A DOORWAY TO TRADITIONAL CARPENTRY
RAJASTHAN- A synonym for Royalty, Grandeur and Heritage. It is a place to cherish all the legacies we Indians are endowed with. One of these legacies is the Traditional Carpentry Work we find in all the DOORWAYS of the Forts and Havelies of Rajasthan.
Doors are the first element one gets through in a building and so they must be noteworthy and expressive in their own terms. Heritage doors of Rajasthan are astonishing examples of an intricacy. Its a centuries old craft performed by the local craftsmen especially the Suthar community of Rajasthan.
THE SUTHAR COMMUNITY
Sutradhar, also known as Suthar or Sutar, is a Hinducaste within the Vishwakarma community of India. Their traditional occupation is carpentry. In Rajasthan, The Suthar community is still involved in the production of traditional Haveli doors both for individual and commercial purposes.
This community comes from Barmer district of Rajasthan, who along with other migrant artisans handle the mass production of antique wooden doors in workshops in Jodhpur and other regions of Rajasthan.
Lets have a look on some eye catching HERITAGE FORT DOORS OF RAJASTHAN –
THE CITY PALACE, JAIPUR
Built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, CITY PALACE represents supremacy in carpentry through its fascinating structures. The four gates of this beautiful palace follow particular theme representing seasons and are dedicated to Hindu gods. These are adorned with intricacy and art which make them remarkable.
A. THE PEACOCK GATE-
It is the northeastern gate representing Autumn season and dedicated to Lord Vishnu with their small idol on its lintel.
B. LOTUS GATE-
It is the southwestern gate representing Summer and dedicated to Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvati with intricate frescoes of lotus flower.
C. LEHERIYA GATE –
It is the northwest gate also known as “The Green Gate” portraying Spring and is dedicated to Lord Ganesha. The name Leheriya denotes the wave like pattern on the gate.
D. ROSE GATE-
With repeated floral patterns Rose gate symbolizes Winter season and dedicated to Goddess Devi.
Kumbhalgarh, built during the course of Rana Kumbha in 15th century, It is one of the World Heritage Site included in hill forts of Rajasthan. Here is the wooden door of the fort with giant iron spikes—meant to deter elephants from ramming them open during wars.
Amer Fort or Amber Fort is a fort located in Amer, Rajasthan, India. It features Mughal architecture in several buildings of the fort. The famous doors here includes Ganesh Pol, Balcony Door of Mansingh Palace Square and Sila devi mandir door. Here are the glimpses-
A. GANESHA POL –
The Ganesh Pol or Gate in Amer fort was constructed by Raja Jai Singh II as the entry to the private palaces of the Maharajas and their families. Ganesh pol is dedicated to Hindu god GANESH as a symbol of good luck and is decorated with mosaics and sculptures.
This palace gate is architecturally unique as it represents the fusion of the Mughal and the Rajput style of architecture.
Ganesh Pol leads to majestic lawns of Mughal Garden in Amber Palace. It is intricately hand painted and displays splendid color variations. The painting of Lord Ganesha in the centre is not put in the traditional style but in the profile.
The gate has been painted with all natural vegetable dyes which are still preserved and retains its originality.
NATURAL DYES LINK: PLANT BASED PIGMENTS AND DYES
B. MANSINGH PALACE SQUARE-
This is the oldest part of Amer palace built for Raja Man Singh I (1589–1614). This central courtyard is connected to several small rooms with open balconies. The pavilion is adorned with floral wall frescoes, colored tiles and motifs.
C. SILA DEVI TEMPLE DOOR-
Its the door from the entrance of Sila devi Mandir, embossed in silver raised relief pattern of Mahavidyas on left and Navadurgas on right.
Its a traditional wooden handcrafted intricate Temple door inside the Jaisalmer Fort-
Detail of the decoration of a door in the Mehrangarh Fort, located high in the city of Jodhpur-
Heavily ornamented door depicting flower and leaves from Mehrangarh fort –
PATRIKA GATE, JAIPUR
The entrance of Jawahar Circle in Jaipur is through the Patrika gate, which has been designed keeping in mind all the heritage identity of Jaipur. Patrika gate gives us a quick peek into the vibrant culture of Rajasthan.
It is ornamented with hand paintings of temples, forts, palaces, portraits of Jaipur rulers, blue pottery, jewelry, photographs of Amer, Hawa Mahal, City Palace, Jal Mahal to give a glimpse of the entire history of Jaipur.
CONTINUING ROYAL LEGACIES –
As these doors are unique and showcase immense hand-skills they are highly prized in international market. Customers demand them for personal collection, designers and architects make the most out of them for enhancing the heritage aesthetics in their residential and commercial sites. These are crafted in exotic woods like ebony, calamander, satinwood, rosewood, mahogany, jackwood and teak.
Overall these exquisite doors are actually the doorways to our legacy which must be kept alive in any of the possible ways.
We will continue to talk about Haveli doors of Rajasthan in the next post….
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