his sermons were arranged for the public in the ground of this palace. Jaswant Singh-II used to listen to Swami Dayanand in this palace only.
Zenana Palace :
Zenana Palace was made on a picturesque spot in Mandore during the reign of Maharaja Ajit Singh (1707-24 A.D.). The grandeur and architecture of the palace catches the eye immediately. The palace is made like a small fort, surrounded with walls. The big stones used to make the main structure have been joined without any binding material. A large gate forms the entrance of the building with ventilators. The stones on the gate have flowers, domes and other designs sculpted on them. A large umbrella on the gate is also designed into various shapes and forms. Its centre has a large stone flower to hang chandeliars. Around the umbrella stone awnings beautifully are attached to it. This mahal is also monumental evidence to Marwar architecture.The palace has many rooms of various shapes. Different spots in the building have filigiree, flowers, leaves and other designs carved on them. The room towards the West after entering the gate has walls decorated with flowers and leaves and a scene showing an elephant attacking a lion.
Ek Thamba Mahal :
This palace in the form of a single pillar was also made during the reign of Maharaja Ajit Singh (1707-24 A.D.). This octagonal palace has been made by joining stones with filigiree work, the upper portions of which have been made into flowers. The palace is made of brown coloured soft sandstone which can be easily carved. The stones have been adjusted in such a manner that the joints can't be seen and the whole-building seems to be carved out of a very large single rock. Around the main structure which is in the form of a single pillar, awnings have been beautifully arranged in Bengali style. These prevent rain water from splashing straight on the building. The top two storeys of this three storeyed building have a large number of ventilators on all sides. These storeys can be reached by climbing the stone stairs within the palace. The structure is surrounded by a platform and an open space in front. A boundary has been made around the platform, with the help of small pillars. The main door can be reached by crossing this platform, though all the sides of the palace have an entrance.
Historical monuments include forts, palaces, Havelis, shrines, cenotaphs ,etc. Erstwhile Marwar principality of Thar desert was quite rich in this field. We have given a brief account of forts and palaces of this region. In this article a breiff account of Havelis, Shrines and cenotaphs is nentioned. Rulers of Mawar, Jagirdars and nobels, wealthy merchants and other people got constructed many buildings in the area which have immense historical importance.
While the rulers were building palaces, the nobles and wealthy merchants of marwar built big residences which were called havelis (mansions), structured around a courtyard or a series of courtyards, with a zenana for the women, and a segregated front area strictly for male visitors. A number of beautiful havelis came up in almost every major Rajasthani prinspality.In 18th and 19th century almost every noble of Jodhpur state, got constucted his haveli in Jodhpur city for being the capital of the Marwar state. These havelis were known after their thikana, like- Pokran Haveli, Nimaj Haveli, Ras haveli, etc. Later on these havelis were called House, like Khejarla house, Asop house, Jhalamand house, Jasol house, ettc. There are so many old style havelis in jodhpur city. Most of them are of mediveal and modern period.
Pokaran haveli, Asop haveli, Rakhi haveli, Pal Haveli, Pushya Nakshtra haveli, Haidar Building, Gol Building, Zawahar Khana, Udaimandir ka Aasan, Badi Miyan ki Haveli, Shyam Manohar Prabhu ki haveli (Chaupasani Temple), are famous havelis of Johpur city. Phalodi is also famous for havelis. Haveli of Motilal Amarchand Kochar, Haveli of Sangi das Thanvi, Haveli of Phool Chand Golechha, Haveli of Lal Chand Dhaddha, Haveli of Bachhawats and Havelis of Tatia family are well known havelis of Phalodi and are full of rich architect. Raj Singh was the prime Minister of Maharaja Gaj Singh and Maharaja Jaswant Singh (I). He costructed a haveli in Jodhpur, Now it is known as Asop Ki Haweli.It is located beyond Ada Bazar in Fulelav Ki Ghati near Nai Ka Bad. This haveli still can be seen.
Pushya Nakshatra haveli was planned to have construction work in Pushya Nakshtar only. The construction went on 273 Pushya nakshatra days in 21 years but it could not be completed as its owner Bhurji died. He was the kamdar of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II. After passing a period of more than one century, this haveli is still incomplete. This is the unique example of its one type. A statue of Edward 7th of England was fixed in this haveli which is still in good condition. A picture of Queen Victoria was also fixed on a wall which in depilated condition now.
Jawahar Khana is originally a haveli but when it was used for keeping treasury of Jodhpur state, it was popular as Jawahar Khana. It was built by Nanhi Bai, a beloved beautiful dancer of Maharaja Jaswant Singh (II.) Fifty feet high Jawahar Khana has sandstone walls with a width of 2.5 or 3 feet. A grand pole (gate) has to be crossed to enter the yellow sandstone (Cheetar) building. While the building was being made, Nanhi Bai passed a royal order that all the buildings around it should be at least 10 feet shorter than Jawahar Khana, and the order was followed throughout her life time. Nanhi Bai wanted to make Jawahar Khana straight, but this could be done only if Muhammad Khan Ekka's house was razed to the ground. Nanhi Bai ordered that Ekka's house be destroyed. Ekka was a loyal soldier who had won a Jagir near Rohat as a reward from the Maharaja.Ekka ran to the king. Nanhi was ordered to let the building be constructed at a tangent only. Thus today the Jawahar Khana is not a square building.Twenty two rooms and two big halls in the main portion were constructed in Jawahar Khana. One hall was used as a sitting room by Nanhi and the other as a bedroom. The hall facing the Pole (Gate) was used for evening dances. In between was a big ground for meetings or mehfils. In the rooms on the left of the Pole, chariots, palkis etc. were kept.
Shrines and cenotaphs
It was very old tradition in whole India that a shrine, cenotaph or deval is built in the memory of a ruler or noble or warrior or a member of royal family or deity or any other important man or woman after his or her death. This was very popular in Marwar also. There is hardly any village or town in Marwar where any cenotaph or shrine is not found. It is known as Chhatri in local tounge. In marwar, deities fall roughly into seven types- (1.) Sati, (2.) Pitrani, (3.) Junjhar (4.) Pitar, (5.) Shaheed, (6.) Devi, (7.) Bhumia. Most shrines develop a reputation for being efficacious for particular kinds of problems—sometimes specific diseases, physical handicaps, loss of property, mental illness and so on. Shrines- roadside shrines, consecrated stones, idoles and icons of these deities dot the landscape of Marwar.
Cenotaphs of the Rulers at Panchkunda
Near Panchkunda, there is a funeral place of the Rathore rulers of Marwar which has temple-like memorials ranging from V.S. 1451 to 1546. Cenotafs of Rao Chunda, Rao Ranmal, Rao Jodha and Rao Ganga may be seen here. The gates of the memorials have Ashka Matrikas, Ganga and Yamuna with their vehicles carved on them. Many depictions of public life like a sleeping man with a woman sitting near his feet, soldiers on elephants, horses, Ganesha with four arms, dance and music parties etc. can also be seen. One of the memorials of V.S. 1213 (1156 A.D.) has inscription with the names of Rathore Bhuwani's son Salkha and his three queens- Salkhan Devi Chahuvani, Sawal Devi Solankini and Sejna Devi Gehlotni. The Garbha grihas of these memorials are now empty. They possibly had some inscriptions earlier which are now missing.
Cenotaphs of the Queens at Panchkunda
Near Panchkunda, a ground enclosed with four walls has the Samadhi sthal or memorials of the Queens. Earlier known as Janana Shamshan, the memorials made here are a proof of the Marwar kings' love for art and taste for architecture. Out of a total of 42 cenotaphs, one which is known for its grandeur is the dome of Queen Surya Kanwari made on 32 carved pillars. Queen Surya Kanwari was the daughter of King Pratap Singh of Jaipur, who expired in 1882. A large inscription on the memorial gives the details of the memorial. The domes have shell polish. Some diamond shaped pieces have been fixed in the walls in such a manner that they give the impression of being diamonds only. The artistic pots on the domes have blackened and been damaged.The memorial dome of Rani Bhatiyani of King Man Singh is made on a high platform. Its stones have broken and the inscriptions have also been damaged intentionally. The stones of the stairs leading to the top of the dome have weakened but the top portion of the dome is somewhat safe and sturdy. Dome of Queen Tulsi, daughter of Maharaj Viraj Nath Singh (V.S.1933, 1876 A.D.), memorial of Chawanji Raniwada (V.S.1979, 1922 A.D.) mother of Maharaj Jodhraja and Queen of Maharaja Takhat Singh are almost destroyed. Besides, there are memorials of Rani Chauhanji - daughter of Bakhtawar Singh and Queen of Thakur Karan Singh; Gulab Kanwar - daughter of Maharaja Shiv Singh of Sirohi; Queen Udai Kanwar- daughter of Rana Chandan Singh of Dhamodhar; Queen Dewdi of Maharaja Prithvi Singh, Naruki Lunkaran Queen of Maharaja Mohabbat Singh and Teja Dewdi - grand mother of Maharaja Takhat Singh.
Devals of Mandore
In Mandore garden down below the rocky platue, littered with ruins, are the devals or cenotaphs of the former rulers of Marwar. These are from Rao Maldeo (1531-62 A. D.) to Maharaja Takhat Singh (1843-73 A. D.). Some devals are great examples of architecture, for example the Devals of Maharaja Jaswant Singh, Ajit Singh and Takhat Singh, especially that of Maharaja Jaswant Singh. Most of the Devals give an impression of a Devalaya or temple.The cenotaph of Maharaja Ajit Singh is the largest of all the other buildings and the architectural composition of the Chhatari may safely be put in the salivate and the Jain styles. Maharaja Ajit Singh's deval has carved stones which have been carved seperately and then put together on the platform. The complete memorial seems to be knotted with stones. This three storeyed deval has Sabha Mandap, Ardh Mandap and Garbhgriha with lots of carved pillars. The outer walls of the first two storeys are covered with small statues of 36x11 inches, each wall having 48 statues. In these gods and goddesses in different poses, men and women, animals and natural scenes have been depicted.
Cenotaphs of Kaga
five kilometers North of Jodhpur city, between the Aravali hills lies the famous pilgrim centre of Kaga. It is said that saint Kag Bhusundi worshipped here, as a result of which Bhagwati Ganga appeared at this place. Later funerals of royal family members started to be performed here. Now it is known as Kaga cremation ground. More than 150 devals and domes can still be seen here. These also include domes of Bhatis, Rathores, Champawats, Rao Rajputs, Swamis, Rajpurohits, Sanghis and Charans.The artistic pillars, white marble statues and inscriptions of these devals take the tourists into the glorious past of Marwar. They tell about those royal people who, by their deeds have taken important places in the foundation and enhancement of Hindu religion. The shell polish inscriptions, statues, horses and boundaries of many of these memorials are now broken. Because most of the inscriptions have been destroyed, it becomes difficult to know about each memorial, but some of them still have their descriptive stories written on them. Two of them are the 'Sati Mata Thans' of two queens of Thakur Gambhir Singh who had committed Sati on the funeral pyre of their husband. The domes opposite each other have memorials of Purbia Rajputs, impressive of them being that of Nuhasingh. There is also a Bekalu Shamshan. This place also has memorial cenotaphs of Shankar Bharti and his wife Maina Bai. On the right of the domes of Rajpurohits are the domes of Rao Chandisa family. At the centre of this group of domes is Shrimant Vikramaditya Rajput's high dome resting on 20 carved pillars. It was made by Rajpurush Gordhan Das in V.S. 1882. Some of the recent memorials are that of Kunwari Narendra Kanwar Rathore, great grand daughter of Rao Raja Surat Singh - grand mother of Maharaja Umed Singh and many other landlords.
Construction work of Jaswant Thada was statrted by Maharaja Jaswant Singh (II) himself but it could not be completed during his life time. The work was completed in 1906A.D., during the reign of his son Maharaja Sardar Singh. This beautiful building looks like a fairytale castle in the midst of the clouds. The best of the three buildings of Jodhpur- Mehrangarh, Umed Bhawan and Jaswant Thada, are living symbols of bravery and grandeur of Jodhpur in the medieval and modern era.This castle sings the music of the morning with dawn, and looks like a messenger of calm and peace in moon light. The building is made on a platform of red sandstone. It has pictures of the Marwar rulers.
Ahada Hingola Ki Chhatri
When Rao Ranmal was killed in 1488 A.D., Maharana Kumbha sent his nobels, Akka Sisodia and Ahada Hingola to take the charge of Marwar State. After 15 years, Rao Jodha killed Akka Sisodia and Ahada Hingola and regained control over Mandore. Ahada Hingola's memorial was later built on a small hill in the battle field itself. Later the prime minister of Jodhpur, Pratap Singh converted it into a huge memorial in 1912 .This cenotaf is situated near Balsamand lake, on a very high platform, but has no inscription, statue or any other symbol left on it.
Cenotaph of Amar Singh Rathore
Amar Singh Rathore (1613-44 A.D.) was elder son of Maharaja Gajsingh of Jodhpur. After he was disinherited and exiled by his family, he entered the Mughals' service. His legendary bravery and battle prowess resulted in elevation to a high rank in the imperial nobility and personal recognition by the emperor, who made him the subedar (governor) of a region that was directly ruled by the emperor himself, Nagaur. In 1644, he was enraged by an attempt by the emperor to levy a fine on him for an unauthorized absence. In the emperor's presence, he stabbed and killed Salabat Khan, who had been asked to collect the fine. He is celebrated in some popular ballads of Rajasthan, Western Uttar Pradesh and Punjab. His Cenotaph is situated at Nagaur headqarters near Ginani Talao.
Cenotaph of Jayappa
Jayappaji Rao Scindia (1720-55A.D.) also known as Jayappa Dada Sahib, was a Maratha general. He ruled Gwalior State from 1745-55, succeeding his father Ranoji Rao Scindia who had founded it. He was killed by two Rathore Rajputs adherents of Maharaja Vijay Singh of Jodhpur at before the walls of Nagaur fort on 25 July 1755, after entanglement in the affairs of Jodhpur. He was succeeded by his son Jankoji Rao Scindia, killed at the Third Battle of Panipat in 1761. His memorial cenotaph was built in Tausar village near Nagaur town. This is in good condition even today. A shivlinga is established in the shrine.
