Ismile Tower Popularly known as Isarlat or Sargasuli.

Ismile Tower
Ismile Tower

While walking through the royal streets of Jaipur, your eyes cannot miss the sight of this skyscraper, located just at the center of the old Pink City, near Tripolia Bazar on the right side of Tripolia gate. A magnificent tower like structure - Ismile Tower, popularly known as Isarlat or Sargasuli. 

This winsome architecture has prestige reputation for many years in Jaipur since 1749 A.D. It is seven storied octagonal tower heighted 140 ft. Draping itself in yellow color, this building has been finely decorated with arches, along with the galleries paved at every alternate storey. Enter the tiny door, take a flight over up to 264 steps upwards, swirling in a beautiful round gallery and you are on the top of this building! A superb cross section fills this winding staircase with immense light and air. 

Each balcony outlet in its every segment, interlaced windows within and the 'chhatri' type cupola at the top altogether make the visitors amazed a number of times by providing them with a astonishing and stupendous panoramic view of Jaipur City ! You can have a 360 degrees view of the world heritage Pink City standing atop this once called "tallest minaret of Jaipur". 

It is popularly known as 'Sagrasuli' precisely meaning a ‘passage to heaven', the promised land, depicted as being above the sky. Alternatively, the name means 'heavenly stage for punishing criminals'. However, no historical evidences have been found stating clearly the meaning of its nomenclature.

Apart from name, talking about its architecture, it is a magnificent amalgamation of Rajput and Mughal style of architecture, said to have designed by Ar. Ganesh Khowan. The minaret is said to have been inspired or being based on the architecture of Qutub Minar of Delhi and Kirti Stambh of Chittorgarh. Probably, this is the reason why it is locally referred to as "Jaipur ka Qutub Minar". 

Moreover, it can be said a proficient specimen of Vastukala as it's layout was designed keeping in view the rules of Vastushastra. 

But, now the question is, who built this minaret? This architectural delight was constructed by Sawai Ishwari Singh, the eldest son of Sawai Jai Singh II of Jaipur. What led him to construct the skyscraper? Multiple views and stories have been associated with it’s construction. 

One view or you can say a story, that is historically supported is that, Ishwari Singh constructed it to immortalize his victory over Sawai Madho Singh. 

After the death of Sawai Jai Singh II in 1743 A.D., his eldest son Ishwari Singh was to become the king as per the tradition but Ishwari's step brother Madho Singh also had an eye over the throne. In the desire of usurping the throne, he attacked Jaipur with 6 other kings forming an alliance of 7 – Kings of Udaipur, Marathas, Jodhpur, Kota, Bundi and Shahpura. A battle was fought among them about 20 miles away from Jaipur at Bagru. 

Sawai Ishwari's army, under the generalship of Hargobind Natani, became victorious and in order to commemorate this victory Sawai Ishwari built a seven storeyed tower signifying his victory over collective army of these 7 States. That is why, it is also known as 'Jai Stambha'. 

One other story associated with its construction is that Sawai Ishwari Singh fell in love with the girl and to see her daily he ordered the construction of such a high minaret. Other's suggest that Sawai Ishwari Singh fell in love with daughter of his General Hargobind Natani but could not marry her because she wasn't from the Royal Lineage and Sawai Ishwari wished to see her from the top of Isarlat. However, historians do not claim the fables like this. 

So this was our Journey to a sky piercing memorial, the 'Tower of Heaven' – Isarlat that once served as a watch guard to the palace of the Royal Family, the City Palace. 

It is still bestows us with the opportunity to stand at its top and to fascinate our eyes with the glimpse of many heritage monuments, like Nahargarh Fort, Charan Mandir, Garh Ganesh, City palace, Old Vidhansabha, Jantar Mantar, Hawa Mahal and many more.

Photography by Manav Singhi -
 Article by Garima Gupta

Ismile Tower
Ismile Tower


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