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View of Chhatri (Cenotaph) of Scindia Rulers at Shivpuri,India
Chhatris mounted atop each corner of the Diwan-i-Khas in the Fatehpur Sikri compound, India

Chhatris are elevated, dome-shaped pavilions used as an element in Indian architecture, or funerary sites in India which have such structures built over them. Chhatris are basic element of Hindu as well as Mughal architecture. The term "chhatri" means umbrella or canopy.

In the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan, chhatris are built on the cremation sites of wealthy or distinguished individuals. Chhatris in Shekhawati may consist of a simple structure of one dome raised by four pillars to a building containing many domes and a basement with several rooms. In some places, the interior of the chhatris is painted in the same manner as the Havelis.

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Chhatris in Shekhawati

Some of the best-known chhatris in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan are located at the following cities and towns:

  • Bissau - The Raj ki Chhatri of the Shekhawat Thakurs
  • Kirori - Chhatri of Raja Todarmal (Ruler of Udaipurwati)
  • Ramgarh - Ram Gopal Poddar Chhatri
  • Dundlod - The beautiful chhatri of Ram Dutt Goenka
  • Mahansar - The Sahaj Ram Poddar Chhatri
  • Fatehpur - Jagan Nath Singhania Chhatri

Chhatris in Rajasthan

Chhatri of Rana Udaybhanu Singh at Dholpur
Chhatri at Rajgarh, Rajasthan

Many other chhatris exist in other parts of Rajasthan. Their locations include:

  • Jaipur - Gaitore Cenotaphs of the Maharajas of Jaipur. Set in a narrow valley, the cenotaphs of the former rulers of Jaipur consist of the somewhat typical chhatri or umbrella-shaped memorials. Sawai Jai Singh II's Chhatri is particularly noteworthy because of the carvings that have been used to embellish it.
  • Jodhpur - White marble Chhatri of Maharaja Jaswant Singh II
  • Bharatpur- the cenotaphs of the members of the Jat royal family of Bharatpur, who perished whilst fighting against the British in 1825, are erected in the town of Govardhan. The chhatri of Maharaja Suraj Mal of Bharatpur has fine frescos illuminating the life of Surajmal, vividly depicting darbar and hunting scenes, royal processions and wars.
  • Udaipur, Rajasthan-. Flanked by a row of enormous stone elephants, the Lake Pichola island has an impressive chhatri carved from gray blue stone, built by Maharana Jagat Singh.
  • Haldighati - a beautiful Chhatri with white marble columns, dedicated to Rana Pratap, stands here. The cenotaph dedicated to Chetak, Rana Pratap's famous horse, is also noteworthy.
  • Alwar - Moosi Maharani ki Chhatri is a beautiful red sandstone and white marble cenotaph of the rulers of Alwar.
  • Bundi - Suraj Chhatri and Mordi Ki Chhatri, Chaurasi Stambh Chhatri and Nath Ji ki Chhatri are located in Bundi. Rani Shyam Kumari wife of Raja Chhatrasal on the northern hill constructed the Suraj Chhatri and Mayuri the second wife of Chhatrasal on the southern hill erected Mordi Ki Chhatri.
  • Bikaner - Devi Kund near Bikaner is the royal crematorium place with a number of cenotaphs. The chhatri of Maharaja Surat Singh is most imposing. It has the spectacular Rajput paintings on the ceilings.
  • Nagaur - Nath Ji ki Chhatri, Amar Singh Rathore-ki-Chhatri

Chhatris in Madhya Pradesh

Chhatri near Bhimtal in memory of Maharaja Bhim Singh Rana on the Gwalior Fort.

The region of Madhya Pradesh is the site of several other notable chhatris:

  • Shivpuri - Intricately embellished marble chhatris erected by the Scindia rulers in Shivpuri.

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See also

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