The capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur is one of the highly visited tourist places in India. Surrounded by the beautiful Arawali Mountains, the historical city of Jaipur represents the exotic land of Rajasthan just as ably as it represents the modern face of 21st century India. Jaipur was founded by Sawai Jai Singh 2nd in the early 18th century after he felt the need to shift his base from Amber, a nearby town, to some place with a larger scope for development. Jaipur was designed by the best available architects from the country under Maharaja (King) Sawai Jai Singh’s guidance. Much of Jaipur’s old part still operates the same way as its founder intended.
Situated at a five to six hours drive from Delhi, Jaipur forms one corner of the golden triangle of tourism in India, the others being Delhi and Agra. Jaipur is from where one can enter Rajasthan and then move on to the inner parts on a detailed tour. Jaipur is logically divided in two parts, the old and the new. While the new part is embellished with swanky multiplexes, malls, call centers and fast, disciplined traffic, the old part, mostly decorated with aging constructions in pink, raises a feeling of nostalgia. The markets in the old part still function in single and double storied buildings constructed two centuries ago. It is amusing to see the branches of some of the modern organizations, such as today’s high tech banks, inhabiting some of these rustic buildings. Though most of Jaipur constitutes as a tourist place, the major bunch of tourist attractions is situated in the old part.
Pink City, the original Jaipur, is situated near the centre of the town. It is surrounded from all sides by a bastioned wall, the reason why it is also called Walled City. Pink City was designed by Vidhyadhar Chakravorty, a renowned architect from Bengal, under the imaginative and foresighted direction of Sawai Jai Singhji. Pink City, a well planned town, was a spacious colonization surrounded by a strong wall with nine, well-adorned gates. The king’s palace was located in the centre of Pink City, whereas houses and markets were located in seven well planned blocks. Though somewhat smeared by today’s haphazard traffic, noise and a mesh of electricity poles and wires, one can still imagine how grand this civilization must have been during its early days - an out and out pink town with well embellished houses and wide streets inhabited by a leisurely crowd of colorfully dressed walkers and horse riders moving about. As you take a ride through Pink City, you notice that the same old constructions still stand. Even the newly built buildings in Pink City are fashioned after the old ones, retaining the splendor.
Apart from some of the important site seeing attractions in the Pink City, which lie in the centre, one must visit the bazaars situated here. Bapu Bazaar, Chandpol Bazaar, Sireh Deori Bazaar, Tripolia Bazaar, Ramganj Bazaar and Johari Bazaar are some of the important markets of Jaipur.
City Palace is the major attraction of Jaipur amongst others. Situated in Pink City, this complex of royal palaces, courtyards, temples and gardens was started by Maharaja Jai Singh II, who also constructed the wall around it. Various successors of Jai Singh added later to the City Palace Complex during their reign. The present royal family of Jaipur still resides in the City Palace Complex, in a seven storied palace named Chandramahal, which is the king’s private residence. At City Palace Complex, one can witness a blend of Indian, Mughal and European styles of architecture. Mubarak Mahal, Mukut Mahal, Maharani’s Palace and Shri Govind Dev Temple are some of the important buildings in the City Palace Complex. The complex also hosts the City Palace Museum, a major attraction where the items that belonged to the royal families are displayed.
Jantar Mantar is an observatory situated near City Palace Complex. At Jantar Mantar, there are 14 architectural astronomical tools that help measure time as well as predict eclipses. Jantar Mantar was built over the period of 1727 and 1734 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. A world heritage site, Jantar Mantar is an important tourist spot in Jaipur.
Hava Mahal, a major architectural landmark in Jaipur, is a five storied palace with 953 windows. Literally, Hava Mahal means the palace of wind. Hava Mahal was built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799.
Another famous spot in Jaipur is Jal Mahal, the palace in water. Standing in the middle of a lake, Jal Mahal makes a striking site during the day as well as by the night, when it is well lit. Today, a heritage hotel, it is off limits to the tourists. However, crowd gathers at the lakeside during the evening to admire the view of well lit Jal Mahal during dusk. It is a popular spot amongst the residents of Jaipur.
