Jaipur is popularly known as the Pink City. It is also the capital of the state of Rajasthan. It is one of the most visited tourist places of India being one of the consituent destinations of the famous tourist itinerary, The Golden Triangle of India. It is as popular as Delhi and Agra to foreign visitors. The old city of Jaipur is partially encircled with seven gates - the major gates are Chandpol, Sanganeri, and Ajmeri. The 'pink city' label, applies specifically, to the old walled quarter of the Rajasthani capital, while in the northeast of the town, glorious palaces and temples, in an assortment of styles, spanning centuries, are scattered throughout the, predominantly, urban area.
The Capital of Rajasthan
Jaipur is steeped in history and culture. Here the past comes alive in magnificient forts and palaces, blushed pink, where once lived the Maharajas. The bustling bazaars of Jaipur, Famous for Rajasthani jewellery, fabric and shoes, possess a timeless quality and are surely a treasure trove for the shoppers. This fascinating city with its romantic charm takes you to epoch of royalty and tradition
The city owes its name, its foundations and its careful planning, to the great warrior - astronomer Maharaja Jai Singh II. His predecessors, had enjoyed good relations with the Mughals, and Jai Singh was careful to cultivate this alliance. In 1727, with Mughal power on the wane, Jai Singh decided to move down from his capital hillside fortress at Amber, to a new site on the plains. A Bengali architect Vidhyadhar Bhattacharya designed the city, using the principles of town planning, as laid down in the Shilpa Shastra, an ancient Hindu treatise on architecture. He built the City Palace, and the largest stone observatory in the world, employing the same principles.
When to Visit
The best time to visit Jaipur is between October and March.
Getting to Jaipur
Jaipur is 262 kms from Delhi and is well connected by road, rail and air. A big fleet of deluxe and air conditioned buses is operated by the Rajasthan Roadways between Delhi and Jaipur.
Places you must visit
The Hawa Mahal, almost the leitmotif of Jaipur is a wonderfully idiosyncratic five tiered composition of arches and balconies. Built in 1799 for the ladies of the royal household to view the outside world and the city's grand processions, the tiny openings in the balconies allowed them to gaze at the world outside while shielding them from prying gazes.
The Jantar Mantar is one of the most timeless and culturally independent pieces of architecture in the world. Jaipur Jantar Mantar, is one of the five astronomical observatories built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II.
Built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799 in the midst of the Man Sagar Lake, the Jal Mahal would have been built as a royal pleasure pavilion around an internal garden court. It was also believed to have been used for royal duck shooting parties.
Govind Dev Temple
To the north of the Chandra Mahal (Moon Palace) within the city palace complex is the spire less temple of Lord Krishna or Govind Dev the presiding deity of Jaipur. The idol was rescued by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II from Vrindavan from the marauding Mughal forces that were sent out to deface the idol under orders of Emperor Aurangazeb.
The main markets within the walled city are along Jauhari Bazaar, Bapu Bazaar, Nehru Bazaar, Chaura Rasta, Tripolia Bazaar and on M.I. Road. Other hotspot destinations for smart shopping are M.I. Road, Gheewalon Ka Rasta, Choti Chaupar, Gopalji Ka Rasta, Ramganj Bazar,Khazanewalon Ka Rasta.
With a history dating back at least to the 16th century, it is not unexpected that a lot of the past can be traced by its archeological history. While many of the early structures have either disappeared or ruined, those dating from the16th century are in a remarkable state of preservation.