Other Historical cenotaphs
A red sandstone dome near the domes of the queens in Panchkunda is called Brahmin Devta Ki Chhatri. The magnificient carvings on the dome have gods, godesses and animals on them. It is said that on completion of Mehrangarh fort, some religious rites were performed. That time, the heart of a Brahmin was offered to the holy fire. A memorial of this Brahmin, the dome is now damaged and the inscription on it missing.
One of the domes in Kaga is that of Maharaja Jaswant Singh's Prime Minister Raj Singh Kumpawat. On an occassion, Maharaja Jaswant Singh was caught by an evil spirit. The spirit said, "I'll leave the king only if an equally brave person sacrifices himself". The prime minister offered to sacrific and beheaded himself. Maharaja Jaswant Singh built this grand dome in Kaga. Standing on a high platform, this memorial is of red sandstone with a white marble statue and an inscription on it. The dome of Maharaja Man Singh's military commander Indra Raj Singhvi is located on the way from Nagori Gate to the Mehrangarh fort. A statue and an inscription were also put in the memorial that time, which has been damaged today.
Man Singh's maternal uncle, Shyam Singh's memorial can be seen on the left of the main door 'Jaipole' of the fort. Shyam Singh was the Thakur of Rakhi and Jojhawar and died fighting when Jaipur and Bikaner armies jointly attacked Jodhpur. It has an inscription stating 9 day of August month in 1854.Inside the fort, adjacent to the wall is the memorial of Kirat Singh Sodha, Chief of Jasol Thakur. Maharaja Man Singh built this memorial. Before the steep path to the fort, there is a dome on the left known as Dhanna Bhiyan Veeron Ki Chhatri. Maharaja Ajit Singh built this memorial.
Opposite the old stadium, two domes of Gora Dhai exist. She was governess of Maharaja Ajit Singh. She committed Sati when her husband died on 18 May, 1704. In her memory Maharaja Ajit Singh constructed this Chhatri on 21 Aug. 1711. Made on six pillars, this Chhatri earlier had the statues of Gora Dhai and her husband. The new dome was built the district authorities in 20th century.
There are many cenotafs of Singhvis near Akhaisagar. Akhaisagar was constructed by Bhim Singh's commander Akhai Raj Singhvi. After his death his memorial cenotaf was made here only. Indra Raj's son Fateh Raj was Maharaja Man Singh's diwan. After Fateh Raj's death, his dome was also built near those of his father and uncle.Opposite Baldev temple is another dome, near the domes of Indra Raj, Gul Raj and Fateh Raj, that of Singhvi Bhim Raj.
Nagaur has the pride of early founding of Sufi shrines. One of the earliest Sufis to come to Nagaur was Sultan Tarkin, whose shrine was established during Hindu rule. After Khwaja Moinuddin established the Chishti Sufi order at Ajmer one of his disciples, named Hamiduddin, came to Nagaur. Hazrat Hamiduddin accommodated some Hindu principles in his teachings— he became a strict vegetarian and lovingly reared a cow in his shrine. Hindus worship him as "Tar Kishanji". His shrine is situated at Nagaur district head quarters.
The Sufi shrine of Abban Shah (also known as jalan ro Pir) in Jalor is considered particularly significant for musicians: it is believed that this deity cures 'musical ills' and specific deficiencies in musical perform¬ance or skill. There is a jal tree in the shrine, the leaves of which are said to have a healing effect on the voice. The shrine is most often used for regaining the singing voice, which breaks after puberty.
The earliest phase of architectural activity was the offshoot of the virile architectural movement initiated and nurtured during the Gupta period. This tradition continued in the region for centuries. Chouhans, Pratihars, Parmars and Rathores erected thousands of temples in this desert area. Osian, Bhinmal, Dadhimata, Kekind, Kiradu, Varah Shyam and Shiwada temples are the good examples of that perod. By about 700 A.D., all over India, a number of divergent experimental temple shapes had given rise and way to certain viable and almost universal prototypes. Almost uniformly now the temple consisted of a square or rectangular sanctum with a porch in front or, occasionally, a mandapa either attached to the sanctum via a vestibule (antarala) or forming a separate but appurtenant structure in front of the sanctum.
From many points of view the further development beyond this stage and till about 1000 A.D. represents the most important and the most consequential phase in the history of temple-building in India. For after 1000 A.D. or so it was only a matter of carrying on along lines already firmly etched; the most fascinating part consists of the first tentative and modest prototypes developing into the initial monumental edifices which started being erected from about 950 A.D.
This development from Parashurameshvar to Lingaraja, all at Bhubaneshvar in Orissa, from the early and small temples at Kanchipuram to Brihadlshvar (at Thanjavur) and Naresar (near Gwalior) to Kandariya (at Khajuraho) is echoed in the case of Rajasthan in the progression from the earlier temples at Osian to those at Kiradu west of Barmer. One feels inclined to question Kiradu's being mentioned in the context of the other undeniably far more formidable agiants, let us not loose sight of the fact of the desert's limited resources as also of the fact of Kiradu having remained rather under-rated, of which more, later. While most developments were thus in this continuum of from small to big, regional stylistic preferences and patronage made for quite some differences, too. Barring some exceptions, it was generaliy a spaced out and gradual movement from a Parashurameshvar (650 A.D.) to a Mukteshvara (C 950 A.D.) to a Raja Rani (C 1025 A.D.) and, more characteristically, to a Lingaraja (C 1100 A.D.) as in the case of Orissa, or, from the Osian to Kekind to Kiradu via Nagda as in Rajasthan. Though most of the temples have common features, a careful study of the architectural details presented in these temples makes one to conclude that two groups of temples existed in Rajasthan during the pre-medieval and post-medieval periods. One group included in it Sun temples, Harihar temple and Mahavir temple at Osia, Vishnu temple at Mandor, Vishnu temple at Buchkala, Kameshwar temple at Auwa, Harshnath temple at Sikar, the temple at Nadole, the Sun temple, called Budhdit in Kota area and several others of this type in Mehrangarh, Chittaurgarh etc.
All these temples, range in point of antiquity from the pre medieval to the post-medieval period. Most of these temples stand on a high, moulded platform with very few exceptions.These temples are mostly Latina in form. Standing on a platform as they do, these are predominently 'tri-anga' on plan. The platform (Jagati) of these temples is generally constituted by an amplified Vedi bandha, sometimes showing a decoration of large niches at intervals on the Kumbha. The Mula-prasada has, as a rule, no pitha. The door frame of all such temples is very richly decorated. The figural and foliate ornamentation are both rich and varied. All the above, in brief, applies to the early temples of the 1st group. In the middle type of temples, the decoration of pillars is finer and in the door-frame a few new shakhas like the vyala sakhas are introduced and these cover the whole door-frame. The temples at Auwa and Bhundana amply illustrate this characteristic feature.
Beginning modestly in the 8th century as the local rulers of Mandore and Jalore, the Pratiharas rose to imperial status in the 9th and Bhoja-I shifted his capital to Kannauj after his accession to the throne in 836 A.D. though the Pratiharas maintained their links with Rajasthan. The wealth which (the early temples at Osian, Abaneri and Chittaurgarh represent remains unparalleled and along wiln some temples of the 10th century they form an invaluable corpus for anyone seeking to study the phenomenon of the transformation which the temple in North India underwent during 8th to 10th centuries.
Osian, in particular, offers a complete series of temples built over four centuries starting with the 8th of Abaneri only the shell of othe sanctum remains-the makeshift mandapa being of later erection-along with the tiered terrace on which a wonderful and large temple unit must have once stood. The devolution of the Pratihara style in Central India and Rajasthan went along parallel lines. In Rajasthan also the progression from Osian to Kekind-Harshanath-Rajorgarh, though substantial, was still within the bounds of legitimate evolution.
This transition also occurred over about a century and a half, from C 800 A.D; to C 950 A.D.The temples of southern Rajasthan also conformed to the Osian-Kekind continuum upto a point of time. Thus, the Kameshvara at Auwa near Pali (C 850 A.D.) had, despite an ornate two-storeyed pyramidical superstructure, a distinct affinity with the 'proper' Gurjara Pratihara lineage.
The same may be said of Varman (C 875 A.D.) located even further to the south, and the Lakuleesh at Ekiingjl (872 A.D.) north of Udaipur.If the temples of the Osian group are one stage removed from the Gupta models and those of the Kekind type, two, then, these temples are three stages so removed and well on the way to giving rise to the Chandella and Kachchhapaghata norms on the one hand, figuratively as well as geographically, and the Solanki one, on the other.
The Someshvara at Kiradu built around 1000 A.D. is important as it is, perhaps, the last major surviving example of a viable admixture of the Gurjara Pratihara and the emerging Solanki features: it manages to combine the strength of the former with the delicacy of the latter. It represents, perhaps, the last successful stand of the Gurjara Pratihara vogue before the flamboyant Solanki one will appear to take everything in its sweep. Of the group of significant temples at Kiradu, it may also be said that they have, unfortunately, remained rather underrated. In fact they are as rewarding, if not more, than the famous Modhera temple in Gujarat which was erected soon after, around 1025 A.D. In sculplure, particularly, Kiradu scores over Modhera. Kiradu in fact possesses some of the finest post-1000 A.D. sculpture in India.
Having thus distinguished the Pratihara style of Rajasthan (Maha-Maru) from that of the lemple of upper Gujarat and south-western Rajasthan of the 8th-9th centuries (Maha-Gurjara), Dhaky then goes on to draw a demarcation line between the two and describe, first, a Maha-Gurjara foray into the Maha-Maru domain (as seen at Osian, Merta Road and Harsha near Bilara, in the 10th century) and then, a Maha-Maru rejoinder (as witnessed at Kiradu, Bhinmal, Chandravati and Ahar, at the close of the 10th century.) It is out of this clash or "embrace" of the 'virile and handsome'. With due deference to Dhaky it may perhaps be permissible to suggest that inspite of differences in terms of some details, the developments in temple building In Rajasthan and Gujarat over C 700- C 1000 A.D. do not merit to be regarded as two contrary and clashing movements but rather as two neighbouring and parallel developmems progressing by degrees from similar starting points to the same denounement.
To this line of thinking the two movements will appear to be basically congruent at various stages in their careers. Roda, even though spartan in comparison, answers Osian; Muni Bawa, Kekind, Trinetreshvara and Kota; Jagat, while Miodera following close on the heels of Kiradu represents the ultimate and utter triumph of the Solanki features all over Gujarat and over most areas of Rajasthan, too, in an age when politically also the Soliinkis came to hold sway over southern Rajasthan. The period from 1000 A.D. onward saw in Rajasthan supremacy of certain Rajput powers like the Chauhans of Sakambhari, Sikar, Ajmer and Nadol; the Parmars of Abu and the Guhilas of Dungarpur, Banswara, Khed and Mewar, under whom the architectural activity found its expression in temples of various faiths and styles. Bhatis of Jaisalmer, the Rathors of Marwar, the Yaduvanshis of East Rajasthan and Badgujars etc. also encouraged temple activities. The post 1000 A.D. period is, by contrast, much less exciting because it is all so predictable- the essential features are all fixed and the structures, too, are all, more or less, copies of a model. Elsewhere in Rajasthan nothing much of interest seems to have taken place unless we take that the monuments were pillaged or razed to the ground.
Chauhan Vigraharaja IV's college at Ajmer was indeed thus converted into the Dhai-din-ka-Jhonpra. Topkhana at Jalore offers another example. Of the post-1300 A.D. or Rajput period also we do not have to speak at any length. The massive and extensive 'Chaumukha' temple at Ranakpur (l438 A.D.) is, however, a most remarkable monument. It is saved from the overripe feel of Delwara by virtue of its vast spaces and striking heights and the complex is also well served by its scenic location. In the 17th century several good architects worked at Merta, Pali, Jalore, Nagaur, etc. This is borne out from the epigraphs available from these places. To quote a few instances, from an epigraph dated V.S. 1665from Kekind onformation available about the sutradhara Todara. The epigraph from Merta dated V.S. 1677 mentions in a sutradhara Suja. From an epigraph at Jalore dated V.S. 1683, we have a reference to sutradhara Uddharan and his sons Todara, Isar, Taha, etc.
Sculptural work in Temples
The earlier sculptural works of the times of the Mauryas, the Shungas and the Kushans left their impact in the blending of the plastic art of the country in the later ages to such a high perfection that the half closed elongated eyes puffed and highly developed breasts, the slim waists, the broad hips, transparent draperies, rich and intricate jewellery, various styles of coiffeurs, swinging pendents from the ears, and leaning curvature of the body as a whole all characterstics assembled into a splendrous synthesis in the classical renaissance. Through a continuity of a thousand years from Maurya's to Gupta's various foreign races came into the country. The north-western border of Rajasthan was the only way for the attacks of the barbarian hordes— The Hunas, Parthians, Seythians and Shakas. The Central Asian Turks ousted the wild tribes from Afganistan and Northern Punjab, who also in turn entered Rajasthan and settled at various places. It became necessary, for the local inhabitants to maintain certain cohesive order of relation, based on Dharma. The invocations of God, through construction of temples, became necessary. As time passed the social assimilation of the Hunas, the Gurjaras and the Rajputs resulted in the acceptance of Hinduism, and faith in the supreme, which culturally led to the worship of various forms of deities such as Shiva, Shakti, Vishnu, Surya, Ganesha and their respective consorts, children and attendants. The temples built by the Gurjara-Pratiharas at Abaneri and Nakti Mata temple in Jaipur district, and Osian in Marwar, are the clear evidence of their high aesthetic taste. In spirit, in the poetic symbolism, in the idealistic anatomy of human figures, in the expression through the medium of amorous and erotic themes, the sculptures in the above temples may fairly be said as the legacy of the Gupta traditions.
Sculpture of this period has iconographical importance and the images have dynamic artistic movements, the innocent divine vulgarity, stupendous forms and the action of the chisel. The chisel of the sculptor moved from simplest forms of the earlier temples of Osian and Mandore and went through the intricate decorations, exquisite fineness at Kiradu and reached its zenith in Delwara temples of Abu and Ranakpur. Beautifully erected temples at Osian, Buchkala and Mandore (Jodhpur district), Goth-Manglod and Kekind (Nagaur district) and Bhinmal and Shiwada (Jalore district) were not only full of vigour and poise but were also gems of architecture. Brahmani Mata temple is also a post Gupta period at Nagaur.
