Maharajah Sawai Jai Singh II, who founded Jaipur ensured the presence of large public squares at the crossing of arterial roads in the layout of the city. Squares in the local language are called Chowk or Chaupar. There are three public squares or chowk in old Jaipur city, namely Badi Chaupar/ Manak Chowk, Choti Chaupar/ Amer Chowk, and Ramganj Chaupar. Out of these three, Badi Chaupar & Choti Chaupar were the most prominent ones. In my previous post, Jaipur Then & Now- Hawa Mahal I had posted pictures of Badi Chaupar. Here are pictures shot from Chhoti Chaupar overlooking Gangori Bazaar. This picture was shot by a Swiss photographer Martin Hürlimann 90 years ago.
Martin Hürlimann traveled across South East Asia and shot many pictures during his travels. He is fondly remembered for his pictures of European cities. A book tilted INDIA- Martin Hürlimann containing 352 pictures from India, shot by Martin Hürlimann was published in 1967.
Jaipur was founded according to ancient Shilp &Vastu Shashtra, therefore, Chhoti Chaupar like Badi Chaupar has temples in all four corners. In the above picture, a temple staircase can be seen leading to a gate with two stone elephants on either side. That’s Roop Chaturbhuj Temple.
Here is a current picture shot from Chhoti Chaupar overlooking the road which leads to Brahampuri through Gangori Bazar.
In stark contrast, loading vans, e-rickshaws, and other vehicles now line the shopfront. It is a thriving market full of grain and dry fruit wholesalers, among others. In the previous picture, one can see Nahargarh Fort sitting at the edge of the hill overlooking Jaipur city. But in the recent picture, it’s hidden behind new & unauthorized construction. Jaipur was famous for its uniform and beautiful market façade but that’s changing now with illegal and unauthorized construction, & encroachments all around. People care a least about heritage & symmetry which is clear from the second picture.
If you haven’t read my previous post on Roop Chaturbhuj Temple it is a good time to do so as it is an incredibly beautiful temple. I wrote this post two and a half years ago. Read Roop Chaturbhuj Temple, Jaipur!….Beautiful Frescos!
Here’s are pictures from this temple.
Inspiration for the “Jaipur Then & Now” series is 290 years of the founding of Jaipur city. The foundation of Jaipur was laid on 18 November 1727 AD as India’s first planned city by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. Jaipur Then & Now aims at heritage conservation. Click Jaipur Then & Now to read all posts of this series
Picture source of Martin Hurlimann photo- www. columbia.edu