A peep into the Pink City Jaipur!

Posted on Jan 13 2014 - 12:53am by IBC News

Jaipur, the resonant capital of Rajasthan is also known as the “Pink City” because of the colour of the buildings in the old city. Built on a dry lakebed it is the city of forts, palaces, golden sands, a warm people and a rich culture. Known as the Gateway to Rajasthan, Jaipur is generally the starting point for any tourist visiting the state. A part of India’s Golden Triangle of Tourism, along with Delhi and Agra, hotels and other facilities are excellent.

For the first-time visitor it is certainly a feast for the eyes. The streets of the city are jam- packed with cars, rickshaws, bicycles, tempos, motorcycles and vegetable laden carts. Symbols of modern architecture like Rajmandir cinema, Birla temple, Rajvilas hotel and Birla auditorium – have Jaipur’s age-old touch of regality and class. Despite having grown into a bustling metropolis, the ancient heart of the Pink City still beats in its fairy-tale palaces, beautifully laid out gardens and parks, marvellous heritage hotels, rugged fortresses and attractive monuments perched on barren hills and broad avenues.

Jaipur scores well in hospitality. It is the people of a place that eventually make it come alive. Here, every tourist is treated as a privileged guest. As they say in the local lingo, Padharo Sa (Welcome sir). The folks of Jaipur are highly traditional and religious, charming, simple and helpful. Traditionally dressed Rajput men sporting brightly coloured turbans and swashbuckling moustaches are a common sight in the city.

The city is bursting at its seams due to the pressure of population. Pollution in the city has reached alarming levels. Yet, Jaipur today epitomises the spirit of Rajputana in its fusion of yesteryears and modernity.

The only planned city of its time, Jaipur is encircled by a formidable wall. A young Bengali architect, Vidyadhar Bhattacharya formalised the city’s plans according to a grid system in accordance with the principles of town planning set down in the Shilpa Shastra, an ancient Hindu treatise on architecture.


Amber Fort: Painted scenes of wars and hunting expeditions adorn the walls which are set with precious stones and mirrors. The main attractions are the Sukh Mandir or Temple of Contentment, cooled by a stunning water cascade and the Sheesh Mahal or Mirror palace. In a tiny pitch dark room with mirrors all over the ceiling, an attendant lights up candles and holds them for you creating a marvellous sight – twinkling stars on a clear night!

Jaigarh Fort: Within walking distance of Amber, it is one of the few military structures of medieval India. Perched on a cliff and surrounded by huge battlements with inside walkways, the fort has retained its ancient splendour in palaces, gardens, reservoirs, a granary, an armoury, a well planned cannon foundry, several temples, a tall tower and the world’s biggest cannon on wheels, Jai Ban, which was made in the fort’s foundries.

The City Palace: A delightful blend of Mughal and traditional Rajasthani architecture, the City Palace sprawls over one-seventh of the area in the walled city. The carved arches are supported by ornate grey-white marble columns with floral motifs in gold and coloured stones. Two carved elephants in marble guard the entrance.

Jantar Mantar: This is the largest and best preserved of the five observatories built by Jai Singh II in different parts of the country. The complex instruments, whose setting as well as shape was scientifically designed, is a tribute to medieval Indian astronomy. The most striking instrument is the sundial. The shadow this casts moves upto 4 m an hour. The Ram Yantras are used for gauging altitudes.

Hawa Mahal: Entrance to the Hawa Mahal is from the rear end of the building. The ornamental facade of this “Palace of Winds” is an important landmark of Jaipur. The five-storey structure of pink sandstone has 953 niches and windows. It was built in 1799 by Pratap Singh and was a royal grandstand for palace women to watch the every-day life and processions of the city.

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