If you’ve ever visited Jaipur, heard or read about its cultural heritage, you must have felt mesmerised. Developed at the intersection of rich Mughal principles and western planning structure, Jaipur is counted among the most well-planned cities of India.
But do you know that Jaipur was planned in such a way that any external intrusion was almost impossible in ancient times?
Sawai Raja Jai Singh, the founder of Jaipur City, ensured that people of the city remain extremely safe and secure.
The old city has been divided into a 3×3 grid which makes it very easy for the people to travel across the city hassle-free. It is said that you can’t get lost in Jaipur because every street opens up to the main road.
A 6-meter high and 3-meter thick wall safeguards and keeps the city within, avoiding any outside intrusions from armies, dacoits or wild animals.
This strong wall is separated by 8 Gates, situated in all 4 directions of the city. Even today, you have to enter and exit the old Jaipur city through one of these 8 gates. In ancient times, the gates would close at dusk and open only after dawn. After that, anyone inside the walled city would remain inside, and anyone outside the gates would stay there, till the gates would open in the morning.
That’s top-level of security, isn’t it? Here’s a list of the 8 gates:
Don’t these gates tell a story in themselves? They do. Anyone who wishes to disturb the integrity and happiness of Jaipur will first have to fight against the vigour of these gates.
There is a famous proverb which is very prevalent among the people of the old city:
“Amer ki Sheela Devi, Chandpol Ka Hanuman.
Sanganer ka Sanga Baba, Jeet Laya Raja Maan.”
It is said that King Maan Singh, the son of Sawai Raja Jai Singh, was a prominent polo player who had won several tournaments nationally and internationally. In 3 different tournaments, he won and was presented idol of Goddess Sheela Devi, God Hanuman and Sanga Baba as a trophy.
King Maan Singh brought these idols to the Jaipur City and setup their temples in three different directions (North, West and South). Since then, these three temples are said to have safeguarded the city and eliminated or reduced the effect of any attack or natural calamity.
Whether the flood in 1981 or the bomb blasts on 13 May 2008, the temples and gates stood strong against them. Twenty six active bombs were detected near the Chandpol Hanuman temple which didn’t blast. Later, 9 other bombs were also detected on the top of Sanganeri Gate. It is pertinent to note that it is nearly impossible to climb the top of the Sanganeri Gate.
Now the next time when you visit Jaipur, you can’t afford to miss seeing those gigantic gates and these three temples 🙂