Sawai Man Singh Town Hall | Heritage In Ignorance

A few weeks ago, I was cycling in the walled city. On my way to the City Palace complex, as I passed the iconic Hawa Mahal, I came across this sight outside the Sawai Man Singh Town Hall in Sireh Deori Bazaar.


A young boy was relaxing on the bed placed on the side pavement along with appliances & furniture; it was an uncommon sight. Curious, I asked if he was shifting his residence. He replied he was waiting to deposit all these items at the police station in line with the requirement of the dowry case. If a dowry case is filed by the married woman along with proof of purchase, the groom must deposit dowry items at the police station. These goods are released only on the court’s order at the woman’s request. Due to this, the police stations are often filled up with these items.

Earlier this week, I was rummaging through the old pictures of Jaipur that have clicked over the last 8 years. One of the pictures which I clicked in 2016 caught my attention. It was a picture of the Old Assembly Hall or Purani Vidhan Sabha of Jaipur and is called Sawai Man Singh Town Hall. I haven’t clicked many pictures of this historic building. Needless to say, I do possess recent pictures clicked during my heritage walking tours in Jaipur during the last two years. Allow me to share the picture of Sawai Man Singh Town Hall in Sireh Deori Bazaar from 2016.


This historic building is almost 150 years old; most photographers who captured Jaipur before the 1930s have missed this building.

Sawai Man Singh Town Hall | Old Jaipur Vidhan Sabha | Information


The building is out of use for almost 2 decades. A huge beehive on its facade is present ever since I initially noticed it in 2014. The current government has provided indications many times of converting this building into a museum. Thankfully, this has not happened. If you are pondering why I’m delighted, allow me to explain this. Based on information appearing in the press, this building was to be converted into a “Gandhi Museum.” And this I feel is a shame. Being a historic building, converting it into a Gandhi museum will not be a good idea. Certainly, Mahatma Gandhi, considered the father of India, deserves respect but this building has no connection with him. I’m certain linking this building with Jaipur city and its people and history is a better option. Jaipur already has a Gandhi Museum in Gandhi Nagar on the Khadi Gramudhyog campus. Even the Museum of Legacies which was a brainchild of the previous government was downgraded during the current government’s reign. In its current state, there are no exhibits. It would have been horrendous if the Sawai Man Singh Town Hall was converted into a Gandhi Museum and named “Bharat Jodo Museum”. In 2022, a flyover was inaugurated in Jaipur and given the name “Bharat Jodo Setu” to mark the arrival of Rahul Gandhi during the Bharat Jodo Yatra. It is high time for political leaders & parties to stop using such tactics for political gains.


History of Sawai Man Singh Town Hall

The precise year, when the building was completed is unknown but as per the popular opinion, it was completed in 1880 AD. The building was commissioned by Sawai Ram Singh II under the supervision of Col Samuel Swinton Jacob, then superintendent of the Public Works Department of Jaipur. From 1952 until the 1990s, it was the state assembly hall. In the early 2000s, the assembly hall was shifted to a modern building in C-Scheme, now known as Vidhan Sabha. Since then, the old Vidhan Sabha is in a state of disrepair. The adjoining building houses the Amer Development Management Authority office, popularly called ADMA.


10 thoughts on “Sawai Man Singh Town Hall | Heritage In Ignorance

  1. It would be nice though if they used the building for something. It has such great architectural details in your picture of the windows. Is the dowry case because they are getting divorced? We don’t have dowries and I just wonder why the police are involved. Maggie

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maggie, I’m hopeful they will restore and repurpose the building. As for the dowry, it is an age old system where the bride’s side would provide gifts in the marriage ceremony. It is a social issue and the law has banned the system of dowry. You can google and find out more about it, or simply click the word dowry that will take you to the link which provides more details. Thanks for sharing the thoughts, Maggie.


  2. I haven’t heard of depositing the dowry items in a police station! Unbelievable and ridiculous! Thanks for sharing arv.
    It is sad that the heritage buildings are in a state of neglect. Nobody seems to have any interest in them!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The question of depositing dowry items arises when the bride/wife or her parents allege the grooms side of demanding dowry. As per law, dowry is prohibited. The dowry items are deposited in police station as a proof, I suppose. The practice of dowry has gone down with time. On the contrary, given the strong laws, in many cases, alleging dowry has become a tool for blackmailing.
      We cannot say that all heritage buildings are in such a state. But given the quantum of heritage sites we have and not having enough funds can result in such a s state. In other cases, it is because of lack of decision making, ownershup issues, etc.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.


  3. This is an incredible building and it would be disrespectful to history if converted into a Gandhi museum (with all due respect to the father of the Nation). Why on Earth every other thing has to be named or converted to something of Gandhi (even when there is no connection.)

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.