Havelis – A Living Tradition of Rajasthan : Beyond the forts and palaces, innumerable havelis weave the urban fabric of the medieval towns in Rajasthan. These havelis of the nobles and courtiers are unparalleled in architectural beauty and provide in interesting insight into the domestic architecture of Rajasthan.
The book is the first comprehensive, regional work on these mansions of the courtiers spread in the historic towns of Rajasthan. It traces the evolution and transformation of the havelis in the alternating context of unified Rajasthan and its sub regional diversities. The documentation of several havelis in different regions of Rajasthan in different regions of Rajasthan is further supported by an examination of the haveli form to show how the regional variations arise from social, political and geographical factors such as occupation, caste, topography, and available material.
The book draws on information collected from regional texts, fictions and folklore depicting social life, extensive fieldwork including of a survey of more than 150 havelis in different towns of Rajasthan and interviews with several haveli residents. It covers major cities of Rajasthan such as Jaipur, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Udaipur as well as a number of smaller towns and thikanas of earlier times. This book presents a first hand, detailed and documented version of the traditional ‘Haveli form’ of Rajasthan for the exploring tourist who wants to look beyond the obvious destinations and for the architects, art historians and conservationists looking at vernacular architecture in search for regional roots.
Shikha Jain studied architecture from School of planning and architecture, New Delhi and later finished Masters in Architecture from Kansas State University, USA. Her doctoral work on the traditional havelis of Rajasthan from Prasada, De Montfort University, UK has been awarded the IIA Research Award 2003 by the Indian Institute of Architects.
She is involved in architectural research and teaching. A number of her articles on heritage and conservation have been published in architecture journals. She is also editor or Context: Built, Living and Natural, a biannual refereed journal on built heritage and environment and consultant to INTACH (Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage) Gurgaon Chapter.