By Faraz Izhar
”One of my good friends mentioned something about some fort in Jaipur in one of my earlier posts, and that led me to “Midjourneying” to the State of Rajasthan in India.
Rajasthan literally translates to “the land of kings”. Between the 8th and 18th centuries; the region flourished with numerous Princely States established by the Kings of the Rajput Dynasty. These Kings built magnificent, majestic forts across the region. More than 100 forts still exist, out of which six are designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
I vividly remember the visits to the picturesque hillforts of Amer, Nahargarh, and Jaigarh during our college trip to Jaipur at the time of our 3rd year in Architecture. Been to some other cities in Rajasthan a couple of times earlier as well. The grandeur and magnificence of these forts are no less than extraordinary. While the Rajput style of architecture shared the characteristics of the Mughal and Sultanate styles, the distinctiveness came with the style of finer ornamentation derived from eclecticism.
The forts utilized the natural defenses of hills, rivers, deserts, and dense forests. Some of the fortifications run up to 20 kilometers in circumference. Within the fortifications, there used to be palaces and other community buildings, centers for learning for music, arts, and culture, and the military barracks. The fort of Jaisalmer in particular may be unique in a way, considering the fact that it still has an urban center with an intricate network of lanes, by-lanes, and alleys lined up with houses, temples, shops, hotels, and restaurants within its walls.
Sat down with Midjourney AI to re-imagine these forts which once may have stood at the pinnacle of their grandeur, glory, and magnificence. These images are some of the outputs. It is remarkable the way Midjourney catches the nuances with the slightest change in the “text-prompting”. Just as one example – one mention of “city” is enough to render the image output closer to the prevalent architectural style associated with that city. So much so that you can easily make out the subtle differences between “Jaipur”, “Jaisalmer” and “Chittorgarh” styles, though all three are Rajput Styles of Architecture.
Most of my outputs, owing mostly to the use of light, are deliberate night or dusk scenes, and I communicate accordingly to the Midjourney bot in my text prompts.”