I don't think I had any clear idea what I meant
by ‘celebrating rock’ when I first said
those words to Golak.
If he had asked me to elaborate I would probably have looked into middle distance, shuffled my feet and said: “Let’s see if we can find new ways of working with rock.” Or something airy like that.
Luckily, he didn’t ask. So we just pressed on, antennae waving...
We were given the go-ahead by
CEO Monty Bana in August of 2009.
We started out with 4 broad aims, to:
Everything else that happened here was an embellishment –
or an afterthought!
It was an unspoken tenet of Golak’s working modus to stay open to ideas and inspiration that can sometimes appear unbidden from left field.
It made a lot of sense – we were working in a new environment with unfamiliar natural materials. Jodhpur has its own distinctive tradition of working with local stone and, for both of us, remaining open to new ideas, gathering awareness as we went along, served us well.
delineate the bounds of the Visitors Centre
restore the appearance of the historic Pol
improve the grounds with an attractive garden
plan how visitors will move through the Centre
This is what Singhoria Pol looks like in Plan
This is Singhoria Pol after we had cleared the site and knocked open the bricked-up entrance.
The verandah on the ground floor was an obvious place for a ticket counter. It seemed to make sense that this is where visitors would buy their entrance tickets, collect maps and information, and then thread their way out to the back to the start of a Walking Trail.
This was the back of Singhoria Pol before we took out the bricked-up entranceway
And this is what it looked like with just a little bit of tidying up (and a nicer sky)
Jodhpur’s natural palette of rocks is made up of 2 very dissimilar kinds of stone.
One is SANDSTONE, Jodhpur’s go-to building material, that is mined from a set of digs (that looks a bit like Mohenjo Daro) at a place called Soorsagar (BELOW), only a kilometre or so from Mehrangarh.
The other is RHYOLITE, a tough, crystalline volcanic rock that outcrops all over Chidiya Toonk, which is the delightful name of the hill on which Mehrangarh stands.
Soorsagar mines in Jodhpur