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Primary Projects

The Royal Gardens of Rajnagar (Madhya Pradesh, India)

The Royal Gardens of Rajnagar were created in the 18th Century by the royal family of Chhatarpur. Situated a few miles from the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Khajuraho, Rajnagar is a small but vital hub for all administrative and commercial activities, visited by farmers from all over the region.

The Gardens were created in the second half of the 18th century to mark the birth of the heir to the Royal family of Chhatarpur. Currently 15 such gardens are still in existence. Found exclusively in Bundelkhand region, these gardens served as caravan serais for the royal family. All the gardens share the same features: they are walled, with a small Shiva Temple, an outhouse (Kothi), cremation platforms (Samadhi), stepwells, irrigation channels, 3 to 6 acres.

The Belgian Chapter of ITRHD which funds the project, has undertaken a detailed survey of the Royal Gardens of Rajnagar in the Bundelkhand Region of Madhya Pradesh and initiated projects to restore heritage buildings, develop local infrastructure to promote cultural and Agri-tourism in this region, and introduce organic farming in conformity with the UN`s Sustainable Development Goals.

Restoration and development work is underway on two of these gardens under the project (Rani Bagh, Pateriya ka Bagh) and collaboration on two more gardens is expected to begin soon (Tiwari ka Bagh, Bashir ka Bagh).

Currently a visitors cum training center & community seed bank is being constructed at Pateriya ka Bagh. This building is inspired by the traditional Kothi, and strictly uses traditional construction techniques with design inputs from Dharatal. The aim is to showcase such sustainable construction style for contemporary buildings as well. Activities on sustainable agriculture are held in collaboration with Gandhi Ashram (Chhatarpur).