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Memorial Chhatri of Jat Rana Udaybhanu Singh Maharaj at Dholpur, Rajasthan, India. Chhatri Udaybhan Singh.jpg
Memorial Chhatri of Jat Rana Udaybhanu Singh Maharaj at Dholpur, Rajasthan, India.
Chhatris set atop each corner of the Hall of Audience in Fatehpur Sikri palace complex. Audienzhalle.jpg
Chhatris set atop each corner of the Hall of Audience in Fatehpur Sikri palace complex.

Chhatris are elevated, dome-shaped pavilions used as an element in Indian architecture. The word Chhatri means "canopy" or "umbrella." In the context of architecture, the word is used to refer to two different things. The usual and more widely understood meaning is of a memorial, usually very ornate, built over the site where the funeral (cremation) of an important personage was performed. Such memorials usually consist of a platform girded by a set of ornate pillars which hold up a stone canopy. The word chhatri is also used to refer to the small pavilions that mark the corners and roof of the entrance of a major building. These pavilions are purely decorative and have no utility, but are a classic folly displaying the status and wealth of the owner.

Pavilion type of building

In architecture, a pavilion has several meanings. In architectural terminology it refers to a subsidiary building that is either positioned separately or as an attachment to a main building. Often its function makes it an object of pleasure.

Folly architectural structure characterized by a certain excess in terms of eccentricity, cost, or conspicuous inutility; often found in gardens or parks

In architecture, a folly is a building constructed primarily for decoration, but suggesting through its appearance some other purpose, or of such extravagant appearance that it transcends the range of garden ornaments usually associated with the class of buildings to which it belongs.


Chhatris are commonly used to depict the elements of pride and honour in Rajput, Maratha and Jat architecture. They are widely used in palaces, in forts, or to demarcate funerary sites. Originating in Rajasthani architecture where they were memorials for royalty, they were later adapted as a standard feature in all buildings in Maratha-ruled states, Rajasthan, and in Mughal architecture. The most notable surviving examples today are to be found at Humayun's Tomb in Delhi and the Taj Mahal in Agra.

Rajput member of one of the patrilineal clans of western, central, northern India and some parts of Pakistan and Nepal

Rajput is a large multi-component cluster of castes, kin bodies, and local groups, sharing social status and ideology of genealogical descent originating from the Indian subcontinent. The term Rajput covers various patrilineal clans historically associated with warriorhood: several clans claim Rajput status, although not all claims are universally accepted.

Maratha Indian caste found predominantly in Maharashtra

The Maratha are an Indian caste, originally of Marathi-speaking peasant-warriors. They established the Maratha Empire under Shivaji Maharaj in 1674 and were the dominant power on the subcontinent for much of the following century before their downfall in 1818. They were champions of Hinduism in the face of the Mughal Empire.

Rajasthan State in India

Rajasthan is a state in northern India. The state covers an area of 342,239 square kilometres (132,139 sq mi) or 10.4 percent of the total geographical area of India. It is the largest Indian state by area and the seventh largest by population. Rajasthan is located on the northwestern side of India, where it comprises most of the wide and inhospitable Thar Desert and shares a border with the Pakistani provinces of Punjab to the northwest and Sindh to the west, along the Sutlej-Indus river valley. Elsewhere it is bordered by five other Indian states: Punjab to the north; Haryana and Uttar Pradesh to the northeast; Madhya Pradesh to the southeast; and Gujarat to the southwest.

Chhatris in Shekhawati may consist of a simple structure of one dome raised by four pillars to a building containing many domes and a basement with several rooms. In some places, the interior of the chhatris is painted in the same manner as the Havelis (Mansions) of the region.


A haveli is a traditional townhouse or mansion in the Indian subcontinent, usually one with historical and architectural significance. The word haveli is derived from Arabic hawali, meaning "partition" or "private space", popularised under the Mughal Empire, and was devoid of any architectural affiliations. Later, the word haveli came to be used as a generic term for various styles of regional mansions, townhouse and temples found in the Indian subcontinent.

