Urban Utopias pp 189-205 | Cite as

Excavating the City: Metro Rail Construction and Imagination of Past in Contemporary Jaipur

  • Garima Dhabhai
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Urban Anthropology book series (PSUA)


Metro Rail, an instrument for restructuring urban space in contemporary India into a mold of ‘world class’ city, is beginning its journey in Jaipur’s walled enclave/old city. At this very moment, the material process of this birth is being written onto the land and built environment of the city. In Jaipur, this initial moment of spatial reordering has become an exercise in reading the possible ‘pasts’ that are strewn across the city. Through detailing contestations between varied stakeholders such as government departments, groups agitating against the metro, and popular histories of the city over metro construction, the chapter seeks to describe the process of valuation of the city’s past, filtered through the trope of heritage-laden development and thriving tourism industry.


Urban Space Walled City Royal Family Metro Line Heritage Conservation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. Alsayyad, Nezar. 2001. Consuming Tradition, Manufacturing Heritage: Global Norms and Urban Forms in the Age of Tourism. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  2. Arora, Ramesh, Rakesh Hooja, and Shashi Mathur. 1977. Jaipur: Profile of a Changing City. Jaipur: Indian Institute of Public Administration, Rajasthan Branch.Google Scholar
  3. Hancock, Mary. 2008. The Politics of Heritage from Madras to Chennai. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Harvey, David C. 2010. Heritage Pasts and Heritage Presents: temporality, meaning and he scope of heritage studies. International Journal of Heritage Studies 7(4): 319–338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Henderson, Carol, and Maxine Weisgrau. 2007. Raj Rhapsodies: Tourism, Heritage and Seduction of History. Hampshire: Ashgate Publishing.Google Scholar
  6. Jain, Shikha. n.d. Walking into the Microcosm of Jaipur: A Concept Paper. New Delhi: UNESCO.Google Scholar
  7. Jaffrelot, Christophe. 1996. The Hindu Nationalist Movement and Indian Politics. London: C. Hurst.Google Scholar
  8. Kirshenblatt-Gimblett, B. 1995. Theorizing Heritage. Ethnomusicology 39(3): 367–380.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Licciardi, Guido, and Rana Amritahmasebi, ed. 2012. The Economics of Uniqueness: Investing in Historic City Cores and Cultural Heritage Assets for Sustainable Development. The World Bank: Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  10. Lowenthal, David. 1968. The Heritage Crusade and the Spoils of History. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Naidu, Ratna. 1990. Old City, New Predicaments: A Study of Hyderabad. Delhi: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  12. Nilsson, Sten, ed. 1995. Aspects of Conservation in India. Lund, Sweden: Lund University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Ong, Aihwa, and Annanya Roy. 2011. Worlding Cities: Asian Experiments and the Art of Being Global. London: Blackwell Publishing Limited.Google Scholar
  14. Pareek, Nandkishore. 1984. Rajādarbar aur Raniwasā. Jaipur: Rajasthan Patrika Pvt. Ltd..Google Scholar
  15. Ramanathan, Swati. 2010. Jaipur Metropolitan District Master Development Plan 2025. Bangalore: Indian Urban Space Foundation.Google Scholar
  16. Ramusack, Barbara. 1995. Princes as Fantasy: Palace Hotels, Palace Museums and Palace on Wheels. In Consuming Modernity: Public Culture in a South Asian World, ed. Carol Breckenridge. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.Google Scholar
  17. Ramachandran, M. 2012. Metro Rail Projects in India: A Study in Project Planning. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Roy, A.K. 1978. History of Jaipur City. Delhi: Manohar Publishers.Google Scholar
  19. Sachdev, Vibhuti, and Giles Tillotson. 2002. Building Jaipur: Making of an Indian City. London: Reaktion Books.Google Scholar
  20. Sarkar, Jadunath. 2009. A History of Jaipur C. 1503–1938. Delhi: Orient Longman.Google Scholar
  21. Srinivas, Smriti. 2015. A Place for Utopia: Urban Designs from South Asia. Seattle: University of Washington Press.Google Scholar
  22. Tuan, Yi-Fu. 1980. The Significance of the Artifact. Geographical Review 70(4): 462–472.CrossRefGoogle Scholar


  1. Environmental Impact Assessment Report, Jaipur Metro Rail Corporation, September 2013.Google Scholar
  2. Pre-Building Condition Survey Report, Volumes I-VIII, Jaipur Metro Rail Corporation, 2013. Prepared by Continental Engineering Corporation.Google Scholar
  3. Revitalization of Walled City—Phase I. January 2009. Revisions in Detailed Project Report in alignment with Urban Development Projects for Jaipur as a World-Class City (2009–10). JNNURM, Ministry of Urban Development, Government of India. Prepared for Jaipur Municipal Corporation by JVF-DRONAH Heritage Studio.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Garima Dhabhai
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Political StudiesJawaharlal Nehru UniversityNew DelhiIndia

Personalised recommendations