JAIPUR - " THE PINK CITY"
Jaipur is enveloped by rugged hills and enclosed within a wall that has seven gates. Within these walls are some of the finest examples of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. The Old City is also known as the "Pink City" as the entire city was painted pink on the orders of Maharaja Man Singh II when the Prince of Wales visited Jaipur in 1876, as pink is the color of festivity in Jaipur.
Jaipur was founded by Maharaja Jai Singh II in the 18th century. The city was carefully planned and built according to the ancient Hindu treatise on architecture. Apart from being a diplomatic warrior, Jai Singh had interests in astronomy. The amazing observatory, Jantar Mantar, was built by him.
The Old City (Known as the Pink City) is a great place to wander around. The whole city was painted in Pink colour by Maharaja Man Singh II when Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, visited Jaipur in 1876 AD. Today, every home within the city is obliged by law to maintain its facade. It is a very well planned city laid out in a grid pattern and was designed by a young Bengali engineer and scholar by the name "Vidyadhar Bhattacharya".
SIGHTSEEING IN JAIPUR
The magnificent fort with its huge ramparts & watchtowers, overlooking the Delhi-Jaipur Highway. It is believed to have been the capital of the "Minas", the original inhabitants of Rajasthan.
Nakkarkana-ka-Darwaza, the imposing gateway of the City Palace guarded by stone elephants, is monumental.
A Pandora's box of wonders, the enchanting Hawa Mahal is a multi-layered palace, with a profusion of windows and stone screens.
It is built on a peak, Jaigarh overlooks the palace & city of Amber below. Jal Mahal is Jaipur's lake palace. It is surrounded with water.
It is originally called Sudarshan Garh, it affords a splendid view of Jaipur.
The amazing astronomical three-storey-high observatory, of an 18th century Rajasthani king, named Jai Singh.
EXCURSIONS FROM JAIPUR TEMPLES
Bairath (86-km on the Shahpura-Alwar Road): An important historical place with the excavated remains of a circular Buddhist temple - unique in Rajasthan and the earliest known temple in India. Bairath also has relics of the Mauryan, Mughal and Rajput periods. A mint constructed by Akbar, a beautiful Mughal garden and a remarkable monument with painted 'chhatris' and wall built by Jahangir, are other attractions.
Galta (2.5-km): Beyond the gardens amidst the low hill guarding the city lies the old pilgrim centre of Galtaji. Temples, pavilions and holy 'kunds' (natural springs and reservoirs) dot the serene green landscape. The small temple of the Sun god, built by Diwan Kriparam on top of the highest peak, is visible form all parts of the city.
Ramgarh Lake (32-km north-east):- A huge artificial lake created by constructing a high dam amidst tree covered hills. While the temple of Jamwa Mata and the ruins of the old fort are some of its antiquities, its beautiful landscape makes it an idyllic picnic spot.
Samode (40-km north-west): The beautiful Samode Palace, has been rebuilt and renovated and provides a fine example of the Rajput haveli architecture. It is an ideal spot for outings.
It is nestled in a narrow valley, this beautiful garden was built in honour of Jai Singh's chief architect and town planner.
Government Central Museum:- This is the oldest museum in the state. The building, designed by Colonel Sir Swinton Jacob is located in the centre of the sprawling Ram Niwas Bagh, built in 1876 AD. When King Edward VII visited India as the Prince of Wales, it was opened to public in 1886.