Jaipur, the home of Arts, is itself a gem, both literally and metaphorically. Its talent and creativity has found expression in so many areas that this gem sparkles from every angel. The businessmen of Jaipur have achieved first rank nationally in export of artistically cut precious and semi- precious stone. A carving in stone is believed to be long lasting.
If this stone carving is in the hand of skillful artist it results in sculpture which appears to be everlasting. Jaipur is a center of many kind of sculpture of great excellence. This is due to the geographical location of Jaipur.
it’s artistic tradition and dedication to beauty, by its craftsmen. This pursuit of artistic excellence has been a living tradition throughout more than two hundred fifty years of the history of Jaipur town. Jaipur occupies a special place at the international level due to its multifaceted identity. Jaipur reflects the personality of Swai Jai Singh, the great lover of art, scholar and man of taste who was its founder. He brought to Jaipur not only prosperity but also attracted great personalities.
When the capital of the state was shifted from Amer to Jaipur in 1727, Jai Singh developed Jaipur not only as a planned town but also as an intellectual, cultural, educational, artistic center and also encouraged painting, sculpture, music and other arts. Famous specialist in these areas were invited from all over the country and encouraged to settle down in Jaipur.
Jai Singh’s wisdom and foresight made Jaipur a centre of attraction for artists and men of genius from all over the world. The Pinkcity become their favourite work place and it also made a name in the sphere of gems and sports particularly Polo. It is also known as a centre of sculpture and Emerald Jewellery. Thus Jaipur is a unique city with a multi-faceted personality.
The internationally famous gem craft of Jaipur has a very old tradition. Skillful craftsmen from Delhi, Agra and Varanasi were among the first to be invited to settle in Jaipur. They not only kept alive but also achieved further excellence in their family skills and traditions some families of jewellers connected with this have helped Jaipur to become one of the main centre in this sphere in the world.
This is reflected in the field that a main market is known as Johri Bazar and the chief centre court of the Pinkcity is known as “Badhi Choupar”.
Some of the families that were invited to settle in Jaipur were Mukim, Maalpani, Phophalia, Zargar, Sandhi Ajja Mia etc. The Mukim are believed to have been invited from the Mughals court by Maharaja Ram Singh. The others were invited by Jai Singh. Later the Kishan Chand Harchand Singharh family flourished here. Familiesthat came still later were Dhandia, Bairathi and Mushal. The well known Kashinath family of Delhi was also attracted to Jaipur.
Among the families which contributed to the development and success of gem and jewellery work in Jaipur were: Sundar Lal Tholia, Ratan Lal Ji, Phophalia, Sugan Chand Ji Chordra, Shri Chand Ji Golcha, Gulab Chand Ji Bothra, Punam Chand Ji Jhajhar, Ratan Lal Ji Naulekha and Raj Roop Ji Tak special mention must be made of the Vinay Chand Bhai Durlabji and Khel Shanker Durlabji family which came from Morbvi (Gujrat). Mention must also be made of Muna Lal Surana, Harishchand Bader, Shrimal Navlankha, Gokul Dal ji andGyan Chand Ji Khinduka and M/S Guman Mal Umrab Mal Chordiya, Gem Place, Gems Trading Corporation, Bhuramal Rajmal Surana, Maliram Puranmal, Sagarmal Danga and company, Jewellery’s Emporium.
At first place it many appears o be a puzzle how Jaipur become such a great centre of gem and jewellery work and industry particularly Ruby and Emerald of without the raw material of uncut gems or gold being available everywhere in the state. It was the outcome of the wise and foresighted policy followed by the rulers of Jaipur. Jewelers and gem traders from all over the world used to come to Jaipur to sell their wares to the gem lover rulers of Jaipur. However, the ruler made their purchase through the local jewelers. Thus these families had an opportunity to develop and flourish.
There were no banks at that time loans were advanced to local jewelers by the ruler. Patronage was also extended to artisans engaged in gem cutting, engraving and setting gems in gold and silver.
It has been the special good fortune of Jaipur that arts, crafts, architecture and fine arts continued to develop here while the rest of India saw unsettled conditions. The Mughal Empire began to disintegrate in the early Eighteenth century. Large areas of India were ravaged by the Pendaris and Thugs. The Marathas, Tipu Sultan and the Osmania rulers of Hyderabad fought each other for supermacy in the sub-continent while the Marathas plundered Agra and Delhi, Jaipur were untouched. The Jaipur state was an area of peace and settled conditions. For about a thousand years the Amer state and Jaipur, Pink City didn’t see any attackers.
Today Jaipur is known all over the world over as a gem centre. It is the world capital for Emerald because eighty percent of all finished emerald work of the world originated form Jaipur. From costly Emerald to Semi- precious and artificial gems, eightyfour kinds of gems are cut and finished here. Gem work of very high quality is done here by craftsmen who use very simple tools, work not in any factory but in barely finished rooms at home, following the family or traditional style of craftsmenship. No machines are used. Often the whole family is engaged in this work.
Gold and silver jewellery manufacture naturally developed with gem work because the two go together. Jewellers have nave been considered in anyway less important then gem workers in Jaipur.
So Jaipur is a center of excellent Meenakari, Kundan and stone-set and Lack jewellery. The rich artistic heritage of Jaipur in gem and jewellery work also inspired a poet who thus describes the scene of open sail of jewellery and pearls in Jaipur.
“In the street of Jaipur beautiful sales girls sell jewels and pearls but they do not open their mouths fully under the fear that their shining teeth may outshine the jewels and so the jewels may be underpriced by the buyers as they may appear less sparkling than the teeth of the damsels.”