Famous as Pink
City- Jaipur is certainly a major attraction for first time
visitor. The city is surrounded on all sides by rugged hills and
symbolizes the nine divisions of the universe. The city, apart
from offering innumerable historical monuments, palaces and
forts patronizes several arts too. Fascinating places worth a
visit include: Amer Palace, City Palace, Hawa Mahal, Nahargarh
and Jai Garh.
city-capital in the tone of an autumnal sunset, literally lush
pink when prince Albert, the consort of Queen Victoria, stepped
on its soil in 1883. Interspersing the play of red and pink were
white borders and motifs, painstakingly outlining the
architectural highlights of Jaipur's buildings. Jaipur had been
like that since 1727 when Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II had it
built that year.
Interestingly, the royal family's earlier residence at Amber,
was only 11 km away and had been since the 10th century. Seven
hundred years later, the Maharaja chose to raise a 'City of
Victory, and aptly baptised it Jaipur. Coincidentally, the name
also incorporated the first name of the Maharaja thus
immortalising the builder : both through his nomenclature of
dynasty and concept of ideals.
Jaipur was and remains the only city in the world symbolizing
the nine divisions of the Universe through nine rectangular
sectors subdividing it. A young Bengali architect Vidyadhar
Bhattacharya, formalised the city's plans on the 'Shipa Shastra',
the epochal Hindu treatise on architecture, tempering it with
sublimity of Mughal and Jain influences of the times. The
Palaces and forts of the yesteryears that were witness to royal
processions and splendour are now living monuments. There is a
timeless quality to Jaipur's bazaars and of eternity to its
people. Could the woman drying chillies under the sun, in the
shadow of the fort, have been there a hundred years ago? Could
not the Jeweller, so carefully crafting the gold and precious
stones of his trade, be equally its vision of the future.
Jaipur is a great city and this is its most noticeable aspect.
Buildings testify to it. Its Palaces, luxury hotels, ancient
beautifully carved and painted Havelies pay homage to the grand
capital of princes and kings, a city of the past that belongs to
PLACES TO SEE
Located at Sierh Deori bazar, Hawa Mahal, literally the
Palace of Winds, built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh,
displays fanciful architecture and is a remarkable landmark of
Jaipur. So named because the palace has specially latticed
screens and arches for an unbridled flow of the air currents but
is a set pattern with the passage of the sun. Till the recent
past, ladies of the court from within the palace positioned
themselves by the balconies to watch processions passing through
in the streets below without themselves being observed by the
In earlier times, the entire complex was owned by the Minas
and dedicated to 'Amba Mata', the incarnation of earth and
fertility. Amber overlooks the Moata Lake and is rated as a
marvel of bastion excelling in architectural and building
skills. Amber had the distinction of being the capital for six
long centuries before Jaipur came into being. A fascinating
blend of Hindu and Muslim influences is distinctly discernible
in its architecture. Amongst the most majestic of apartments is
Jai Mandir or the Hall of Victory. The palace complex also boats
of a Hall of Mirrors, the like of which is not seen in the
country elsewhere. Sukh Niwas, the Hall of Pleasure, is a marvel
of 17th century engineering, its best feat being a unique system
of 'air-conditioning'. The model operandi was based on a cool
breeze blowing through a fall of cascading waters. To ascend the
fort, jeeps and elephants can be hired near the entrance gate.
Emperor Sawai Jai Singh II, the builder of the city has to his
credit five observatories in different parts of the country. The
one he raised at Jaipur is the largest and best preserved. Huge
instruments in intricate masonry offer an accurate measurement
of the time, the declination of the sun, the altitude and the
azimuth, the position of constellations in the sky for the day,
the eclipses and the allied astronomical phenomena.
This former royal residence is an imposing blend of traditional
Rajasthani and Mughal architecture and the craftmanship.
Surrounded by crenellated walls this piece-de-resistance of
Jaipur's palaces occupies one seventh of the walled city,
comprising a string of minor palaces and imposing halls, Of
special significance is the 'Chandra Mahal' which overlooks the
breathtaking Jai Niwas Gardens and the highly revered Shri
Gobind Dev Temple. The Museum within the palace has an array of
galleries of rare paintings, exquisite miniatures, scholarly
manuscripts, artefacts and traditional treatises on
architecture. The fine collection of guns and swords on
display dates back to the 15th century and is one of the best in
As its name
denotes, this is a palace built amidst a lake and intended as
the summer resort for the royal family. The palace is noted for
its intricate architecture.
km, a picturesque road winds its way up the hills. At one time,
the fort was a retreat for the royal family. Nahargarh Fort
commands a panoramic view from the top of the hill.
HOW TO GET THERE
Jaipur has its own airport, and is well connected to all
other tourist and business centres.
An excellent connection to Delhi by Shatabdi Express and the
Pink City Express. Other connections to Jaipur are from Bikaner,
Jodhpur, Udaipur, Ahemadabad, Secunderabad and Lucknow.
A network of reasonably comfortable tourist buses, run by
road corporations of Rajasthan, Haryana and others.
A major gem and jewellery centre, Jaipur is famous for
Kundan work (enamel work on gold). Also there are woollen
carpets, cotton rugs, marble statuary, enamelled wares, brass
ware, hand-block printed Sanganeri and Bagru Cotton fabrics,
exotic blue pottery made from crushed quartz, leather footwear