Of the three major forts in Jaipur, Amber Fort is one. It is the oldest of the three, and served as the ruling fort of the town of Amber before the populace was shifted to Jaipur. The view of Amber Fort, standing on a hillock behind the Maota Lake is famous. On a ride up to Amber Fort, one can find attractive views of Jaipur city, the Jal Mahal and the lake around it being the prominent highlight. The walls of the fort that run up and down the surrounding hills also make a wonderful site. A palace named Sheesh Mahal, or Mirror Palace is one of the attractions about Amber Fort. It is said that during the residence of the royalties the entire Sheesh Mahal could be lit up with the help of one candle. Every evening a Sound and Light Show takes place at Amber Fort, which is a major tourist attraction of Jaipur.
Jaigarh Fort is situated higher up on a hill in a close proximity to the Amber Fort. As the two of these forts are connected through passages, a misconception dwells that both the forts are one and the same. One of the finest forts in India, Jaigarh is situated at a good strategic location and offers nice views of the plains surrounded by the Aravali Mountains. The fort has a large water reservoir which makes a good site. Jaivan, the cannon on wheels, situated on top of the fort is the major attraction here. It is believed that this gigantic cannon of Jaipur consumes 100 KGs of gunpowder and is capable of firing a 50 KG cannonball. Several myths exist about Jaivan. The most intriguing story recounts that when Jaivan was fired, for the first and the last time during the test by Maharaja Jaisingh II, hundreds of people went deaf, several died of heart failures and many pregnant women in the town lost their fetuses. The cannonball hit the ground 40 kilometers far and created a small crater. Some also believe it to be the largest cannon in the world.
Nahargarh Fort resides on the extreme edge of the hill on which Jaigarh Fort is situated. Nahargarh Fort offers the most wonderful view of Jaipur City. Constructed mostly by Jai Singh II, it is an interesting place to visit where one can visit from close the royal chambers, courtyards and the rooms of daily use right from the royal kitchens to toilets.
Amongst other attractions of Jaipur is Chokhi Dhani, a village that illustrates the culture of Rajasthan. Jaipur is famous for the cuisine of Dal-Bati-Koorma, and it is believed that it is best served at Chokhi Dhani. Raj Mandir is a famous movie theatre of Jaipur admired for its architecture. Tourists pay a visit to Raj Mandir just to admire the theatre irrespective of the movie playing there.
A large city brim-full of attractions, it is recommended that you spend a week at leisure in Jaipur to taste all that it has to offer. One of the important settlements in India, Jaipur is a must see for anyone who wants a taste of Rajasthan, or of India, for that matter.
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Jaipur is one of the major tourist destinations of India, forming the most visited tourist circuit of India – Delhi-Agra-Jaipur. This capital city of Rajasthan is rapidly turning into a metro city. Major tourist attractions of Jaipur are the City Palace & Museum and the monuments around it, and three interesting forts. City Palace is a blend of European, Mughal and Indian styles of architecture. The complex hosts the City Palace Museum, where artifacts belonging to royal families are displayed. Jantar Mantar is a highly visited observatory near City Palace. Hawa Mahal is another interesting place of architectural importance nearby. Another popular spot in Jaipur is Jal Mahal, the palace in water. One of the three important forts of Jaipur, Amber Fort is important from where you can enjoy attractive views of Jaipur. Other important forts of Jaipur are Jaigarh Fort and Nahargarh Fort. Apart from these attractions there are many more sites one can visit at a leisurely time.
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|5 Star Hotels:
||Holiday Inn,Trident Hilton
||Bella Casa,Choki Dhani Resort,Clarks
||Jaipur International Airport
|Nearest Major City(s):
||Alwar (106km), Ajmer (128 km), Bharatpur (169 km)
|How to reach:
||Well connected by road to major cities in India. Excellent road network
|Major Tourist Attraction:
||City Palace,Hawa Mahal,Jantar Mantar,Amber Fort
||Mishri Mawa, Ghevar
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