Heritage City



The concept of 36 Karkhanas (36 industries/production areas of artisans) was initiated in India during the Sultanate period and further strengthened in northern India during the Mughal period. The state patronized and controlled numerous wage artisans of various crafts. The imperial Karkhanas were an example of collective and large-scale employment of artisans or craftspersons in different crafts. The Karkhanas were meant to cater to the household needs of the royalty and the state requirements. The Karkhanas worked on a large scale, for instance, numerous artisans in various kinds of crafts were patronized at Agra, Fatehpur Sikri, Gujarat and Lahore Karkhanas. In Jaipur, Sawai Jai Singh II adapted these thirty-six Karkhanas to suit the royal and city functions of the new city. Historic documents such as Dastur Komwar, Buddhivilas and karkhanajat papers record the names of artisans who came from distinct areas to settle down in the newly built Jaipur city. It reveals that Sawai Jai Singh II not only invited local artisans from the previous capital of Amber but also welcomed new techniques of arts and crafts from other areas like Gujarat, Agra, Delhi and Bengal etc.

The 36 karkhanas were a series of workshops under the royal administration of which several were dedicated to crafts and folk arts. These can be traced in some parts of the walled city even today.

1. KAPAD DWARA Kapad Dwara was the most important workshop of 36 Karkhanas which was a record keeping of the events and traditions; rules and regulations; important letters and decrees related to royal administration and licenses and treatises. And this record was available until 1949 till the existence of Sawai rule. Jargarkhana a sub-workshop of Kapatdwara- In which were jewellers and enamelers responsible for crafting royal gems and jewelry and their forefathers are still serving the royal and training other craftsmen. Kirkirakhana & Toshakhana workshops were responsible for creating and crafting valuable royal attires and textiles; painted maps of towns which are showcased in the museum galleries of City Palace and Albert Hall Museum.

2. POTHIKHANA It is the oldest workshop, established in Amber (1584 - 1614 AD) prior to the foundation of Jaipur. In this section books, documents and manuscripts were collected and kept for references. And this continued as a tradition in form of libraries in Maharaja Library, Chaura Rasta; City Palace Library and Library in Ramchandraji ka Mandir.

3. SURATHKHANA In this section portraits of kings and queens, works of miniature artists and frescoes were commissioned and soon it became one of the livelihoods for the locals.

4. KHYALKHANA Clay Modelling

5. SILAHKHANA It was the arsenal factory responsible for the production of arms and weapons. These were also embellished using crafts like Koftkari (metal engraving) specifically on the handles of swords

6,7. FARRASHKHANA AND MASHALKHANA This was a very useful workshop and took care of arrangements during festivities, marriages and marriage processions and important occasions. The locals used to borrow equipment for temporary tents and canopies, decorative items, light-lamps, etc. and the same were issued to them as per their status and position.

8,9,10,11,12. PALKIKHANA, PHEELKHANA, BAGGIKHANA, SHUTARKHANA, RATHKHANA Initially there were palanquins and carriages used for transport by royals and courtiers after which came stage coaches and then horse chariots in which workmanship of wood carving, embroidery and other craft embellishments were used. These indigenous vehicles were used for royal processions, for Teej and Gangaur processions and for Hindu and Muslim festivals. In Shutarkhana camel breeding was done.

13,14. TABELA AND AATISH Jaipur royals had special studs or horse stables for cattle and horse breeding and horse stables were located towards the south of the City Palace which later became MGD market. This later evolved until mid-twentieth century during the era of Maharaja Mansingh as Jaipur Polo and since then Jaipur has become the center where major cups have been and are still being played.

15. GWALERA OR GOKHANA This was the royal dairy and was located in the vicinity of royal mansion as a Nohra, a place for cattle. Gwalera took care of the need of milk and milk products and famed confectioners were part of this section and supplied sweets during marriages and festivals.

16. SHIKAARKHANA Hunting was the main entertainment for the royals as at that time there were dense forests with animals and birdlife. Maharaja Mansingh (1922-79 AD) built hunting lodges in the forests of Ranthambore in Sawai Madhopur and Ramgarh. Farrashkhana used to equip with temporary tents for hunting purposes.

