Rajasthan Architecture

The state of Rajasthan tells the tales of a glorious past of India of kings, Maharajas and royalty. Opulence and prosperity were once synonymous to Rajasthan. Even today, most tourists travel to the state to soak into its vibrant culture of richness and brilliance. The many building and architectures of Rajasthan bear the mark of engineering excellence that was achieved by the masons of the bygone era.

The buildings and monuments of Rajasthan bear distinct marks of Rajput architecture which thrived during the Mughal period. The influence of Mughal architecture can also be seen in the many palaces and monuments of Rajasthan. In a word, Rajasthani structural design is a blend of Hindu and Muslim architectures. Many of these buildings have been included into the list of heritage buildings of India and therefore feature into the list of must visited places in the state.

The list of buildings and palaces of Rajasthan is quite long. Following is the list of some of the famous buildings of Rajasthan.

City Palace, Jaipur: The City Palace of Jaipur is a structure to behold. Distinct marks of Rajput and Mughal architecture can be seen in the structure. The palace was built by Maharaja Jai Singh between 1729 and 1732. Since then many additions were done to the palace and now the complex holds many palatial structures. Some of the popular buildings of the palatial complex are- Chandra Mahal, Badal Mahal, Shri Govind Dev Temple and the palace museum. The city palace is sprawled over many acres and covers almost one-seventh of the walled city.

Havelis, Jaisalmer: The city of Jaisalmer has earned itself the moniker of ‘The Golden City’ because of the yellow sandstone used in building it. At the heart of the desert the houses of the wealthy merchants, ‘havelis’, of Jaisalmer offer a spectacular view to the visitors. Amongst the many ‘havelis’ of the city the Patwon ki Haveli is the most convoluted and popular one.
Another important building was the ‘haveli’ of Salim Singh. The building was built 300 years ago by the then prime minister of the state of Jaisalmer, Salim Singh. The arched roof of the building with carved peacocks is a spectacular example of Rajasthani engineering.

Umaid Bhawan, Jodhpur: The Umaid Bhawan of Jodhpur is the largest private residence of the world. In the past it was also called the Chittar Palace because of the presence of Chittar Hill that surrounds it. It was built during the 20th century by Maharaja Umaid Singh and is a classic example of Rajasthani and British architecture. A particular type of sandstone that doesn’t get weathered was used in building the palace.
The Umain Bhawan has now been converted into a heritage hotel and a museum.

Hawa Mahal, Jaipur: The Hawa Mahal is a magnificent example of multi-layered construction with beehive architecture. The palace was built by Sawai Pratap Singh during 1799. The architect of this magnificent monument was Mr. Lal Chand. The beautiful red pink sandstone was used in the construction and today it attracts maximum number of tourists to Jaipur.

Lake Palace, Udaipur: The palace that was constructed in the middle of the Pichola Lake was a relaxing place for the erstwhile royalties of Udaipur. Unwinding at the middle of the lake in the white marble structure is definitely a romantic idea. Today it serves as a heritage hotel that offers breathtaking panoramic view.

Jantar Mantar, Jaipur: The Jantar Mantar of Jaipur is one of the five astronomical observatories built by Sawai Jai Singh II. The designe of the building was done by Jai Singh himself. It reflects his acumen in architecture and designing. Most of the masonry and astronomical instruments of it still function properly.

The other Jantar Mantars are situated in Delhi, Ujjain, Mathura and Varanasi respectively.

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