RAJPUT CIVIL ARCHITECTURE
The Rajput Rulers being great builders spent lavishly on constructions other than temples. They built dams, artificial lakes, canals, toranes or arched gateways, sthambas or towers, fortresses and palaces which even today testify to the their skill in engineering and architecture.
Some of the places where they built majestic fortresses are Chittorgarh, Jaipur (Amber), Jaisalmer, Jodhpur, Mandu, Ranthanbor and Gwalior. These forts were usual built on hillocks and entry was a circuitous ascent made difficult by barriers at intervals. The forts had strong massive walls and numerous round and square towers. They are excellent specimens of Rajput skill.
Chittorgarh Fort, Jaipur
The most exquisite of their Sthambas is the Jaya Sthamba or Victory Tower in Chittor. A 37 metres. High nine storeyed structure - it is elaborately decorated with statues of Hindu deities both inside and outside. It was erected by Maharana Kumbha in the 13th century to commemorate his victory over Mahmd. I, the ruler of Malwa. The tower is as square structure and has balconied windows and mouldings on all four sides.
Victory Tower, Chittorgarh
Beautiful examples of Rajput palaces are the Udaipur Palace on lake Pichola built by Maharana Udai Singh and the Hawa Mahal in Jaipur built by Raja Jai Singh. Elaborate and decorative architecture, carved balconies, marble trellis-work, inlaid mirror and mosaic work and exquisite miniature paintings adorn these palaces. Built on Lakes and having extensive gardens, these palaces are pieces of picturesque beauty.
Lake Palace, Udaipur