Jaipur – The Pink City
Jaipur, an imperial city with its rugged fortresses and exquisite palaces displays remarkable amity in architectural grandeur. Referred to as a city of Maharajas, some of the palaces, once the royal residence has been converted to heritage hotels.
Jaipur City was built by Maharaja Jai Singh in 1727. It is located in the state of Rajasthan and is famous for its forts, palaces, and lakes. The city reveals the glory of an affluent and eventful past. It is also known as the ‘Pink City’ due to the pink shade applied to its buildings and forts.
Falling under the Golden Triangle, (Delhi, Agra, Jaipur) the city is visited by millions of domestic and foreign tourists. The old city of Jaipur is enclosed within seven gates, the most important of which are Chandpol, Jaipuri, and Sanganeri.
The palace is a magnificent blend of traditional Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. The royal family still uses the part of the palace residence and the rest portion is converted into a museum. The palace consists of several structures like Badal Mahal, Shri Govind Dev Temple, Mubarak Mahal, Chandra Mahal, and City Palace Museum. The palace also consists of an art gallery with a superior collection of miniature paintings, carpets, and royal belongings. The palace is 3.5km. from Jaipur. The best time to make a visit is from October to March and it is opened from 9.30 – 16:30hrs.
Sawai Pratap Singh built the Palace of Winds in 1799. Lal Chand Ustad designed this impressive multi-layered five-story structure. It provides some excellent views of the colorful city. The Hawa Mahal was designed for the ladies of the royal house to watch the enchanting life on the street without being observed. Timings: 9hrs-17hrs.
Jantar Mantar a stone observatory was built by Sawai Jai Singh between 1728 and 1734. It was built to measure the local time, altitude, the declination of stars, planets and to determine eclipses. Jantar Mantar is a grand celebration of astronomical science and each instrument here serves a particular function and gives an accurate reading.
Sawai Pratap Singh built the Jal Mahal in 1799 A.D for royal duck shooting parties. This red sandstone palace is located 6.5 km from Jaipur on the road to Amber is one of the delightful sites at the center of the Man Sagar Lake. The first four floors of the structure are submerged in water, only the top floor remains outside. It is also home to a large number of migratory birds arrive at the lake during winters.
Ram Niwas Garden
Located just outside the walled city is the sprawling Ram Niwas Garden. The garden houses the majestic Albert Hall Museum opened in 1887 AD, this impressive building displays a rich collection of paintings, carpets, ivory, stone, and metal sculpture among other objects. Visiting timings are 1000-1600hrs
Amber fort lies at a distance of 11km from Jaipur is a fascinating blend of Hindu and Mughal architecture. Raja Man Singh built it in the 16th century. The fort crowns on top of the hillside, the walls, and the ceiling of the fort are engraved with ravishing glass mirrors that help in splashing the sun rays all over the premises. Amber is also known for the marvelous Sheesh Mahal, Jai Mandir, Diwan-i-Aam, Sikh Niwas, and the small Kali.
Jaigarh, or the Fort of Victory, is a rugged fort built-in 1726. The world’s largest cannon on wheels is preserved here. The spacious parkotas (walls) watch towers and gateways of Jaigarh are the main sources of attraction. The fort also houses a museum, which displays a collection of weapons and cannons, used by the Rajput rulers. There is an excellent view of the Amer Palace from the fort. It is 11km. from Jaipur and visiting, timings are 0900-1630hrs.
The remnant of a Buddhist temple 86km from Jaipur lies at Bairath. A mint constructed by Akbar, a charming Mughal garden, and an unprecedented monument with carved and painted walls built by Jahangir.
Sanganer 40km from Jaipur is known for its textile block printing, papermaking, and Jaipur blue pottery, besides several temples and an old palace. This small town attracts a lot of tourists from all over the world.
Shopping at Jaipur
Jaipur is a shopper’s paradise. It is famous for leather shoes, blue pottery, tie and dye sheets, scarves, and other exotic wares. Jaipur’s craft, especially lacquer bangles is famous all over the world. Main shopping areas- Jaipur Handicrafts, Aravali Bazaar, Johari Bazaar, Mirza Ismail Road, and Bapu Bazaar.
Suggested Read: Blue Pottery Of Jaipur
Fairs and Festivals
Held annually in January, it is the festival of kites with lights in them and fireworks that brighten the night sky.
The festival is celebrated in the month of March. It is a festival of colors, and various elephant sports.
Gangaur festival is a unique festival held in April and is celebrated in honor of the goddess Guar.
Teej comes in the month of August and is essentially a woman festival, it marks the coming of monsoon.
Air: is well connected to all the major cities, that include Delhi, Mumbai, Jodhpur, Udaipur. Indian Airline flights have also started to Dubai from Jaipur.
Train: Jaipur is on the Broad Gauge and hence connected to all the metro cities of India. There are daily trains from Delhi in the morning Shatabdi Exp. Luxurious Palace on Wheel train starts every Wednesday from Delhi.
Road: Comfortable deluxe and air-conditioned buses are run by Rajasthan Roadways from Delhi (India Gate) to Jaipur. The roads are very good, and it takes around 5-6 hrs from Delhi.