Jaipur is a land of rich history and immense natural beauty, making it one of the most important cities from the view point of tourism. The capital of Rajasthan which was once the capital of the royalty, was founded by Sawai Jai Singh II in 1727. It is widely known as a success story of 18th century city planning, with its broad avenues, well laid out gardens and prominently designed areas for markets and residential centers. This city also got its nick name as ‘The Pink City’ due to the event of Maharaja Man Singh II ordering his city to be painted pink in honor of Prince of Wales, Edward VII who visited Jaipur in 1876. As with many other places in India, the ancient and the modern co-exist in harmony, Jaipur is no exception. Being dubbed as the most colorful state of the country, Jaipur leads the example since it is the capital of the state. You would witness veiled peasant women in swirling ‘Ghagras’ (Long Skirts) and dazzling ‘Odhnis’ (Stole) rub shoulders with youngsters in designer jeans and tie, and dye turbans while solemn camels lope alongside shiny cars.
1727 was the year when the construction of the city started and it took around 4 years to complete the major palaces, roads and square. For protection, huge fortification walls were built with 7 strong gates. For that era, this town’s architecture was very advanced and the best in the subcontinent. When the Prince of Wales visited Jaipur in 1876, the whole city was painted pink to welcome him. Today, one will still find the pinkish shades that exists in the avenues, with the government trying to maintain its ‘Pink City’ stature.
Strategically well located, it is extremely well connected to other parts of the world, through its vast network of air, rail and roadways. Jaipur Airport is located 13 kms from the main city with most domestic and international airlines operating in and out of it. Similarly, the rail network takes you any part of India with multiple trains operating via Jaipur on a daily basis.
The royal city of Jaipur celebrates numerous festivals around the year. These festivities are inseparable from Japur’s identity. Alluring India Tour ensures that their guests get to witness these festivities through its various India tours.
What to See
The most charming aspect of this city is its forts and palaces. It is said that Ram Seo II of Amber was the founder of modern Jaipur. His initial capital was Amber, usually pronounced as ‘Amer’which lies at distance of 11 kms from Jaipur. The Amer Fort, along with Jaigarh Fort, located immediately above on the CheelkaTeela (Hill of Eagles) of the same Aravalli range of hills, is considered as one complex, as the two are well connected by a subterranean passage almost 2 kms. long. This passage was meant as an escape route in times of war for the royal family members and others in the Amer Fort to shift to the Jaigarh Fort. The City Palace is a living example of the royal heritage from the glorious Indian history. While the current king and his family still reside in a part of the palace, the other part is open for the visitors to admire and know about the royal India it has always been! This beautiful palace takes you back in the historic area of the ‘Maharajas’ and ‘Maharanis’ as you explore their biographies and witness the grand lifestyle through the collection of the Royal objects, armors, artifacts etc. The palace is a huge complex comprising of several buildings, gardens, courtyards and gates. The intricately carved marble interiors, magnificent pillars, lattice work and inlaid ornamentations depict the skills of the craftsmen and artisans from the royal era.
The ‘HawaMahal’ or the ‘Palace of Winds’ is a combination of architectural styles of the Mughals and the Rajputs. It is said that the women of the Royal family were under strict observance of a tradition called ‘Purdah’ which is basically a practice of preventing women from being seen by men. However, they wanted to witness proceedings in the market centre and watch the royal processions and festivities. Hence, the HawaMahal’s architecture was planned in such a way that the ladies could see all processions happening in the city but the commoners from below in the city could not see the ladies sitting behind these stone carved screens. The cooling effect in the chambers, provided by the breeze passing through the small windows of the façade, was further enhanced by the fountains provided at the centre of each of the chambers. Even in the scorching heat of Rajasthan, this palace was cool throughout the summers and the Kings and Queens preferred this palace for a comfortable summer.
JantarMantar of Jaipur is another significant structure in Jaipur and one of the five observatories built by Maharaja Jai Singh, the founder of Jaipur. He was a great scholar and an astrologer, who studied philosophy, architecture and religion in various schools. He was also well versed with the universal mathematical concepts such as Euclid's Clements, Ptolemy's Syntaxes and the Master works of Aryabhatta. In the year 1718, he wanted to construct an observatory for which he studied the subject of astronomy and then built five different observatories around North India. At these observatories, he used to sit with other scholarly astronomers, such as Pt. Kedarnath, for astronomical observations.The JantarMantar has a remarkable collection of nineteen astronomical instruments and even today it provides accurate information, which can be compared with the modern instruments. These structures have a striking combination of geometric forms at large scale and were scientifically designed for measuring time, predicting eclipses, tracking stars' location as the earth orbits around the sun and ascertaining the declinations of planets. at took control of most of the region soon became a threat. Agra came under the direct control of Sikandar Lodi in 1492 after the governor of Agra, Haibat Khan, rebelled against Delhi. Given the central location of the city, Sikandar shifted the capital to Agra During the Mughal Emperor Akbar's reign, Agra also came to be known as 'Akbarabad’.
Best Time to visit
The best time to visit Jaipur is from December toFebruary, during winters in India. Rajasthan, mostly being desert remains pretty hot during the rest of the year. However, November and March are still comfortable to visit as temperatures are lower than the summers. Since Rajasthan hosts numerous festivals throughout the year, prices for hotels in Jaipur also soar during some famous events like the Pushkar Fair in November. It is best to avoid travel during the dates of Pushkar fair, unless one wants to witness this festival in particular.