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Jaipur

JAIPUR - THE PINK CITY

Come explore the wonders and sites that Jaipur has to offer. There’s always something to see in Rajasthan.

Planned by Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, Jaipur holds the distinction of being the first planned city of India. Renowned globally for its coloured gems, the capital city of Rajasthan combines the allure of its ancient history with all the advantages of a metropolis. The bustling modern city is one of the three corners of the golden triangle that includes Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.

The story goes that in 1876, the Prince of Wales visited India on a tour. Since the colour pink was symbolic of hospitality, Maharaja Ram Singh of Jaipur painted the entire city pink. The pink that colours the city makes for a marvellous spectacle to behold. Jaipur rises up majestically against the backdrop of the forts Nahargarh, Jaigarh and Garh Ganesh Temple.

Jaipur traces back its origins to 1727 when it was established by Jai Singh II, the Raja of Amber. He shifted his capital from Amber to the new city because of the rapidly-growing population and an increasing water scarcity. Noted architect Vidyadhar Bhattacharya used the established principles of Vastu Shastra to build the city.

History

Before we take you around this majestic city, let’s take a short detour back in time. The city of Jaipur gets its name from its founder, Jai Singh II. Unlike several other kings and emperors of his time, Jai Singh II was as keen an astronomer as he was a great warrior. He ascended the throne at the tender age of 11 after his father Bishan Singh passed away. Hailing from the Kucchwaha Rajput clan, Jai Singh carried on his ancestral alliance with the Mughals, in line with the Kucchwaha Rajput policy of diplomacy over war. This isn’t to say that Jai Singh’s alliance with the Mughals was always a happy one. As with all alliances, this one too had its share of ups and downs but the lowest point came after the death of Aurangzeb who once favored Jai Singh and had also given him the title Sawai. When time came, Jai Singh II allied himself with Azam Shah and his son Bidar Bakht, who lost the succession battle and Jai Singh found himself alienated in the Mughal court. Bahadur Shah succeeded Aurangzeb and demanded that Jai Singh II be removed from the throne of Jaipur. Not the one to take setbacks lying down, Jai Singh II allied himself with two other Rajput states. He married the princess of Mewar and won the trust of the Marwar king and together they expelled the Mughals from Rajputana. Jai Singh earned his place at the table once again and was appointed to govern important Mughal provinces.

Jaipur is a major tourist destination in India forming a part of the Golden Triangle. In the 2008 Conde Nast Traveller Readers Choice Survey, Jaipur was ranked the 7th best place to visit in Asia.[28] According to TripAdvisor’s 2015 Traveller’s Choice Awards for Destination, Jaipur ranked 1st among the Indian destinations for the year.[29] The Presidential Suite at the Raj Palace Hotel, billed at US$45,000 per night, was listed in second place on CNN’s World’s 15 most expensive hotel suites in 2012.[30]

Jaipur Exhibition & Convention Centre (JECC) is Rajasthan’s biggest convention and exhibition centre.[31] It is famous for organising events such as Vastara, Jaipur Jewellery Show, Stonemart 2015 and Resurgent Rajasthan Partnership Summit 2015.[32]

Visitor attractions include the Hawa MahalJal MahalCity PalaceAmer FortJantar MantarNahargarh FortJaigarh FortBirla MandirGaltajiGovind Dev Ji TempleGarh Ganesh TempleMoti Dungri Ganesh TempleRoyal Gaitor cenotaphs, Sanghiji Jain temple and the Jaipur Zoo.[33] The Jantar Mantar observatory and Amer Fort are one of the World Heritage Sites.[34] Hawa Mahal is a five-storey pyramidal shaped monument with 953 windows[35]that rises 15 metres (50 ft) from its high base. Sisodiya Rani Bagh and Kanak Vrindavan are the major parks in Jaipur.[36] Raj Mandir is a notable cinema hall in Jaipur.

Good to Know

Country
India
Visa Requirements
Visa in not needed
Languages spoken
English, Hindi
Currency used
INR
Area (km2)
18,274 km2

Culture

Jaipur has many cultural sites like Jawahar Kala Kendra formed by Architect Charles Correa and Ravindra Manch. Government Central Museum hosts several arts and antiquities. There is a government museum at Hawa Mahal and an art gallery at Viratnagar. There are statues depicting Rajasthani culture around the city.[37][38] Jaipur has many traditional shops selling antiques and handicrafts. The prior rulers of Jaipur patronised a number of arts and crafts. They invited skilled artisans, artists and craftsmen from India and abroad who settled in the city. Some of the crafts include bandhaniblock printingstone carving and sculpturetarkashizarigota-patti, kinari and zardozi, silver jewellery, gemskundanmeenakari and jewelleryLakh ki Chudiyaminiature paintingsblue potteryivory carvingshellac work and leather ware.[9][36]

With a wonderful combination of ancient royal heritage and ultra-modern life method Jaipur displays a cool presentation of urban lifestyle.

Jaipur has its own performing arts. The Jaipur Gharana for Kathak is one of the three gharanas of the major north Indian classical dance form of Kathak.[39] The Jaipur Gharana of Kathak is known for its rapid intricate dance forms, vivacious body movements and subtle Abhinaya.[39] The Ghoomar is a popular folk dance style.[40][41][42] Tamasha is an art form where Kathputli puppet dance is shown in play form.[43] Major festivals celebrated in Jaipur include Elephant FestivalGangaurMakar SankrantiHoliDiwaliVijayadashamiTeejEidMahavir Jayanti and Christmas. Jaipur is also famous for the Jaipur Literature Festival, the world’s largest free literature festival in which country-wide authors, writers and literature lovers participate.[44]

Architecture

Amer Fort as seen from the Jaigarh fort

Ghat ki Guni Tunnel National Highway 11 Jaipur

The city was planned according to Indian Vastu shastra by Vidyadhar Bhattacharya in 1727.[45] There are three gates facing east, west, and north. The eastern gate is called Suraj pol (sun gate), the western gate is called Chand pol(moon gate) and the northern gate faces the ancestral capital of Amer.[11][46]

The city is unusual among pre-modern Indian cities in the regularity of its streets, and the division of the city into six sectors by broad streets 34 m (111 ft) wide. The urban quarters are further divided by networks of gridded streets. Five quarters wrap around the east, south, and west sides of a central palace quarter, with a sixth quarter immediately to the east. The Palace quarter encloses the Hawa Mahal palace complex, formal gardens, and a small lake. Nahargarh Fort, which was the residence of the King Sawai Jai Singh II, crowns the hill in the northwest corner of the old city.[36]

Cuisine

Typical dishes include Dal Baati Churma, Missi Roti, Gatte ki Sabzi, Ker Sangri, Makke ki Ghat, Bajre ki Ghat and Bajre ki Roti.[47] Jaipur is also known for its sweets which include Ghevar, Feeni, Mawa Kachori, Gajak, meethi thuli, Chauguni ke laddu, and Moong Thal.[48][49]

Languages

The main language of Jaipur is RajasthaniDhundhariMarwariHindi and English are also spoken in the city.[43]