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Ghat Ki Guni….. In a class of it’s own!

Ghat ki Guni or Ghat ki Ghuni is a narrow alley between eastern hill range of Aravalis in Jaipur. It provides access to the areas situated in the east side of Jaipur & beyond. Ghat ki Guni is also a starting point of the road that leads to Agra -the city of Taj Mahal, hence called Agra Road.

Reginald Herber, Bishop & traveler who reached Jaipur on 28 January 1825  described Ghat ki Guni in his memoir – Narrative of a Journey through the Upper Provinces of India from Calcutta to Bombay 1824–1825.

“….The pass grew narrower, the path steeper & more rugged as we proceeded along with it & the little stream which we were ascending instead of dimpling amid the grass & stones now leapt & bounded from crag to crag like a Welsh rivulet. Still all was wild & dismal when on a turn of road we found ourselves in front of a high turreted & battlement wall, pierced with a tier of arched window & showing us beyond them the dark green shades of a large oriental garden……”

 

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The structures and Mughal style gardens at Ghat Ki Guni, Jaipur

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Traffic passing through Ghat Ki Guni area
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Ghat ki Guni, on Agra Road, Jaipur

 

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Notice different style of Chhatris on both sides of the road at Ghat Ki Ghuni.

For a newbie, visiting Jaipur for the first time & entering the city from Ghat ki Guni, the architecture will surely enthrall him. It has a beautiful facade lining both sides of the road, adorned by the jharokhas and chhatris, a hallmark of Jaipur architecture.

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Symmetry in architecture was very important element! Chhatris at Ghat Ki Guni

Ghat ki Guni was founded by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II,the founder of Jaipur city in 1739. Layout plan of Ghat ki Guni area envisaged Mughal style gardens like Sisodia Rani Garden, Vidhyadhar Garden and Raj Niwas Garden. These gardens were styled & inspired by the famous Mughal gardens of Delhi, Kashmir and elsewhere. Apart from these gardens, there are dwelling units, havelis and many temples lining both sides of the road. Over the period of time, many people  moved out of these buildings and NOW they are deserted.

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Bihari Ji Temple, Ghat Ki Guni, Jaipur

Jaipur was envisaged as a major trading city by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II (the founder of Jaipur) due its favorable location.The layout of Jaipur had incorporated this element.  Delhi road and Agra road were main entry points to the city. Entry to the city from Delhi road was from north direction while entry from Agra was from East direction.Both Agra & Delhi, had immense importance during Mughal rule as they were the center of Mughal power,ruling over vast tracts of northern India, spanning right from Afghanistan to Bangladesh.

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Ghat ki Guni is not a straight road, rather it has many bends which only adds to it’s beauty.

The entire area has now been renovated by Amer Development Authority (ADA) recently after years of neglect. In fact, before the renovation took place, all these heritage structures were in a dilapidated state.

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Lovey facade adorn the  Ghat ki Guni passage

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Various shapes of entrances gates are quite striking!

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These doors are reminiscent of the bygone era!

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The facade of haveli cum temple in Ghat ki Guni area

Looking at the beauty of Ghat ki Guni, we can probably guess the political importance of Agra during its time; it was the capital of Mughal empire for more than a century!!

Ghat ki Guni  served as a recreational area for the Jaipur Royalty, which is evident from the gardens lined up in this area. Despite being situated away from the city, it used to provide a small glimpse of the beautiful city that lay ahead with it beautiful architecture! This is evident from  the description of Reginald Herber as detailed earlier.

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Ghat ki Guni Tunnel that now bypasses the old Agra road that has heritage structures

Ghat ki Guni served as access point of all traffic heading to Agra and beyond,for years, which caused further damage to these structures. Alternative route, Ghat Ki Guni tunnel has now been thrown open and all heavy & commercial vehicular traffic has been diverted through it. Below picture shows the expansive view of the area around Ghat Ki Guni Tunnel.

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Ghat ki Guni has many heritage structures that will continue to enthrall tourists & people!

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Expansive view of Ghat ki Guni area with Roop Niwas garden in the foreground

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