About: 36 Karkhanas (Deptts.) of Jaipur State

The rulers of Amber-Jaipur were not only brave and courageous but also very efficient administrators. As administrators, they served very sincerely under different Mughal Emperors and were duly acknowledged and rewarded. They were even deputed as Subedars in different parts of the Northwest frontier and helped the emperors in running the administration smoothly. At times when other Mughal Generals were unsuccessful in their expeditions, the kachhwaha rulers like Maharaja Man Singh 1, Mirza Raja Jai Singh, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh, etc. were given the charge to lead the Mughal forces to victory.

Due to internecine conflicts between the successive weak emperors, the Mughal dynasty started declining at the beginning of the 18th century and it was the opportunity for Sawai Jai Singh to strengthen his position. He shifted the kachhwaha capital from Amber to Jaipur.

During his reign, for better maintenance of the administration, the system of 36 karkhanas (Deptts.) was established. He was a great scholar of Sanskrit. He deeply studied the Hindu scriptures, especially the Vedas and the epics, and strictly followed the ideologies mentioned in them. His attachment to the Mughal administration proved another advantage for him. The 36 karkhanas are found mentioned in Buddhivilas a manuscript written by Bakhatram, preserved in Pothikhana of City Palace, Jaipur. After a detailed study of Kapatdwara records and other different literary works of Pothikhana, Pandit G. N. Bahura (ex-in charge of Pothikhana) however could identify the existence of 34 karkhanas. Their names are given in the following –
1. Kapatdwara  2. Pothikhana  3. Suratkhana  4. Khyalkhana  5. Silahkhana  6. Farrashkhana  7. Palkikhana
8. Philkhana  9. Baggikhana  10. Sutarkhana  11. Rathkhana  12. Tabela atish  13. Gwalera  14. Shikarkhana
15. Rasoda  16. Modikhana  17. Taterkhana  18. Tambolkhana  19. Aukhadkhana  20. Imarat  21. Mistrikhana
22. Nakkarkhana/Naubatkhana  23. Gunijankhana  24. Karkhana Punya  25. Bagayat  26 Khabar
27. Tarkashi (Gota-kinari)  28. Khushbukhana/Ittra ki auri  29. Nakhas (Horse selling and purchasing)
30. Mashalkhana  31. Patangkhana  32. Paatarkhana  33. Rangkhana  34. Roshan chowki

After Sawai Jai Singh his successors also took initiative in the upliftment and proper maintenance of their karkhanas. But after integration due to inadequate resources, many karkhanas gradually started declining and were finally closed. Late Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II and his successor, the present Maharaja of Jaipur Brig. Sawai Bhawani Singhji restarted certain karkhanas. Nearly a dozen of these karkhanas are running in the premises of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum, City Palace, Jaipur. Restarted karkhanas are –
1. Kapadwara Pothikhana  2. Suratkhana  3. Silahkhana  4. Farrashkhana  5. Palkikhana  6. Baggikhana
7. Imarat  8. Mistrikhana  9. Naubatkhana  10. Karkhana Punya (Dharmartha)  11. Bagayat etc.

It is to be mentioned that, in the last few years on the premises of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum a new gallery has been started, where to keep alive the age-old tradition of Jaipur art and craft, different artists of paintings, enameling work, blue pottery, etc are given space to demonstrate their skills and sell their products directly to the tourists/visitors.

(Source: Display Board at City Palace, Jaipur {Rajasthan})