Historical Leheripura Gate of Vadadora, GJ needs to be conserved for the posterity

Lehripura-gate,Vadadora ,Gujarat, Alamy.com

Back part of  Lehripura gate, Vadadora wikimapia.org

Lehripura Gate, built in 1558, close to Nyay Mandir in the busy  Chardarwaja area of Vadadora, formerly Baroda of Gujarat state is a towering structure with beautiful arches. It is the most ornamental gate among the four gates in this old part of the city - the  Champaner, Gendigate and Panigate, that served as entry points to the erstwhile old city of Vadodara with Mandvi gate being at the center of the city. 

The present day Laheripura Darwaja (Gate) is part of Western Rampants of the Kila-e-Daulatabad fort that  was built by  Sultan Khalil Khan who ascended the throne in 1511 CE after his father's death.  The old name Vadpatraka  changed into   Vadodara (Baroda) over a period of time. The name Leheripura evolved from  Laharis - groups of coppersmith communities  residing in that area. Presently, this area is popular for for traditional Gujarati and Marwari artifacts.

 The city  records do not mention when the gate was constructed but it has been around since the pre-Mughal period.  In the present version, all the three arches are well  decorated with cusped arches. On either side at the end one can see a tower like  feature with a cap on it. The large Jharokha on the walled space on the central archway and the small ones are  well decorated. It is said that Robert Chisholm, the British architect who designed many structures in Baroda during the reign of  Maharajah Seyajirao  Gaekwad III was very much impressed by the gate and and got some inspiration from it during his stay here.

Lehripura-gate,Vadadora tandfonline.com

Above image:  Vintage image of Lehripura-gate,Vadadora, GJ:  First modified in 1879 on the happy occasion of the wedding of maharajah Sayajirao Gaekwad III with Maharani Chimnabai. The three gateways had no ornamentation or decoration, the center one being large. There were motifs and paintings. The stucco works in the spandrels (triangular gap: see the image) of the arches are faded way due to time and vagaries of weather.  The upper level of the gate has projected balcony with a roof cove above. 

Spandrels en.wikipedia.org

1890ehripura-gate,Vadadora in.pinterest.com

Above mage: Lehripura-gate,Vadadora, GJ: The configuration of the arches on the sides changed after 1890  to make provision for easy flow of traffic. Side arches are wider and decorated. 


Collapse of a small roof of Lehripura-gate,

Vadadora, GJ

pre-mughal-era-Lehripura-gate,Vadadora /indianexpress.com

Above images;  Back portion of the  Lehripura Gate with 5 simple arches with a parapet wall all along with a series of small vertical openings.   In  the 3rd week of Sept, 2021 part of the ceiling collapsed due to  heavy rains.  Though the gate is not on the list of ASI's  protected monument list, in 2014 it  was restored by the Vadodara Municipal Corporation (VMC) along with the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).  ASI  replaced the damaged stones from arches, refurbished the lime concrete and did chemical treatment. In addition, they restructured the  the support pillars and walls.  The ASI officials visited this Chardarwaja area later to assess the structural damages. Both the  VMC and the ASI, however, refused to attribute any reason for the collapse. As usual it could be due to negligence on the part of he city authorities.  A sum of  Rs, 75 lakhs was sanctioned to restore it.................................