The 2.8 km Ghat ki Guni Tunnel can be said to be the gateway to the Pink City of Rajasthan – Jaipur from the eastern side. The tunnel built on National Highway No. 11 connects Rajasthan’s capital Jaipur to Agra, the city of Taj Mahal. It is a significant connection for travelers who want to explore both the culturally rich cities and travel hassle free.
The Tunnel to the Heritage of Jaipur
Ghat ki Guni Tunnel was built by drilling out a portion of the Aravalli Hills located on the eastern side of Jaipur. It has been named after the alley named Ghat ki Guni, which comes as soon as one enters Jaipur through the tunnel.
Ghat ki Guni is a narrow alley in the Pink City, which has beautiful façade on both sides of the road. The structures in the Ghat ki Gunni alley represent the erstwhile Jaipur Architecture. There are intricately carved Jharokhas (balconies) and chhatris (pavilions) adorning the structures. The Ghat ki Guni was built in 1739 by the founder of Jaipur City, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. The layout of the Ghat ki Guni was inspired by Mughal style architecture with grand gardens and palatial edifices. In the bygone era, the Havelis (mansions) in the alley were used as residences by people of Jaipur. But over the years the place was deserted and faced neglect. Eventually, the Amer Development Authority restored and renovated the structures, which are now an important part of the rich heritage of Jaipur city.
The significance of the Tunnel
One of the major reason to build the tunnel here was to save the heritage structures from the damage caused by pollution. Since there was no other diversion from the highway to the city, the road saw a lot of traffic. With the construction of the tunnel, a clear diversion has been created especially for heavy motor vehicles. The vehicles can now bypass the city interior road and travel further on the highway. This has ensured that the restored Ghat ki Guni façade doesn’t get affected by pollution.
Another reason for the need for the tunnel was that the road had become quite an accident-prone area. The drive through the narrow alley meant a lot of traffic jam for commuters. The twin-tube four-lane tunnel has now eased the traffic congestion majorly.
The Ghat ki Gunni Tunnel is an important structure in the development of Jaipur as a megacity. The tunnel has connected the city with major tourist destinations on that route like Bharatpur and Agra. It has also created a hassle-free travel for the people of Jaipur for their trade and businesses.
Construction of the Tunnel
The Ghat ki Guni tunnel was built at cost of Rs 150 crores. It was opened for vehicular traffic in 2013 by the then Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh. The walls of the tunnel have been painted with pink colour representing the city’s essence. The tunnel has sensors to control air pollution and cameras for speed control of the vehicles. There is enough arrangement made for proper ventilation and illumination in the tunnel like fans and lights. There are fire emergency facilities. Also, if you want to just walk in the tunnel then there is a pedestrian footpath inside it as well.
Travel through the tunnel
For those who want to explore the Ghat ki Guni heritage of the Jaipur city, this tunnel is a gateway for it. Whether one is entering Jaipur or exiting the city from the eastern end, the route to this tunnel will certainly fascinate you with its heritage structures on both sides. It is probably the best route for a tourist, who wants to enjoy the Rajasthani hospitality in Jaipur and Bharatpur and visit the monument of love – The Taj Mahal in Agra.