213-yr-old monument loses colour after wash!
|Jaipur's historic landmark Hawa Mahal has turned a shade lighter in some corners after enthusiastic civic authorities used water pressure hoses to clean the 18th century monument ahead of Parvasi Bhartiya Divas [Credit: Web]|
This was done as part of preparations for the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2012. The monument, which is almost symbolic of the Pink City, was built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799. The clean-up drive, aimed at washing off pigeon droppings and removing stains deposited over the years, has now created a controversy since it has damaged the structure at places and caused the colour to chip off.
"Around five years ago, Hawa Mahal had been coloured with Khamir," Zaffurullah Khan, circle superintendent, archaeology and museums, said. Zaffurullah Khan, circle superintendent, archaeology and museums, said, "However, pollution and bird droppings had dirtied it. An effort had been made in the past to clean it with dry cloth in vain. Therefore , it was cleaned with water. The dirt was cleaned without weakening the plaster or fading the colour. The water was sprayed by a fire tender. The fire safety officers themselves supervised the exercise to avoid any damage. The water was sprayed through a small pipe and not through the ones used to douse fire." TNN Besides, the officers of the archaeology and museum department were present during the cleaning," Zafar said.
Hawa Mahal was built with the aim of enabling the ladies of the royal household to watch everyday life and royal processions in the city without being seen by others. It has 953 small casements, each with tiny latticeworked (jali) pink windows, small balconies and arched roofs with hanging cornices.
While some opine the monument has lost its sheen due to washing, others feel Jaipur being a tourist city the monuments here should get proper maintenance and not just be spruced up to impress the NRIs.
Source: The Times of India [January 08, 2012]