Pratihars also constructed new temples and rebuilt the Gupta's temples but unfortunately these monuments suffered heavily at the hands of early Muslim hordes. Parmaras built the group temples of Kiradu (Barmer district), Vishnu temple and Sanskrit Paathshala (Jalore district). These temples are superb creations of that time. Chauhans built Somnath temple and Nadole temple (Pali district) and Sanchore, Raamseen and Sundhamata temples (Jalore district). These temples are known for their sculptured decoration and architectural richness. Rathores built many temples all over Marwar. Banshiwale ka Mandir at Nagaur, Chaturbhuj temple at Merta, temples of Ghanshyamji, Gangshyamji, Kunj Bihariji, Raj Ranchhodji at Jodhpur and many more other are the prominent temples built by Rathores.
Erotic scenes play a most prominent role in Indian art. A beautiful woman was generally regarded at the highest bliss to be hoped for on the earth as well as in the lower heavens. Kamakala (the art of sex) was considered to be one of the sixty four arts, therefore, as a part of education it was openly shown through sculptures in sexual poses even on walls of temples. The depictions of Kamashastra, as a matter of fact, opened a way for the development of music, dance and painting. In the absence of any of these it was difficult to reach the mystery of the 'Rasa'. Hence the sculptor was obliged to carve the figures of the Yakshas and Yakshinis, and Gandharvas (the heavenly musicians), types of ladies and various dancing poses all around the walls of the temples.
The cult of Shaktas emphasised on the worship of phallus and vagina for attainment of salvation and the concept consequently inspired the artist to carve out poses of sexual exercises and the numerous beautiful poses of females in nudity. The Gods were also shown with their consorts in various amorous poses.The nude and seminude representations have also been found on the temples of Marwar at Osian, Mandore, Kiradu, Chandrawati and Ranakpur.
Hindu Temples of Pre-Rathore Period
Osian is situated 58 kms from Jodhpur. The temples at Osian exhibit a wide range of rich variety and excellence of medieval sculpture. The earliest temples erected by the Abhira kings are those of three Harihar temples of 8th century. Incarnations of Vishnu, Krishna's life, Gods of the Vedic hymns-vayu, Chandra, Surya, Kubera, Indra, Varuna, the battle between the Gods and Asuras, the Navgrahas are elaborately sculptured on the outer walls of the temples. In the Jain temple of Mahavir, there is an inscription of Vatsa Raj of the Gurjara Pratihar dynasty who, in the middle of eighth century, established Gurjara supremacy in the cities of Osian, Bhinmal and Mandore. The temple dedicated to Mahavir comprises of a richly decorated Toran leading to an open porch a closed hall and the sanctum. The Sun temple show the height of the power of Gurjars who enshrined the God 'Sun' brought from Central Asia.
The Sachiya Mata temple very late, according to the inscripions in the temple of V.S. 1236-34-45, has been disfigured by rennovations and ail sorts of paints. At Osian many temples with fine sculptures attract the visitors. Two sculptures particularly attract the visitors - one depicts a daughter of the Abhiras with her charming poise and attractive body. The second sculpture is that of a woman with a bow, with her ''proud defiant face bent backwards to complete the curving arch of her body.'' There are sculptures found at many other places also untouched by the analyst. No doubt, the State is replete with specimens of frescoes, paintings, sculptures and the like yet many of the specimens were destroyed during the course of numerous invasions 'the Sword arm of India' had to face from time to time.
Kiradu (Barmer District)
The dilapidated temples of 11-12 centuries are situated about 124 miles from Jodhpur and 16 miles north-west of Banner. An inscription of V.S. 1219 incised on the porch wall of The temple of Someshwar reveals that Sindhu Raj Parmar was the chief of Marwar. The other two inscriptions of 1209 and 1235 show that Solankis of Gujrat- Kumarpal and Bhimdeva were the rulers of Marwar and that the old name of the place was Kiratkupa. Someshwar temple is the biggest of all the other four smaller shrines of Shiva, and Vishnu. The vase and flower motif, carved on pillars, is best seen in the main temple of Someshwar. The exterior of the shrine consists of various scenes from the Krishna's life and Ramayana. The Siva temple close by also presents scenes from the Ramayana. A number of fragmentary pieces have been exhibited in the Sardar Museum at Jodhpur which are quite lovely and throw a light on the dresses and ornaments of that period.
Sire Mandir, Jalore
Sire Mandir, Jalore is lacated at Kanyagiri hills near Jalore town. This is a highest Nath chair of Marwar region, that is why it is called Sire Mandir. It is said that yogi Jallandharnath did meditation at this place. The place is also associated with certain miracles. Parmar king Rao Ratansingh built a Shiv temple here which is known as Rataneshwar Mahadev Mandir. Maharaja Mansingh of Jodhpur renovated this temple on suggestions given by hermit Ayas Dev Nath. A water reservior (Jhalara), two Wells (Nirmal Jalkoop and Chandankoop), meditation cave (Bhanwar Gupha), palaces for ladies and jents and other constructions can be seen even today.
Jagnath Mahadeo Temlpe, Jalore
This temple was constructed by Chauhan Pincess Rudal devi in the reign of his brother Samar singh (1182-1207). Many stone inscriptions pertaining to this event can be seen here. Chauhan ruler Chachag deo has mentioned about this temple in his stone inscription of V.S. 1326 at Sundha. This temple is located about 20 kms far from Jalor district head quarter.
Apeshwar Mahadev temple, Ramseen
Apeshwar Mahadev temple at Ramseen in Jalore district, was built in 13th century A.D. by Songara Chauhan rulers of Jalore. It is a chariot shaped temple. A five feet statue of Lord Shiva is worshipped in the temple. The temple has been renovated many times. In this process a large number of old statues have been destroyed.
Varah shyam Temple, Bhinmal
This is also a old temple. A seven feet high and 2.5 feet wide idole of Lord Varah (incarnation of lord Vishnu) is worshipped in the temple. This is a post Gupta idole and must be of Pratihara period of history.
Sundha Mata Temple, Jaswantpura
This "Shakt tantrik peeth" is said to be very old. It is located in a cave on Sundha hill in Jalore district. Now a statue of Chamunda Mata, carved on a cave wall is worshipped here. An adjoinig cave is known as Bhur-bhuvah-swah-eshwar temple and dedicated to Lakulish sect of Shaivism. An idole of Lord shiva is worshipped in this cave. A reference about this temple is available in Skand Purana of 7th centuray A.D.
Rameshwar Mahadev Temple, Jodhpur
The Rameshwar Shivalaya near Surajkund outside Chandpole is considered to be a Siddh peeth. It is said that the Shivling here is Jyotirmay Ling, which was brought and established here by a saint in 1250. The saint took eternal meditation here the memorial of which is still there in the verandah of the temple. During Rao Maldeo's reign in 1538, Seth Rama Maheshwari Mutha constructed a small temple here. In 1544, the Pathan soldiers of Sher Shah Suri attacked this temple. Maharaja Sur Singh renovated the temple in 1615 and also constructed Surajkund and a bathroom.In 1644 idols of Shiv Panchayat and other gods and goddesses were established here. The present temple was made by Maharaja Jaswant Singh in 1651. During Maharaja Ajit Singh's reign when Nawab Tewar Beig attacked the temple, Pujari Jagan Purush took the Jyotirlinga to his home. Many constructions were done in the temple during Maharaja Takhat Singh's reign in 1844 and Maharaja Jaswant Singh's reign in 1876. Renovation was also done during Maharaja Umed Singh's reign. Milk, sandalwood and Ved Mantras are offered to this Jyotirlinga.
Hindu Temples of Rathore Period
There are many temples in Jodhpur city, built under Rathore rule but the temples of Kunj Behari, Ghanshyam, Balkrishna and Ranchhodji, Ramdeoji and Gajanandji are the most well known. Other temples are Tija Maji ka Mandir, Nazirji ka mandir and Deonathji ka mandir (Mahamandir).
Gang Shyamji Temple
Rao Ganga (1515 - 31 A.D.) was married to Padamawati, daughter of Rao Jagmal of Sirohi. The statue of Krishna that Jagmal worshipped was very much liked by Princess Padmawati. After marriage, while leaving Sirohi, Padamawati asked her father for the statue but Jagmal had to refuse because he also loved this statue very much. Then Padmawati asked Gangaji to take the statue from Jagmal in dowry. Jagmal gave this statue to Gangaji. He established the statue in Mehrangarh fort and it came to be known as GangShyamji. After some a big temple was built for it in Old Dhan Mandi which is now known as GangShyamji temple.In 1679, Aurangzeb's military commander Tebar Beig destroyed the temple and constructed a mosque. Maharaja Ajit Singh (1707-24 A.D.) made five temples at that place. Gang Shyamji Temple was surrounded by four other temples. In 1760 Maharaja Vijai Singh renovated it and converted it into a big temple. In 1929, Maharaja Umed Singh again renovated the temple and got gold work done on the main door.
Ghan Shyamji temple is located in Juni Mandi, near Gang Shyamji temple. When Gang Shyamji was brought to Jodhpur, after a few days in the fort, the statue was kept in Ghan Shyamji temple. Present Ghanshyam Ji temple was built by Maharaja Ajit Singh. Having large domes, this temple is made of red sandstone. A stone inscription in the temple gives the date of its foundation, as 1718 A.D. Inside the temple, the stones have SriKrishna and Gopis carved on them.
Kunj Bihari Temple
Kunj Bihari Temple in Katla Bazar was built by Maharaja Vijai Singh's Paswan Gulab Rai in 1779 A.D.; She was a Vaishnav follower of Gokuliya Gosains. Kunj Bihari seems to be a replica of Ghanshyamji temple. The top of the temple and its entrance are examples of architectural excellence. On left of the entrance are massive elephants. On the entrance is a statue of Meera facing towards Lord Krishna in Garbhgriha (Central hall). This statue was earlier established in Sita Ram temple in Kabutron ka Chowk. The Sita Ram temple and Hanuman temple of Mandore are said to be parts of Kunj Bihari temple and expenditure of these two is also borne by the Kunj Bihari temple's funds. This is one of the grand temples of Jodhpur. Pooja is performed six times a day. Special functions are arranged on Janmashtmi, Annkut, Diwali, Holi, Radha Ashtmi etc. The temple gates are opened twice a day from 6.00 a.m. to 12.00 noon and from 6.00 pm till midnight.
Raj Ranchhodji Temple
Raj Ranchhodji temple was built by Queen Jadechi Rajkanwar after the death of her husband Maharaja Jaswant Singh. Rajkanwar was the daughter of king Jamvibha. At the age of nine, in 1854 A.D. She was married to Prince Jaswant Singh. Jaswant Singh did not go for the marriage himself to Jamnagar, but sent his sword, with which the princess got married. After marriage the princess came to Jodhpur and then went to Jamnagar after a few days. After four years at the age of thirteen she came to Jodhpur. Once entering the fort, she never came out of it. That time this temple was made outside the city wall on a high dune near Baiji Ka Talab. By including the first name of the queen 'Raj' this temple became Raj Ranchhodji Temple. It was completed in 1905.
Rasik Bihari Temple
Rasik Bihari temple is known more as Nainiji temple. Made of red and white stone, this temple is constructed on a 17 feet high rectangular platform on Udai Mandir road. The Sabha Mandaps are made on red sandstone pillars. The Garbhgriha is surrounded by a gallery (Parikrama), made of white stones. The temple has statues of Shiv Panchayatan and Sun on seven horses. The open space between the temples has a white marble statue of Kamnandi. According to the inscription on it, it was brought by Maharaja Jaswant Singh in 1885 A.D. The temple is devoted to Rasik Bihari (Lord Krishna) and Goddess Radha. It has statues of Lord Vishnu, Garuda and Hanumanji on both sides of its doors. On one part of the main door Adi Vinayak Ganeshji can be seen. This temple has been taken over by the Archaeological Survey of India.
Maharaja Man Singh built this temple to show respect towards his guru Aayas Dev Nath. This huge temple is located at some distance out of the old city near Merti Gate. The foundation for this temple was laid on 9th April 1804 and it was completed on 4th February 1805, with a budget of 10 lakh rupees. The main temple is made on a massive platform and approximately 100 artistic pillars support the ceiling. The Garbhgriha has a white marble seating space with a statue of Jalandhar Nathji on it. The interior portion has beautiful pictures of 84 yogasanas and famous Nath yogis. The main dome of the temple is surrounded by other smaller domes. Two beautiful palaces have also been made in the temple compound. In one resided Nathji Maharaj and the other was for the holy spirits of earlier yogis. There is a large bed in this palace and it is said that the holy spirits come and rest on this.The carving in the temple and palaces was done from a gold instrument and still retains its beauty. The designer glasses wall paintings and shell polish of the temple have a timeless beauty. At the ground floor of the palaces there are stables and Toshakhana etc. Some important inscriptions have also been found from the temple. One inscription says that it was the duty of the temple to save the life of anybody who took refuge here. One part of the temple has the cremation ground of hermits. It also has some memorials. Mahamandir has a wall surrounding it and giving it the look of a fortess.
Maharaja Man Singh built Udai Mandir for Bhim Nath near Merti gate. It is a great building from architectural point of view. It has big basements and two tunnels, one going to Mahamandir and the other to the fort. The left of the temple has Udayeshwar Shiv Temple with a well nearby. This well was in use for around 150 years, but later it was buried.A few yards away from Udai Mandir is a haveli called 'Udai Mandir ka Aasan.' The married Nath hermits stayed in this haveli. There are two gates of this haveli and it has three storeys.
Sheetla Mata temple
Kaga Sheetla Mata temple is approximately 200 years old. The statue which is now seen here was earlier established in Mehrangarh fort. It is said that Maharaja Vijay Singh's son Sardar Singh died of measles. Maharaja ordered that the statue be destroyed under elephant's feet and thrown in a deserted place. The ministers threw the statue in the hills of Kaga. One day the wife of a gardener dreamt that the statue be established there only. The lady did as she dreamt and slowly the followers kept increasing. People from nearby areas started worshipping the goddesses methodically.When the King heard of this, he wanted to bring the goddess back to the fort, but the royal priest said that it was not possible. Then the King went walking to the temple with his family and begged for pardon. He built a big temple here.
