Jaipur Travel Guide
The picturesque capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur is also known as the Pink city. The colour pink is associated with culture. There is a timeless appeal in the colourful bazaars of Jaipur ,where one can shop for Rajasthani handlooms and trinklets. Beautifully laid out gardens and parks, attractive monuments and marvellous heritage hotels,which were once the residence of Maharajas, are worthy of admiration. Not to mention the ambling camels and cheerful people in multi-hued costumes, that make your trip to the pink city a memorable one.
History : Built in 1727 A.D. by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, Jaipur displays a remarkable harmony and architectural splendour. The ancient heart of the pink city, still beats in its fairy-tale palaces, rugged fortresses perched on barren hills and broad avenues, that dot the entire city. The only planned city of its time, Jaipur is encircled by a formidable wall. A young Bengali architect, Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, formalised the plans of the city, in a grid system. The wide straight avenues, roads, streets, lanes and uniform rows of shops on either side of the main bazaars, were arranged in nine rectangular city sectors (Chokris), in accordance with the principles of town planning set down in the Shilpa Shastra - an epochal treatise on the Hindu architecture.
Hospitality is the main feature of the cultural specialities here. The city is also known for its colourful atmosphere, associated with well being and cheer.
Climate & Geogaphical Location :
Jaipur is very hot and dry in summer and extremely cold in winter. Jaipur is located at 431 metres above sea level.
How to Reach :
By Air : Jaipur is well connected to Mumbai, Delhi, Rajkot, Aurangabad, Jodhpur, Udaipur and Ahmedabad.
By Rail : Jaipur is the main railhead and has excellent connection with Delhi, Bikaner, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Ahmedabad, Secunderabad, Agra, Lucknow, Mumbai and Kolkata.
By Road : Jaipur is on National Highway No. 8 connecting Delhi to Mumbai via Jaipur, Ajmer, Udaipur and Ahmedabad. Jaipur has a thorough network of comfortable deluxe tourist buses. Rajasthan Roadways runs excellent regular services of AC and Deluxe coaches from Delhi. Some road distances are Delhi 259 km, Udaipur 405 km, Jodhpur 336 km, Ahmedabad 657 km.
Places to See :
40 km north-west of Jaipur. The beautiful Samode Palace, has been rebuilt and renovated and provides a fine example of the Rajput haveli architecture and is an ideal spot for outgoings.
At 32 km north-east of Jaipur. A huge artificial lake, was created, by constructing a high bund admist tree covered hills. While the temple of Jamwa Mata and the ruins of the old fort, are some of its antiquities, its beautiful landscape, especially during monsoons, makes it an idyllic picnic spot.
A sentinel to the Pink City, is Nahargarh Fort, situated beyond the hills of Jaigarh. Although much of it is in ruins, the lovely building, added by Sawai Ram Singh II and Sawai Madho Singh II provides interest to the fort.
At a distance of 12 km away from Jaipur city,Sanganer is located on the Tonk road. In addition to its ruined palaces, Sanganer ,has exquisitely carved Jain temples. The town is entered though the ruins of two tripolias (Triple gateways). The town is an important centre for the crafts industry and produces some of the finest hand printed textiles, from units of block and screen printers. This textile is popular all over the country and abroad. It is well connected by roads from Jaipur, apart from other cities.
A beautiful complex of palaces, halls, pavilions, gardens and temples built by Raja Man Singh, over a period of about two centuries, still stand in a magnificent state. The palace complex, emerges dramatically from the placid waters of the Maotha Lake and is approachable only through a steep path. Tourists often ride on the elephant back to the Singh Pol and the Jaleb Chowk. Two flights of stairs rise from one end of the chowk, one leading to the Shila Mata Temple and other to the palace complex. The image of the patron goddess, worshipped by thousands of devotees, was brought from Jessore in East Bengal (now in Bangladesh) by Raja Man Singh, to be installed here. A spectacular pillared hall-- Diwan-e-Aam and a double storeyed painted gateway, Ganesh Pole, dominate the front courtyard. An elegant tiny garden in Charbag style, beyond the corridors, has Sukh Niwas to its right and Jas Mandir to its left. The latter combines the Mughal and Rajput architecture, seen in its beautiful interior with intricately carved Jali screens, delicate mirror and stucco work and painted and carved dadoes. The well proportioned Mohan Bari or Kesar Kyari in the centre of the Maotha Lake and the Dilaram Bagh at its north end provides a spectacular view of the palaces above.
