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Jawahar Kala Kendra: Centre For Preserving Ancient Culture of Rajasthan

Jawahar Kala Kendra was inaugurated in the year 1993 by the state government of Rajasthan in the year 1993 and dedicated to our first prime minister of India Late Shri Jawahar Lal Nehru. 

The main aim of the centre is to revive the cultural as well as spiritual values of India and also display the rich arts and craft heritage of the state. Though the idea for the building conceived much earlier, but the construction started only in the year 1986. The centre is designed as an analogue of the Jaipur’s original city plan prepared by the Maharaja Jai Singh II during 17th century. 

He prepared the plan based on the Shilpa Shastras which is based on Vedic madala of nine houses or squares that represent the 9 planets including Rahu and Ketu. Thus the Jaipur city is planned based on nine squares of Yantra where one of the squares is displaced and two other central squares are combined. Further, the squares come with 8m high wall which is the fortification wall found along the old city of Jaipur.

Centre for the preservation of ancient culture of Rajasthan

The building program is disaggregated and comes with the 8 separate grouping according to the myth represented by the planet.
  • The library is located in the square of planet mercury which represents knowledge traditionally.
  • The theatres are found in the Venus house that represents the art
  • The central square is designed based on Vedic Shastras and represents nothing which is everything. This square comes with the flooring pattern of lotus that represents the sun (city palace, Jaipur).
The astrological symbol of each planet is expressed in the cut out opening found in its external walls. Jawahar Kala Kendra comes with eight blocks that houses theatres, museums, library, cafeteria, arts display room, hostel and studios.

Some of the inferences from the centre are as follows:
  • The buildings of the centre are designed based on the vaastu pursh mandala. The architect has tried his best to create the brand image of the historical city and have tried to get the essence of the existing form in a superficial manner.
  • However, the critical sustainable aspect of the traditional architecture of Jaipur was not tackled well.
  • The place comes with the interplay of shadow, light and colours which invokes emotion in the user and makes them to move forward.
  • The space flow as a narrative and also changes the mood of the user. However the overall circulation lacks the corridor that is fully covered which makes it unusable especially during rainy season and in summers.
  • The alfresco theatre is not only good looking but also enclosed by the high walls which creates ventilation and acoustic problems when it is heavily crowded.
  • The high walls make the façade building enclosed and the same do not open up to the city but within the building the activities are disintegrated but come as a mixture of various cultural activities that takes place individually.
Jawahar Kala Kendra is constructed with the overall aim making our past culture known to our future generations so that they are aware of their past culture and traditions.

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