Hall of Deities
The hall of Deities at Mandore, was built during the reign of Maharaja Ajit Singh and his son Maharaja Abhay Singh. Before carving the statues on rocks in this hall, their models were made on small stones, which have now been kept in the Mandore museum. This hall is supposed to be the residence of 33 crore gods and godesses. One huge rock has been cut to make 15 statues including those of Chamundaji, Kankali (Mahishasur Mardini), Gosainji, Rawal Mallinathji, Pabuji, Ramdeo, Hadbu, Meha, Goga, Bramhaji, Suryaji, Ramchandrji, Krishna, Mahdeo and Jalandhar Nathji.
Kala Gora Bhairon : Near the Hall of Dieties are the statues of Kala - Gora Bhairon and Vinayakji. These three statues have also been carved on a huge rock, during the reign of Maharaja Ajit Singh (1707 - 24). Kala Bhairon is on the left while Gora Bhairon has been carved on the right with women fanning them. In the centre is Vinayakji. Both the Bhairon statues have four arms, holding a dagger, Trishul, drum and a skull. Over the heads are huge umbrellas with their mount and a dog under their feet. Gora Bhairon is offered dry fruits and sweets while Kala Bhairon is offered meat and liquor. The Vinayak statue between the two is holding Laddu, Lotus, Sword and an axe in four hands. Riddhi and Siddhi have been carved on his sides, a snake around his neck and his mount, a mouse near his feet. Many more temples in modern time have been built in Jodhpur city. "Shanishchar Ji Ka Than" on the road from Jalori Gate to Siwanchi Gate, "Ganesh Temple at Ratanada", "Shiv Temple at Ratanada", "Kharanana Devi Temple" are very famous among them.
Temples at Meharangarh fort
Rathore rulers of Jodhpur erected many historical temples in Mehrangarh fort. Descrption has been given in a separate article- "The Forts and Palaces of Marwar".
Western Rajasthan was a big center of Jainism activities in medieval period. So a grand chain of beautiful and historical Jain temples also flourished in marwar. There are eleven well known Jain temples in Jodhpur city for Shantinath, Gaudi Parasnath, Muni Suvrata Swami, Kunthunath Koladi, Sambbavanath, Mahavir Swami, Kesariyanath, Parsavanath (Muthaji ka mandir) and Bheru Bag Parsvanath; there is also Digambar Jain Mandir. Of these, the first is the oldest. The present idol of Shantinath, however, is dated V.S. 1617 (1560 A.D.).
Nakoda Parshvanath Jain Temple
The temple of Nakoda Parshvanath is about 10 kilometers South of Balotra and is surrounded by bare hills which form its natural background. Nakoda is an ancient place. In the 3rd century A.D., there existed two cities- Virampur and Nakoda each 20 miles apart, founded by Virsen and Nakorsen respectively. In both the places, there were big Jain temples of 52 cells and their consecration ceremonies, were performed, at the hands of renowned Acharya Sthulibhadra but those temples were destroyed by Alam Shah. The consecration ceremony took place in V.S. 62 at Nakoda, at the hands of Acharya Mantung suri. In V.S. 909 (852 A.D.),there are said to be 2700 houses of Jains in Virampur and the idol which was kept hidden in Naghrida (Kalidrah), was installed in V.S. 1429 (1372 A.D.) at Virampur or Nakoda. This main idol at Nakoda is of Lord Parshvanath. It is 23 inches in height and black in colour. It is very attractive with its tutelary deity Bhairava. The people from far and near, visit the shrine and make offerings to Nakoda Bhairava, on ful¬filment of their desires. Besides this main temple, there are the temples of Rikhabdev (Lachi Bai's temple) and Shantinath, besides 35 idols in the underground celt. There are few extensive Dharmashalas, in the compound of the temples, for the pilgrims to stay in. Every year, a grand fair is held on Pash Badi 10, the birthday of Lord Parshvanath.
Ranakpur Chaumukha Jain Temple
Ranakpur is 22 kilometers from Falna Junction on the Delhi-Ahmedabad line of the western railway. Jain temples of Ranakpur are located in a complex. The central temple in the complex is called Chaumukha and is an interesting example of the richness of carving and sculptural art in medieval Rajasthan. The temple covers an area of 40,000 square feet, has 29 halls and contains 1,444 pillars; no one pillar is like another in the detail and wealth of the delicate carvings that adorn all of them. The massive and extensive 'Chaumukha' temple at Ranakpur (l438 A.D.) is a most remarkable monument. The Jain shrines at Ranakpur were strongly influenced by the Circular lotus motif style of the ceilings and pillars of Abu temples. The four faced shrine is dedicated to Rishabhadeva the Jain Tirthankara and there are subsidiary shrines around the main temple. The entire structure is erected on a lofty basement surrounded by a high wall. There are sixty six small cells, inside the boundary wall, adorned with sculptures. Each cell or shrine has got a spire over it. The ceilings, of the structure of the temples, are intricately decorated with Carvings. The Parshvanath temple has got some erotic scenes carved on its exterior.
Narlai Jain Temple
Narlai is only 3 miles from Ghanerav. There are 11 temples among them, the Adishvar temple is said to be about 1000 years old. The eldest temple is of Suparshvanath (the seventh Jain Tirthankar) having sculptural art. The Neminalh temple on the hill is also famous. It is said that one of the hill temples was brought by a Yati, with his magical power. Round about SuparshvanathTpmple, there were existing once, 2700 houses but now they are all lying in ruins.
Nadol Jain Temple
About 7 miles from Narlai, there is an ancient place called Nadol where once resounded every evening 999 bells indicating 999 temples. There are 10 Jam temples, the famous being that of Lord Padma Prabhu(the sixth Tirthankar), the idol being consecrated in V.S. 1681, (1624 A.D.), by Jaimal, the minister of Maharaja Gaj Singh of Jodhpur. The temple is architecturally beautiful. The popular Jain verses of Laghu Shanti Stavan, were composed here in V.S. 300 (243 A.D.) by Acharya Manadev Suri. Col. Tod, the famous historian of Rajasthan, found ample material from this place including hand-written scriptures (which he took away with him), and the family trees of the popular kings Shrenik and Samprati.
Varkana Jain Temple
From Nadol, at a distance of about 5 miles, famous Jain temple of Varkana is situated. The temple is of Lord Parshvanath having 52 shrines. It was built in V.S. 1211 (1154 A.D.), with hand-some designs of carvings. The place is calm and quiet. There is a Jain Dharmashala for for the pilgrims to stay in. From Rani, this place is only 4 miles. Every year on Posh Badi 10, a fair is held within the precincts of the temple.
Chandrawati Jain Temple
The monumental site is five miles South of Abu Road station on the western railway line in Sirohi district. Prior to the possession of the Parmar rulers in 10-11th Century Chauhans ruled over the territory of Cliandrawali. Dharawarsh was a very brave and glorious ruler of the Parmar dynasty in 12th century. The old name of the place was "Chadaul" where there were about eighteen hundred Jain and Saivite shrines. Adinath temple may have been the best of all others. The temples were built time to time over a period of five hundred years from 5th Century to 10th century, by the Parmar and the Chauhan rulers. The famous historian Col. Tod for the first time in l9th Century, made a Survey of the area and found ruins of 18 marble temple. Even now there exists a village in the name of "Chandoli," which is a variegated term of old chandrawati, in Sirohi district. Several images of Gods and Goddesses hava been found from the monument and a few have been put in the Government Museum, in the premises of the Governor house at Abu. Many other pieces of scuptures have been collected and stored at the site, by the Stale Archaeological department.Chandrawati is now all in ruins along the banks of the river of the Same name, and its past glory is found only in the broken pieces of Kinnaras, Yakshas and Yakshnis, Gandharvas, domes, columns and bracekets.
So far as the mosques are concerned the earliest is at Amber, with a dated epigraph lodgd in it. All without any exception, whether big or small have big or small minarets, a hall, big or small for offering prayers and a pond for washing hands and feet before the visitors go in for offering prayers. About 1314 A.D., Ala-ud-din Khilzi, after a lengthy siege, captured Jalore fort from Kanhaddeo Chauhan, and a three-domed mosque, said to have been built by him, is still in good repair and daily use. There are many historical mosques in whole Marwar area. In 1294 A.D. Jalaluddin Firoz Khilji conquered Mandore. He built a mosque here in which an inscription of that time is still available. In 1544 A.D.
Shershah Suri came to Jodhpur, after conquering Ajmer. He razed the temples at Jodhpur fort to ground and made a mosque there. Maldeo was succeeded by his son Chandrasen who was a brave and self respecting king, but could not win the support of his brothers and other Rajputs. Thus, the ruler became weak and Jodhpur was conquered by Akbar. Akbar's military general Hasan Kuli Khan immediately built a mosque on Jodhpur fort and deployed military on the boundaries.
Ek Meenar Masjid, Gol Takia Masjid, Sodagaran Mohalla Masjid, Jama Masjid, Iqra Masjid, Eidgah Masjid, Jalorigate Masjid, Mohalla Nagauri Silawatan Masjid, Raza Masjid, Madina Masjid, Kayamkhani Masjid and Cheerghar Masjid are prominent mosques of Jodhpur city. In Chhodawat village of Bhopalgarh block of Jodhpur district, there is a 400 year old mosque. It is known as Kawaskhan's mosque. Peer Baba's mosques is situated in Basarli village of Balesar block.
In 13th and 14th century, Nagaur was a prominent seat of Muslim rulers for a long time and many Mosques were built in Nagaur, Deedwana, Ladnu, Makrana and other sorrounding towns. In 1725 A.D., Takhat Singh, prince of Jodhpur became an independent ruler of Nagaur. He dismantled a lot of mosques and made Hindu buildings there. Colonel Todd wrote that he had declared death sentence for anybody who gave 'Ajaan' for Namaaj. The town wall of Nagaur is more than 4 miles in length, between 2 and 5 feet thick, and on the average 17 feet high. The battlements bear many Arabic and Persian inscriptions, obtained from mosques demolished by Maharaja Bakht Singh in order to repair breaches caused in warfare. Of the numerous religious edifices, two Hindu temples and a five-domed mosque are specially noteworthy.
Churches, the religious edifices of the Chritians for offering prayers on Sundays and other religious occasions have a set pattern of architecture. They give place to a conical flat structure in the front with a cross outside and a big hall inside for the congregation to offer prayers.Though these Churches are for Catholic and others and are named after prominent Christian Saints, they conform to a certain style of architecture, which is typically western. Those, which are Catholic are decorated from inside while others are not.
The population of cristian community in Jodhpur state was 207 in 1881, 210 in 1891 and 224 in 1901 A.D. In 1901, 111 cristians were native, 58 Europians and 55 Eurassiana. Out of 111 native cristians, 44 were Presbyterians, 28 Roman Catholics and 27 belonged to the Church of England. The United Free Church of Scotland Missan has had a branch at Jodhpur city since 1885. The State is included in the Anglican see of the Bishop of Nagpur and the Roman Catholic Prefecture of Rajputana; the latter was established in 1891-92; is administered by the Capuchin Fathers of Paris, the Prefect Apostolic having his head quarters at Agra. With the increasing numbers of cristian population, many churches came in to existance. Sumer well Memorial church, Saint Theresa's Church, St. Patricks Church, St. Theresa's Catholic Church, 7th Day Adventist Church, St. Andrews hall and D road church are main church in Jodhpur. Many more churches also exist in Jalore and Nagaur districts.
Sumer well Memorial Church
Sumer well Memorial church Jodhpur was the first church opened in Marwar. It was open on 11 January 1927. It was the first church of Jodhpur. Maharaja Ummed Singh the then ruler of Jodhpur was the chief guest on this occassion. The building of Church is made of Chheetar stone and is a good example of rich architect. The whole Church is constructed in cross shape. Jodhpur Maharaja gave 2500 Pound sterlings. Maharani Badan Kunwari also gave 200 Pound sterlings for construction work. The build work was done under the supervision of Railway engineer E.E.V. Temperl. Dr. Theodor Arm dedicated this church to Doctor Sumer well.
Saint Theresa's Church Jodhpur
Saint Theresos Church was founded in 1934 A.D. It is a Catholic church. Its plan was prepared by famous architect G.A. Goldstra. The whole building of church is made of Chheetar stone. The cruce of church is standing in the left side of its entry gate, it was built in the memory of James Walston, the then prime minister of Jodhpur state. Father Zentilius was the first Padari of church. Maharaja Ummed Singh and Maharani Badan Kunwari donated a handsome amount to the church for its construction work.
Erstwhile Princely state of Marwar was situated in eastern part of Thar desert. There was no perennial river in the whole state. Luni was the longest river which could flow for a few days in rains only. Meethari, Jojari and Gunai Mata were the subsidiary rivers of Luni and could flow hardly for 15 days in a year. Sambhar, Deedwana and Pachpadra were natural lakes in the state but all natural lakes contained salty water which was brackish in test but good for producing salt.
Lakes, Ponds and Wells
Though Marwar was scarce of water but people were aware of its importance. They used to collect rain water in ponds and tanks in their houses as well as in fields and forests. Rulers, nobles and wealthy merchants of Marwar built many artificial lakes, water tanks, ponds, wells, step-wells and reservoirs through out the state.
Bal Samand Lake
Bal Samand lake is located on Jodhpur - Mandore road, 7 kms from Jodhpur. It was constructed in V.S. 1216 (1159 A.D.) by Parihar chief Balak Rao. Approximately one kilometer long, 50 meters wide and 15 meters deep this lake has been made by storing the rain water coming from the hills. Maharaja Sur Singh later constructed an artistic eight pillared palace with three entrance gates between this lake. He also constructed a Baradari and another small artistic palace near the lake. They have beautifully carved stones, polished with shells and have filigiree work. Near this 60 feet high palace, another small building was made by Sur Singh for his queen. It also had a garden for ladies. Jaswant Singh (II) later planted rose shrubs in this garden. Water was supplied to Gulab Sagar, Fateh Sagar and Sardar Sagar canals from this lake.
Located eight kms West of Jodhpur, Kaylana lake was constructed in 1872 by Pratap Singh, the then Prime Minister of Jodhpur. It is spread over 84 square kilometers' area. Earlier this area had palaces and gardens made by Maharaja Bhim Singh and Maharaja Takhat Singh. These were destroyed to make Kaylana lake which takes care of the water supply to the city today also. Also known as Pratap Sagar, the area around this lake was full of wild boars and was a secured hunting place for the royal members. But it has not remained so with the increase in population. Near the lake is a Dak Bungalow of Irrigation department.
