Restoration Work done by MMCF under Heritage Conservation and Promotion Initiatives

8. February 2013 16:16 by Mr. Bhupendra Singh Auwa in Charities

Restoration Work done by MMCF under Heritage Conservation and Promotion Initiatives

A number of conservation and restoration projects have been taken up under the Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation (MMCF). The salient features of the restoration carried out include the use of:

- Experienced conservation professionals
- Well qualified and experienced work site staff
- Traditional master   craftsmen   and   skilled workers
- Preparation of conservation master plan
- Works carried out as per conservation master plan
- Only traditional materials
- Traditional techniques

In 2007, restoration work was started on the two chatris at the Badi Pol entrance of the Palace called the Ghadiyal ki Chatri and Nakkarkhana ki Chatri. These were restored using lime arraish work by traditional craftsman. The Golden spires (kalash) on top f the chatris were also restored.
The pillars in the Palki Khana were restored using fine lime stucco work. The Bhagwat Parkash Mahal was adapted for use as a Photographic Gallery.
Moti Chowk was restored with a tourist information centre and a shaded seating area created for museum visitors.
Wall paintings on the Toran Pol are currently being restored by expert conservators.
Extensive conservation and restoration work is currently ongoing at the Tripoliya and expected to be completed by December 2010.

Building Works

- The Zenana Mahal
Renovation of the east, west and south wings of Zenana Mahal in the year 2000 is undertaken with Landscaping of The  Zenana Mahal and Laxmi Chowk.

- Manek Mahal
Restoration and repairs are carried out at Manek
Mahal in 2002.

- Amar Mahal

Restoration of Amar Mahal with Lime wash removed from the unpolished marble and the closed Jharokas opened in 2004.

- Passage connecting Mardana Mahal to Manek Mahal

The Passage with ramp was opened in 2004 from the main entrance of Mardana Mahal to Manek Mahal in The Mor Chowk.

- Restoration of Hawa Mahal above Tripoliya Gate

Restoration of Hawa Mahal above Tripoliya Gate in the year 2005 is completed.

- Restoration of Zenana Choti Deodi – Ganesh Door

Restoration of Zenana Choti Deodi - Ganesh Door, The Zenana Mahal, The City Palace Complex, Udaipur in the year 2006.

- Restoration of The Mor Chowk East Wall

Extensive damage caused to the east wall of The Mor Chowk was repaired and restoration work completed on the mirror and glass inlay figures. Restoration was carried out by descendants of the craftsmen who originally made  the  beautiful courtyard in the 19th century. As a conservation measure, stone eaves were constructed around the courtyard to prevent similar damage from recurring.

- Nakkarkhana ki Chatri

A s   a l re a d y   m e n t i o n e d ,   re s t o r a t i o n   a n d conservation of Nakkarkhana ki Chatri  was completed  in 2007. The project was submitted for the Subject: 2008 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards.
An appreciation letter from Sheldon Shaeffer, Director, UNESCO Bangkok, Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education through Ref:
143.8/HAICA344/08 dated 1st September 2008; Subject: 2008 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards.....
……As almost all of the entries were technically excellent, the competition this year was very difficult. Though your project, Udaipur City Palace Complex, Udaipur, Rajasthan, India, was not selected for one of the announced prizes, the Jury noted that the project reflects a noteworthy commitment to conserving the heritage resources of the region, and reflects the increasing momentum and standards of conservation throughout Asia and the Pacific. The Jury would like to share their comments on your entry, as follows:
The Jury would like to recognize the efforts in conserving the historic drum tower which is part of the significant palace complex. The restoration has employed appropriate traditional building technologies and processes. The high visibility of the drum tower to the front of the complex sends an encouraging signal for future restoration works. Since the project plans to address larger scale works within the complex in the future, the Jury encourages the project to be re-submitted later upon completion of more comprehensive physical conservation works. Moreover, in any future repair or restoration works, the Jury encourages greater affection to detail in ensuring that modern workmanship matches the historic fabric.

- Ghadiyal ki Chatri

Restoration and conservation of Ghadiyal ki Chatri was completed in November 2009. An architectural landmark at the Palace entrance, the Chatri was restored using traditional methods and is an exemplary conservation of tangible and intangible heritage.
The letter proves that although the MMCF is doing all it  can towards conservation and restoration of the important monuments it looks after with its limited resources, still more needs to be done. The foundation is aware that money, expertise and time need to be ploughed into these projects that are aimed at conserving not just the region's but the nation's historical and cultural heritage. It therefore looks for support from governmental and para-governmental and private bodies to complete this enormous challenge.

- The Manek Chowk Gardens

Located in The City Palace Complex, Udaipur it is a large landscaped courtyard of lawns,  shrubs  and fountains fronting the main entrance steps and doorway to the palace and museum. Today, the venue is used for celebrating Eternal Mewar Festivals, large formal dinners and other special events and ceremonies. By day it is a meeting place for the many tourists who visit The City Palace Museum.

