Jaipur, the capital city of the land of Maharajas: Rajasthan. A city with so much to narrate about the culture and traditions, a city that reflects the royalty of Rajputs; a city with a splendid history. The foundation of the city was laid in the 16th Century by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. The Maharaja did everything to make it a spectacle for the entire world and to keep it safe from intruders. He built a city so grand and so beautiful that we can’t help but admire even today. Everything in Jaipur was built according to Vastu Shastra. With its magnificent forts and palaces, the unrivalled historic architecture of Jaipur narrates a story of grandeur and opulence.
When it comes to the architecture we often talk about palaces and forts and other monuments. But what we often forget is one of the most important parts of our city’s history, the Gates of Jaipur. The popular 7-8 gates of the city are said to be the original entrance into the walled city.
- Suraj Pol
Suraj Pol or the Sun Gate is situated at the east of the walled city, in the direction of the rising sun. The gate can easily be identified by the two sun painted on it.
- Chand Pol
Chand Pol or the Moon Gate is situated at the western side of the city near Chand Pol Bazaar and Gangauri Bazar. It lies on the same axis as the Suraj Pole Gate.
- Ram Pol
Popular as Ghat Gate, it leads its passersby to Ramganj.
- Shiv Pol
Now known as the Sanganeri Gate, it leads to the Sanganer. Shiv Pol stands to guard the entry of Johari Bazaar.
- Ajmeri Gate
Situated near Choti Chaupad, the gate was built to guard the southern entrance of the walled city and leads on the roads to Ajmer.
- Ganga Pol
Situated at the north-east section of the walled city, it is not known to many.
- Dhruv Pol
Commonly known as the Zorawar Singh Gate, Dhruv Pol is the northernmost gate of the walled city. It is named after the Pole Star or the Dhruv Tara, a star that marks the North direction. It is also the widest of all the gates.
- Naya pol
Now known as the New Gate, it opens at the Chaura Rasta while you travel through the ever-bustling MI Road. The gate showcases a blend of European architecture with local style.
After these 8 gates were built, every evening at dusk a cannon was fired to alarm the citizens of the closing time and the gates remained closed until dawn to keep the city clean of intruders crawling inside the city in dark. This practice continued till the 1940s, thereafter development outside these gates started and the gates remained open.
We went a little further and did some digging only to find that the list of gates is much greater than just 7 or 8.
- Sireh Deori Gate
The gate that leads you to the Jaleb Chowk and further to Govind Dev Ji temple and City Palace.
- Tripolia Gate
The beautiful white gate near Govind Dev Ji Temple is one of its kinds. The gate is not open to the general public. It is still used only by the erstwhile Royal family, a tradition accepted by the locals without any opposition.
- Naqqarkahne ka Darwaza
It might not be of much importance anymore, but the gate during the reign of Maharajas was used to announce their arrival by eulogizing their works.
The magnificent City Palace is known to the world as the residence of the royal family also has a number of awe-striking gates.
- Rajendra Pol
Right outside the Mubarak Mahal is a gate that portrays the flamboyant Hindu gatehouse architecture. The Rajendra Pol is flanked by two elephants both of which are carved out of a single marble.
- Ganesh Pol
The gate at the exit of the City Palace that leads you out to the Jaleb Chowk.
- Ridhisidhi pol
The gate that on exiting the Rajendra Pol, leads you to the Pritam Niwas Chowk.
The Pritam Niwas Chowk is known to have four gates each representing a different season:
- Peacock Gate
It is the most alluring gate with paintings of peacocks signifying autumn.
- Lotus Gate
With continual flower and petal patterns, it stands as a symbol of summer.
- Green Gate
Also called the Leheriya gate, signifies spring.
- Rose Gate
With repeated flower patterns, the gate is seen as a symbol of winter.
Today, these gates are merely symbolic; part of city’s history, nostalgia and built heritage. However, they are an important element of Jaipur’s rich architectural legacy for which the city is famous across the world.