Umed Sagar dam near Kaylana Lake was constructed in 1933 by Maharaja Umed Singh. It is spread over an area of 27 square kilometers.
Gulab Sagar water storage was constructed by Pasban Gulab Rai in 1788 A.D., who was a beloved mistress of Maharaja Vijay Singh. Earlier there was another source of water here, called 'Baori', which was converted into Gulab Sagar in the size of 150 x 90 meters. It is Located near Sardar Market in old city area, adjoining to Gulab Rai's palace. Its construction took eight years and a large amount of funds. It has two parts- the smaller one being known as the child of Gulab Sagar. It is said that this part was made in 1835, in the memory of Sher Singh, Gulab Rai's son. Gulab Sagar has carved stairs around it whose beauty can still be seen.
Fateh Sagar was made near Merti Gate by Maharaja Vijay Singh in 1778. The size of this pond wis 140 x 75 meters. It was used to get water from its Southern canal linked with Bal Samand as well as Kaylana lake. Beside this is a temple named Ramanuj Kot, belonging to Ramanuj cult of Vaishnavs. This temple was constructed in 1866.
Ranisar was made in 1459 by Jodha's Queen Jasmade Hadi near Fateh Pole of Mehrangarh. Padmasar was made near it by Queen Padmini of Rao Ganga, daughter of Rana Sanga of Mewar.
Tapi Baodi was constructed in 1675 by Tapoji Tejawat. It is 40 feet wide and 250 feet long and located at Hatdiyon Ka Chowk in Bhimji Ka Mohalla. It was constructed in four years with 72 thousand rupees. This longest Baodi of the city was the main source of water in Jodhpur city for more than three decades. It has six beautiful and artistic storeys.
Jaswant Sagar Dam
Maharaja Jaswant Singh constructed Jaswant Sagar dam in 1892 near Pichiyak village between Bilara and Bhavi villages of Jodhpur district. Five lakh and fifty thousand rupees were spent on its construction, while its renovation during the Seventh plan took one crore fifty three lakh rupees. The water from this dam is used for irrigating an area of 1780 hectares. The greenest part of Jodhpur receives water from this dam. Boating facilities have also been made available for tourists here.
Shekhawatji ka Talab
Shekhawatji ka Talab was constructed by Shekhawat Aantarang De, Queen of Jaswant Singh (I) 450 years back, a mile away from Merti Gate. Surrounded by hills on three sides, this pond is spread in an area of 1000 sq. feet and is approx. 20 feet deep, Jaswant Singh (I) also made a grand palace near it which served as their residence during rainy season. The pond is covered with walls made of red stone, which have stairs on three sides. It also has a Baodi in it. Its water was used in case of shortage of water in the pond.
This pond has also been mentioned in the autobiography of Prime Minister Pratap Singh of Jodhpur. Maharaja Ram Singh of Jaipur had married Indra Kunwar, sister of Maharaja Takhat Singh and his cousin Kesar Kunwar (daughter of Prithvi Singh). His bridal procession (barat) had stayed in tents near this pond. Palaces of Maharaja Jaswant Singh have now been converted into temples. One of them is the Hanuman temple which also has idols of Lord Rama, Laxman, Sita and a huge Shivlinga. Above the pond is a large dome which is now with the Army. Another small dome can be seen in one corner of the temple, which has no inscription on it. A Satsang Bhawan is also made here a few decades ago.
Seven kms from Jodhpur, there are many cenotaphs of Singhvi Musahibs of erstwhile Marwar state near Akhaisagar. Akhaisagar was made by Bhim Singh's military commander Akhai Raj Singhvi. It is approximately thirty six feet deep and is formed by collecting the water coming from hills around. The centre of this pond has a stone measure which indicates the water level. Singhvi Akhairaj had no child. On a saint's advice he constructed this pond. After his death his memorial cenotaph was erected near this pond. A few other domes of Singhvis also exist. Akhai Raj's dome is facing Raghunath temple.
Other Water Structures in in Jodhpur City
Mahila Bagh stepwell (Baori) near Gulab Sagar was constructed by Gulab Rai in 1780. It is also called a Baodi with four-sided ghats. The Mahila or Mayla Bagh garden near it was also made by Gulab Rai. Later Huson General Hospital was opened in this garden and then a school. Artistic domes surround this step well. One of its parts remains covered with water and has beautiful gates under it. Five lakh rupees were spent on its construction. It was also connected to Gulab Sagar through a tunnel. The famous fair 'Lotiyon Ka Mela' was started after the construction of this Baori. In V.S. 1776, Sukh Dev Tiwari made a stepwell in the precincts of Mehrangarh fort, which is known by his name only. It is made between Vidyashala School and Singhodon ki Bari. Nowdays this place is used for funeral rites. It is an example of architectural excellence. Tuwar ji ka Zhalra was made by Badi Tuwarji, the Queen of Maharaja Abay Singh, in 1805.
Besides these, there were many other baodis (step-wells) and talabs (ponds) in Jodhpur city, like Chand Baodi, Nai Sarak Baodi, Jalap Baodi, Mandore Baodi, Naparji ki Baodi Gorunda Baodi, Vyas Baodi, Chataniya ki Baodi, Sumnohra Baodi, Anara Baodi, Nainsi Baodi, Hathi Baodi, Dhai Baodi, Idgah Baodi, Kharbuja Baodi, Rajaramji ki Baodi, Vyas Baodi, Shiv Baodi, Panchwa Majisa ki Baodi, Ram Baodi, Raghunath Baodi, Jadeji Zhalra, Shri Nathji ka Zhalra, Gowardhan pond, Gangelav pond, Baiji ka Talab, Naya Talab, Neemla Well, Clock tower well, Gaushala well, lotwali well, Satyanarayan yati's well, Ladji's well, Navchowkiya well, Aasan well, Dauji well, Jaita well, Mutha well, Devkund, Golnadi, Motikund, Mansagar, Surajkund etc. Some of these water structures still exist but Many structures have been destroyed in last one century.
Gardens and Bagechees
Mandore Garden is spread in an area of 82 acres. There are no definite clues to say how old this garden is but it surely existed during the reign of Rao Maldeo (1532-1572 A.D.).
The ruler of Marwar state Rao Maldeo was married with a princess of Jaisalmer state, but he enjoyed his honeymoon with a Daodi (maid servent) instead of princess. When Rao Maldeo was returning to Jodhpur, the princess refused to go along with him. Rao Maldeo was very upset so he destroyed the Bada bag royal garden and cut down hundreds of trees and returned to Jodhpur. When Bhati Rao of Jaisalmer came to know about this incident, he sent his minister to take revenge. The Minister came to Jodhpur and stayed in Mandore garden. After 15 days he left the garden, putting an axe under each tree with a message that we are not like you, we don't cut the trees. The beauty of the garden has been captured on celluloid by many film makers. The fountains, especially the jet fountains are an all-time tourist attraction. One can reach the numerous pools by crossing a garden of Bougainvillea. People can sit in shade on one side of these small pools. These pools get the water of Nagadari River. Summer breeze near these pools gives a new life to people. Above this level is a natural pond known as Nagadari. The Nagpanchami and Veer puri fairs are organised in this garden since 17th century. Nagkunds are worshipped by people on Nag Panchami.
Miyan Ka Bagh
In 1643 A.D., the Maharaja Jaswant Singh (I) was called to Agra by Shahjahan, while Khwaja Farasat was sent here for Jodhpur's administration. Khwaja was unable to control the administration and was relieved of the charge in 1647, but he did not return to Agra. After his death, he was buried outside Chandpole gate and his memorial dome was made there. Aurangzeb built two 30 feet high towers here. Maharaja Sur Singh's daughter Inda Kanwar made a step well here, while Sur Singh developed a garden which came to be known as Miyan ka Bagh. Two tombs are made inside the memorial, protected by iron bars. It is said that the vegetables of this garden used to be famous for their size. It is said that once when the prince of Kashmir came here to marry the Jodhpur princess, the ruler of Jodhpur ordered to get one cartful of cauliflower from this garden. The sellers that time charged one silver coin for each bunch of the vegetable. A small Shiva temple can also be seen in this garden.
Ummed Garden and Zoo
Like Mandore garden, Umed garden also covers an area of 82 acres. Developed by Maharaja Umed Singh, it has green lawns, towering Ashoka trees, roses and seasonal flowers, museum, fountains, library and a zoo. Five gates were constructed in different directions to enter the garden. The zoo in the garden was inaugurated in 1935 A.D. by the then Viceroy Willingdon. During that time it had a lion, tiger, zebra, ostrich and an emu. A separate cage was made for monkeys. In 1978 'Walk-in Avery' was made where one could see different types of birds. A large cage for bears opposite the Avery, sea birds behind it, pigeons in the cages near it, crocodiles, foxes, deers, lions, leopard etc. educate children and mesmerise people with nature's beauty. Various enclosures of the Zoo were mostly situated on the peripheral portion of the public park. After independence, the management of Umaid Udhyan and the Jodhpur Zoo (situated within) was entrusted to the Superintendent, Garden Department of the Govt. of Rajasthan. Subsequently the management of Jodhpur Zoo was transferred from the Garden Department to the Forest Department in 1956. Onward from 1956; the Jodhpur Zoo is being managed by the forest department of Rajasthan Government. A Public Library, named Sumer Sarvajanik Vachnalaya and a museum named Sardar Sangrahalaya were also opened within the park area. Now almost all wild animals have been transferred to Machia Park.
Spread in an area of 14 acres, Nehru Park was developed as a children's park. It was inaugurated on 7th September, 1966 by the then Chief Minister of state, Shri Mohan Lal Sukhadia. The park gets its beauty from the fountain, pond, swings, flower beds, trees and plants here. Earlier this place had Bakhat Sagar pond. But its form deteriorated and the city's dirty water started collecting here. To solve the problems, its upper portion was converted into Bakhat Sagar residential colony, while the lower portion has this park now.
Machia Safari Park
During princely state's time there existed a Machia fort between Jodhpur city and Kayalana lake, where rulers used to come with their family for hunting the wild boars and black bucks. The forest, in which this fort was located, also known as Machia forest. Now, Rajasthan government has developed this forest as safari park which is known as Machia safari park. A Biological Park also has been established in this forest which is called Machia Biological Park. It was conceptualized in the year 1982-83. It is located 8 kms away from Jodhpur railway station on the western side of city. This park is basically the satellite zoo of old heritage zoo of Jodhpur. Machia Biological Park has an area of 41 ha. out of 604 ha area of Machia Forest Block. Almost all wild animals of Umed public park have been transfered to Machia.
The Meherangarh museum has various pieces of art owned by the royal family of Jodhpur. Various types of arms and ammunition, royal dresses, swings, paintings of Jodhpur style, palanquins, turbans, musical instruments, cradles, tents etc. are an evidence of the rich heritage of Marwar. The beautiful camping tent which Maharaja Abhay Singh used in the battle field is one of the unique tents of the world. Besides, there is the 3 centuries old golden throne of Jodhpur rulers and statues and other items made of ivory. One of the tents of this museum was exhibited in the festival of India in New York (U.S.A.). This tent of 17 century was known as Lal Dera, which fascinated the Americans very much.
Cannons Collection : The Fort also stores many historical guns (cannons). Many of these have historical events associated with them. Some of these cannons are named as Kilkila, Shambu Ban, Jamjama, Gubara, Dhuldhani, etc. Kilkila was made by Maharaja Ajit Singh when he was the Governor of Ahmedabad. It is also said that Ajit Singh had bought this cannon from Vijai Raj Bhandari for Rs. 1400 from Ahmebadad. It is said that women used to get aborted hearing the booming sounds of Kilkila and Jamjama. Shambhuban canon was acquired by king Abhay Singh by defeating Sar Buland Khan of Ahmedabad (1730 A.D.). It is also said that Abhay Singh bought this cannon from Surat. Karak Bijali was brought from Ghanerao during Ajit Singh's period. This cannon weighs 14 tonnes. Nusarat was obtained in 1730 A.D. by King Abhay Singh by defeating governor Sar Buland Khan, Sarkar Khan and Gajni Khan of Ahmedabad. "Gazni Khan" was acquired by king Gaj Singh from Jalore Fort when he attacked Jalore in 1607 A.D. One cannon was brought by Sir Partap Singh from China in 1901 A.D. during the reign of Sardar Singh, which can still be seen in the Fort. During King Bhim Singh's reign Mehrangarh had Nagpali, Magwa, Vyadhi, Meerak Chung, Meera Buksh, Rahsya kala and Gajak cannons. All the available cannons of British period have been preserved on the walls of the fort. One has the British crown made on it. This has many barrels, each barrel having holes like cannon from where cannon balls can be fired. Another gun made of fine metal has its front part like a fish's mouth, tail like a crocodile, feet and neck like that of a lion. This cannon has been kept in the Daulat Khana and is sent for international exhibitions. Cannons kept on wheeled trollies were called mobile cannons whereas those kept on the walls etc. of the fort were stationary.
Elephant Haudah Section : This collection of gold and silver Haudahs or Ambaris is perhaps one of the best in the country. A notable and unique historical piece is the silver Haudah of the Mughal Emperor Shahjehan. This Haudah (Ambari) was presented by the Emperor as a mark of special honour to Maharaja Jaswant Singh I of Jodhpur with an elephant alongwith 100 horses on the 18th December 1657. It is an interesting Haudah following the patterns of Persian style with figures of lion, fish, peacock and a lady surrounded by floral designs, Besides, there are some typi¬cal Handahs of interest. All these have been displayed each on a rectangular platform mounted by 9 traditional flag colours, each having different colours, Crest and Mottos of former states of Rathore Dynasties, off shoot of Jodhpur House.
Royal Costume Section : Ajit Vilas has a rich and supurb collection of Costumes of Maharajas, Maharanis and princes. Such as furgals, Angarakhis, skirts, achkans, Kashmiri Shawls and host of other exhibits of interest. In this section one can see a pair of historical pearl shoes of Anara Begum. She was the favourite Cuncubine of Maharaja Gaj Singh I of Jodhpur He was a Mansabdar of high rank in the court of Emperor Shahjehan early in the 17th century.
Mahi Maratib : It was gifted by Shah Jahan to Gaj Singh in 1628 A.D., which used to be given only to the rulers having 5000 Mansabs. It has the mouth of a crocodile, shape of a fish and crown as a moon.
