Jaipur

History

Jaipur is named after Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, who built the city in 1727 AD. Jaipur takes pride in being the first planned city of India. Maharaja Jai Singh is descendent of the Kachwaha Rajputs. Mughals helped the Kachwaha Rajputs against Sisodia Rajputs of Mewar making them powerful. The kingdoms of Mewar (Udaipur) and Marwar (Jodhpur) were ruled by them from the glorious Amber Fort.

The kingdom saw great heights with Jai Singh, who built his capital around Amer Fort and Jaipur. The city was eventually developed by chief architect from Bengal, Vidhyadhar Bhattacharya following the principles of Shilpa Shastra and referencing the ancient Indian knowledge on astronomy.

In 1876, Maharaja Ram Singh adorned the city in pink color, which is supposed to be associated with hospitality, to welcome the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) to the city. And thus it acquired the name Pink City. After India got independence, Jaipur merged with Rajasthan.

Popular Tourist Attractions

  • City palace and museum are the central structures of the city, which occupies about one seventh of the old city area. Both Rajput and Mughal type of architecture can be seen here.
  • Jantar mantar (Observatory) was built in 18th century by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. The instruments available here were used to study the movement of constellations and stars in the sky.
  • Hawa Mahal was built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799 into a 5 storied semi-octagonal monument having 152 windows with over hanging latticed balconies. The display “Jaipur past and present” is the special feature of this newly setup museum.
  • Central museum is situated in the Ram Niwas Garden founded in 1876 by Prince Albert. It has an ancient collection of archaeological and handicraft pieces.
  • Birla planetarium and Birla temple is the intricate marble carvings in white marble at this temple are worth watching.

Nearby Places

  • Jalmahal is set in the middle of Man Sagar Lake, 6 km away from Amer.
  • Jaigarh fort is 15 km away, overlooking the palaces and city of Amer. The cannon on wheels, the Jai Ban are the biggest in the world.
  • Amer is the old capital of the Kachhwahas. The fort is a mix of Hindu and Muslim architecture.
  • Kanak Vrindavan is just 6.5 Km on the way to Amer is the newly restored temple and garden.

Popular Food Joints

Spicy Laal Maas (or the red meat) is an absolute delicious food at Jaipur for non vegetarians. Dal  Baati and Churma(lentils and hard wheat roll), Pyaaz Kachoris (fried dry snacks filled with spicy onion filling) and Mirchi Vadas(chili and potato stuffing snack) are a must try dish when you are here. To relish some good food in hotels, visit The Laxmi Mishtan Bhandar, Chokhi Dhani, Apno Gaon, Natraj, Rawat Mishthan Bhandar and Loharu House. Ask your guide to show you the pictures before you visit. For sure you would want to fly in a minute to reach.

Transport

  • Jaipur is connected by many trains to the major cities in India. A special train called “Palace on Wheels” which covers all tourist destinations in Rajasthan starting from Delhi is also available.
  • Sanganer Airport located at Jaipur connects major cities of India.
  • Buses of Rajasthan Road Transport Corporation connect Jaipur to all cities in Rajasthan.

Best Things to Do

  • Meditate at Dhamma Thali Vipassana Meditation Centre.
  • Shop to your heart’s content at MI road.
  • Other shopping destinations are Johri bazar, Bapu bazar etc.