(Last Updated on : 31/08/2013)
Historical buildings in Rajasthan are scattered throughout the state displaying the royal tradition. Once the land of the brave and aristocratic Rajputs it is dotted with forts, palaces, 'chhatris' and 'havelis'. Till date these historical buildings are thronged by numerous tourists who cannot stop appreciating these exquisite pieces of art. While most of these were dwelling places for the Rajasthani people they reflect the expert craftsmanship of that era. It also shows the superb artistic taste of the Rajasthani people.
The historical buildings in Rajasthan are defined by massive walls, strategic locations and grandeur. These were also the dwelling places for the royal families and 'nawabs'. During the hours of crisis the subjects also took shelter within the fortress. While most of the forts in Rajasthan are build in Rajasthani style some also mirror an amalgamation of Rajasthani and Mughal styles. This is referred to as Indo-Saracenic architecture. The tourists will come across the forts in almost all the parts of Rajasthan. The forts were built in different kinds of stones among which Amer Palace (Fort ), Jaigarh Fort ,Nahargarh Fort , Jaisalmer Fort , Junagarh Fort , Mehrangarh Fort and Kumbhalgarh Fort can be named.
The historical buildings in Rajasthan include palaces in Rajasthan that reflect the opulence with which the rulers in Rajasthan used to live their lives. The palaces were generally divided into several spacious parts. Largely these were divided into men's quarter and women's quarter. The medieval palaces had the defensive character of the Rajput constructions. These historical structures had narrow corridors, stairways, concealed passages and ramps. The usage of stone in creating these structures can also be seen. The making of frescos was also an indispensable part of the palaces in Rajasthan. Among the well admired and hugely visited palaces by the tourists are Amar Vilas of Udaipur, Hawa Mahal, Umaid Bhawan Palace of Jodhpur, City Palace of Jaipur, Taragarh Palace of Bundi, Padmini's Palace, Lalgarh Palace, Lake Palace, Fateh Prakash Palace and Rana Kumbha Palace in Chittorgarh and several other palaces in Rajasthan that testify for its grandeur and opulence.
The Chhatris or cenotaphs are also included in the list of the historical buildings in Rajasthan. These were built either at the funeral pyres or at the place of death of the Rajput warriors. This was a way of glorifying his death. Chhatris are elevated, dome-shaped pavilions used as an element in Indian architecture, or funerary sites in India. Chhatris are basic element of Hindu as well as Mughal architecture. The term "chhatri" connotes umbrella or canopies which are built on the cremation sites of wealthy or distinguished individuals in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan. Some of the famous Chhatris in the Shekhawati region are Kirori, Jhunjhunu, Bissau, Churu, Parsurampura, Fatehpur, Ramgarh, Mukungarh, Mahansar, Udaipurwati and Dundlod.
The tradition of Rajasthan enabled constructing 'havelis' which were the residences of the Marwaris or traders that were beautifully designed by the professional artisans and several of these fine sandstone buildings are still in good condition. Some of the most renowned 'havelis' of Rajasthan are Salim Singh-Ki-Haveli which was built about 300 years ago, Patwon-Ki-Haveli that is one of the largest and most elaborate houses in Jaisalmer and is five storey high and extensively carved. Another work of art that has been ostentating the tradition of Rajasthan is Nathmalji-Ki-Haveli which was built in late 19th century.
The historical buildings in Rajasthan flaunt the rich heritage and tradition of the princely state. It has also to display the intricate work of art that has been depicting the magnificence of history and serving as the prominent landmarks and important monuments of Rajasthan.