Jaipur in Rajasthan
Jaipur is Rajasthan’s biggest city also kwow as the Pink City due to the distinct color of its buildings,
Jaipur is Rajasthan’s biggest city and its capital, also kwow as the Pink City due to the distinct color of its buildings, Jaipur is known as much for its fascinating monuments and colorful markets as it is for its gorgeous handloom garments and wonderfully laid-out gardens.
It is really not very difficult to fall in love with Jaipur the moment you land here.
Along with Delhi and Agra, Jaipur forms the Golden Triangle of Indian tourism. The desert city of Rajasthan or quite simply the lesser-known Shekhawati region, Jaipur serves as a starting point for all these places and more.
Attractions in Jaipur
Built by Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799, Hawa Mahal or the Palace of Winds is the most iconic landmark or Jaipur. Indeed, Hawa Mahal symbolizes Jaipur in a way that Gateway of India symbolizes Mumbai and Shaniwar Wada symbolizes Pune. Built as a high screen for the women of the royal household, Hawa Mahal is made from red and pink sandstone and stands right at the edge of the City Palace and extends to the women’s chambers or zenana.
Right next to Hawa Mahal is Jaipur’s City Palace that predates the latticework masterpiece by a few decades. Construction on the City Palace was completed in 1732 and it served as the seat of power for the Maharaja of Jaipur. Even to this day, a part of the City Palace is out of bounds for general public because it continues to serve as home to the erstwhile royal family of Jaipur. The city Palace complex is home to Chandra Mahal and Mubarak Mahal and its various iconic gates — Udai Pol, Tripolia Gate and Virendra Pol among others — blend the Rajput style of architecture with that of Mughals and European, the two powers that the Kucchwaha Rajputs allied themselves with during their time in power.
Jantar Mantar of Jaipur is one of the five observatories constructed by Jai Singh II. Ujjain, Delhi and Varanasi are the other cities that house the remaining Jantar Mantars but there remain no traces of the one at Mathura. Among the many instruments that are part of this observatory is the world’s biggest sundial. Jantar Mantar is located just a stone’s throw from City Palace and Hawa Mahal and features instruments made of stone and brass that were built using instrument design principles from ancient texts.
Albert Hall Museum
One of the oldest museums in Rajasthan, Albert Hall Museum is located amidst the sprawling Ram Niwas Gardens just on the outskirts of the traditional market area of Jaipur. Albert Hall Museum doesn’t just house a collection of rare paintings but also showcases some exquisite pieces of jewelry, chiseled brass-ware, pottery and natural stones, ivory goods, metal sculptures and crystal works.
Rambagh Palace is often called the Jewel of Jaipur and it doesn’t take a lot to see why it has earned this sobriquet. One of the most beautiful palaces in India, Rambagh once served as the residence to the Maharaja of Jaipur. While the palace has been converted into a very fine hotel, the family continues to receive preference even to this day. By all estimates, Rambagh is the most expensive hotel in Jaipur.
Located in the middle of Man Sagar Lake is the spectacular Jal Mahal. At first glance, the palace that was constructed in 1745, appears to float on the waters of the lake (thus giving it the name). Jaipur’s Lake Palace is modeled on the Lake Palace of Udaipur.
Amber Fort stands on the outskirts of Jaipur, some 13 km from the city center. As with almost all other structures in the area of its era, Amber Fort brings together elements of Hindu and Mughal architecture. Before Jai Singh II founded Jaipur in the plains and moved his capital there, Amber served as the seat of the Kachhawa Rajput clan to which Jai Sing belonged. Construction on Amber Fort began in 1592 when Raja Man Singh I built over the remnants of an earlier fortification. Built with red sandstone, Amber saw considerable modifications over time as successive rulers added their own elements to it over a span of a century and a half. Amber’s moment of glory was under the reign of Man Singh I. The commander-in-chief of the Mughal army and one of Akbar’s Navratnas (or nine jewels of Akbar’s court) Man Singh I commissioned the construction of Amber.
Standing on the edge of the Aravallis and overlooking Jaipur, Nahargarh Fort is one of the three major forts on the outskirts of the city. Alongside Jaigarh and Amber, Nahargarh formed defense ring of Jaipur. But Nahargarh went by a different name. Originally called Sudarshangarh, the fort was renamed to Nahargarh or the abode of tigers, presumably after Nahar Singh Bhomia whose spirit reportedly haunted the region and obstructed the fort’s construction. It was only after his temple was built within the fort that the spirit was satisfied and the fort’s construction resumed. Compared with Amber, Nahargarh is a far newer fort.
Jaigarh Fort is the third imposing fort that overlooks the city. It is part of the three-fort defense ring that protected Jaipur and indeed Amber. Located some 400 m above Amber, Jaigarh’s primary aim was to protect the lower fort. Constructed by Jai Singh II in 1726, the fort took the name of the king who commissioned it.
Nestled in peaceful surroundings between two granite cliffs, is quite an adventure but it's completely worth the effort. The temple is part of a larger temple complex, which also has three sacred pools of water. One of the pools has been taken over by thousands of monkeys that congregate there to swim and bathe. They're generally friendly and love to be fed. Unfortunately, the area is not well maintained. Be prepared to encounter dirty and trash, as well as priests and pseudo holy men coercing people for money. These days, most of the crowd consists of tourists rather than locals.
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