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Old City Gates of Jaipur

Earlier this month I wrote about Pol/ Gates in Pol / Gates in Jaipur. To read this write-up  Click here. In my earlier post, I posted many pictures of  various types of gates and Pols in Jaipur. Many readers evinced a great interest in this architectural element of Jaipur. Some people refer to old city gates as Jaipur Gates!

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Wide angle view of Jorawar Singh Gate on Amer Road which used to be called  Druv Pol

Entry gates of the Walled City Jaipur or old city of Jaipur are hard to miss. These gates marked  the outer periphery of Jaipur city as laid out by  Maharajah Sawai Jai Singh II during the founding of this city in 1727 AD. As per the plan, a  6-meter high and 3-meter thick wall surrounded Jaipur, containing the city within. This wall acted as a security feature, protecting the city & its inhabitants from any outside threats like attacking armies, wild animals and dacoits etc.

jaipur-city-layout

Any movement in and out of the city  was routed through these gates. Initially, the city was protected by 8 gates in all four directions. These gates would close at dusk and open only after dawn. To alarm all citizens in the evening about  the impending closure of gates, a small cannon would be fired in a similar fashion to the sounding of bells. This scheme of closing the gates at dusk was followed till 1940’s. Thereafter, this practice was discontinued because new areas were being developed outside the walled city and the city extended much beyond these gates. Today, these gates are merely symbolic; part of city’s history,  Nostalgia and built heritage. However, they are also an important element of Jaipur’s rich architectural legacy for which city is famous across the world.

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A close up on beautiful floral motif that adorn the Sanganeri Gate, Jaipur

Moving on to the old city gates of Jaipur.

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Jorawar Singh Gate on Amer Road, Jaipur. Gateway to Jaipur from Delhi
  1. Jorawar Singh Gate.

There is a popular opinion that foundation of Jaipur city started with this gate. Situated on the northern boundary of the city, this gate was initially called Druv gate. Druv stands for Druv Tara or  Pole Star -a fixed star in sky, associated with the  north direction. This  gate connected to  Amer town and Delhi. If you’re driving down to Jaipur from Delhi via Amer town, you’ll pass through this gate.

Location – Amer Road.

Features – Jorawar Singh Gate is  widest among all old city gates in Jaipur. The secondary gates on either side are also quite wide which reminds us of it’s importance for the city.

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Surajpol Gate which leads to the Sun temple and Galta Temples

2. Surajpole / Suraj Pol

Surajpole is located on the Eastern periphery of the walled city of Jaipur. Suraj means Sun in English. This gate marks the direction of Sunrise. The famous Sun temple or Surya Mandir is situated  close by on the hills. This gate leads to the Galta Gate, which connects to the Galta Temples, also famous by the name of Monkey Temple among the foreign tourists.

Location – Delhi Highway near Galta Hills/ Sun Temple.

Feature – It has only one secondary gate.

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Old city Gates of Jaipur – Ghat Gate linking Agra Road with the  Ramganj Bazar.

3. Ghat Gate / Ram Pol

Ghat Gate was named so because this gate leads to the Ghat area i.e. Purana Ghat. (Read about the meaning of Ghat here). It was initially called Ram Pol and led to Ramganj area. Of all the gates, this one was located in an area which was least developed in the walled city. Even today, areas surrounding this gate are not considered as a prominent part of the walled city. This gate marks the south direction of the old walled city of Jaipur.

Location – Agra Road

Feature – This too has a single secondary gate.

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Sanganeri Gate or Shiv Pol which leads to the famous Johari Bazaar

4.  Sanganeri Gate /Shiv Pol 

Sanganeri Gate is a prominent gate because it leads to the  Johari Bazaar, the most famous Bazaar of Jaipur in the walled city area. Johari Bazaar is most frequented by the tourists and locals alike. It’s a buzzing market. This gate is called Sanganeri gate because it opened to the road leading to Sanganer Town which is famous for the Jaipuri prints or Sanganeri prints. Sanganeri Prints refer to fabric famous for organic colors as well as unique motifs created using the block printing technique. This gate also marks the south direction of the old walled city of Jaipur.

Location Johari Bazaar/ Eastern end of MI Road

Feature –  Shiv Pol and Kishan Pol are quite similar in terms of design. The design follows a large primary door in the center and secondary doors on either side.

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Old city Gates of Jaipur – Ajmeri Gate on MI Road which leads you to the Kishanpole Bazaar, Jaipur.

5.  Ajmeri Gate/ Kishan Pol

Kishanpole is commonly referred as Ajmeri Gate. It was called so because this gate opened up on the road leading to the town of Ajmer. The importance of Ajmer was due to the famous  Ajmer sharif Dargah,a popular muslim shrine which was frequented by the Mughal ruler Akbar  (1567-1605 AD). This gate opens into Kishanpole Bazaar. This gate marks the south direction of the old walled city of Jaipur.

Read about the  Maharajah School of Arts & Craft in Kishanpole Bazaar  in my earlier post.

LocationKishanpol Bazaar/ MI Road

Feature – The design follows a popular architecture of a large size primary door in the center and smaller secondary doors on either side.

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Chandpole Gate 

6. ChandPole Gate

Chandpole Gate marked the western limit of the walled city of Jaipur. Chand means Moon in Hindi. Since the Moon is associated with the west direction,this gate was called Chandpole or Chand Pol. This gate is located on the same axis as Suraj Pol. Both gates marks either ends of the walled city and they are connected by a major arterial East-West road. Bazaar surrounding this gate is called Chandpole Bazaar. It’s a very active & bustling market.

