[Ganesh Pol in] The old Palace, Ambere, Jaipur
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of the Ganesh Pol in the Raj Mahal or Old Palace at Amber in Rajasthan, taken by an unknown photographer in the 1900s. The photograph is from an album containing views of various locations in India, formerly in the collection of Horatio Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener of Khartoum and Broome, (1850-1916), who was Commander in Chief, India between 1902 and 1909.
Amber was the ancient capital of the Kachwaha Rajputs from the middle of the twelfth century until the foundation of the city of Jaipur nearby in 1727. In c.1600 Man Sing I (r.1592-1615) began construction of the Raj Mahal or Old Palace. Construction of the palace continued during the seventeenth century and the Ganesh Pol was probably built by Sawai Jai Singh II (r.1699-1744) though some give it an earlier date. The gate takes its name from a painted panel depicting the elephant-headed god Ganesh over the central entrance. It leads from the second public court of the palace to the third, private garden court. The view shown is of the outer, north façade facing onto the public court. The arrangement of five pointed arches is derived from Mughal architecture and the painted floral decoration was added in the 18th century. The upper storey forms the Sohag Mandir pavilion, and through its pierced marble screen windows or jalis women of the court were able to observe activities in the second court. It is considered one of the most beautiful gateways in the world.