Situated in Chandni Chowk near Jaipur City Palace Brijnidhi Temple facade is one of the most beautiful temple facades in Jaipur. It was built by Maharajah Sawai Pratap Singh who is best remembered for the most iconic building of the Pink City – Hawa Mahal. Brijnidhi temple predates Hawa Mahal.
Martin Hurlimann was a Swiss photographer/publisher who traveled across the world. He published many books with beautiful pictures. During his India trip in the 1920’s, he photographed Brijnidhi temple facade which featured in his collection in 1928. Here is a vintage picture of this heritage temple photographed by Martin Hurlimann.
Now compare it with the current picture photographed from the same location.
It is evident that not much has changed over a century. For a temple built in 1790 AD, the facade looks even better. However, a visit to the temple reveals the need for restoration.
The temple facade has been renovated by the Jaipur Municipal Corporation but the temple is managed by Devestahn Vibhag (owned by the state government). A large number of temples commissioned and maintained by erstwhile rulers were taken over by this department when Jaipur state merged with the Indian union in 1949. Lately, Devesthan Vibhag has earned a bad reputation because of mismanagement issues. Many heritage temples require repair and renovation but department lacks fund. On the other hand, the government has provided a huge sum of money to new & popular privately owned temple trusts because of the large public following. With the elections just around the corner, everyone can understand the motive of this move.
It is surprising that temples like these which once attracted hundreds of devotees are in a bad shape. Maharajah Sawai Pratap Singh used to worship in Brijnidhi temple every day being a devout Krishna follower. He compiled many Bhajans dedicated to Lord Krishna under a pen name – Braj Nidhi.
On a different note, the idol of Lord Krishna & Radha is one of my favorite among all Krishna temples in Jaipur.
What is your opinion on the restoration of heritage buildings? Do you think we should preserve our built heritage? This is what I think – Why our attitude towards heritage needs a big change?
Check out more such posts under Jaipur Then And Now
Did you check out my previous post – Rang Malhar wherein I posted this picture of Brijnidhi Temple facade?