“….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……”
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.
Ghat ki Ghuni or Ghat ki Guni is a narrow alley between Aravali hill range dotting East direction in Jaipur. It provides access to the areas situated in the East of Jaipur & beyond. It is also starting point of the road that leads to the Agra – city of Taj Mahal, hence called Agra Road.
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 –which is typical of the Jaipur architecture.
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.
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.
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. 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 with a tunnel has now been thrown open and all heavy & commercial vehicular traffic has been diverted through it.
Various shapes of entrances gates are quite striking!
These doors are reminiscent of the bygone era!
One of the Havelis, with a temple inside it’s premises!
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.
Ghat ki Guni has many heritage structures that will continue to enthrall tourists & people! Do visit!..during your next trip to Jaipur!
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