Maharani Ki Chhatri, Jaipur

theurbannexus

Docklands, Australia

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Artist's Description

An almost complete Chhatri. Those Maharanis who died after their husbands had chhatris (‘umbrellas’) that were deliberately incomplete to communicate this status. I am unsure whether the presence of domes signalled a more complete chhatri than one such as this. I am also unclear if there was a gradation of completion, correlated to time between death of the Raja and Rani.

As with the Maharajas, the queens of Jaipur were cremated and then monumental cenotaphs erected in their honour. There is an interesting story of one Maharani who was very close to her elephant. When she passed away, her elephant stood beside her cenotaph for three days, before passing away in grief (and starvation). Today this elephant has its own cenotaph in the gardens.

Two interesting points – if the queen died before her Maharaja died, her cenotaph would be finished off with a roof structure. If she died after her king, it would remain unfinished.

The signature architectural feature here is the Hindu Chhatri (‘umbrella’) which is significant in its use in Rajput and other Hindu architecture, borrowed from the Mughals.

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desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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