The Pink City Capital of Rajasthan
Jaipur was built by Sawai Jai Singh II and construction started in 1727. Sawai means "extraordinary" and Jai Singh was awarded this title by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. He was a keen scholar and a man we can say in historical hindsight to have been ahead of his time. Jaipur was planned to be a purpose- built capital to the south of the old capital at Amber. It was named the "city of victory" and took 6 years to complete. Jai Singh II planned for the streets and squares to be built in a mathematical grid of 7 squares to represent the ancient Hindu map of the Universe.
When Prince Albert visited Jaipur in 1876 it was decided to make an impression and cut down the glare and put a pink wash over the buildings. To this day the buildings of the old city are still maintained with this uniform rose pink wash. Today Jaipur is a modern metropolis with busy commercial centre. It has preserved its rich history of palaces and forts and the modern and ancient coexist within a city proud of its heritage.
Places to Visit in Jaipur : Visit the colorful Tripolia bazaar and streets around Badi Chaupur in the old city and here you will find the artisans who make the puppets, silver jewellery and local handicrafts that Jaipur is renowned for. The City Palace in the old city is a large complex renowned for its treasures. The museum displays include miniature paintings, manuscripts, mughal carpets, musical instruments, royal costumes, weaponry, and decorative arts and crafts. The palace is home to two Giant Urns listed in the Guiness Book of Records as the world's largest silver objects. These contained water from the Ganges and were used by Madho Singh for his use while on a visit to London in 1901.
Jantar Mantar is an open air observatory near the City Palace Complex. It was built by the founder of Jaipur ,Sawai Jai Singh II, and is one of five that were built by him. Today this is the best preserved observatory as it was restored in 1901.The instruments give insight into the ancient knowledge and ways of measuring time, location of stars and constellations, the sun's declination, meridian, and altitude. Some of the instruments are still used today to forecast how hot the summer months will be.
Hawa Mahal "The Palace of Winds" is a well known landmark in the Old City and here in the old days the royal women would have watched royal processions from behind stone carved lattice windows. Today it houses a museum showcasing collections of the past and present. Hawa Mahal, City Palace, Jantar Mantar are so famous tourist places in Jaipur.
The hills to the North and east of Jaipur are where one can find forts and temples reachable only by steep paths. Nahargarh or the "Tiger Fort" is located on an edge of a hill to the north of Jaipur. A good reason to visit here are the wonderful views of Jaipur that can be enjoyed from the high walls of the fort.
To the east 3km from Jaipur are the temples of Galta located in a narrow ravine. A freshwater spring ensures that two tanks are filled with water creating a home for thousands of macaque monkeys in an otherwise dry valley. The monkeys have become an attraction here as much as the temples.
No Jaipur tour would be complete without a visit to Fort Amber the former capital. Located 10km from Jaipur next to a lake, the Amber Fort and Palace complex are perched high on a narrow rocky ridge. The high ramparts and successive gates along a cobbled road provide an unforgettable entrance to the Fort. Elephants still plod along the ramparts as they would have when they provided transport for the Rajput royal family in days of old. It is possible to ride an elephant up the steep ramparts but it is best to visit early in the morning as the elephant rides are limited each day to ensure elephant welfare.
In Amber the Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing is a centre that provides information, and exhibits of hand block printed textiles. Anokhi Museum is one of the famous Jaipur tourist places. Its purpose is to protect, conserve and promote regional art, culture and craft traditions.