Princely terrain: Amber, Jaipur & Shekhawati
For centuries, tales of the heroic Rajputs and their exploitshave drawn curious travellers to the medieval townships ofRajasthan. The first in a series of seven volumes dedicated tothe Rajput settlements sprawled across the Aravalli hills and theThar Desert, Princely Terrain: Amber, Jaipur and Shekhawati focuses on the Kachchwaha Rajput clan and their kingdom,Dhoondhar. Authored by various eminent scholars and architects,the essays featured in this volume encompass the evolution ofthe Kachchwaha architectural idiom, the creation of the capital atJaipur and the impact that it in turn had on the later architectureof the region.The first section of the book, Before Jaipur , begins with theGhat Ki Guni- located on the Jaipur-Agra Highway, this littleknown area served as the gateway to the Dhoondhar Empire.Also discussed is the foundation of the Dhoondhar Empireand their first capital at Amber. Replete with anecdotes aboutthe founders of the empire, their ambitions, achievements andcontributions in the Mughal era, this section provides a glimpseinto the early history of Kachchwaha rule.Echoing the shift of the Kachchwaha capital from Amber toJaipur, the second section moves from the Aravallis to the plainsat its base. Featured here are essays about the conception anddesign of Jaipur by the then ruler, Sawai Jai Singh II. In additionto its famed palaces and havelis, this 18th century capital is alsodistinguished by its exceptionally astute town planning.The final section examines the post Jaipur scenario a periodwhen Jaipur had come to be the landmark in town planning anda source of inspiration in the development of the nearby towns ofShekhawati.Together, the various essays present a cohesive biography ofthe cities of the Kachchwahas - beginning with their origin andending with their present avatars.
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