LocationChandpole Bazaar

Feature – Huge primary gate with  unusually small secondary gates on either side. You will find a very popular temple dedicated to Lord Hanuman just next to this gate.

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Samrat Gate in Brahampuri, Jaipur

7. Samrat Gate

Samraat Gate or Samrat Gate is one of the least known gates of the walled city of Jaipur. It’s in the Brahampuri area close to Jorawar Singh Gate. This gate is situated on north-west section of walled city, providing access to Brahampuri area. In some of the old records, it is also referred as Brahma Pol.

Location – Brahampuri, Amer Road, Jaipur

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Gangapole Gate, Jaipur

8. Gangapole / Ganga Pol

Gangapole Gate is also located close to Jorawar Singh Gate.Like Samrat Gate, this gate too is not a very popular gate. However, it’s much grander than Samrat Gate. A very popular heritage hotel by the name of Samode Haveli is located close to the Gangapole gate. This gate is situated on the north-east section of the walled city.

Location – Near Samode Haveli, Amer Road, Jaipur

 

Apart from the above 8 gates, another addition was made to the gates on the walled city called New Gate.

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Naya Pol or New Gate

New gate is called so because this one was not in the original plan of  Maharajah Sawai Jai Singh II. It was constructed around 1940’s and  inspired by the famous Brandenburg gate in Berlin.  The design of this gate was toned down to align with the architecture of Jaipur. Prior to the one that we find now, earlier a very small gate used to exist in it’s place. This gate opens up into Chaura Rasta Bazaar. This gate too is on the Southern end of the walled city.

Location Chaura Rasta/ MI Road

Feature –  The design follows a large primary door in the center and smaller secondary doors on either side. This gate finds its inspiration from European architecture and blends it it well with the local style and patterns.

This is how these gates were placed on the city map.

  • North- Jorawar Singh Gate
  • South- Ghat Gate, Sanganeri Gate, New Gate, Ajmeri Gate
  • West – Chandpole Gate
  • East- Surajpole Gate
  • North-East- Gangapole Gate
  • North-West- Samrat Gate

While all these gates are bound by a common design of floral motifs and color, each gate is unique in terms of architecture. With every passing day, old havelis and buildings in the walled city are giving way to the new buildings and office complexes. These gates are a great reminders of the rich architectural legacy of yesteryear. At the same time, all these gates are part of the history of Jaipur

This post is part of  Weekly Photo Challenge – Nostalgia. Check out previous posts on Weekly Photo ChallengeClick here

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Another view of Chandpole Gate along with the Lord Hanuman temple located just adjacent to it.
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51 thoughts on “Old City Gates of Jaipur

  1. Arv, your storytelling is amazing about the gates of Jaipur! I really love the architecture and colors of the gates. There is so much detail involved in the design of them, they’re really beautiful 🙂 And very lovely photography too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are right Jennifer. There’s lot of detail in there. If we compare the current architecture style with the ones that is at least 100 years old (or more) we’ll find that there was some relationship with local art, climate and requirements. In comparison, the current architecture style is mass produced and exported across the world. A newly built glass buildings are similar everywhere…there is no uniqueness. Globalization has eradicated the uniqueness to expand it’s market. Lot of people like it but I still feel other way around. There’s so much fun in exploring…with no uniqueness or individuality, what’s there to explore?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Arv, I completely agree with you on the old style of architecture. The older the building the better I say! 😉 When buildings all look the same that’s so boring and I would much rather explore something completely different and take lots of pictures of it 😀 Detail is everything 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Seems like we’re in agreement here Jennifer! Just updated this post with 3 more pictures today. One of them has a close up of details of floral print on the surface. have a look!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Jennifer If you like this floral print then you should check out block printed fabric which goes by the name of Sanganeri print. I’m sure you’ll love it. It is available for dresses and bed sheet etc. you can google on the same! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m happy that you have seen these gates in person. Some of them are not in a great condition though, but these are important part of history of Jaipur.
      You are partially correct, some of these pictures were captured in morning, but some in afternoon and evening as well. I try to capture them with less traffic so it can depict the actual grandeur. Also, most of the pictures are shot on Sunday, finding time during the week is difficult.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts and posting it here! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. ARV very deep,Interesting,intensive, intellectual, and arousing study by you of the architecture of Jaipur Gates.It is a wonderful, provocative and beautiful inheritance. ARV your photography is par excellence depicting a very impressive and thought provoking relationship of how the erstwhile Maharajas were taking care of their kingdom and people(Praja).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank You for checking it out and sharing your thoughts here. The work done by the erstwhile rulers is hard to replicate today. Let’s forget about creating, the authorities are finding it difficult to maintain & conserve the heritage and legacy. I wish that we could preserve this legacy.

      Like

      1. It’s only when you look beyond the obvious you get the real picture. Infect out of all these gates, majority of people in the city wouldn’t have seen at least 3 gates from this list because they are not on important roads.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes authorities are maintaining some part of the heritage -the visible one which tourist gets to see, but there are many areas which requires attention. Where do you reside? Lucknow?

      Like

  3. Pingback: blueprintsindesign
    1. Thank you Pradita. Most people will skip these details. There are too many things to see. Also, with so much traffic flowing through the gates its impossible to take a closer look. Thanks for the encouraging words.:)

      Liked by 1 person

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