I started Jaipur Then & Now series last year to showcase the transformation & change in important landmarks over the years. It’s been a long time since I last wrote a post in this series. I have already written 4 posts in this series – Galta Gate, Hawa Mahal, Chauti Chaupar, and Galta Temples. Continuing further this post is on Tripolia Gate. Tripolia Gate is an important landmark of Tripolia Bazar apart from Sargasuli. Tripolia Bazar gets its name from this gate. It is one of two important gates of Jaipur City Palace – the royal abode and is on its southern edge.
Here is an old picture of Tripolia Gate.
It’s an un-dated picture. I have no clue about the photographer but I assume this must be early 1940’s since there is a cyclist in the picture.
Tripolia means three Pols. Pol means arched gateway. This gate derives its name from its three Pols. All important ancient city gates of Jaipur have three different Pols. They are joined together with the center Pol being the biggest of the three. In this particular design, the Pols are part of a single structure. The smaller Pols are more of a decorative element. I have already written a post on the variety of Pols in Jaipur. You can read this post by clicking this link – Jaipur Pol (Jaipur Gates)
Now compare this with the current picture.
There are significant changes in the structure of the Tripolia Gate.
In the old picture, small Jharokas or latticed windows are not present. The latticed screen can be seen only on one side. As per available information, these Jharokas were built by Maharajah Sawai Man Singh II, the last ruler of Jaipur. It must have been a beautification drive. These lattices allowed the royal ladies to witness the procession without coming out in the public.
There is a gaslight lamp-post on either side of the gate in the old picture which is missing in the new picture. They were imported from England during the reign of Maharajah Sawai Ram Singh II and installed at important places in the city. It is difficult to find these original heritage lamp-posts in the city. These were installed before the electricity supply started in Jaipur. The government has installed its replica at many places including the heritage walkway in Jaipur and Ram Niwas Garden but it is no match for the original design. In the current picture, the high mast light is an eyesore. I often wonder why do we allow such things to be installed in the name of development. Why is aesthetics ignored? These heritage structures attract tourists to the city and we must make sure that the beauty of heritage structures is maintained.
The lattice design has also undergone a change. Did I mention the shopfront? In the old days, the tarpaulin was used as awning or sunshade but now a shaded walkway has replaced the shopfront.
There are two cannons placed in front of small gates. This also is a recent addition and adds to the beauty of the gate.
Check out other posts in Jaipur Then and Now.
Tripolia Gate is not open to the public. It is exclusively used by the members of the royal family. I need to make a special mention of the historical importance of this gate. All royal processions would pass from Tripolia Bazar, a tradition that continues to date. Processions of the local festivals like Teej and Gangaur need a special mention. This gate leads to the Chandni Chowk of Jaipur City Palace on one side and Chaura Rasta on the other side. Chandni Chowk has a couple of heritage temples like Pratapeshwar Temple, Brijnidhi Temple, and Anand Bihari Temple. Continuing further is the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site Jantar Mantar and the main entrance to the City Palace. Chaura Rasta is another important bazaar in the walled city area of Jaipur. In comparison to Sirehdyodi entrance, Tripolia Gate is much smaller of the two but its importance weighs the scale in its favor. On the flip side, visitors are not allowed to pass through this gate.