Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan is also known as the Pink city because of the pink wash applied to the buildings in this city. Jaipur, a royal city with its fairy-tale palaces, rugged fortresses display remarkable harmony in architectural splendor. Jaipur's craft, especially lacquer bangles are famous all over the world. Jaipur is one of the most popular destinations on a tourist's itinerary. The magnificent forts, beautiful havelis and colorful bazaars make Jaipur a popular tourist destination among tourists. It's proximity to Agra, the City of Taj, further adds to its appeal. Jaipur is part of the famous Golden Triangle Tourist circuit that includes Delhi and Agra.
History of Jaipur
Jaipur, (City of Victory) was founded in 1727 by Maharaja Jai Singh II, a Kachhwaha Rajput, who ruled from 1699-1744. Raja Sawai Jai Singh had his capital in Amber, when he felt the need of shifting his capital to another place for the safety of the ever-increasing population and growing scarcity of water. Thus, in the eighteenth century, he finally built Jaipur. It was also the time when the glory of Mughal Empire was on its decline. Jaipur became the first planned city of India, which was designed by the brilliant Bengali architect Vidyadhar Bhattacharya. The city was planned on the edicts of the ancient Hindu treatise on Indian architecture, Shilpa Shastra..
The old city of Jaipur has neat and broadly laid-out avenues; all painted pink that gives a magical glow to the city, especially in the evenings. There are many reasons as to pink was the color chosen to paint the city. According to local fables, when the ambassadors of Prince of Wales visited the city prior to his visit, some simpleton insultingly called them the 'pink-faced monkey'. To make up for his rashness and as a diplomatic tact, Raja and his ministers maintained that the person had called them so in reverence. To give conviction to their seemingly improbable reason they painted the city pink on the Prince's arrival. Others say that city was painted pink merely because the contractor was unable to supply any other color in such huge quantities that were needed to paint the whole city! Since then the pink color has been associated with hospitality in Jaipur and Rajput culture.
Geography of Jaipur
Jaipur is located at 26.92°N 75.82°E. It has an average elevation of 432 meters (1417 feet). The pink city is to the north-east. Additions have been made to the original section in the south and the west. The tourist attractions are in the old part of the town as are the shopping centers. Jaipur is a planned city and the roads and by lanes are laid out in a grid pattern, which makes orientation easy. The new part of the town isn't difficult either. There are three interconnecting roads - Mirza Ismail road (MI road), Station road and Sansar Chandra Marg. Along the sides of these roads are most of the hotels and the train station.
The capital of the desert state of Rajasthan, Jaipur has hot and scorching summers and cool winters, which are pleasanter. The mercury rises to as high as 45 °C in summers, when the minimum temperature is 25.8 °C. For those who are not used to the glaring sun, visiting Jaipur in winters is a better option, when the maximum temperature restricts itself to about 22 °C. Monsoons however are not much of a problem in Jaipur.
Tourist attractions of Jaipur
The Pink City of Jaipur has a number of architectural wonders that attract tourists from all over the country and abroad. Most of the foreign tourists also tour this city of majestic forts and beautiful havelis. There fore, a tour of Jaipur can at no time be called a dull affair.
Amber Fort is the first on the list of many tourists on a sightseeing tour of the major tourist attractions in Jaipur. Set on a hilltop on the outskirts of Jaipur, it took nearly 2 centuries to complete this fort. Built by Raja Man Singh in the 16th century and completed by Sawai Jai Singh in the 18th century, the Amber Fort has several sites worth a visit.
Some of the prominent attractions within Amber Fort in Jaipur include Maota Lake, palaces with intricate mirror work, pavilions and murals depicting hunting scenes. A blend of Mughal and Rajasthani architecture, Amber Fort can be toured either by road or an elephant ride. Jaigarh Fort and Namarari Fort are the other forts that are popular tourist attractions in Jaipur.
Another popular tourist attraction in Jaipur is the Hawa Mahal. Built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799, the purpose of this intricately carved five-storey Mahal was to allow women from royal families to observe the processions passing on the road below. Hawa Mahal also provides magnificent views of Jantar Mantar, City Palace and the famous local market below that are the other popular tourist attractions in Jaipur.
A stunning example of Mughal architecture blending with the Rajasthani styles, the City Palace is a museum that houses rare manuscripts, Mughal and Rajasthani miniature arts, weapons and other items used by the royal family members. Jantar Mantar, built in stone and marble, is the most extensive of the five observatories built by the warrior-astronomer Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh. It is a popular tourist attraction in Jaipur as it showcases India's scientific prowess in a time when US didn't exist.
Other major tourist attractions in Jaipur include the Lakshmi Narayan Mandir (Birla Temple), Govind Deoiji Mandir, Rambagh Palace, Central Museum and Kanak Valley.
Tourist attractions in Jaipur are best scene in the daylight. However, a tour of tourist attractions in Jaipur on an unforeseen stormy night has charms of its own.
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