Jaipur, also known as 'the Pink City,' is the capital of Rajasthan in India.
Jaipur is the largest city in Rajasthan and was
built in the eighteenth century by Sawai Jai Singh
as India's first planned city. Although Jaipur
serves mainly as a stepping stone for travelers
heading to the desert cities of Jodhpur and
Jaisalmer, it is not without its own attractions,
such as several massive Rajput forts. So, despite
the chaos and dust, it is definitely worth pausing
here for several days. Now Jaipur is growing fast
and various development projects are being done by
the government & private enterprises.
Jaipur is often called the Pink City in reference to its distinctly colored buildings, which were originally painted this color to imitate the red sandstone architecture of Mughal cities. The present earthy red color originates from repainting of the buildings undertaken for a visit by the Prince of Wales in 1876.
Forts and Palaces of Jaipur
Amber Fort - This massive fort & palace complex built in Hindu-Muslim style dates back toMaharaja Mann Singh and was the royal palace of from 1600 to 1727. The name has nothing to do with the rather pretty pastel yellow colour of the palace, it was named after the town of Amber, in turn named after the goddess Amba. The main sights within the fort include the Sheesh Mahal, adorned with thousands on thousands of mirror tiles on the walls and ceiling. The fort/palace grounds are sprawling and have no signage whatsoever in any language, so it's worth getting an audio guide or a real guide. It's a bit of a hike up from the town, and the touristy thing to do is to hitch an elephant ride to the top. Rs. 10/50 Indians/foreigners, plus optional Rs.25/100 for still/video camera, Rs.100 for audio guide.
Mantar - Jantar Mantar is the biggest of five
astronomical observatory build byMaharaja Jai Singh during
the period 1727-1734 in north India. It is located very
close to the City Palace. The observatory consists of
fourteen major geometric devices (or yantra in Hindi) for
measuring time, predicting eclipses, tracking stars in their
orbits, ascertaining the declinations of planets, and
determining the celestial altitudes etc. Unfortunately no
text is made available to tourists regarding the various
yantras nor are there any plaques/boards in front of them.
In most of the cases local guides are not of any help