Overview for Architecture of a Royal Camp: The Retrieved Fort of Nagaur
The book puts together the authors’ wide-ranging experiences of a 20-year, highly ambitious project: the conservation of the awe-inspiring Nagaur Fort: from its very beginning to its completion. Acknowledged worldwide, this complex, exceedingly demanding project also received the UNESCO Award for Excellence for Conservation of Cultural Heritage in 2002 – a first for any project in India. The Fort’s Conservation was funded, among others, by the Getty Foundation, Los Angeles, and the Helen Hamlyn Trust, London. Located in the Marwar region of Rajasthan, the Ahhichatragarh Fort in the Nagaur city unmistakably exemplifies a marvel of Indian architecture and cultural heritage. Dating far back to the 4th century AD, the fort had long been at the centre of Muslim invasions from Central Asia. Accordingly, over the centuries, it had been under the control of diverse ruling families. Its magnificent presence apart, the fort’s extensive, highly imposing protective walls, with a periphery of 1539 meters, present a unique spatial experience. This 2-tiered, and at places 3-tiered fortification with thirty bastions, was once surrounded on all sides by a deep moat which, over the time, has been lost to encroachments, in most parts of the wall. The width of the wall at its base is in excess of 6 meters. Within the massive protective walls of the historic Nagaur Fort are seen an ancient complex of richly painted palaces, mosques, temples, intricate baoris (reservoirs), fountains, open terraces and pleasure gardens, dating back to the Mughal times. Elegant paintings that adorn many of the walls and ceilings of the palaces portray life there in the 1700s. Lavishly illustrated, the book describes the remarkable conservation of the splendid Nagaur Fort focusing, notably, on its articulative fort wall, its palace complex, its Ranvas havelis: the gem-like palaces for the Nagaur queens, and its sophisticated water systems. With the meticulous restoration of palaces, havelis, and other structures, a visitor today can experience living within the artistic eighteenth century environs of the Nagaur Fort. Kulbhushan Jain: an eminent architect, is Emeritus Professor at CEPT University, Ahmedabad -- where Minakshi Jain, also a practicing architect, has been a visiting professor.
Minakshi Jain (Author)
Minakshi Jain, an architect with many years of practice, has been a visiting teacher in architecture and urban design at the CEPT University. During the last 16 years her practice focused on conservation of historic monuments, including forts at Nagaur, Amber, Gagraun, Hawa Mahal and Jantar Mantar. She has received the prestigiour UNESCo award of excellence for the heritage conservation of Ahhichattragrah, the fort of Nagaur. Her ectensive work on the precinct with elaborate reports provided the base material for this book.
Kulbhushan Jain (Author)
Kulbhushan Jain is a senior professor of architecture and urban design at the School of Architecture, Ahmedabad. He is also a consulting architect with the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage, New Delhi, and the Mehrangarh Museum Trust, Jodhpur. He is a recepient of several awards for design and education.
Meghal Arya (Author)
Meghal Arya completed her postgraduate studies in Architecture from Geogia Institute of Technology, USA in 1998 and is an assistant professor at the Faculty of Architecture, CEPT University where she teachers design studios and history of architecture. She also practices with her husband, Vijay Arya. The firm has won serveral design awards and competitions. Meghal has authored serveral papers and articles published nationally and internationally.