Daulat Khana (Art Section) : Formerly it was in use for display of jewellery and later on as State Drawing Room. Now keeping in view of its originality, the central space has been utilised as Drawing Room with carved wooden furniture of Victorian period. The outer gallery has been used for display of rare objects of arts made of gold, silver, ivory, etc. in floor and wall show-cases.
Maan Vilas (Armoury) : This section is unique with display of most selected varieties of arms and armour. Some of them are studded with real gems, sword-hills of jades, shields of gems and dealers. The Match-locks and flint-locks complete with gold and silver work on the barrels, were presented by the Mughal Emperors to the rulers of Jodhpur from time to time. Besides this, there are swords, kataris, bugdas attached with pistols and host other varieties can be seen here. There are some old historical heavy swords of the period ranging from 15th to 18th cenury A. D. The khanda of Rao Jodha, the founder of Jodhpur, is noteworthy, weighing over seven pounds. Collection of rare swords bearing Quranic verses and gold seals on the blade, is an outstanding historical piece.
Folk Musical Instrument Section : This section pertains to the rare collection of folk musical instruments of Rajasthan, found in deep desert as well as from other places, are on display. Their tunes have been tape recorded along with the photographs of the musicians while singing or playing the instrument.
Mandore museum was established in 1968 in one of the old palaces of Janana garden. The museum exhibits many inscriptions, potraits, miniatures, handicrafts, remains of various civilizations and things related to body and natural science. All this has been exhibited, in different rooms.The statues section has statues and architectural remains from Mandore, Osiyan, Kiradu, Ghatiyala, Juna, Salawas and Jalore. One sub section has been made especially for Mandore. It houses statues and sculpted structures of Sun, Trivikram, Sursundari, Nat, Yaksha, Durga, Shiva, Kichak, Navgriha etc. from 9th-10th century. These remains show that the artists with religious feelings did not ignore reality in the creation of these artistic pieces.
Mandore itself was famous for its aesthetics. All the ancient monuments in this sub-section speak further about their excellence in beauty, spirituality, simplicity, decency and expression. Two rectangular rock pieces named 'Arhat' are important monuments exhibited in the museum. One shows a horse rider and a few camel riders. Nearby there is a camel drinking water from the pond. This rock shows the old system of pulling water from the wells. The second rock depicts some soldiers in a chariot pulled by a horse and a few pawns.Two pillars of red stone from Mandore show the mutual attraction between man and woman. It has a few erotic figures in a circle, flowers and leaves and other attractive figures. The second pillar also depicts some erotic scenes with men dancing, singing and playing music. Thus erotic figures and depictions can be seen not only in Khajuraho, Bhubneshwar, Chittaur, Dwarka and Somnath temples, but even in the architecture of Mandore, because 7th to 13th century experienced a wave of such depictions in temples and these pillars are an example of that. The hair styles and dresses in these figures are very attractive.A Sarvatobhadra Ganesh statue obtained from Ghatiyala has been put on a pillar in the porch.
In Ghatiyala, there is a pillar having Ganesh statues facing all four sides. This pillar was unscripted by Pratihar Kakkuk, brother of Bauk, the ruler of Mandore. Kakkuk had good relations with Marwar and Gujrat. A link to the history of Mandore, this inscription is dated V.S. 918 (862 A.D.).
Sardar Government Museum, Jodhpur
Sardar Government Museum, located in Public Park (Ummed Bagh) Jodhpur was established in 1909 and formally opened to public on 17 March, 1936. The museum is named after Maharaja Sardar Singh of Jodhpur. The collection consists of 397 stone sculptures, 10 inscriptions, 1951 miniature paintings, 12 terracotta, 32 metallic objects, 178 arms, 111703 coins, 4107 miscellaneous objects displayed in Archaeological Section, armory, art & craft and historical section. It preserves antiquarian objects which are divided into 22 categories as under: ivory, stone, khas, patwa, metal, arms, wood, leather work, lacquer work, pottery, alum, natural history, miscellaneous textiles, minerals, glass, chir, paintings, educational appliances, antiquity, mother of pearl, salt, numismatics. The prize possessions of the museum are— (1.) Two stone pillars from Mandore, supposed to be of Gupta period, presents various scenes from the life of Lord Krishna. (2.) Padampani Kubera image from Mandor. (3.) Yoga Narayana image (sitting) of 8th century A.D. from Didwana. (4.) Lord Vishnu image (standing) of 7th century A.D. from Pali. (5.) Jivant Swami Image (Standing) of 10th century A.D. from Nagaur district. (6.) Arab coins hoard (8,774). (7.) One Coin of Edward VIII.
Government Museum, Pali
Bangar Government Museum, Pali was opened to public in the year 1991. Exhibits of the museum include Costume and Jewellery of Garasia tribe, 326 stone sculptures, 10stone inscriptions, copper plates and 409 coins of medieval period, 22 miniature paintings, 4 terracottas, 3 metallic objects, 8 arms and 258 objects of miscellaneous nature.
Maharaja Man Singh Pustak Prakash
The present collection of manuscripts in the royal library of Mehrangarh fort, was started by Maharaja Vijay Singh in 18th century. He was devotee of Vaishnavism. He was fond of paintings and music also. The manuscripts collected by him were mostly religious. This collection was further enriched and bulk of manuscripts, with variety of subjects was added by Maha¬raja Man Singh due to which it took the present form and it was named by him as Pustak Prakash. The Institution has a manuscript library of national importance. Some of the most rare and important oriental books are preserved in its collection. The library contains above 5000 volu¬mes of old manuscripts; 3300 granthas on different subject written in Sanskrit, and 2000 Hindi and Rajasthani granthas. The major portion of collection is in Sanskrit and Rajasthani written by the poets patronised by the Marwar rulers and only few of them have seen the light of the day.
Rajasthani Shodh Sansthan, Jodhpur
It is situated about five miles west of the city of Jodhpur in the compound of Choupasani School. The institute came into being in 1955 for the purpose of conducting a scientific study of the history of Rajasthani literature and culture. It has collected about 15,000 old manuscripts, 350 old paintings of Rajput style and thousands of folk songs and examples of folk literature. It has also published a Rajasthani dictionary in four parts and it also arranges to publish important theses on Rajasthan. It has facilities for research work also. Research scholars from India and abroad have availed of this facility so far. Twice a year scholars are invited to lecture on their speciality, at the institute. The organisation is recognised and aided by the Rajasthan Government.
Rupayan Sansthan, Borunda
This institute was established in 1961, in the village Borunda stituated at a distance about 100 kms from Jodhpur. Its aim is to collect and publish the folk lore of Rajasthan. In the beginning this endeavour was tentative but, soon it gathered momentum and 13,000 folk tales, 10,000 songs and thousands of proverbs and riddles have been collected. These have been documented through scripting the oral tradition or recording it. This documented material is then disseminated and made available to fellow researchers. It has published, in all, one thousand folk tales in a series entitled Batan-ri-phulwadi in ten volumes, each containing about 500 pages. In the field of music, thousands of songs have been documented. To make the documentation more authentic and vivid 12 songs were made into gramophone records. In association with the National Centre for the Performing Arts,in Bombay the institute made a short film of fifteen minutes in black and white strictly for archival purposes. The film manages to convey to the spectator a fair idea of the musical instruments and song styles and offers a glimpse into the folk legacy of Rajasthan. A monthly magazine devoted to folk culture is being brought out (Lok Sanskriti) by the institute since 1960.
Rajasthan Oriental Research Institute, Jodhpur
The institute was established in 1960. Valuable collections of manuscripts numbering about a lakh written in Sanskrit, Prakrit, Apabhramsa, Persian and other languages many valuable manuscripts like Vedas, Brahmanas, Upanishads, Vedanta, Darshanas, Jyotisha, Nyaya, Ayurveda, History etc. are preserved in the institute. Some of the manuscripts are extremely rare. The collection abounds with hundreds of extensively illustrated manuscripts comprising thousands of genuine paintings of brilliance, which flourished during the ancient medieval ages.
The institute endeavours not only to preserve rare manuscripts but to publish them. Under the name of "Rajasthan Puratan Granthmala" a series of eighty works have so far come out. Catalogues of Sanskrit and Prakrit manuscripts were also published by the Institute under a scheme financed by the Government of India. Several Rajasthani works printed under the scheme "Development of Modern Indian Languages-Rajasthani". A scheme for the preservation and publication of important manuscripts in the Jain Granth Bhandars of Jaisalmer was also taken up by the Institute.In these collections are some manuscripts written on paper belonging to the 12th and 13th centuries.
A good number of palm leaf manuscripts belonging to still earlier centuries are the main attraction of this treasure. Besides manuscripts, the institution has a useful reference library of printed books containing about 12,000 volumes relevant to higher researches. The institute has seven branch offices established at Jaipur, Alwar, Kota, Udaipur, Bikaner, Tonk and Chittaurgarh. Jodhpur branch has opened an art gallery for general visitors in which many charts, diagrams and calendars related to the tantrik, Jyotish and other subjects have been shown.
Sangeet Natak Academy Jodhpur
Sangeet Natak Academy Jodhpur was established in 1957 A.D. It has a vast collection of folk music instuments like Khanjari, Daf, Chang, Madal, Dhol, Damru, Nagara, Damama, Matta, Sarangi, Jantar, Ravan-Hattha, Kamayacha, Rawaz, Tandura, Ektara, Jhanjh, Manjeera, Thali, Khartal, Algoja, Bansi, Poongi, Shahanai, Satara, Mashak Nad, Morchang, Bhapang etc.
Arna-Jharna Desert Museum
Padmbhushan Komal kothari established this Desert Museum in outer area of Jodhpur city in recent years. A unique collection of brooms used in nearby villages, Puppets of Marwar area, and various types of arts, local flora and fauna are the speciallities of this museum.
Art is a cultured way of life. The experience of joy relating to the visible or invisible physical or astral body or sentiments being in real form, appear before human beings in expressive forms. That expression is termed art.
Indian View of Art or Kala
The Hindi synonym of 'art' known as 'Kala', is derived from Sanskrit language. It has been used in Sanskrit literature in numerous interpretations, in which the 16th part of a principal object, "a part of time", and the expected intelligence in performing any task deserves special mention. Before the advent of Bharat Muni, 'Kala' had been applied in almost all other acts of intelligence except poetry, and was a special world for such work of the intellect. Any useful business regarding life had ever been placed in the category of art. The best example of the application of the word is clearly discernible in the Natyashstra by Bharat Muni : "Na tajjanam na tachhilypam na vidyaa na saa kala." The word 'Kala' frequently used by Bharat Muni comes very near to fine art and architecture (Shilpa) is near to a useful art. In India all such knowledge and vocations requiring the slightest intelligence are termed 'Kala'.
The Western view of art
The Western view of art seems similar. Art is related to old French 'art' or Latin 'ars', whose meaning is to produce, to express or to adjust. Since the 13th century in England the word art has been used with the meaning intelligence. Since the 17th century the word has been associated with poetry, music, painting, icono¬graphy, architecture and the fine arts. According to place, time and circumstances, the word art has been used in numerous contexts, but still it has never been deprived of expressing the meaning of intelligent acts and thoughtful depiction. Whatever form of art we see, its main characteristic is that it is pleasing to the senses. It expresses the feelings and emotions of the artist and it can be interpreted in different ways by different people.
Art is a strong form of communication
Any type of art, essentially tells a story and it is a strong form of communication with another human being that is indirect but deeply profound. Art has a tendency to deeply move our soul and most masterpieces that we see in museums are a silent testimony to that. From time to time intellectuals have defined art in a manner which clearly echoes the meaning of fine art. To attain the exalted status of Shiva and express the beautiful form of truth, art is a powerful medium which according to the tastes and instincts of the artist has been conveyed from time to time for that eternal depiction. Hence through poetry, music, painting and iconography and through construction of splendid buildings, the artist from time to time made his special contribution to society.
Among the above five arts painting occupies a unique status. Although there are many different forms of art, they can be divided into two classes- visual art and performing art. Visual art includes paintings, sculpture, literature, calligraphy, photography and architecture. Mehndi, Mahawar (Alata), Mandna, Rangoli and Sarvana (for Rakshabandhan) may also be considered as visual arts.
Performing arts are all forms of dance, music, theater, opera and films. Another way that in which different art forms are classified are fine art, commercial art, modern art and applied art. However, such classifications are a little confusing since some of these art forms tend to overlap and what might be considered as applied art by one person can be considered as fine art by another. Marwar has bequeathed a rich artistic heritage to the cultural heritage of desert area. Indian art would be poorer without the artistic cultural legacy of Marwar. The folk-dances, folk-music, fine sculptures, attractive paintings and charming frescoes have greatly enriched the cultural heritage of land.
Forms of Visual Arts
Visual art can be defined as a form of art that uses any medium to represent the artist's idea, emotion and imagination. Visual arts like paintings, handicrafts, sculptures and architecture have evolved with time and different periods saw the emergence of different art movements. In previous chapter, we have studied about sculpture and architecture of Rajasthan. In this chapter we have taken paintings and handicrafts as the visual arts for our study.
Painting : A chief Art
Vishnudharmottara Puran says- In this world practice of Painting is the chief of all arts. (As Sumeru is the chief of mountains, As Garuda is the chief of those born out of eggs, As King is the chief of men, Even so in the world is the practice of Painting The chief of all arts. - Vishnudharmottara Puran, 10/3/39) The Puran further describes that the art of painting is considered a subtle means to pursue religion, pleasure and liberation. With this desire for happiness a painting is installed in the home. (Kala-naam pravarm chitram dharma kaamartha mokshdam, Mangalyam prathamam chetadgrihai yatra pratishatham. -Vishnudharmottara Puran, Chitrasutram, 43/38) Such sentiments have motivated the decoration of houses with drawings. Lines and colours are the medium of painting. On any infrasurface the artist could express his feelings through the application of lines and colours. Such infrasurface chiefly belongs to fresco, stone, wood, utensils and 'phalaks' of baked clay, ivory, leather, cloth, palm leaves and paper."
The artist possesses a distinct characteristic to depict heights, distance and nearness on a plane surface in which he turns his imaginative ideas into visible paintings through the arrangement of colours and lines according to his capability. Hence it is said- "Poetry is a speaking picture and a picture is mute poetry." To create paintings artists have selected different media in accordance with circumstances of time and space and among them are frequently available paintings in the form of frescoes and scripts.
