(The Pink City)
Having a world-renowned architecture, it is the first planned city of India. The presence of many forts and monuments has gained the city quiet popularity across globe. Jaipur also has beautiful scenery as it is surrounded by Aravalli Hills from three sides. Having well connectivity to various parts of the state, Jaipur is a part of the golden triangle: Jaipur-Delhi-Agra. It also has an international as well as domestic airport to make the transportation easy and convenient.
Jaipur, the capital of the largest state of India, i.e., Rajasthan, was founded in the 17th century by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh after he decided to change the capital from Amber, which is located 11 kms from Jaipur. Following this, Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, the Chief Architect planned the city with the help of Indian architecture. It took four years to build major parts of the city like roads and boundaries and the city of Jaipur then became the first planned city of the country. When Jai Singh died in 1744, Rajputs and Marathas intruded and took over most part of the place.
Jaipur became popular as ‘Pink City’ when Maharaja Ram Singh painted it in pink in 1876 to show the hospitality, at the time of welcoming the Prince of Wales. The urbanization started when Man Singh II took over the throne in 1922 and built various schools, hospitals, and the Secretariat.
PLACES TO VISIT:
- Amber Fort & Anokhi Museum – Spread in an area of 4 square kilometers; Amber Fort has been the home for Maharajas since Man Singh I was the leader. Having a beautiful architecture, it is built on a hill. You can see Maota Lake from the fort that is the main source of water in Amber. Also, the fort has a Museum that showcases Indian tradition and hand-printed textiles with images.
- Jaigarh Fort – Situated on Cheel ka Teela (Hill of Eagles), Jaigarh Fort overlooks Amber Fort and Maota Lake. It was constructed in 1726 by Jai Singh II to protect Amber Fort. The fort houses a popular museum and an armory.
- Nahargarh Fort – Nahargarh has the best view of the whole city from the top. The king of Jaipur, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, built this fort in 1734 to increase the defense of the city. The walls of are connected to Jaigarh Fort.
- Jal Mahal – Situated on the Man Sagar Lake, Jal Mahal is one of the best places to spend time in evevning. The scenic beauty around the lake is quite relaxing, a must visit place.
- Hawa Mahal – Another example of great Indian architecture, Hawa Mahal, is a high screen wall that was built for the household women so that they can see all the street festivals while being unseen from the outside.
- Jantar Mantar – It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as it has the world’s largest stone sundial. Moreover, it has a collection of nineteen architectural astronomical instruments. The construction of this place was completed in 1734, and it was built by the Rajput king- Sawai Jai Singh.
- City Palace – City Palace is the royal residence and has two palaces named Chandra Mahal and Mubarak Mahal. The place was built between 1729 and 1732.
- Albert Hall Museum – Being the oldest museum of Rajasthan, Albert Hall Museum serves as the state museum. Initially built as a town hall, later changed to a museum by Madho Singh II.
- Sisodia Rani Ka Bagh – Having beautiful multi-tiered gardens, was built for the Sisodia queen of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. Along with gardens, the place has fountains and walls painted with Radha and Krishna.
- Ram Niwas Garden – Built back in 1868, Ram Niwas Garden is spread over an area of 33 acres. It consists of Albert Hall Museum, bird park, zoo, art gallery, Ravindra Rang Manch, and an exhibition ground.
- Birla Mandir & Moti Doongri
- Statue Circle
FAIRS & FESTIVALS:
- Kite Festival – On January 14th, the residents of Jaipur fly kites all day. The state government organizes ‘International Kite Festival’, wherein the kite lover across the globe participates. The festival is celebrated with great pop and show and with amazing firecrackers lit up the sky in evening.
- Gangaur Festival – This festival is celebrated to get the blessings of Goddess Parvati, and it is an 18-day festival. The idols of Issar and gangaur, manifestations of Shiva and Parvati, are worshipped by women, particularly by those who are unmarred and pray for a consort. Women take out procession through the streets carrying images of the divine couple.
- Teej Festival – The festival of Teej is celebrated on the arrival of monsoon (July-Aug) . Dedicated to goddess Parvati, a lot of customs and rituals are performed by married women. Putting up heena (mehendi), being the most popular one. It is the festival of swings that are decorated with flowers and hung from trees. Young girls and women dressed in green clothes sing songs in celebration of the advent of the monsoon.
- Dhulandi Festival – Celebrated in the month of March every year, a popular festival celebrated across India. The festival is celebrated with colors and water and eating of sweets. It also marks the arrival of spring. Also celebrated at this day is elephant festival with several interesting attractions like elephant polo. Playing Holi on elephant back is one of the major attractions.
- Jaipur Literature Festival – Recently started, a 3-day literature festival occurring annually in the month of January. Participated by Indian and international celebrities.
- Ride on an elephant to the top of Amber Fort.
- Shop from Ramganj Bazar for shoes or jutis, Kishanpol Bazar for tie and dye textiles, Maniharon Ka Rasta (Tripolia Bazar) for lac bangles and other items, Achrol House, Subhash Chowk for carpets, Khajano Ka Rasta for marble carving, and Sanganer village for block printing, hand-made paper and blue pottery.
- For an excursion from the city go to Sakambhari, about 90 kms from Jaipur, famous for the country’s largest inland salt lake, founded near the temple of Goddess Sakambhari This place is situated on the Sambhar-Naraina Road.
- Go for an early morning hot air balloon ride, near Amber, to get the best view of the city.
BEST TIME TO VISIT:
Jaipur is the best to visit in the months of October to March. January and February are the coldest months with minimum temperature around 5° C, but it is always pleasant to visit forts, markets, and other areas of Jaipur during daytime, as the temperature is around 25° to 30° C. Summers fall between the months of April and June. The maximum temperature for the day might rise up to 45° C, maintaining a whole day average of 34° to 38°C. Due to the hot and semi-arid climate, summers are very hot. With scanty rainfall, monsoon comes between the months of June and September.
HOW TO REACH:
- By Air – Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan and hence, has an international airport. Jaipur International Airport is 12.2 kilometers from the old city of Jaipur.
- By Rail – Jaipur has two popular railway stations (Jaipur Junction and Gandhi Nagar Railway Station), out of which, Jaipur Junction is the major one. Also, it is close to the old city of Jaipur (1.7 km).
- By Road – By road, Jaipur is well connected to various parts of Rajasthan and National Capital Region. If you are coming to Jaipur from Delhi by road, Jaipur is 267 kms.