Jaipur Travel Guide
Jaipur the `Pink City' as it is popularly known, is the bustling capital of Rajasthan. `Pink city' because most of the buildings are pink in colour in the old city. The city retains its old self, at the same time it is moving fast as a modern city. You can see extreme contrast on the streets of Jaipur. On one side you have cars, buses and motorbikes, on the other side you can see camel carts.
On one side there are traditionally dressed men and women in their turbans and colorful long skirts and blouses. On the other hand you can see modernly dressed Indians and foreign tourists having a bite in their favorite American restaurants. There are new modern buildings existing along side with old Palaces. You have posh showrooms, which give the best in artifacts and clothes and you have vendors on the streets selling Rajasthani shoes or jewellery. The city with such contrasts has almost everything to offer you in terms of royal style, classic jewellery, lovely handmade and embroidered clothes which includes dresses, dress materials and beautiful handicrafts.
The city was constructed by Maharaja Jai Singh II (1693-1643) to shift his capital from Amber to a new place. He has planned the city according to shilpa-shastra, which is the ancient Hindu treatise on architecture. The city was built with surrounding walls and rectangular blocks. But the city to which he shifted is no longer spacious. The surroundings of the Palaces are now very crowded. It is now all shops and hotels. But the buildings constructed by him like the Jantar Mantar are still intact for people to see.
Tourist Places in Jaipur
Old City ( Pink City )
It was during the reign of Maharaja Ram Singh that the city was painted pink and has been like that since then. The old city has a number of gates and is partially encircled by walls. The major landmark in this town is Iswart Minar Swarga Sal, near the Tripoli Gate, which over looks the city.
City Palace Complex
One of the most magnificent marvels of Jaipur is the City Palace Complex which has a rare combination of the finest blends of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. In the heart of the old city, it has a vast area. The outer wall was built by Jai Singh and additions made up to the 20th century. Many buildings, well planned gardens and huge courtyards are a part of the complex. Just in front of the palace is the Mubarak Mahal / Welcome palace which was constructed by Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh II as a reception to receive his guests. Other places of interest include the Diwan-i-khas / hall of private audience and Diwan-i-am / hall of public audience and the peacock gate. There is also the Maharaja Sawai Singh II 's museum.
Hawa Mahal ( The Palace of winds)
The palace of winds- a fascinating landmark of Rajasthan, was built by the ordes of poet-king, Sawai Pratap Singh in the 18th century and is most remarkably designed monument in Jaipur. This is a five storey building and is one of the major land marks of the city. Hawa Mahal / palace of winds were constructed in 1799. It was primarily constructed so that the ladies of the royal house hold can look at the market down. It is an example of excellent Rajput artistry. You can climb to the top now to have a look at the city below. It is a part of the City Palace.
Jantar Mantar is next to city Palace. Jantar Mantar of Jaipur is just one of the observatories constructed by Maharaja Jai Singh, who had a passion for astronomy. He used to send scholars abroad to study foreign observatories so that he could construct the same. Jaipur observatory is the largest of the observatories constructed by him.
This Museum is in Albert hall in the Ram Nivas public gardens. They have exhibits like tribal ware, yogis in various positions, decorative arts, costumes and drawings. The other attractions in the city include the Modern Art Gallery and the Juneja Art Gallery. Museum of Indology has an excellent private collection of folk art objects, paintings done on rice, manuscripts, ornaments, fossils, clocks and currency notes etc. There is the famous Birla Narayan Mandir, Fort of Moti Dungri. Rajasthan has a lot of festivals which are also an attraction of the state.
How to Reach Jaipur
Air: The Jaipur Airport is called Sanganer Airport . There are domestic flight connections to Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Jodhpur and Udaipur. There is a single international flight to Dubai.
Train: Connections are from Delhi, Agra, Mumbai ,Chennai, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Ahmedabad. Well connected from other states like UP, MP .
Road: A convenient mode of travel to Jaipur is by road. Regular bus service of AC and Deluxe Coaches are available.