Rajasthan has some of the world's finest examples of architecture that reflects itself in its architecture. There are distinct influences of Rajput architecture along with the considerable influences of the Mughal architecture and the marks of the aristocratic British Raj in its structure and sophistication. Some of the well-known monuments have been covered here:
City Palace, Jaipur: An amalgamation of traditional Rajasthani
and Mughal architecture, City Palace complex has several palatial
structures. Maharaja Jai Singh built the outer wall but there have been
many additions since then. It sprawls over one-seventh of the area of
the walled city and is in part of the palace still serves as a royal
residence. The highlights of the palace are Chandra Mahal, Badal Mahal,
Shri Govind Dev Temple and the City Palace Museum.
Jaisalmer: The beautiful sandstone mansions of Jaisalmer's wealthy
merchants are known as 'havelis'. Patwon ki Haveli is the most
convoluted and outstanding of all the Jaisalmer havelis. It stands in a
narrow lane and one of its apartments is painted with stunning murals.
Salim Singh ki Haveli was built about 300 years ago and a part of this
is still being used as residence. It was owned by Salim Singh, a former
prime minister of the state of Jaisalmer and has a arched roof with
superb carved brackets inn the form of peacocks. Nathmal ki Haveli of
the late 19th century was also a prime minister's house and two brothers
carved its left and right wings, which are similar in their looks. Its
highlights are yellow sandstone elephants that stand majestically at its
entrance and the intricately carved front door.
Lake Palace, Udaipur: One of the most romantic holiday spots of
the world, this erstwhile summer residence of the royalty of Udaipur, it
an island palace situated in the scenic waters of the Pichola Lake. Made
up of white marble, it has now been converted into a fabulous heritage
hotel with beautiful pavilions, landscaped gardens and legends that are
an inseparable part of any Rajasthani marvel.
Umaid Bhawan, Jodhpur: Built in 20th century, Umaid Bhawan
Palace is made up of a particular type of sandstone used, which does not
get weathered. An important part of Jaisalmer tourism, parts of the
Umaid palace has now been converted into a hotel and a museum.
City Palace, Udaipur: Originally started by Udai Singh,
additions have been made to this building in such an ingenious manner
that it is difficult to imagine that the building was not conceived as a
whole. Standing on the shores of Lake Pichola, one can reach the palace
through 'Hathi Pol' (the Elephant Gate), the 'Bara Pol' (the Great Gate)
and the Tripolia (the Triple Gate). Complete with resplendent pavilions,
terraces, corridors and hanging gardens, the highlights of the place are
Sheesh Mahal, Krishna Vilas, Chini Chitrashala, Mor Chowk and the Amar
Hawa Mahal, Jaipur: Hawa Mahal is a multi-layered palace with a
beehive structure built by Sawai Pratap Singh (grand son of Sawai Jai
Singh and son of Sawai Madhoo Singh) in 1799 and was designed by Mr. Lal
Chand. The beautiful use of red and pink sand stones outlined with
delicate white borders and motifs are simply out of this world.
Manak Chowk, Jaisalmer: Manak Chowk outside the Jaisalmer fort
is the centre of local activity and is also a landmark through which one
can reach the lanes where the famous carved havelis of Jaisalmer
mentioned-above are to be found. Built mainly during the 18th and 19th
centuries, Patwon-ki-Haveli is the best with a beautiful latticed façade,
Salim Singh-ki-Haveli has an arched roof held up by well-excluded
brackets shaped like peacocks while Nathmalji-ki-Haveli, has two wings,
quite similar to each other but facing opposite sides guarded by
elephants made up of yellow sandstone.
Vijay Stambh, Chittorgarh: Translated as the Victory Tower, it
is a nine-storeyed 37 metres high structure with sculptures of a secular
nature to ornate the exteriors. Maharaja Kumbha built it in
commemoration of his victory over the Muslim rulers of Malwa and Gujarat
Bharatpur: 34 km from Bharatpur, Deeg is an ancient city known for
its famous palaces, gardens and fountains and ruins of the old fortress,
which contributed considerably in the making of the Jat principality.
Deeg was the first capital of the newly carved out Jat state, when Badan
Singh ascended the throne ruler in 1722. It is said that the Jat rulers
of Deeg and Bharatpur impressed by the grandeur of the Mughal courts of
Agra and Delhi, brought all items like gates, stone slabs, beam, from
Mughal areas and used them in the construction or decoration of their
Jantar Mantar, Jaipur: Jantar Mantar of Jaipur, the 'Yantralaya'
of Sawai Jai Singh II built on his designs, is the largest of five
astronomical observatories founded by him in 1716. The others are at
Delhi, Ujjain, Mathura and Varanasi. It is a marvel in itself with its
huge masonry instruments of extraordinary precision that can still be
used quite efficiently.
Palace of Padmini, Chittorgarh: The palace is situated in the
Chittorgarh fort and was built in the 13th century for the legendary
Queen Padmini whose beauty resulted in the historic battle between
Allauddin Khilji and Rana Ratan Singh. As the legend goes, Rani Padmini
self-immolated herself in a ritual fire pit to save her honor from the
enemy with all the pride attributed to a true Rajput lady.