Jaipur - The Pink City (UNESCO Heritage)
Holding the grand legacy of a royal past, Jaipur is an integral part of the world famous Golden Triangle alongside Delhi and Agra. The famous Pink City of Rajasthan is a vibrant collage of grand palaces, desert culture and a rich history of Rajputana.
Dotted with palaces and forts, Jaipur is a living testimony of history.
Almost three centuries ago, Jaipur became the country's first modern city. Its reputation is still intact today. When one enters this city, one cannot help being overwhelmed by the old-world, atmosphere which still prevales. The stunning backdrop of ancient forts Nahargarh, Amer, Jagarh and Moti Dungri add a dramatic touch to the cityscape.
The intricately carved monuments are equally matched by the colourful attire and vibrant culture of the desert people. The fanfare, gaiety and celebration of the local festivals add to the exotic flavour.
The sovereign of Amber, Sawai Jai Singh II laid the foundation of the city of Jaipur in 1727 AD. He belonged to the Kachhwaha clan of Rajputs and ruled from 1699-1744 AD. He built this city under the expert “shilpa-shatra” advice of his chief architect Vidyadhar Bhattacharya. The city was planned to combat the problems of water shortage and growing population at his Amber kingdom.Jaipur was declared a UNESCO Heritage site in 2019.
Pink City :
The Kachhwaha Rajputs were Kshatriyas or the warrior caste of Hindus tracing back their lineage to Sun God through Kush, the son of Lord Rama. Sawai Jai Singh Ji was a great visionary with good knowledge of science. This is clearly visible in the planning of Jaipur city and the architectural genius of the Jantar-Mantar - the largest stone observatory in the world. He also understood that for his kingdom to flourish, he has to maintain good relations with the Mughal rulers in Delhi.
The city was planned in nine blocks. Two blocks were acquired by city palaces and state buildings. The remaining seven were dedicated to the local public. The City Palace created the centre of the city planning. Security was insured by huge walls and seven strong gates.
In 1853, the city was painted pink for the first time to welcome the hen reigning Prince of Wales – it subsequently earned the sobriquet of Pink City.
Sights to visit:
Amber Fort (UNESCO Heritage) : This massive fort place complex built in hybrid Hindu- Muslim style dates back to Raja Man Singh and was the royal place of the Kachwahas from 1600 to 1727.The fort is named after the town of Amber, in turn named after the Goddess Amba.
Jaigarh fort : Located high up the hill beyond Amber Fort This fort is connected to Amber Fort down below through long passages. Jaigarh houses the world’s largest cannon on wheels: the Jaivana.This fort was an artillery production centre and is said to have a water tank for hiding the royal jewels. It has a collection of decorated cannons which were used in Mughal wartimes as Amber rulers were allies to Mughals.
Patrika Gate : The magnificent pink structure houses a colorful hallway that has certainly become one of the most trending places on Social Media.
Each pillar of Patrika Gate is intricately carved and handpainted with stunning forts, palaces, temples, portraits of Jaipur ruler, and other monuments showing the vibrant culture of Rajasthan, The Land of the Kings.
Panna Meena Kund : The Panna Meena stepwell was built by Maharaja Jai Singh in the 16th century to preserving rainwater from the seasonal monsoons. This enabled the citizens of Amer to access freshwater during the dry season and served as a central gathering place for people in the community.
City Palace : City palace an imposing blend of traditional Rajput and Mughal architecture .It is a vast palace complex occupying nearly one-seventh of the Pink City and houses several museums.
Hawa Mahal : Palace of Wind : standing away from the main complex. This is a five story palace, which was built in 1799 AD by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh. Designed in the form of Lord Krishna's crown by Lal Chand Usta. It was made of pink and red sandstone. Its purpose was to allow the women folk from the palace to observe the processions, festivals and daily activities in the market place whithout being seen themselves.
Jal Mahal (The Lake Palace): This palace is located in the middle of the Man Sagar lake. This palace was built by Madho Singh I in the middle of the 18th century. Known for its mesmerising location and eye catching architecture, this palace is built of red sandstone. When water is abundant, its four floors remain submerged in water only the top floor is exposed.
The Jantar Mantar – observatory : a UNESCO Heritage Site which serves as an astronomical observatory. Built by Maharaja Jai Singh II from 1727-1734 AD, this place was used to make astronomical calculations. It consists of 14 huge devices for measuring time of the day, predicting eclipses and judging the movement of the stars and its effect on the earth.
Royal Albert museum : a magnificent Indosarcanic building, which houses the central museum’s superb collection of fine arts and traditional crafts ( miniature painting, carpet , metal and woodcraft, toys , doll, arms ) from across Rajasthan. It also displays an Egiptian mummy. This museum was designed by Colonel Sir Swinton Jacob in 1876 for the purpose of greeting King Edward VII, Prince of Wales on his visit to India.
Anokhi museum of hand printing : is dedicated to the collection, preservation and interpretation of hand block printing in India. It is housed in Chanwar Palkiwalon ki Haveli, a 16th century mansion recognised by UNESCO for its inspired use of indigenous skills and materials.
18th Centruy Govind Devji Temple : A holy located in the City Palace complexis the most popular temple in the city, this temple is constructed in 18th century. Now, Govind Dev is the guardian deity of the Royal Family. shrine dedicated to Lord Krishna,
Moti Dungri Temple :The temple name means ‘Hill of Pearls’. There is an ancient temple dedicated to Lord Ganesha here. Near this temple lies the beautiful Moti Doongri Palace built like a Scottish castle. It is still the private property of the royal family.
Galwar Bagh Galata Temple / Monkey Temple : Beautifully perched between the cliff faces of a rocky valley encompasses natural fresh water springs and 7 holy 'kunds' or water tanks. Among these kunds, the 'Galta Kund', is the holiest one and is believed to never get dry. It is believed that a Saint named Galav lived here, practiced meditation, and did penance. both locals and tourists come here to feed the surprisingly tame monkeys, pray at the temples and enjoy the views.
At the top of the hill above the temples, you turn right to reach the Sun Temple for one of the best views of the city; especially at sunset.
Sanganer - Jain Temple and Block Printing : Sanganer is located 15 km from Jaipur. It is known for exquisite Jain temples and it is an important center for traditional colorful hand-printed textiles and paper.
Sanganeri prints date back to over 500 years and gained immense popularity during the 16th-17th century when the East India Company begin exporting them to European countries. The characteristic trait of this technique is that it uses a pure white base fabric on which delicate and detailed floral trellis patterns are printed.
Leopard tracking – Jhalana
Within a crowded city of 3.1 million people lies a small, happy, peaceful refuge where wild leopards rule. Historically, tigers and leopards were common in the hill ranges of Rajasthan, including the Aravali range that is spread across Jaipur known as Jhalana.
Jhalana Doongri Area near Jaipur harbours an unlikely 20-square-kilometre oasis. It is home to well-catalogued leopards, spotted deer, blue bulls, hyenas and an array of migratory birds. The area has increasingly received attention after the state
Nearby Destinations :
Nearest Airport : Jaipur Airport (10 km / 15 mins)
Best time to visit and Climate :
Best time to visit Jaipur is during the winter & spring months when the weather is glorious. May and june months are extremely hot with the temperature crossing 40 degree celcius.
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