Jaipur is 260 km from Delhi and 240 km from Agra and forms the most chosen tourism golden triangle of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.
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It a bustling capital city and a business centre with all the trapping of modern metropolis but yet flavoured strongly with an age-old charm that never fails to surprise a traveller.
old Jaipur painted in Pink can grip any visitor with admiration. Stunning backdrop
of ancient forts Nahargarh, Amer, Jagarh and Moti Dungri are dramatic testimonials
of the bygone era and a reminder of their lingering romance.
Jaipur is named after its founder the warrior and astronomer sovereign Sawai Jai Singh II (ruled 1688 to 1744). The decision to move out of his hilltop capital Amer was also compelled by reasons of growing population and paucity of water.
Moreover in the early seventh century the power of the great Mughals was dwindling with its aging Monarch Aurangzeb and after several centuries of invasions the north was now quite and the wealth of the kingdom had become greater than before.
Seizing upon this opportune time Jai Singh planned his new capital in the planes. Jaipur is a corroborative effort of Sawai Jai Singh's strong grounding in sciences and astrology and a Bengali architect Vidyadhar with a strong instinct for planning.
Jaipur is the pristine jewel in the desert sands of Rajasthan, settled in the rugged hills of the Aravalli.
Jaipur is as remarkable for its marvellous architecture and town planning as it is for the lively spirit of the people who inhabit it. The city presents a unique synthesis of culture that has to be experienced in order to be appreciated.
With its origin buried deep into the pages of history, the city still exudes a magical old world charm; an aroma of chivalry and romance is evident, despit having evolved into a city that is the hub of modern commercial activity in the region. Tell-tale signs of the glorious past and regal splendour of the city lie strewn across with gay abandon.
The colourful and intricately carved monuments are adequately matched by the lively spirit of fanfare, festivity and celebration of the people. Even today, one can find weather beaten faces with huge coloufrul trurbans, fierce moustaches and lips that spontaneouslya crease into a heart warming smile.
A city like Jaipur, where modernity and tradition live hand-in-hand, is truly rare. Perhaps this is what makes it an attractive destination for tourists who flock to Jaipur , year after year.
Places to See in Jaipur
» Amber Fort
Amber (pronounced Amer) is situated about 11 kilometres from Jaipur and was the ancient citadel of the ruling Kachhawa clan of Amber, before the capital was shifted in the plains to present day Jaipur. The Amber Fort set in picturesque and rugged hills is a fascinating blend of Hindu and Mughal architecture. Constructed by Raja Man Singh I in 1952 and completed by Sawai Jai Singh I the fort is made in red sand stone and white marble. The rugged forbidding exterior belies an inner paradise with a beautiful fusion of art and architecture. Amber is the classic and romantic fort- palace with a magnificent aura. The interior wall of the palace depicts expressive painting scenes with carvings, precious stones and mirror settings. In the foreground is the Maota Lake providing a breathtaking look. Built mainly for the warring enemies as a safe place, the heavily structured walls could defend the residents within the ramparts of the fort.
» Jaigarh Fort
The Jaigarh fort is the most spectacular of the three-hilltop forts that overlook Jaipur. In Mughal times, the Jaipur region was a major weapon-producing centre for the Mughal and Rajput rulers, several of which are on display in the fort's museum. It is one of the few military structures of medieval India preserved almost intact, containing palaces, a granary, a well-planned cannon foundry, several temples, a tall tower and a giant mounted cannon-the Jai Ban (Jaivan) which is the largest cannon in the world.
» Nahargarh Fort
Nahargarh Fort is located on the sheer rugged ridge of Aravali Hills and it forms an impressive northern backdrop of Jaipur. It looks most classy when floodlit at night. The fort overlooks the city and presents a glittering view of the city lights. It was built in 1734 and extended in 1868. Nahargarh meaning abode of the tigers was built by Jai Singh to bolster the defence of Amber. The legend also have it that it was named Nahargarh after Nahar Singh a prince whose spirit would destroy the construction and not allow its progress further. So after a tantrik prayer to the spirit it agreed to leave on condition that the fort is named after him.
» City Palace
Located in the heart of the walled city, The City Palace Complex gives you an idea about the farsightedness of the founder of Jaipur Sawai Jai Singh. He left behind a legacy of some of the most imposing and magnificent architecture, art and craft structure in the city. Sawai Jai Singh built its many buildings but some of some of the structures were also built by later rulers and some of them are even dated in the in the twentieth century too. The palace is a blend of Mughal and Rajasthani architecture and the royal family still lives in a part of the palace.
» Jantar Mantar
Across the road from the palaces is the famous JANTAR MANTAR one of the five observatories in India . Built by Sawai Jai Singh, this is one of the largest and the best preserved. A passionate hobby of the king in the field of Astronomy, numerology, insighted him to execute this observatory and with the help of skilled labourers, they managed to create a collection of complex astronomical instruments chiselled out of stone and most of which continues to provide accurate information to this day. The most striking instrument is the Brihat Samrat yantra Sundial, an imposing yellow edifice to the far right of the observatory complex which has a 27m high gnomon arm set at an angle of 27degree.The shadow this casts moves up to 4m in an hour, and aids in the calculation of local and meridian pass time and various attributes of the heavenly bodies, including declination the angular distance of a heavenly body from the celestial equator and altitude. This highlight of the observatory has made it a centre of attraction for the tourist visiting Jaipur.
» Hawa Mahal
Poet king Sawai Pratap Singh built this palace of winds. This is the most easily recalled landmarks of Jaipur and is also its icon. Located in the city Palace it is best viewed from the outside for the palace is really a facade. This five-storey building overlooking the busy bazaar street is a stunning example of Rajput architecture and artistry with its pink delicately honeycombed 953 sandstone windows known as 'jharokhas'. It was originally built for the ladies of the royal household to watch everyday life and processions in the city from their veiled comfort. Most people come here to get a view of the facade but they can also climb to the top for a wonderful view from the latticed windows. There is also a small archaeological museum there.
» Albert Hall
Located just outside the walled city is the sprawling Ram Niwas garden, which has always been a place for recreational activities since the reign of Sawai Ram Singh ji . This exquisitely designed garden with forcentry doors and a huge complex with small pools and fountains, flourishing lawns and beautiful flower beds all around was basically a famine relief project. It mostly attracted the British families where they entertained their guest and families quite often with the lavish gowns of the Men and formal colourful attires of the nobels and the high society club members, this park would come alive with the setting sun.
» City Palace Museum
The art gallery is located in the Diwan-I-Aam, which literally mean the Hall of public audience. The exhibits here included some very precious and ancient handwritten original manuscripts of Hindu scriptures. Particularly intriguing in miniature copies of Bhagwat Gita made in this manner so that it can be concealed out of sight of Emperor Aurangzeb’s onslaught on Hindu scriptures. Some very delicate miniature paintings in Rajasthani, Mughal and Persian schools on various themes including the Ramayana are very engrossing displays. Visitors must also take a good at preserved painted ceilings. Also on display are elephant saddles called “haudha”.
Fairs & Festivals in Jaipur
» Elephant Festival
The Elephant Festival is an inimitable event held annually in Jaipur. Groomed flawlessly, rows of elephants do a catwalk before an enthralled audience liked best fashion models to make this festival an amazing one. The elephants move with poise in pageant, run races, play the regal game of polo, and finally participate in the spring festival of Holi. It is festival time with elephants typically celebrated one day before the Holi, Indian festival of colours.