About jog niwas -
Gajendra & Shanane
Tucked away in a rural area 20 kilometers outside of Jodhpur, Jog Niwas is Rajasthan. Jog Niwas was conceived when Shanane Davis and Gajendra Singh Chouhan realized the urgent need to revive the luxurious, time-intensive, distinctive arts of courtly India before they were lost forever. They began to work in close collaboration with the most skilled and knowledgeable masters of India’s surviving royal kharkanas (workshops) to restore a selection of hereditary court arts to their former glory and to find a clientele who would be able to appreciate these arts' exceptional beauty and rarity. Shanane and Gajendra established Jog Niwas and its interior salons and guest rooms over a 7-year period to showcase these treasures and to educate visitors to recognize authentic materials, high-quality workmanship and traditional design, in short, to become the connoisseurs on whom India's most refined arts had always depended.
Jog Niwas is open for guests to immerse themselves in local living and material culture. From Jog Niwas's special rooms and interior courtyard to its indigenous gardens, stunning art and wildlife abound. Here visitors will understand what traditionally made India--and Rajasthan--unlike any other place in the world.
Gajendra Shanane is India’s only indigenous luxury brand. This unique enterprise, truly a labor of love, restores the finest of India’s pre-modern arts to the world's connoisseurs. On the eve of colonial rule, India’s fine and decorative arts rivalled the best in the world. From its perfumes, lacquer, paper, stone carving and jewellery to its staggering range of textiles famed the world over, India’s courtly arts depended on secret, labour intensive, ingenious processes that took generations to invent and perfect. The colonial era saw the demise of many of these arts as industrialization taught India’s buyers to settle for cheaper products that only shabbily resembled what its elite had once cultivated and prized. Few now understand the nuances that distinguish the finest hand-loomed pashmina shawls, for example, from lesser-quality jacquard loomed substitutes, or can appreciate the level of thewa (a unique Indian technique for melding gold and glass) that India’s elite patrons and artisans once collaborated to sustain. Gajendra Shanane brings this luxury back to the world’s most discerning buyers. India’s first true luxury brand, Gajendra Shanane is dedicated to reintroducing South Asia’s finest decorative and wearable art to global connoisseurs. Gajendra Shanane’s secret lies in a historically and technically deep knowledge of India’s artisanal processes, the fostering of respectful, informed, lasting relationships with a selection of India’s few remaining top-level artisanal masters, and a dedication to educating its clientele in the connoisseurship and acquisition of India’s most lavish and rare arts.
From the Pallava and Chola to the Chandella, Chouhan, Rathore and Mughal courts, India’s nobles have understood loyal patronage relations with skilled artists and artisans to be essential to a healthy and prosperous society. In this society, beauty was a virtue in which all shared, not a commercial frivolity for the wealthy few. Fostered by a sophisticated patronage system, India’s royal karkhanas (workshops) developed hundreds of processes to work wonders with silk, cotton, pashmina, wood, precious metals, gemstones, glass, terracotta, fragrant oils, leather, hard stone, paper, lacquer, and mineral/vegetable based dyes. Families invented world famous proprietary methods to ensure each generation would continue to thrive and progress unchallenged. But with the tragic loss of patronage in the 19th and 20th centuries, many artisanal secrets went to the grave with masters who saw no point in encouraging their sons to learn arts that were no longer understood. Gajendra Shanane is dedicated to reversing this decline to remind the world why Indian beauty was once celebrated as the apex of human achievement. They seek out traditional techniques and processes that have been lost, and natural raw materials that can be responsibly and sustainably sourced. The aspiration is to turn buyers away from brands and products buoyed by a rhetoric of luxury towards a true luxury brand, Gajendra Shanane, that is socially and environmentally sustaining, that preaches and practices the high-quality materials and workmanship that are the essence of true luxury, and that thereby returns traditional aesthetics to material culture.