Sisodia Rani Garden
Beautifully landscaped gardens, laid out in the 18th and 19th century, by kings and courtiers, dot the narrow gorge in the south-eastern corner of the walled city, along the road to Agra. Sisodia Rani Garden, has tiered multilevel gardens with fountains, water channel and painted pavilions and suites of living rooms. Amongst others, Vidyadhar-ka-Bagh, is the best preserved one, with shady trees, flowing water, and an open pavilion. It was built by the planner of the city, Vidyadhar.
Amer or Amber, was the former capital of the Kachhwaha Rajputs, of the old state of Dhundhar, for seven centuries. In the high season, this is one of India's most popular tourist sites, with a continous train of colourfully decorated elephants, walking up and down the ramp. From the side of the main road, one can catch a dramatic view of the hilltop palace. The Palace and the Jaigarh fort shows distinct Mughal influence.
The City Palace
In the heart of the old city, is the former royal residence, built in a blend of the Rajasthani and Mughal styles. The carved arches, are supported by grey-white marble columns, ornate with floral motifs in gold and coloured stones. Two carved elephants in marble, guard the entrance. The retainers whose families have served generations of rulers serve as guides. The Palace houses a museum with a superb collection of Rajasthani costumes and armoury, of Mughals and Rajputs, including swords, of different shapes and sizes with chased handles, some of them inlaid with enamel and embellished with jewels, and encased in magnificent scabbards. The palace also has an art gallery, with an excellent collection of miniature paintings, carpets, royal paraphernalia and rare astronomical works, in Arabic, Persian, Latin and Sanskrit, acquired by Sawai Jai Singh II, to study astronomy in detail. The palace is within city limits and accessible by road.
This stone observatory, is the largest of Jai Singhs five remarkable observatories. Its complex instruments, whose settings and shapes are scientifically designed, represent the high points of medievial Indian astronomy. The most striking of these, are the Ram Yantras used for guaging altitudes.
Built in 1799 A.D.,the Hawa Mahal or Palace of Winds, is a major Rajput landmark. This five storey building, along the main street of the old city, is in pink splendour, with semioctagonal and delicately honey combed sandstone windows. The monument was originally conceived, with the aim of enabling ladies of the royal household, to watch the everyday life and royal processions of the city.
Govind Devji Temple
This is the most popular spireless temple of Jaipur, and is dedicated to Lord Krishna. It is located in the central pavilion of the Jai Niwas Garden to the north of Chandra Mahal. The image of the patron Deity-Govind Devji, originally installed in a temple at Vrindavan, was reinstalled here by Sawai Jai Singh as his family deity.
Albert Hall Museum
A lush spacious garden with a zoo, an aviary, a greenhouse, a herbarlum, a museum and a popular sports ground. It was built by Sawai Ram Singh II in 1868 A.D. as a famine relief project. The Albert Hall, a fine example of Indo-Sarcenic style of architecture, designed by Sir Swinton Jacob, was opened later with an exquisite collection of sculptures, paintings, decorative wares, natural history specimen, an Egyptian mummy and the celebrated Persian carpet. Recently, the Rabindranath Manch, with an auditorium, a modern art gallery and an open air theatre, has been added to promote cultural events.
An ancient pilgrimage centre, lying beyond the gardens, amidst low hills,temples. pavilions and holy kunds (natural spring and reserviors) along with lush landscape, make it a delightful spot. The small temple of the Sun God, built by Diwan Kriparam, on the top of the highest peak is visible from all parts of the city.
BM Birla Planetarium
The Planetarium offers unique audio-visual education and entertainment, with its modern computerised projection system. For school groups, concessions are available. It is closed on the last Wednesday of every month.
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