Jaipur the capital city of the northern Indian state of Rajasthan is one of the most lively and colorful cities of India. It is popularly known as the 'pink city’ because of its pink- colored sandstone buildings, painted pink to welcome Prince Alfred in 1853, pink being the color of hospitality .
Famous for its rich culture, forts, palaces, and lakes the city relishes in the glory of a rich and eventful past. The city sits on a dry lakebed in an arid landscape surrounded by barren hills and surmounted by fortresses and crenellate walls and numerous other monuments, which have been interest from time immemorial. It a bustling capital city and a business centre with all the trapping of modern metropolis but yet flavored strongly with an age-old charm that never fails to surprise a traveler.
Jaipur is a well planned city which is made all the more attractive by the pink wash that most buildings are given. A formidable protective wall with seven gates girdled the entire city. The city was planned to conform to a geometric grid representing the nine divisions of the universe. The old city of Jaipur has neat and broadly laid-out avenues; all painted pink that gives a magical glow to the city, especially in the evenings. Jaipur therefore is blessed with the richness of cultural and architectural beauty that surpasses most other regions of India.
Jaipur is a well planned city which is made all the more attractive by the pink wash that most buildings are given. A formidable protective wall with seven gates girdled the entire city. The city was planned to conform to a geometric grid representing the nine divisions of the universe.
The old city of Jaipur has neat and broadly laid-out avenues; all painted pink that gives a magical glow to the city, especially in the evenings. Jaipur therefore is blessed with the richness of cultural and architectural beauty that surpasses most other regions of India.
Jaipur, (City of Victory) was founded in 1727 by astronomer-King Maharaja Jai Singh II, a Kachhwaha Rajput, when he decided to shift his seat of power from Amer, 11 km northeast of the new city. The city was a marvel of town planning with separate sectors being earmarked for craftsmen and merchants.
The history and times of Jaipur are deeply entwined with the stories of royal princes and princesses, with grand Mughals and later with visiting dignitaries from the British Royal family or 20th century royalty like the US Presidential families. Today modern Jaipur plays host to all of them and to many thousands of ordinary people who come here enchanted by all that the city has to offer.
Jaipur is home to the Jantar Mantar and amongst the most remarkable monuments in Jaipur, is the famous Hawa Mahal, a sandstone screen from behind which the ladies of the court could watch the proceedings on the road below without being seen. In the heart of the city is situated the City Palace, a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. The place is now a museum except for one section where the erstwhile royal family still lives. The city palace has an exclusive part devoted to the arms and ammunitions used by the royal family in the past.
Stunning backdrop of ancient forts Nahargarh, Amer, Jaigarh and Moti Dungri are dramatic testimonials of the bygone era and a reminder of their lingering romance. The other places of interest are Jaipur Museum, Albert Museum, Birla Mandir Planetarium, Sisodia Rani Park, Lakshmi Narain Temple, Kanak Vrindavan, the Raj Mahal Palace and Rambagh Palace (now a Luxury hotel).
The people of Jaipur like any other part of Rajasthan are known for their colorful attires. People here are quite rugged in their appearance. However, these desert people are well-built, cheerful and simple rather untouched by the swiftness of modern times. Here, people prefer to wear bright colored clothes, as if they are compensating for the barren landscape. Women of Jaipur like Red, yellow, green and orange colored attire with a dazzling work of gold/ silver zari or gota. Tribal Ladies wear loads of Silver jewelry even men too can be spotted wearing earrings. The men wear turbans or pagadis of bandhej (tie & dye) in bright colors.
The cultural prosperity of Rajasthan is evident in its local festivals some of which attract international attention. Jaipur also witnesses some of these; the most important being the Elephant Festival gets underway in the month of Phalgun (March) on the eve of Holi, the festival of colors. It is famous for its procession of elephants, camels, horses and folk dancers. The sight of mighty jumbos striding majestically is a treat to watch. Other interesting events at the festival include, a polo match, the Elephant race, the tug-of-war between an elephant and nineteen men, Gangaur festival a unique festival held annually in honor of goddess Gauri.
Being the capital city of Rajasthan and an international tourist destination Jaipur is well connected to major parts of India by road, rail and air. Jaipur airport, also known as Sanganer Airport, is directly connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Jodhpur, Udaipur, and Ahmedabad. The Pink City Express, Chetak Express and few other Jaipur-Delhi trains leave from the Old Delhi Railway Station in Delhi. However, if one has money and leisure, there is no better option than the Palace-on-Wheels, which leaves Delhi every Wednesday. Besides, Jaipur is well connected by road to various parts of India. Delhi-Jaipur national highway is one of the finest roads in India. Jaipur, India therefore firmly holds its position on the world tourist map. A status, which has been bestowed on it due to its vibrant lifestyle, colorful people and a history that is full of stories, reflecting the bravery of those who occupied this region in the past.
These beside, there are quite a few important tourist destinations around Jaipur which gives the tourist more than one reason to visit this city. One such location is Gaitor located 15 km from Jaipur it is the place where chhatris of Jaipur's rulers stand amidst respectful silence. Twenty carved pillars support its elegant dome, which is a dazzling structure in white marble.
At a distance of 40 kilometers from Jaipur, is located Sanganer, a place known for its textile block printing, papermaking and Jaipur blue pottery, besides several temples and an old palace. Other important tourist places around Jaipur are Ramgarh, Abhaneri, Balaji, and Karauli.
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