- Baadi Mahal Terrace rooms

Restoration and conservation of the Baadi Mahal terrace rooms was completed. The  walls were replastered in the original manner.

- Bannathji Temple

Renovation of Bannathji Temple grounds and the establishment of Shiv, Shakti and Vishnu Temple with Mataji Kaksha and Sabhagar.

- Suk Niwas:
The Gokhada (Jharoka) with beautiful glass work on the west side of Surya Chopad was built in A.D. 1801 at the time of Maharana Bhim Singh - Ref. Bahida No. 675

Tripoliya, 'The Triple Arched' Gate
built of white marble procured from Rajnagar, Rajasthan by Rana Sangram Singh II, the 61st Custodian of House of Mewar in A.D. 1711 stands at the northern end of The City Palace Complex, only the Maharana used to enter through the middle arch while other subjects and visitors used the two side arched entries of Tripoliya. The gate also indicates and is the sign of the sovereignty and an independent state.

The gate was further adorned by adding the first story of Hawa Mahal during the reign of Maharana Swaroop Singh r. 1842-61, which was restored in 2005 by Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar of Udaipur.
However, no previous Maharana had installed the traditional wooden gates in Tripoliya despite the fact that provision was kept on the sides of each arch for such an installation by Rana Sangram Singh II.
Now, after a  long gap of 300  years and  15 Custodians, Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar of Udaipur the present 76th Custodian of House of Mewar and Chairman and Managing Trustee of Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation, Udaipur took the initiative of installing three massive wooden gates at the 'The Triple Arched' gate Tripoliya in 2010 as a way of completing his obligations to his forefathers.

Technical Specifications
Dimensions for 3 gates
- Left: 20 ft height x 12 ft width
- Center 20 ft height x 13 ft width
- Right: 20 ft height x 12 ft width

- Wood: Burma Teak Wood (Burma Sagwaan)
- Brass fittings: Mogra; Phuldi; Ankush; Kada; Sankal
- Iron framing
- Linseed oil (Alsi ka Tel) is used to increase the life of wood; shining purpose; termite proof
- Old chandeliers to lighten up the gates
- The wooden blocks were fixed in araldite
- A special screwdriver of 3'6'' was developed for these historic gates
Weight: Left: 4000 kg; Center: 4400 kg; Right:
4000 kg
Duration of Making: 5 months
Cost: ` 27 lacs approx

The use of local material and workmanship is an added testimony to the  building skills of the region's craftsmen and serves as a reminder to their unparalleled building skills. The team worked very hard day & night and installed the gates on the auspicious occasion of the  birthday  on  13th December 2010 of Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar of Udaipur.

Tripoliya wooden gates were installed in December 2010 and as good omen happens Her Excellency Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil, The Honourable President of India visited Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar of Udaipur at Shambhu Niwas Palace, The City Palace Complex, Udaipur on 22nd December 2010.
Shriji Arvind Singh Mewar of Udaipur, stands as the epitome for preserving the culture and heritage of world's longest dynasty. He is a myriad minded and multifarious personality, who is also managing many philanthropic and charitable activities aiding a number of people.

- Restoration of objects and artworks

Restoration of seven historic Horse Carriages is finished in 2003.

- In the year 2005 restoration and painting of eight Open Litter chairs, two Zenana Palkies and three Elephant Hawdha's. Torn upholstery is repaired where possible, or the item is reupholstered with textiles similar to the original.

- A brief report on the Renovation of Paintings on the Ceiling of Toran Pol in the City Palace Museum, Udaipur.

Prepared by  Mr.  S.  Girikumar, Art  Conservation, Consultant, MMCF, August 2011

This is a report on the renovation of paintings on the ceiling of Toran Pol in the City Palace Museum, Udaipur. The treatment was carried out during September - October 2010.

A brief description of the condition of the painting and the treatment given to it are in the following sections. Detailed records of the treatment along with photo documentation of various stages are maintained in the Pictorial Archives of the Maharanas of Mewar.

Description: The painting  is  of  Raasleela depicting Krishna with Gopis. The painting is made inside the dome of the Toral Pol. There is an image of Krishna playing flute and 16 Gopis playing various musical instruments in dancing postures on either side of him.
Approximate area of the painting is 625 square feet.

Medium: Tempera on lime plaster

Period: The exact date of the painting is not known. However, the style, color scheme and the workmanship indicates that this is a comparatively recent painting than those in the rest of the City Palace Complex, Udaipur. It is possible that this area was repainted at some point when an older painting existed was damaged. During the detailed examination no evidence of the existence of such a painting was found suggesting that the older painting was completely removed before repainting.
Condition: Painting was extensively damaged. There was deposit of dust dirt etc. all over the surface. There were some beehives on the surface causing thick encrustation of wax and staining of the painting. Detachment of paint layer and minor flaking are found all over the surface. The image of Krishna is completely flaked of. There had been some seepage of water in this area which had led to this. The plaster in this area was too weak. There were minor cracks and loss of plaster in many areas. Pervious repairs in the plaster with cement were visible in a few places. There were bird droppings and insect excreta on some areas of the painting.
Treatment: Considering the painting was repainted sometime in the recent past and some of the figures needed to be completely repainted it were decided to engage an artist who is familiar with the style and technique of the existing painting for the renovation.

