Jaipur:The Pink City of India

The first planned city of India, the ever vibrant Pink City, offers a unique combination of its glorious royal past with the current modern vibes. It was named Pink City after the Prince of Wales visited the city on a tour and in his honour, the King of Rajasthan Maharaja Ram Singh in 1876 ordered the city to be painted pink. The hospitality of the city and its dwellers still resonates with the travellers visiting Jaipur. It is also the capital city of Rajasthan that houses many beautiful monuments, forts, and lakes providing myriad of experiences to its visitors. Ancient Indian architectural style of Vastu Shastra was used to build the city and its a delight to observe how even after years the city has maintained its charm. Delicacies from Rajasthan are world renowned, from cuisine to palaces like the City Palace and Hawa Mahal, it is a visual treat for all those who visit this city.

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Jaipur:The Pink City of India:table of contents

1. City Palace

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King Sawai Jai Singh II conceived the idea of this palace, where till this date the royal family resides. Most parts of the City Palace Complex are open to tourists except the private section for the royal family. There is a guided tour of 45 minutes available to visit certain areas in this section. Inside the complex you will find Mubarak Mahal or the Palace of Reception along with the Queen’s Palace. There is a museum showcasing royal costumes and Rajput armoury along with various paintings dating back to the 15th century on the display. Blend of Rajasthani along with Mughal architecture can be observed in the way City Palace is constructed.

2. Hawa Mahal

Built in 1799 by King Sawai Pratap Singh as a family retreat, Hawa Mahal or the Palace of Wind is a unique monument that blends both Islamic and Hindu architecture. The royal ladies could observe the city life sitting at the palace, now most tourists visit this monument to get breathtaking view of Jantar Mantar and the City Palace along with Sireh Deori Bazaar. Because of its planned architecture based on Vastu Shastra, the honeycombed structure of windows serve as ventilators blowing cool air throughout the palace. You can also visit the archaeological museum now constructed by the Indian government in the courtyard of the palace.

3. Jantar Mantar

Next to the City Palace is UNESCO’s world heritage site named Jantar Mantar, an astronomical observatory constructed by King Jai Singh II in 1728. King Jai Singh built 5 observatories across India out of which Jaipur’s Jantar Mantar is in the best shape. The builders of the observatory were sent abroad to learn about astronomical instruments, the resulting work at Jantar Mantar is spectacular. You can hire your own guide to explain how these instruments work. Tourists can also go to Interpretation centre housed in the Jantar Mantar to learn about the history and functioning of the observatory.

4. Nahargarh Fort

Nahargarh Fort or the abode of tigers was constructed by King Jai Singh in 1734, it was further extended in 1868. Located on the Aravalli hills, the view of Jaipur from this fort is absolutely breathtaking making it a perfect place for picnic. The corridors of the fort have beautiful mural painted all over it along with a small chamber named Madhavendra Bhawan built specially for the royal family as a relaxing spot during summers. The best time to visit the fort is sunset, the pink city in all its glory can be observed during the sunset. There will be guides sharing myths of royal members who died and haunt the fort to this day, Jaipur is a city where myths blend into reality, each palace and fort has a story of its own.

5. Jal Mahal

Built in 1750 by King Madho Singh and later extended by his son Madho Singh II in 18th century, Jar Mahal or the Lake Palace is a pink sandstone monument that looks as if its floating in the centre of the Lake Man Sagar. The inside of the palace has been turned into an exclusive restaurant and is off limit to most tourists but the outside view is itself quite glorious.

6. Birla Temple

Birla Temple is a Hindu temple dedicated to the worship of Hindu God Vishnu and his wife Lakshmi, goddess of wealth. Built entirely of white marble, the temple is lit at night which is the best time to visit, during sunset you can even be part of homage to god. The temple has beautiful inlay work and carvings covering Hindu mythological folklores.

7. Royal Gaitor

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Gaitor houses cenotaphs of various royal kings of Jaipur. Rajput architecture showcases the stature of the Kings that are laid to rest here. King Jai Singh’s cenotaph is among the most popular ones with 20 carved pillars. The exquisite carvings on these white marbled cenotaphs are a testimony to Rajput’s craftsmanship.

8. Central Park

In the centre of Pink City, one can find Jaipur’s largest park home to a beautiful spacious garden, a Polo Ground along with a golf club. Most locals come here to relax and picnic with their families. For tourists, it is a friendly hospitable space to observe the locals and spend time overseeing the city.

9. Albert Hall Museum

Popularly known as the Central Museum, Prince of Wales laid the first stone of this building in 1876. Rajputs were famous for their battles and armoury, the museum displays beautiful sculptures from the Rajput era along with paintings from different parts in Rajasthan. There is a guided tour of the museum available for those who would like to know more about the culture and history of the Rajputs.

10. Amber Palace

UNESCO’s World Heritage Site Amber(pronounced Amer) Palace is a unique blend of Hindu and Mughal style of architecture. King Man Singh built the palace in 1592, and was later completed by his sons. Amber Palace is made of white marble and red sandstone while the interiors show a mirage of exquisite inlay work, precious stones and mirrors on the ceilings. It is a site to behold on the full moon nights.

◎ Closing

Jaipur is a city that leaves one spellbound with its sheer beauty and glorified ancient past. The hospitality to Prince Wales that led to it turning pink can be observed in simplicity and forthcoming helpful nature of this city’s dwellers. Everyone has a story to tell about the majestic past and the pride of Rajputs is still quite visible in the stories shared. Jaipur is one of the most visited tourist spots for the same reason, we all love a good story and this city has plenty to offer.

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