“The popular view that Bhattacharya was the chief architect of the city came to the fore in the Sixties and Seventies by historians who didn’t understand the history of the subject to the core. I wish there were some record on the principal architect, but there wasn’t any,” said Tillotson
Verbal history gives credit to Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, a minister in the court of Jai Singh, for designing the city using ancient science, but this assertion lacks support from conservationists and archaeologists who have studied the history of Jaipur.
Renowned historian and archaeologist Rima Hooja said Bhattacharya rose from an accountant to become the dewan (prime minister) in the court of Jai Singh II.
“Documents say he was the signatory behind granting land for housing and business in the Walled City, especially Johri Bazaar. The City Palace has enough records to prove his authority in the administration, but nothing conclusive that he was behind city planning, which is a bouquet of different architecture styles,” said Hooja. Historians also claimed that the entire city was built in 7-8 years, fastest construction even if it was to equate with present times. However, chances of it being designed by a single person are disputed, a number of historians observed.
Acknowledging Bhattacharya’s contribution, the city administration has named a satellite town — Vidyadhar Nagar — which gives credence to the claim of him being the chief architect.