Origin of Frescoes in Caves
The art of frescoes belongs to the instinct of primitive human beings. Ancient cave paintings testify to this view. The frescoes in the caves of Ajanta, Ellora, Allania (Prehistoric paintings in caves on the banks of the Chambal near Kota are the oldest specimens of painting in Rajasthan) have attracted worldwide attention of art connoisseurs. Frescoes have been drawn in temples, palaces and cenotaphs. Frescoes have ever been an ancient tradition, and accordingly paintings have been produced with new techniques. The history of wall painting in Rajasthan is rich enough to provide a wide glimpse into the history and culture of this land. There is plethora of wall paintings documented and researched till now. But then there are a lot more waiting to be highlighted and researched over; in the havelis, palaces, forts, temples and other monuments of this vivid state. Merchant class built another kind of havelis, not architecturally noteworthy, but magnificently decorated with murals. Almost every available surface of the walls was covered with paintings, depicting religious and social themes. The dry desert climate of the area has ensured the survival of these paintings and they remain in a remarkably good state of preservation. An interesting facet of these frescoed havelis was that over the years the artists became more ambitious in their range of subjects; having heard of memsahibs who drove cars, of steam engines and trains that carried large numbers of travellers, of the fashionable dress of the Raj, but without having seen any of these wonders for themselves, they painted these subjects as they were described to them or as they had been depicted in pictures that came their way. The results are sometimes hilarious, but almost always imaginative and original.
Tradition of Script Painting
The tradition of script painting is very old. Drawing of Padd and Picchavai is done even today in Rajasthan. In regard to script paintings, a Tantric text of Buddhism titled Aray Manjushri Kalp says drawing is to be done on clean white cloth which has borders on both sides- Silk cloth is prohibited for this purpose. Script paintings are available in two forms as Padd or Picchavai scrolls. Padds are based on stories of folk gods while Picchavais relate to Krishna-Lila. Kundalitpat or scrolls have been made with less width and more length. The whole text has been painted in this scroll.
Development of Manuscript Painting on Bhurj Leaves
In ancient days the tradition of writing poetry and making drawings on bhurj leaves or palm leaves was kept alive. This resulted in the abundance of pictorial texts preserved in many Jain collections.( From the point of view of the oldest paintings the Jain collections of Jaisalmer and Khambat deserve special mention) The themes of the pictorial texts mostly relate to Jainism. Among them Kalpa Sutra, Kalikacharya Kathanak and Neimnath Charitra deserve special mention. Texts compiled on palm leaves had a definite dimension and the reverse sides of different leaves had been written or painted on. Such leaves had been compiled as texts after making holes in the centre. The invention of paper in the 12th century ushered in a new era in the compi¬lation of pictorial texts. Uttarayan Sutra of V.S. 1277 and Nyaya, Tatparya-Tikka compiled by Vachaspati Mishra in V.S. 1270 and painted on paper are preserved in the Granth-Bhandar of Jaisalmer.
Credit for encouraging this tradition goes to the Sagun-Bhakti movement and the Mughal rulers of India. The coming of Mughal rule popularised the tradition of text painting greatly. Two artists, Sayid Ali and Abdul Samad, from Persia accompanied Humayun to India and painted the text Ameer Hamza. Besides Babar-Nama, Akbar-Nama, Rajjam-Nama and Tuti-Nama had also painted religious texts like Mahabharat, Ramayan and Anwar-a-Suhali (Panchatantra). After the advent of Akbar the tradition of manuscript painting gathered momentum. The Mughal school, the Rajasthani school and the Pahari school were important links in the art of painting texts based upon Ram Kavya, Krishna Kavya, Sufi Kavya, Riti Kavya, Barah-Masa, Ritu-Varnan, Rag-Ragini, which are still available.
Development of Miniatures style of Painting
Miniature art is an offshoot of manuscript painting. On the basis of imagination or poetical sentiments, providing a heading or without a title, such miniatures are available in large numbers in numerous museums and private collections. Laghuchitra or miniature painting is the heritage of Rajasthani painting.
Rajasthani Painting Nomenclature
With regard to the nomenclature of Rajasthani painting, scholars hold varied opinion. Some call it Rajput painting and others Rajasthani painting. Ananda Coomaraswamy was the first scholar who scientifically classified Rajasthani painting in his book titled Rajput Painting in 1916. According to him, the theme of Rajput painting relates to Rajputana and the hill states of Punjab. The administrators of these states, often belonging to the Rajput clan, had termed these paintings Rajput. According to Coomaraswamy, Rajasthani painting spread widely from Bikaner to the border of Gujarat and from Jodhpur to Gwalior and Ujjain. Amber, Aurachha, Udaipur, Bikaner and Ujjain had earned the reputation of being centres of artistic activities. Rajputana has been a centre of diverse princely indige¬nous states, but the expansion of Rajasthani painting had taken place from Bundelkhand to Gujarat and states ruled by Pahari Rajputs, that is why the name Rajput painting seems plausible." Vachaspati Garrola had recognised only Rajasthani painting under the auspices of the Rajput style of painting, which seems to be more ambiguous.
Development of Rajasthani Painting, 6th to 12th Century A.D.
Tibetan historian Tara Nath (l6th century) refers to an artist named Shri Rangdhar who lived in Maru Pradesh (Marwar) in the 7th century, but paintings of this period are not available. The period from the 6th century to the 12th century was a great landmark in the history of Rajasthan. From the 8th to the 10th centuries this province was termed Gurjaratra, hence with the development of art and other vocations painting might have flourished here. Among available compilations, pictorial Kalpa-Sutra (Pls. 1, 2) authored by Bhadrabhau Swami in V.S. 1216 is the oldest available artistic text of India.Dr. Goetz presented his research papers, which throw light on history of Rajasthani paintings. Karl Khandalawala discussed in detail the origin and development of this painting.Scholars like Raikrishan Dass, Pramod Chandra, Sangram Singh, Satya Prakash, Anand Krishan, Hiren Mukherji and others also published scholarly articles from time to time which highlight details of the origin and growth of Rajasthani painting. On the basis of this research and many available ancient paintings, it is now generally admitted that Rajasthani painting is a significant link with traditional Indian painting. Around 1450 A.D. one copy of Geet-Govind and two of Bal-Gopal-Stuti had been painted in Western India. This is the first pictorial text of Lord Krishna which comprises the first seeds of preliminary Rajasthani painting.
Apbhransh style of Painting, 15th Century A.D.
In 1451 A.D., Basant Vilas painted in the Apbhransh style, whose famous background script was compiled by Acharya Ratnagiri in Ahmedabad, makes special mention of the origin of Rajasthani painting. Up to the 15th century this style of painting flourished in Rajasthan. Using Jain and later Jain texts as the basis on which the painting was done, this may be termed the Jain style, Gujarat style, Western India style or Apbhransh style. Undoubtedly, the period from the 7th century to the 15th century saw an era of impressive growth of painting, iconography and architecture in Rajasthan devel¬oped from the synthesis of original art and the traditions of Ajanta-Ellora. From this point no distinction had ever been made between the Rajasthan and Gujarat styles. In these paintings faces are savachashma, noses resembling that of Garuda, tall but stiff figures, highly embossed breasts, mechanical movements and poses, clouds, trees, mountains and rivers are depicted. Red and yellow colours have been used frequently.
Amended form of Rajasthani painting, 15th Century A.D.
The art of coloured paintings was developed in 15th century A. D. It is difficult to tell where preliminary Rajasthani painting flourished in the 15th century, but on the basis of other pictorial texts it may be stated that the amended form of Rajasthani painting of that age had developed with some distinct features. Adi Puran, decorated with 417 paintings, was a text in the Gujarati style compiled in 1540. It was a beacon in the annals of Indian painting. In pictorial Chorpancha-Sika and Geet-Govind texts of that age, this school of painting was appreciably represented. Regarding Rajasthani paintings, two very significant texts are available. They are based on the Bhagwad. The first in 1598 and the other in 1610 had probably been painted somewhere in Rajasthan. In them developed the shape of Rajasthani painting with its special characteristics that had emerged.
Rajput style of Painting
Some scholars recognise the Gujarati style as the mother of Rajasthani painting and its guiding spirit. Gujarat was a principal centre where Rajasthani painting acquired its prominent status. The Gujarat style gave birth to the Rajput style, that rare beauty visible in drawings of mountain, river, sea, fire, cloud, tree in the Rajput style originated from the Gujarat style. In regard to the impact of Jain art, many scholars stress the view that it made a significant contribution to the growth of Hindu-Rajput art. Jain art was responsible for incorporating creeper foliage in Indian painting. Later, having surrendered the traditional heritance to the Rajput style, Jain art was lost in oblivion. Jain art does not represent the best art of its period. Hence it is argued that it might have surrendered its traditions to the Rajput style, but it would be a great blunder on our part to admit this view.
Rajasthani painting in 18th Century A.D.
The Rajasthani style of painting reached its zenith during the second half of the 18th century. Many styles vied with each other to attain the honour of being crowned as national but it was the fortune of Rajasthani style that it achieved this enviable position. The centres furthering and dealing with the Rajasthani style sprang up in many parts of the country. The Mughal School itself had been absorbed by it. In the Deccan, the Rajasthani school had travelled to Maharashtra in the last quarter of the 18th century and thence to Mysore, Tanjore and Ramesvaram.'' In the 19th century because of many reasons the Rajasthani style lost its original glory and degenerated into a coarse art devoid of vitality, vigour and harmony.
Classification of Painting Schools
The distinct characteristic of painting are termed the style of that particular region. In this way, several styles came into prominence in Rajasthan, notably the Mewar, Marwar, Kishangarh, Bundi, Kota, Jaipur, and Alwar schools had achieved great ascendancy. Rajasthani painting may be studied in four parts. In actual practice it has four principal schools in which many styles and sub styles flourished and influenced each other-
(1) The Mewar school, comprising Chavand, Udaipur, Devgarh, Nathdwara, Sawar styles and sub styles.
(2) The Marwar school, comprising Jodhpur, Bikaner, Kishangarh, Jaisalmer, Pali, Nagaur, Ghanerao styles and sub styles.
(3) The Hadoti school, comprising Bundi, Kota, Jhalawar styles and substyls.
(4) The Dhundar school, comprising Amber, Jaipur, Shekhawati, Uniara, Alwar styles and sub styles.
In the medieval age it was quite natural for the small and big states of Rajasthan and the neighbouring states to influence each other in the domain of culture.
Marwar School of painting is recognised the world over. The Marwar School, though greatly influenced by the Mughal School, has greatly added to the glory of art in India. Its significance can, however, be gauged only if we have a deeper probe in the factors that led to the rise and prosperity of Marwar paintings. It is often observed that nowhere in the world the feminine figure has been handled so minutely and that too in a variety moods and poses as has been achieved at Marwar. The grandeur of the Marwar school of painting is well expressed in the Jodhpur style, the Bikaner style and the Kishangarh style as well as in the sub styles of Jaisalmer, Nagaur, Ghanerao, Sirohi, Ajmer. The Kishangarh style has a unique character, but being in a state of Rathores painting there should be linked with the traditions of Jodhpur. Like Mewar, Maru Pradesh followed the traditions of Ajanta. Its preliminary form may be seen from the artistic shape of the gate of Mandore.
This region attained fame in the domain of art and culture under the rule of the Gurjara-Pratiharas. Tara Nath, a Tibetan pilgrim, referred to Sridhar as an artist of the 7th century in Maru Pradesh. This confirms that the Marwar school of painting had its own earlier traditions. In ancient times, this territory was a part of Gujarat state, and that is why the paintings of western Rajasthan cannot be dissociated from the developed form of the Gujarat, Jain, Apbhransh and other styles. It is assumed that many pictorial Jain and Apbhransh texts were executed in Maru Pradesh. The paintings found in huge collections at various museums, art galleries and private collections of the Marwar area are important landmarks in historical studies. They stand as testimony of the age to which they belong. Right from the 14th to 19th century we come across several paintings which depict history and culture in their true perspective. Kalkacharya Katha, (size 5x7.3 cm.) was painted in V.S.1438 (1381 A.D.). It helps us to study through illustrations the life of the aristocrats, dresses of common men, ornaments and furniture used in the period.
In 13 century Rathore Seeha established his rule in Maru Pradesh. The art of painting developed in Jodhpur under Rao Jodha, in Bikaner under Rao Bika and in Kishangarh under Maharaja Kishan Singh. In the neighbouring states it was known as the Marwari School of painting, which flourished in many styles and sub styles. After establishing in Mehrangarh fort, Rao Jodha (1438-88 A.D.) contributed impressively to the prosperity and enrichment of Indian culture in this new field. The Jain, Gujarat and Apbhransh styles were revived in new form. Kalpasutra, was painted in V.S, 1536 (1480 A.D.). The illustrated MS. of Kalpasutra has 104 folios, each measuring approximately 4"x8', almost all of which are illustrated (size of illustration 3" x 3"). It depicts bedsteads, mirrors, dhoti, dress of Jaina monks, sari, bath-rooms and their equipments, wrestler's dress, chariots, ornaments, etc.
It also informs us that teaching was done orally, though the teachers used to have scrolls in their hands for references. Credit goes to Rao Maldeo (1532-68 A.D.) for giving renewed vigour to the cultural traditions and artistic perspectives of Marwar. Maldeo carved out an independent Marwar style and devoted himself to the growth of the arts. From the point of view of primitive art, the Uttaradhyayan Sutra of his time, now preserved in Baroda Museum, occupies a prominent place. Glimpses of paintings of that age may also be visualised in the frescoes of Chaukhela Palace. Kalpasutra, (size 2x11.3 cm.) was painted in V.S. 1517 (1461 A.D.). It may be used for the comparative references through illustrations regarding dress, mode of living and various other aspects. Madhu Prasad Agrawal classifies the Marwar style in four steps or charans. He defines the paintings before the 17th century as initial examples of Marwar style. According to him, the first step flourished during 17th century, second step during 18th century and third step flourished after 18th century.