17. RASODA OR RASOWARA The royal kitchen located in the royal palace as ‘Rasowara ki Deohri’ and was responsible for preparing favourite meals and sweets for the kings and queens. Tatterkhana, Tambolkhana and Aukhadkhana were sub kitchens (units) of the bigger royal kitchen.

18. MODIKHANA This was the royal granary or store of food grains responsible for the supplies to the royal kitchen and also took care of feasts for the royals and for the poor and specially abled.

19, 20, 21. TAMBOLKHANA, AUKHADKHANA AND TATTERKHANA Tatterkhana fulfilled the water needs and can be rightly called as water-works, Tambolkhana prepared paan, an after meals savoury made with betel leaves for the royals and their guests while Aukhadkhana mainly manufactured primary Ayurvedic and Greek remedies for ailments for the royal family as well as for the locals and there were a few units established in the city for the treatment of the people.

22,23. IMARATKHANA AND MISTRIKHANA This workshop was active all the year around and was king's own PWD (Public Works Department) through which construction of buildings and their maintenance was ensured. Later wooden furniture was added to this workshop as Mistrikhana, by Sawai Ramsingh. Apart from using this workmanship in buildings, this craft was also used in making stone idols after which the name of the street 'Khazanewalon ka Rasta' was kept and is still being practised as one of the main crafts in the walled city of Jaipur.

24. NAQQARKHANA OR NAUBATKHANA This housed the drums or orchestra area during ceremonies. The name literally means drum (Naqqar/Naubat)-house (Khana). They are a distinct sign of Mughal architecture and played an important task of sound during festivals and marriages.

25. GUNIJANKHANA The Jaipur Gunijankhana is a living archive dedicated towards the preservation and documentation of music pertaining primarily to the Jaipur Atrauli Gharana. Literally translated, a Gunijankhana is a place where scholarly and gifted artists enthralled the audience with their performances.

26. KARKHANA PUNYA This served as the department for royal charity and later evolved as Devsthan Vibhag for the upkeep and maintenance of temples and religious events and is still functional in Government of Rajasthan. Apart from this unit also catered to the needs veterinary services for animals and other socio-cultural aspirations of the locals.

27. BAGAAYAT Like some other workshops, Baggayat was also one of the initial workshops which took care of laying and developing gardens and green spaces in Jaipur walled city. it was through this section that the Jai Niwas Garden was laid before the foundation of Jaipur, later followed by gardens in Purana Ghat (or Ghat ki Guni) and Ram Niwas Bagh.

28. KHABAR This was the intelligence department of the king. This was developed further during Ramsingh’s period and even when there were no facilities like telegram or telegraph or telephone news flyers (khabar ke parche) were written and distributed for knowledge and awareness and were used a s medium for royal messages ensuring secrecy.

29.TARKASHI (GOTA-KINARI) This workshop was linked to embellished clothes for women and was in high demand in Zenani Deohri. Craftsmen were called and settled from Gujarat and khambhat to practice this craft in the walled city, which was also used to craft the clothes of soldiers and court-men and women.

30. KHUSBOOKHANA OR ITRA KI ORI The royal court sessions of the Rajputs always ended with Itra-paan or mouth fresher made by using rose and other essence and this is the reason that there was an ‘Itra ki Ori’ in the royal mansion.

31. NAKKHAS (OR HORSE TRANSPORTATION) This unit took care of transportation with horses and horse carriages and also maintained roads and other infrastructure related to horse movement and worked in conjunction with Shutrkhana.

32. PATANGKHANA Both Maharaja Jai Singh-II and Ram Singh were fond of kite and kite flying, hence this workshop was developed. Big kites (Tukkan) were made here along with smaller kites. On the festival of Makar Sankranti the locals fly kites and still this tradition is maintained by a famous kite flyer's family, Babukhan

33. PAATARKHANA For Jama-Kharch revenue papers

34. RANGKHANA This workshop produced and crafted coloured textiles and was responsible for the flourishing trade of textiles by the walled city craftsmen. Rajasthani textiles still maintains its fame all over the world for its rich use of colours, prepared from plants and fruits.

35. ROSHAN CHAUKI KHANA Lamps and cradle workshop for lighting of palace and city areas

36. TANNERY OR PAKHERKHANA For leather work