The work was carried out by Mr. Kailash Jeengar and his assistants under the supervision and guidance of the Art Conservation Consultant, MMCF.  The surface was cleaned with wads of cotton wool and soft brush to remove the dust and dirt deposited on the surface. Some of the previous repairs using cement were loose and detached from the wall. They were removed. In a few areas where the repairs were firmly holding and there was a risk of damaging the surrounding areas in trying to remove them. Therefore it was decided to leave them untouched. The cracks and the loss in plaster were filled and leveled using lime mortar. The areas of losses were repainted in the tempera technique using natural pigments mixed with gum Arabic. All the efforts were made to ensure the integrity of the existing painting was maintained in terms of theme, style, and materials.

- Renovation of Lifts at The City Palace Museum, Udaipur in 2011

A new Lift is now operating at Nagina Badi ka Darikhana with exits in Sabha Shiromani ka Darikhana, Mor Chowk and Pitam Niwas. It was originally installed in 1938 at the time of Maharana Bhupal Singh.
- A Lift has been installed at Laxmi Chowk. Originally installed at the time of Maharana Bhupal Singh in the
1940's it had fallen into disrepair. Restoration and repairs have been carried out in keeping with its original interior design. The lift operates at Bhupal Prakash from Laxmi chowk and carries 2 passengers at a time.

To know about all the work done by MMCF -

Heritage Conservation and Promotion Initiatives by MMCF

8. February 2013 16:09 by Team Eternal Mewar in Charities

Introduction to Heritage Conservation and Promotion Initiatives by MMCF

As a living palace, the City Palace in Udaipur forms the cultural heart of the Mewar region. The MMCF therefore has taken its responsibility of preserving the remarkable tangible and intangible cultural heritage of this vast complex very seriously. This enormous responsibility is fulfilled through a comprehensive and informed set  of  initiatives. These include the maintenance and continued development of the City Palace Museum and the Palace Complex, preserving local culture through the celebration of festivals in the traditional manner, documenting and researching cultural practices and creating forums for knowledge transfer. All this is made particularly challenging because of a lack of good cultural preservation practice in India, making it necessary to develop suitable systems and methodologies before they can be implemented. The MMCF's goal is to be a world leader in heritage conservation and community inclusion and the Foundation often has to generate its own benchmarks for this goal, as there is a lack of the same in either the government or private sectors in India. The MMCF is keen to share its best-practice and conservation experience with all interested parties and therefore has an ambitious knowledge transfer initiative in addition to its implementable conservation programme.

Aims and Objectives of Heritage Conservation and Promotion Initiatives by MMCF

- The establishment of centres to encourage the understanding of Indian culture.
- The development and support of museums dedicated to preserving ancient culture, history
and literature.
- Establishment and support of libraries pertaining to Indian culture.
- To promote research pertaining to Indian and other allied cultures and history.
- To publish literature pertaining to Indian culture, civilisation and history
- Conservation and restoration of ancient and modern structures which are useful to the spread
and preservation of Indian culture.
- Promotion and preservation of Indian classical and folk music and dances

Area of work under Heritage Conservation and Promotion Initiatives by MMCF

• Eternal Mewar Festivals
• Restoration Work
• The City Palace Museum Initiatives
• International Cultural Collaborations
• Pratap: Preserving the legacy of a National Hero
• Visitor's Diary

To know about the Restoration Work taken up by MMCF under Heritage Conservation and Promotion Initiatives, please visit -

We will be updating about each area in the upcoming days.
Keep looking this space!

To know about all the work done by MMCF -

Eco-Management Initiatives by MMCF

29. May 2012 02:35 by Vinita Sharma in Charities

Maharana of Mewar Charitable Foundation (MMCF) takes the environment very seriously and has always worked towards creating a better and healthier environment.

Aims and Objectives of these initiatives are:
- Water management, which would include digging new wells, reservoirs, dams, recycling, etc.
- Prevention and control of air, water and noise pollution
- Protection of trees, vegetation and wildlife
- Promotion of the use of passive energy systems.
- Protection and development of existing ecology and wildlife.

The MMCF has contributed an enormous amount of resources to the fulfillment of the above eco objectives. The most significant of such projects that have been initiated by the Foundation include working for- Water Resource Management, Bio-electro Magnetic Energies Survey and Research into Solar Energy for public transport.

We will be telling you about all the projects and their details in the upcoming blog posts.
For now, we have updated information about, 'The Dewas Project' which was taken under our efforts for Water Resource Management -

The Royal Udaipur Rolls-Royce GLK 21 Classic Drive from Derby to Udaipur to Pebble Beach and... Continues

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