Jaipur, the crown jewel of the princely state of Rajasthan, known for the historical monuments and rich folk culture is now set to become one of the first cities in the country to promote ‘night tourism’. The Government of Rajasthan is working towards promoting night tourism in most cities, starting with its state capital, Jaipur. As part of this project, several places of cultural, historical and tourist interest, including Amber Palace, Albert Hall, Hawa Mahal and more recently Vidyadhar Ka Bagh have been earmarked as ‘star venues’. The Director of Archaeology and Museums, Government of Rajasthan, Mr Hridesh Sharma, said, “These monuments will be open to visitors for night viewing. We have taken special measures to light up these architectural marvels in such a way that they look visually stunning. It is also important to note that Amer and Albert Hall was opened for night viewing in the year 2015, whereas Vidhyadhar Garden was open for night viewing recently in 2017.
Mr Sharma further added that since the monuments started operating for night viewing, the segment has attracted footfalls of 12.2 lakh and revenues of Rs 12.2 crore, as against the total capital expenditure of Rs. 4.27 crores made for the installation of lighting fixtures.
The Director further informed that in its endeavour to boost night tourism in the city, the Department has revamped the Vidyadhar Park of the city with the facilities and attractions suitable for night tourism. The 350-year-old Vidyadhar Ka Bagh with its lush green garden, exquisite plantations and landscaping and beautiful fountains, sparkles with myriad hues of yellow and blue lights. Vidyadhar Garden is one of Jaipur’s best-preserved gardens located in the heart of Jaipur. It was built in the memory of Jaipur’s chief Architect, Vidyadhar Bhattacharya. Nestled in the lap of a valley, the garden offers a panoramic view of the city and is the pride of Jaipur’s rich heritage and culture.
Similar preparations are also being made at the other places in the vicinity including the famed Ghat ki Guni tunnel and Sisodiya Garden which will be illuminated during the night.
Further elaborating on the extensive plans to promote night tourism in Jaipur, the Director elaborated the plans for highlighting the beauty of the Amber Fort. “The magnificent 16th century Amber Palace turns even more enchanting with the spectacular display of lights. ‘Amber by Night,’ initiated by the Department. As part of this initiative, the Amber Fort will now be open to visitors from 7 pm till 10 pm, ‘Amber by Night’ offers a vibrant tour of Jaleb Chowk, Diwan-e-Aam, Mansingh Mahal and Sheesh Mahal to the visitors. The facility is enhanced with lights, fixtures, additional security and a café to provide a fulfilling experience to the visitors. Theme lighting with a combination of LED & non-LED light fittings has been used to create moods, based on different festivals. Besides upgradation of basic facilities, major additions are CCTV cameras, electric vehicles and Segway at the Palace,” said Mr Sharma.
In addition, the Department of Archaeology and Museum has started holding cultural programmes at Amber Fort and Albert Hall. Famous artists of Rajasthan and other states take part in cultural performances such as kathak, kalbeliya and other folk dances at these locations. “A kathak performance during a full moon night at the Jaleb Chowk in Amber Fort is not just a stunning sight, it is an unforgettable experience, ” insists Mr Sharma.
Besides lights and some sound shows at historical monuments, the night tourism project also includes illumination of the walled city in Jaipur. The project involves the façade lighting of three main baazars of the city like Chaura Rasta, Tripolia Bazar and Johri Bazar.
In addition, there are plans to include more historical sites – such as the gates – the Sanganeri Gate, New Gate, Ajmeri Gate, Tripolia Gate, Chandpole Gate and even Hawa Mahal into the night tourism project. In addition to theme-based lighting, plans are afoot to hold cultural performances and light and sound shows at these venues.
By Team THN
Images by Department of Tourism, Rajasthan