Every book has its own story, from the day of its inception until it sees the light. Our
work also faced several difficulties but before we narrate them it will be useful to have a
word about protection. A narration of these difficulties will be useful, I feel, for the coming
generations so that they may know about the problems one faces in such works and of course
the solutions one has to find to achieve the goal.
The idea of protecting an ‘old beautiful building of historical or religious importance is
not new. Old monuments were repaired, restored and protected from ancient times but the
modem concept of preservation and scientific restoration was introduced in India in the late
19th c. In the beginning of 1881, Major H.H. Cole was appointed Curator of Monuments and
the same year the Report of Rajputana came out which included monuments situated at Mt.
Abu, Ajmer, Jaipur and Alwar. His preliminary report was on the monuments, covering the
entire country which was published in twenty two parts. The Indian Archaeology, monuments
and museums received a fresh impetus after the arrival of Lord Curzon (George Nathaniel
Curzon) as Governor General oldie in 1899. He was recorded in September the same year,
"Owing to the absence of any central and duly qualified advising authority, not merely are
beautiful and famous buildings crumbling to decay: but there is neither principle nor unity in
conservation repair, while from time to time horrors are still committed that make the student
shudder and turn grey The continuance of this state of affairs seems to me little short of
a scandal. Were Germany the ruling power in India, I do not hesitate to say that she would be
spending many lakhs a year on a task to what we have hitherto rather plumed ourselves on our
generosity in devoting Rs. 61, 0001- rose only a little more than a year ago to Rs. 88, 0001- .1 do
venture to hope that so mean a standard may not again be pleaded, at any rate in my time."
Lord Curzon got the post of Director General revived and appointed Sir John Marshall in
February 1902. It was during his tenure, in 1904 that Ancient Monument Preservation Act came
into existence. Marshall also published a pamphlet on Conservation of Ancient Monuments (1907),
which later appeared in a book form entitled Conservation Manual (1923).
Sir John Marshall took keen interest in Rajasthan. He visited Mt. Abu, Chittorgarh and
Ajmer, prepared detailed reports for conservation work. He also met Pt. G.H. Ojha and VN. Reu,
two great historians at that time. He submitted a note on the conservation of the Amber Palaces on
February 4, 1926 to the Jaipur darbar suggesting, 'The Dilaram Bagh is a small one and the
treatment of trees, shrubs and flowers must be appropriate to its size. It must be maintained in the
first rate condition. Anything short of this would fail of its purpose. The fountains in the waterways
between the causeways which are now hidden beneath the turf might be restored and the best
course will be to leave the turf... In the Diwan-i-Am modem stone railings and all modem accretions
ought to be removed. Modem stone windows restored with old jali screens and any doors required
should be designed on the lines of the old doors in the Amber palace either with Hindu cross battens
or with cusped arching of the Mughals ... The entablature and the ceiling of the Diwan-i-Am hall are
whitewashed and the glaring whiteness does not harmonize with the softer tints of the marble. It
would be an improvement if all the whitewashed parts were to be rubbed down and repainted to an
ivory white tint.
Jasmandir is being disfigured by the splitting and flaking off of the marble owing to the
corrosion and consequent expansion of the iron dowels used in its construction. Unfortunately there
is no means of remedying the evil except by cutting out and repairing the damaged parts. For this
purpose a first class pietra dura worker from Agra should be employed, as the work calls for the
highest skill... Mansingh's Zenana screen must in any case be demolished in order to relieve the
gallery of its weight, and the removal of it will mean an immense gain to the appearance of the court
on this side, as it will open up a whole series of archways and windows which are now concealed
Sir John Marshall also inspired the Maharaj of Kota who had got repaired Shiva temple at
Kansua, Mataji temple at Ramgarh and the mosque at Shahbad as early as in 1903.
It is interesting to note that a List of Objects of Antiquarian Interest in the States of
Rajputana was published by the British Government between 1903-1906, which included many
of the edifices which are today in our list of protected monuments.
By granting protection the Government provides a special status to a monument. It
does not result in the ownership being transferred to the Central or the State Government.
Ownership remains the same but any kind of change is not permitted. In case the building
has to be demolished for 'safety reasons, the Government removes the entire building or a
part of it to an appropriate place. In India, it has been done several times. For example the
sculptures of Nagarjunakonda (Andhra Pradesh) were removed to a safer place and wall
paintings from Chamba Palace (Himachal Pradesh) were brought to the National Museum,
The importance of cultural heritage of Rajasthan is well known. After the establishment
of the Archaeological Survey of India in the 19th Century, its first Director General Sir
Alexander Cunningham surveyed a part of eastern and southern Rajasthan and published
many of the monuments in' his reports in twenty three volumes.
Later on, in the beginning of the 20th Century the British Resident got a list prepared
and published under the title List of Objects of Antiquarian Interest in the states of Rajputana
1903-06 Abu and Ajmer. After this publication many states of the then Rajputana started
taking interest in their ancient monuments and archaeological wealth. Jaipur took the lead
and appointed Rai Bahadur Dayaram Sahani to excavate archaeological sites at Rairh and
Bairath scientifically. D.R. Sahani excavated these sites and also published their reports.
After his death K.N. Puri took over and continued until the State was merged in the Indian
About hundred years after the publication of the List of Objects of Antiquarian Interest,
this comprehensive illustrated list of monuments of the state of Rajasthan is being presented.
After independence many new monuments were added to this list, which makes this work
much more important and up to date.
It was a long felt need both for our officers in the Department of Archaeology and
Museums, Government of Rajasthan and the scholars working in these areas. It is a matter of
great satisfaction that the Jawahar Kala Kendra took up this challenge and completed the
work successfully. I am confident the volume will be well received not only by the scholars
but also the informed public all over the world.
Book's Contents and Sample Pages
Art & Culture (745)
Emperor & Queen (484)
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