brij nidhi temple jaipur martin hurlimann indien 1928

Jaipur Then & Now – Brij Nidhi Temple

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.

Read Brij Nidhi Temple, Jaipur

Brij Nidhi Temple, Jaipur

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.

brij nidhi temple jaipur martin hurlimann indien 1928
Picture source – Pinterest

Now compare it with the current picture photographed from the same location.

Brij Nidhi Temple

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?

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Did you check out my previous post – Rang Malhar wherein I posted this picture of Brijnidhi Temple facade?





66 thoughts on “Jaipur Then & Now – Brij Nidhi Temple

  1. The idol looks truly beautiful draped in greens.

    And yes the condition of lesser known and popular heritage buildings in India is pathetic and the attitude of the concerned authorities and the common people in general apathetic. A lot needs to be done and funds need to collected and redirected towards the betterment of such neglected heritage structures.

    Mumbai has so many and mostly the precinct of many has been encroached by hutments. It’s a sad state.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post! Now and then pictures show very little difference except that two ugly boards have come in now! If you look at the left of the photograph, the missing lower part of the first floor still missing after 100 years! And some really cheap work done to restore on the ground floor too and white paint conceal everything now!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Raj. The missing part of the first floor is a design element. It is 200+ years old building so I feel this is well-preserved by all standards. I’m sure even your city must be having old buildings. Some must be worth sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks for that clarification. Yes, the building survived no doubt but it could have been managed well, thats what I mean. Yes, my place basically ruled by British so mostly we see British/Portuguese era buildings. Only temples are the oldest structures remaining here.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. It’s really sad to see that such important heritages are not maintained due to lack of funds. I hope the situations get better with time and people become more aware to ensure that these places are not harmed or neglected in future.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. It’s certainly important to preserve as much as possible, because once lost it can never be recovered. What worries me about somewhere such as India is that there are so many wonderful old buildings, I sometimes think the authorities think it won’t matter if a few of them get destroyed.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Quite likely. Also, there is always this calculation called “Return on Investment”. Sometimes, the investment also means if the renovation will win a few voters or community?
      It is also true that given the sheer number of sites, it requires a huge amount of money. With little resources, it is very difficult to save this heritage. A few private trusts have adopted a few sites which I think is a great thing!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The private investment has it’s own issues. Can be disastrous. The one I mentioned is a charitable trusts with no commercial interests. It’s more of CSR thing and have been managing their own temples for years. No easy answers, Mick.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Anyone committed to the idea of preserving our cultural heritage would agree with you, Arv!. The architecture of famous structures, but also the lowly buildings of old restaurants, hotels, stores of the Wild West should be restored if possible. They are in a sense part of our history,

    Liked by 2 people

  6. The sheer commercialization drive that has been sweeping the nation has made us ignorant to our culture and heritage. Varanasi for example. Most palaces, havelis and masonry structures highlighting the ghats have been converted into hotels and resorts. And the walls covered with advertisements. From “Hotel Ads” to “Yoga Centers”. Such a shame.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I stay at Kolkata. But I travel a lot owing to business and leisure. So Varanasi is one of my favorite spots. Undoubtedly, I have been to better and more beautiful places. But there’s something about Varanasi that keeps fascinating me.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Do you know that you can find many elements of Hawa Mahal in this facade?

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts & concern, Cornelia. Indeed, we need to preserve our heritage for the next generation. It makes for a great travel experience too. Imagine a world which is full of similar buildings and culture?

      Liked by 1 person

  7. It’s good to be reminded about our heritage every now and then. There’s always something positive to learn from them. I’m sure our government would agree too. No reason why anything should be neglected to get destroyed. But of course, practicalities can get in the way sometimes.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. In all my visits to Jaipur I have never visited this temple, and I am a Krishna Bhakt! Thanks to your post, it’s going to be the first place I visit when in Jaipur next!
    Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Arv, what a treasure you have in Jaipur. How glad I that I visited and experience her magic and history. I remember the midnight skies and the sparkling stars… And feel so blessed to experience her magic.💞 your photos and text does her justice.💞

    Liked by 2 people

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