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Decision 43 COM 8B.16
Jaipur City, Rajasthan (India)

The World Heritage Committee,

  1. Having examined Documents WHC/19/43.COM/8B and WHC/19/43.COM/INF.8B1,
  2. Inscribes Jaipur City, Rajasthan, India, on the World Heritage List on the basis of criteria (ii), (iv) and (vi);
  3. Takes note of the provisional Statement of Outstanding Universal Value:

    Brief synthesis

    The City of Jaipur is an exceptional urban example in indigenous city planning and construction in South Asia. In a remarkable difference from the existing medieval practices where settlements developed in a more organic manner (that grew over a longer period of time, in layers, in response to local geography, topography, climate and socio-cultural systems including caste system and occupation), Jaipur was conceived and developed in a single phase in the 18th c with a grid-iron model1 inspired from the Prastara plan of the Vastu Shastra, treatise of traditional Hindu architecture. This town plan later became a trendsetter for many 19th Century CE towns in Rajasthan State and India. Built under the patronage of Sawai Raja Jai Singh II (rule 1700 – 1743 CE), a project approach was taken towards the city construction where most of the city infrastructure, public and royal spaces were completed within a span of four years, from 1727 – 1731 CE along with special royal invitations to several traders inviting them to settle in this newly envisaged trade and commerce city.

    Unlike other medieval cities of the region, Jaipur was deliberately planned as a new city on the plains open for trade as opposed to hilly terrain and military cities of past, though its planning still ensured a response to the surrounding hill tops in all directions. The site selected within the valley that lay to the south of Amber hills was comparatively flat and unmarred by any previous construction. It was also adequately protected, nestled within hills having an array of forts and defense posts. Thus, the new city could be planned as an inviting trade and commerce city with an ambitious vision of the ruler Sawai Jai Singh II and his architect- planner Vidyadhar.

    The design of the new city was a breathtaking departure from the prevalent practices in city development in the sub-continent. Its urban morphology reflected the coming together of cultural elements from eastern and western planning, expressing a culture of a ‘trade and commerce city’ and townscape that is unparalleled anywhere in South Asia. Envisaged as a trade capital, the main avenues of the city were designed as markets, which remain characteristic bazaars of the city till date. Chaupar, or designed large public squares at the intersection of roads, is another feature that is distinct to Jaipur as are its single to multicourt havelis and haveli temples. Besides an exemplary planning, its iconic monuments such as the Govind Dev temple, City Palace, Jantar Mantar and Hawa Mahal excel in artistic and architectural craftsmanship of the period.

    Jaipur is an expression of the astronomical skills, living traditions, unique urban form and exemplary foresighted city planning of an 18th century city from India.

    Criterion (ii): Jaipur is an exemplary development in town planning and architecture that demonstrates amalgamation and important interchange of several ideas over the late medieval period. It shows an interchange of ancient Hindu, Mughal and contemporary Western ideas that resulted in the customised layout of the city. It is said that Raja Jai Singh arrived at the final layout after a thorough analysis of several town plans sourced from across the globe. Following the grid-iron plan prevalent in the west but the zoning as per traditional notions, superimposed by the desire to be seen at par with Mughal cities, showcased a political will to define new concepts for a thriving trade and commerce hub that became a norm for the later towns in the adjoining Shekhawati region and others parts of Western India.

    Criterion (iv): Jaipur clearly represents a dramatic departure from extant medieval cities with its ordered, grid-like structure – broad streets, crisscrossing at right angles, earmarked sites for buildings, palaces, havelis, temples and gardens, neighbourhoods designated for caste and occupation. The main markets, shops, havelis and temples on the main streets were constructed by the state, thus ensuring that a uniform street facade is maintained in Jaipur. The city planning of Jaipur remains a unique response to the terrain that amalgamates ideas from the ancient Indian treatise to contemporary global town plans and Imperial Mughal architecture to finally produce a monumental urban form unparalleled in its scale and magnificence for its times. While the grid iron pattern of planning has been used historically in city planning, it application at such a monumental scale for a planned trade city along with peculiar urban form makes it stand out as one of its kind in the history of urban planning of the Indian subcontinent. What is even more credible is not only the continuity of the architecture and urban form but also the functions of trade and craftsmanship that truly retain the living heritage character of this medieval urban settlement.

    Criterion (vi): Historically, the city is said to have housed “chattis karkhanas” (36 industries) majority of which included crafts like gemstones, lac jewellery, stone idols, miniature paintings and others each with a specified street and market designed for each craft that continues to date. During 19th century, the local crafts received further momentum with British period influences in special exhibitions held in UK, establishment of institutions such as Rajasthan School of Arts and Albert Hall Museum. While the local traditions of guilds continued, formal institutions for crafts, policies and programmes by Government and private sector further contributed to national and international recognition of Jaipur crafts in the 20th and 21st centuries. The continuing building crafts of Jaipur contribute much to the conservation works of the city and the renowned craftsmen from Jaipur continue to conserve and restore historic structures across many cities in India.

    Integrity

    The nominated area of the historic walled city of Jaipur within the walls and the gates conforms to integrity of all the attributes (18th century town plan, iconic monuments, urban form, gates, bazars and streets) identified for its nomination as a World Heritage Site. All components and elements that contribute to the potential Outstanding Universal Value of the property are within this nominated area and intact in all respects.

    The city walls and gates including all major monuments and bazars remain in original condition despite increasing development pressures. Aspects such as underground Metro lines have been incorporated on the East West axis with due consideration that the architectural icons and urban character of the walled city area remain unchanged.