In Ancient periods

domed temples resembling Chhatri were frequently depicted in Satavahana reliefs and south India from 1st–5th century AD.

Satavahana dynasty Royal Indian dynasty

The Satavahanas, also referred to as the Andhras in the Puranas, were an ancient Indian dynasty based in the Deccan region. Most modern scholars believe that the Satavahana rule began in the first century BCE and lasted until the second century CE, although some assign the beginning of their rule to as early as the 3rd century BCE. The Satavahana kingdom mainly comprised the present-day Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra. At different times, their rule extended to parts of modern Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, and Karnataka. The dynasty had different capital cities at different times, including Pratishthana (Paithan) and Amaravati (Dharanikota).

In Rajasthan

Alwar Urban in Rajasthan, India

Alwar located 150 km south of Delhi and 150 km north of Jaipur, is a city in India's National Capital Region and the administrative headquarters of Alwar District in the state of Rajasthan. Alwar is a hub of tourism with several forts, lakes, heritage havelis and nature reserves, including the Bhangarh Fort, the Sariska Tiger Reserve and Siliserh lake.

Jalsen Talab

Jalsen Reservoir is a Famous Pond in Hindaun City, Hindaun Block in Rajasthan, India. It is cover 3 km2 (1.2 sq mi) reservoir (pond) area. It is located Central in the Hindaun, in the Hindaun Block. It is the most famous pond of Hindaun. Rastriya park in North, SH-1,SH-22 in West, Ramlila maidan in Naurth-East and Nakkash Ki Devi - Gomti Dham in East of Jalsen.

Hindaun Place in Rajasthan, India

Hindaun is a city in Karauli district, Rajasthan, India. It has a population of 105690 and is governed by a municipal council. In vicinity are the Aravalli and Vindhya mountainous ranges.

Many other chhatris exist in other parts of Rajasthan. Their locations include:

In Shekhawati

Some of the best-known chhatris in the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan are located at the following cities and towns:

In Madhya Pradesh

Chhatri of Vithoji in Maheshwar. Chhatri of Vithoji 03.jpg
Chhatri of Vithoji in Maheshwar.

The region of Madhya Pradesh is the site of several other notable chhatris of its famous Maratha rulers:

Krishnapura Chhatri, Indore Indore Krishnapura Chhatri.JPG
Krishnapura Chhatri, Indore
Bolia Maharaj Ki Chhatri, Indore Chhatri Indore.JPG
Bolia Maharaj Ki Chhatri, Indore
Krishnapura Chhatri, Indore Krishnapura Chhatri on Khan Riverbank.JPG
Krishnapura Chhatri, Indore
Inside view of Krishnapur Chhatri, Indore Krishnapura Chhatri from inside.JPG
Inside view of Krishnapur Chhatri, Indore

In Kutch

Rao Lakhaji Chhatri Bhuj Rao Lakhaji Chhatri.JPG
Rao Lakhaji Chhatri Bhuj

Chhatris can also be found in the outskirts of Bhuj city belonging mainly to Jadeja rulers of Kutch. The chhatri of Rao Lakhpatji is very famous for its intricate designs & carvings. Most of them but have been destroyed in the 2001 Gujarat earthquake. The restoration work is going on.

Outside India

Chhatri of Ram Mohan Roy in Arnos Vale Cemetery, Bristol, England Tomb of Raja Rammohun Roy in Arnos Vale Cemetery, Bristol, England.jpg
Chhatri of Ram Mohan Roy in Arnos Vale Cemetery, Bristol, England

There are two notable chhatris in the United Kingdom, a country with strong historical links to India. One is a cenotaph in Brighton, dedicated to the Indian soldiers who died in the First World War.

The other is in Arnos Vale Cemetery near Bristol and is a memorial to the distinguished Indian reformer Raja Ram Mohan Roy, who died in that city.

See also

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Ram Singh may refer to:

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