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Vision, movement and landscape experience in Princely Town Amber, India

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Title: Vision, movement and landscape experience in Princely Town Amber, India
Author(s): Rajora, Neha
Advisor(s): Sinha, Amita
Department / Program: Landscape Architecture
Discipline: Landscape Architecture
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: M.L.A.
Genre: Thesis
Subject(s): Amber Fort Heritage Trails Landscape Conservation Jaipur Rajasthan Hill Forts India Cultural Landscapes
Abstract: Cultural landscapes are a part of a nation’s heritage and are narratives of the by-gone era. These landscapes exhibit our culture and history and it is equally important to conserve them, along with built monuments, to truly protect and represent them as sites of the past. This study focuses upon one such important cultural landscape of historic Amber fort and town, located in Jaipur district, India. Amber Fort Complex along with six other hill forts in the state of Rajasthan was recently added to the tentative list of World Heritage Sites. It was India’s World Heritage Site nomination in the cultural category in 2012. Amber Fort and the surrounding cultural landscape evolved from the 11th to 17th century and represent elements of both Hindu and Islamic architecture. The site contains three forts, lakes, gardens and Amber town with its old temples and living heritage, all located in Aravalli hill range and its valleys. It is an important tourist destination and this site alone contributes to almost one-third of the city’s total revenue from tourism. As in many other historic sites in India, the focus of conservation efforts in Amber is on historic monuments rather than on cultural landscapes and intangible heritage. My premise is that expanding the scope from the building to the landscape scale will be respectful of the historic integrity of the site. This will distribute the heavy concentration of visitors on a few choice monuments over the larger cultural landscape resulting in a wider and more authentic experience, and provide an opportunity for experiencing the culture. Through a series of site readings and mappings of the present day layered landscape, the design intelligence of the past has been interpreted and an integrated conservation plan for Amber has been developed. Heritage walks through the hill forts, lakes, palace gardens and historic town of Amber are proposed for movement with unfolding views of the cultural landscape. This will enable the visitor to have an immersive experience and the opportunity to create a coherent image of the past, reliving its history. Landscape conservation will contribute to increasing domestic and international tourism to Amber town and serve as a model for conserving other hill forts in Rajasthan.
Issue Date: 2013-05-24
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/44165
Rights Information: Copyright 2013 Neha Rajora
Date Available in IDEALS: 2013-05-24
Date Deposited: 2013-05
 

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