Many paintings of the early 17th century belong to the Jodhpur style, and even though highly influenced by the Mewari style possess their original character. Many paintings of the time of Raja Sur Singh (1595-1620 A.D.) are preserved in the art and picture gallery of Baroda and in the private collection of Sangram Singh. Maharaja Sur Singh was an art lover ruler. Dhola-Maru is among the artistic historical pictorial texts compiled during his period and the Bhagwad of Pustak Prakash, Jodhpur, painted in 1610 A.D., is endowed with many special local features. Bhagwat Dashma skandha was painted in V.S. 1667 (1611 A.D.) by Govinda. It consists 423 folios. It gives illustrations from Krishna's life, illustrations of Jatakarma Sanskara, a village school and its out-door games as 'netrabandhana', 'nilayam-krida', 'phal-kse pan', 'Shalar', etc. Rag Mala, an illustrated text painted in 1623 A.D. and preserved in the private collec¬tion of Sangram Singh, is a compilation of great historical value painted for the famous Vitthal Dass of Pali. These paintings are considerably influenced by the art of Marwar. Some miniatures based on verses of Sursagar in the middle of the 17th century in the Jodhpur style are preserved in Baroda Museum and in the collection of Sangram Singh. They express poetic sentiments elegantly.
Rasikpriya, also available in Baroda Museum, was painted in the same period. Its sharpness of colour combination and abundance of ornament deserve special mention. Another phase of Jodhpur art started in the reign of Maharaja Jaswant Singh (I) (1635-78), a king of high intellectual qualities and a keen lover of art. In his reign, Marwar became an important centre of the Krishna-Bhakti cult, which became the subject of many paintings. Jaswant Singh was contemporary Hindu king to the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, hence the impact of Mughal art was inevitable.The impact of the Mughal school in its original form has been noted in the Jodhpur style paintings of this period. They are very simple, and the sharp outlines, the expression of sentiments and colour combination in these paintings are notable. Because of the spread of the Krishna-Bhakti cult, the effect of folk art on the Jodhpur school may be seen easily.
Traditions of folk painting were a common feature of the Jodhpur style. The Jodhpur portraits depicting Jaswant Singh I, (The Victoria and Albert Museum London); Ajit Singh (1679-1724), Bharat Kala Bhavan, BHU, Varanasi and M.S. Man Singh II Museum, Jaipur); and Abhai Singh (1724-50A.D.), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Sardar Museum, Jodhpur) form an interest¬ing group and gives us enough material to study the Jodhpur Kalam and to prove that the Marwar court had a competent atelier in 17-18th centuries.
Among these the earliest is a portrait of Maharaja Jaswant Singh I, of about 1645 in which he is shown sitting and conversing with his courtiers. This is a partly coloured drawing, tinged with black and gold. A brave soldier, he ruled with ability till the battle of succession for the Mughal throne. The painting shows him a sensitive person with expressive eyes & the movement of his hand, which could not be completed. The finished faces indicate that this Court scene is meant to be a neem kalam not a fully coloured work. The Maharaja and his courtiers appear in their characteri¬stic of 17th century court costumes— turban, jama kamarband, pyjama and other accessories namely sword dagger and shield which became a part of official costume from 17th century. The twenty-year-struggle and great victory over Mughals by Rathores under the leadership of Veer Durga Dass was a great landmark which gave a popular subject to the local art of painting.
The scenes of battles, Durgadas riding on horse, hardship of life during struggle days, hunting, etc. were prominently painted during this phase of Marwar history. Maharaja Jaswant Singh's son Maharaja Ajit Singh who was born after his father's death, came to the throne in 1679 A.D., and grew up to be an able ruler. Painting in Jodhpur got a new input during the reigns of Ajit Singh and his successors Abhai Singh and Ram Singh, when the usual literary works Gita-Govinda, Dhola- Maru, Ragmala, Baramasa-portraits were painted in large numbers. Attractive wall-paintings were painted in the palace of Nagaur during the time of Bakhat Singh. A large sized painting in the Bharat Kala Bha¬van Collection shows him "mounted on a state elephant, surrounded by troops and accompanied by ladies of his household." The painting was exhibited in the Art of India and Pakistan exhibition, London in 1948.
A dated work of V.S 1779 (AD. 1722) is good example of 18th century workmanship. Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum, Jaipur has a portrait of Ajit Singh with a morchhal bardar standing behind him. It is a partly coloured drawing on thin paper (Acc. no. AG. 520-76). A good work, showing Marwar turban and costume it could also be a product of Jaipur atelier as many such portraits of Rajasthan rulers were presented by the Jaipur royal family to the museum recently; some of these have painter's name written on the bark of the painting or on the lower or upper of it, namely Ramji, Ramjidas, Govinda and so on. Though this work does not have any painter's name, stylistically goes with others of that lot. Paintings of this age also had themes like Rasikpriya, Geet-Govind, poetical texts, royal court, festivals, processions, pictures of kings and feudal lords etc. Royal patronage in the reigns of Maharaja Abhaya Singh and Maharaja Ram Singh to artists in the Jodhpur style was generous.
Abhai Singh (1724-1750) succeeded Ajit Singh. A large number of his likenesses show that he was a man of taste. These can be seen in museums and private collections all over the world. The portraits of Abhai Singh show him engaged in day to day activities- drinking wine, worshipping, sitting in zenana and playing dice. Jodhpur chiefs can be differentiated from others by their heavy turban and heavy built. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston has an inscribed portrait of Abhai Singh, perhaps the earliest likeness of his, showing him drinking; in the zenana. The picture is badly rubbed but gives an idea of Jodhpur court painting. A plain background and pleasant faces of attendants and the raja are of remarkable quality.
In a portrait from Sardar Museum, Jodhpur, Abhai Singh is depicted watching dance performance. In Indian painting, night is either suggested by starry sky or by lamps and mashals, here two women are carrying mashals and lamp. The women standing in attendance are hol¬ding swords and morchhals. They also suggest that the dance is being performed in the zanana. This type of formal scenes, rather glamorous in nature are bound to be static but these works from Jodhpur are not so hard and on the contrary have a fresh look- pleasing light tones swift movement. A hunting seen" from the above collection shows Abhai Singh on one of his hunting trip.
Though the gorgeous costumes give one a completely different idea, dogs running ahead of the raja's horse and water birds in the background suggest that the group is going for shikar". This charming picture is full of vigour and has a mughal flavour. It can be suggested here that it is quite possible that Jodhpur court in 18th century had one or two painters trained in Mughal style either at Mughal court or at Bikaner, the neighbouring state. We see a number of portraits prepared in 17-18 centuries which are nice and sophisticated works but such works were only a few, patronized by the court and prepared for rulers and may be for some of his family members. But a large number of miniatures and paintings were produced either for the wealthy merchants or for religious personages.
A folio from a folk Bhagavata set was exhi¬bited at Asia House exhibition in 1973 from Edwin Binney 3rd's Collection. It was dated about 1625-30 by S. Gary Welch, the author of the catalogue and its proven¬ance was given Marwar. It seems close to popular Marwar paintings and could have been produced for some nobleman or a wealthy merchant. A number of such mini¬atures were exhibited at Lalit Kala Akademi, New Delhi in 1960. Nayika conversing with an attendant ragini Bilawal and many others. These paintings have decorative elements of Jodhpur— lines are firm, colours coarse hut bright and pleasant; patterns used in dress, ornaments and in the architecture consist of simple basic motifs— circles, squares, cross-criss, brick pattern, dots and lines.
The Khajanchi Collection Catalogue also has one miniature- Nanda crossing Yamuna with Baby Krishna— an important one for the stylistic study on Marwar style of painting, as it shows some 19th century characteristics to come. For example, rain is indicated by bold white broken lines, bou¬quet like decorative trees and fishes in Yamuna for a decorative pattern, Really Jodhpur artists had wonderful sense of de¬sign and an eye for bright colours which made the sand of Marudesh full of life. Some good 18th century miniatures depicting Barahmasa and other popular subjects of that period namely ladies playing chaugan, swinging, worshipping are in the National Museum, New Delhi. Kavipriya, Illustrated, by Keshav, It was prepared at Vitakheda for Maharajadhiraj Jaskarana in V. S. 1780 (1724 A.D.). It consists of 16 prabhavas or chapters, having 180 folios in total. Its illustrations bear beautiful designs of Marwari sarees. Bhaktamal of V. S. 1789 (1733 A.D.) by Narayandas, preserves some paintings of Bhaktas like Pipa, Prithviraj, Jaipal, etc. These may have a faint resemblance of the actual persons but at least they depict the spirit of the Bhaktas.
The painting of Mira's dress is valuable. Here the identity of the person has been emphasised through forceful touches of the brush. It also preserves the teachings of the Bhaktas. Shri Ramcharitra Paintings of V.S. 18th century, consists of 244 folios. It depicts several important scenes of the ceremonies observed at birth and marriage festivals. The dresses of the warriors have been painted after the Mughal pattern. Bhagwat Dashama skandha of the 18th century, also provides the designs of ornaments and household articles.
The lay-out of villages and towns can also be conveniently studied with its help. It represents, the manner and mode of dining observed by the Brahmanas, through an illustration. The pastimes of water pranks and wrestling are well-illustrated through paintings. The manuscript gives the names of the painters which have been inscribed on the left-hand side of the picture. Some of the painters are Muslims who co-operated with the Hindu painters to complete the set. Gitagovind is a part of a bound book with folios 181 to 360. It preserves illustrations which are very useful for the study of dresses and ornaments of gents and ladies of the 18th century. Illustrations of the celebration of Holi and Vasant festivals are highly illuminating.
In 1803 A.D., the last phase of the Jodhpur style opened in the reign of Maharaja Man Singh. There are almost 2500-3000 paintings in the collection of Jodhpur Maharaja, in which Shabeehs are in big number. Some paintings are of 18th century and remaining are of Maharaja Mansingh's period. Ramayana Paintings dated V.S. 1860 (1804 A.D.), consists of 91 paintings, 4 ft. 4'' long and 2 ft. 1'' wide. They depict the life of Rama from his birth to the end of his return to Ayodhya. These paintings are very useful for the study of town-planning of Jodhpur with lanes, bazars and other aspects of town life. Suknas Charitra of the 19th century, consists of 302 paintings (size 1.8" x l.2") and is very useful for the study of the lay-out of houses of villages and towns of that period. It also depicts the common people taking bath in a river. Dholamaru-ri-Vat composed by Kallol in V.S. 1677 (1621 A.D.). Its transcript copy of V. S. 1819 (1763 A.D.) consists of 71 folios.
The poet wrote out the work at the instance of Harraj of Jaisalmer. The story has been interwoven round the figures of Dhola, the son of Nala, the king of Marwar, and Marwani, the daughter of Pingalrao, the king of Pungal, a part of Marwar. The illustrated part of this manuscript as well as a set of paintings of Dhoamaru, preserved in the Maharaja Mansingh Pustak Prakash Jodhpur, of Raja Man Singh's time (early 19th century) are highly informative as regards the use of beds of petals for princes, wearing of mod at the time of marriage, the style of moustaches, objects of toilets, practice of taking opium among the Rajputs, the toys of children, the indigenous method of sending letters, the roll of Bhats and Bhatnis, Pushkar as a place of pilgrimage, etc.
From this point of view Dholamaru-ri-Vat is one of our most reliable sources for the construction of cultural history of Rajasthan. Panchatantra Paintings of V. S. 1860 (1804 A.D.), consists of 472 paintings, each measuring 18" x 3", depicting the stories of five tantras written by Vishnu Sharma. The paintings are very important for the Study of secular life of Rajasthan of the 18th century. The dress and profession of a juggler, a washerman, a potter and a Bhil are depicted with accuracy. It also gives a model of the Persian-wheel as it was used in Marwar of those days. Several paintings throw welcome light on the lay-out of the villages and towns of that age along with the set-up of houses. The painter has brought to our notice the demerits of polygamy by painting a scene of a furious quarrel between two co-wives and a husband. For the study of prevalent pastimes and of animal-fights the manuscript is quite useful.
Shiva Purana, consists of 109 illustrations (size 4ft. x1.5 ft.) depicting the stories of the Shiva Purana. It is a joint work of various painters, like Dhira, Mahadev, Dana, Maheshdan, Satidas, etc., of the 19th century. Here the Shahjahani turban, turra and garments of gents and ladies have been typically painted. The dresses of a hunter, a Bhil, etc., are life-like. It also shows the style of house-construction of the period. A picture of a village school is highly informative.
In 19th century, the Nath sect dominated the life of Marwar. Ayas Dev Nath was the spiritual guide of Maharaja Man Singh. Nath paintings flourished in many monasteries during that time. Nath Charitra dated V. S. 1880 (1824 A.D.), consists of 63 paintings devoted to the theme of the Nath sect of Marwar. These paintings are based on the Ras-Raj of Mati Ram and were recovered from a monastery belonging to the Nath sect and preserved in the private collections of Ram Gopal Vijayavargia and Sangram Singh and in the State Museum, Jaipur.
Many paintings of this period in the Jodhpur style were not of high artistic quality. It preserves a picture of the dress worn by Nath Sadhus, and their religious observances. Some of the paintings throw light on certain aspects of the social life of the age to which they belong. The game of the Chaugan, lay-out of houses, irrigation of fields, etc., are its important aspects. Siddha Siddhant Paddhati dated V. S. 1881 (1825 A.D.) is useful for the study of town-planning and some of the features of the Nath sect of Jodhpur. It consists of 25 paintings, each measuring 4 ft. x 1.5 ft. Shiva Rahasya dated V. S. 1884 (1828 A.D.) consists of 101 paintings (size 1.5 ft. X 1.6 ft.) illustrating the life of Shiva. It illustrates the mode of the life of Hindu hermits of that age. Suraj Prakash dated V.S. 1887 (1831 A.D.), painted by Amra consists of 70 paintings (size 1 ft. 7'' X 1 ft.).
It throws sufficient light on the dresses of the warriors. One of the paintings of water sports is very interesting. From other paintings of the collection of Maharaja Mansingh Pustak Prakash, we also come across the names of some Muslim painters of that time, as Ali Raja, Ustad Qasim, Umrani, etc. In the middle of the 19 century, with the advent of photography, the Jodhpur style, like other styles of painting, started deteriorating.After Man Singh, nothing worth mentioning was produced at Jodhpur. Artists were there, doing regular court work. Portraits of Takhat Singh and other ruler are rather crude in appearance. Court scenes are just formal depictions— artists were concerned neither with portraiture of courtiers nor with creating atmosphere.