    The boundaries of the nominated property confirm to the original 18th century plans of Sawai Jai Singh II and align well with the surrounding topography as well as the original vision for this planned city. The size and scale of all town planning elements such as width of roads, hierarchy of public spaces, open spaces, waterbodies, built form all are intact as per original plan. The iconic built heritage structures of retain their form, character and architectural style as per original ones. Though some areas of bazars and inside havelis in chowkris are undergoing major changes, but most are still intact as per original form and location. The buffer zone area includes all natural terrains and surrounding peaks that governed the marking and alignment of this town plan on ground. The surrounding peaks are likely to be impacted visually with urban development and increasing skyline outside the nominated property. Hence, urban controls are already administered under Jaipur Development Authority Byelaws to arrest this.

    Authenticity

    The spatial organization of the historic walled city of Jaipur continues to reflect the 18th century grid-iron plan. The architectural components like the gates and city walls, bazaars, chaupars and chowkris, historic structures, havelis, religious buildings, and water structures; retain the urban ensemble of the walled city of Jaipur as conceived from 18th to early 20th centuries. The materials and substance are largely retained as per original primarily lime and stone. Even the bazaars (market areas) have been recently conserved using traditional materials. In some cases, the 20th century structures use cement concrete but retain the original architectural vocabulary.

    The use and function of most royal and public spaces and monuments is now adapted to contemporary requirement of a public monument visited by all. While the shops, temples and private houses largely retain their original use and continue to function in the same manner.

    The boundaries of the nominated property conform to the original 18th century plans of Sawai Jai Singh II and align well with the surrounding topography as well as the original vision for this planned city. The buffer zone area of the nominated property conforms to the surrounding landmarks and natural terrain that were used as reference points to mark the ground plan of the city including Ganeshgarh in the north, hills of Galtaji in the East, Nahargarh and Hathroi in the west and Shankergarh in the south.

    The city's settlements and traditional house forms bear an eloquent testimony to the cultural traditions of various socio-religious bearing and have given a unique identity to the settlement which is world famous for its craft traditions and local wisdom in establishing a social order which emanated from their beliefs and adherence to the values enshrined in it. The spiritual value of the city such as the strong association with the city god Govind Devji and worship of other deities in various temples continues along with public festivals and rituals, as do the trade, commerce and craftsmanship activities.

    Protection and management requirements

    The Municipalities Act of 2009 (amendment) and Jaipur Building Byelaws 1970 guide the architectural control on urban character of Jaipur which has helped in retaining the original architectural form of the bazaars. As per Jaipur Master Plan 2025, the walled city area is a specially designated heritage zone and any work related to Heritage Conservation is guided by detailed heritage management plans and project reports implemented through mandated government agencies.

    The Jaipur Heritage Management Plan (2007) provides the vision for Jaipur Heritage and is legislated through the Jaipur Master Plan 2025 (see Annexure II, i). The nominated property will be managed as per overall guidelines and framework outlined in MDP 2025 under Section 2- Development Plan for U1 Area. The Walled City falls under the U1 Area and the plan will take into cognizance all other past and ongoing plans for the nominated property. Walled city has been recognized as a special area for Heritage Conservation under Development Plan for U1 Area and shares the vision outlined in the Jaipur Heritage Management Plan 2007. As the Jaipur Heritage Management Plan has been implemented in various phases and synchronized with other plans, a comprehensive management strategy with an action plan protecting the attributes identified in the OUV and the criteria is devised to serve as an extension to Jaipur Heritage Management Plan for the management and monitoring of the nominated property. The action plan has been formulated taking into consideration the attributes identified under criterion ii, v and vi; and how these attributes of the architectural style, grid- iron plan, town planning principles, traditional house forms, iconic monuments, living traditions and artistic works can be protected and safeguarded.

  4. Strongly recommends that the State Party give consideration to the following:
    1. Develop the Special Area Heritage Plan under Jaipur Master Plan 2025 to enhance the state of conservation of the property with regard to development impacts, including those affecting the city wall, and otherwise including conservation measures for the city wall and craft streets, and commence implementation of the plan,
    2. Complete the detailed heritage inventory for the property covering all attributes at a suitable level of detail,
    3. Improve the legal protection by introducing architectural control guidelines and other measures to overcome the potential dangers to the property and ensure it is adequate and effective for all attributes, including ensuring coordination between the various protective measures through the heritage committees proposed in the management framework,
    4. Extend the management system to cover all attributes in the property, and demonstrate the enhanced management system is effective, well-coordinated and has adequate supporting administrative tools and power,
    5. Undertake Heritage Impact Assessments for any current or planned projects which may affect the proposed Outstanding Universal Value of the property, in compliance with paragraph 172 of the Operational Guidelines,
    6. Develop a detailed monitoring program, including more detailed indicators,
    7. Establish an overall interpretation and presentation policy and program for the property;
  5. Requests the State Party to submit to the World Heritage Centre by 1 December 2020 a report on the implementation of the above-mentioned recommendations, for examination by the World Heritage Committee at its 45th session in 2021.
Decision Code
43 COM 8B.16
Themes
Inscriptions on the World Heritage List
States Parties 1
Properties 1
Year
2019
Documents
WHC/19/43.COM/18
Decisions adopted during the 43rd session of the World Heritage Committee (Baku, 2019)
Context of Decision
WHC-19/43.COM/8B
WHC-19/43.COM/INF.8B1
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