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Jaipur
City : Jaipur
Location : West India
Language : English, Hindi, Rajasthani.
Best Time To Visit : September to March.


About Jaipur

This famous city is the capital of Rajasthan and has earned universal renown as the " Pink City ", and pink it is, with beautiful constructed palaces, havelis and forts. Tall, rugged men with handle-bar whiskers sport bright pink turbans. Jaipur which means the city of victory was built exactly 273 years back and is 262 km by road from Delhi ( Capital of India ). A strong wall encircles the old city and even today has a suggestion of formidable strength, its function of protecting all within is obvious.

The plains of Rajasthan of which Jaipur is the capital once thundered and echoed with clash of swords and the drums of wars.Built in 1727 by Sawai Jai Singh-II, Jaipur was the first planned city of its time ( the earlier planned city in northern India having been built near Taxila sometime in the 2nd century BC ).

Jaipur was planned by Vidhyadhar Bhattacharya, a Bengali architect, in a grid system with wide straight avenues, roads, streets and lanes and uniform rows of shops on either side of the main bazaars, all arranged in nine rectangular city sectors (chokris). The city itself is an attractive creation worthy of universal admiration.

There is a feast in store for tourists. Attractive monuments where one can breathe the fragrance of history. Comfortable and luxurious hotels, once the proud of kings, parks, gardens, and excursions of nearby places of interest, make Jaipur a tourist's paradise.


History

Hawa Mahal, and the Principal Street of Jaipur, c. 1875For the history of all the region, see Dhundhar
The city was established in 1727 by Maharaja Jai Singh II as a new capital of Kachwaha dynasty (Dhundhar region). Then the capital was shifted from the historical capital Amber, India.


Jaipur, Principal Street, c. 1875In the 19th century the city grew rapidly and became prosperous; by 1900 it had a population of 160,000. The city's wide boulevards were paved and lit with gas. The city had several hospitals. Its chief industries were in metals and marble, fostered by a school of art founded in 1868. The city also had three colleges, including a Sanskrit college (1865) and a girls' school (1867) initiated under the reign of the enigmatic Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II. There was also a wealthy and enterprising community of native bankers, particularly the Jains and the Marwaris.

On May 13, 2008 bomb blasts occurred in seven places of the city causing more than 100 deaths.[1]

Geography

The Jal MahalJaipur is located at 26.92° N 75.82° E.[2] It has an average elevation of 432 metres (1417 ft).

The district is situated in the eastern part of Rajasthan. It is bound in the north by Sikar and Alwar, in South by Tonk, Ajmer and Sawai Madhopur. Nagaur, Sikar and Ajmer in the west and in east by Bharatpur and Dausa districts.

The major rivers passing through the Jaipur district are Banas and Banganga. Ground water resources to the extent of about 28.65 million cubic meter are available in the district. Although serious drought is rare, poor water management and exploitation of groundwater with extensive tube-well systems threatens agriculture in some areas.

Jaipur has a semi-arid climate in spite of receiving more than 50 cm rainfall annually, as the rainfall is concentrated in the monsoon months between June and September. This is due to its proximity to the Thar desert.


Tourist Places


City Palace
The City Palace is a historic landmark. The carved arches are supported by grey-white marble columns studded with floral motifs in gold and coloured stones. Two elephants carved in marble guard the entrance, where retainers whose families have served generations of rulers are at hand to serve as guides.

The palace interior houses a Museum containing select collection of various types of Rajasthani dresses, a fascinating armoury of Mughal and Rajput weapons; swords of all shapes and sizes, with chased handles, some of them inlaid, enamelled, encrusted with jewels and encased in bold and magnificent scabbards.

It also has an art gallery with a fine collection of paintings, carpets, royal paraphernalia and rare astronomical works in Arabic, Persian, Latin and Sanskrit, acquired by Sawai Jai Singh-II for his study of planets and their movements.

Jantar Mantar
Jantar mantar is one of Jai Singh's five remarkable observatories. Constructed with stone and marble its complex instruments whose settings and shapes are precisely and scientifically designed represent the high points of Medieval Indian astronomy. The Ram Yantras used for gauging altitudes are unique in their isolation. this is the largest of the five observatories founded by Sawai Jai Singh-II in various parts of the country.

Major Yantras or instruments that you can watch moving clockwise are: Small 'Samrat', 'Dhruva', 'Narivalya', The Observer's Seat, Small 'Kranti', 'Raj''Unnathamsa', 'Disha', 'Dakshina', Large 'Samrat', 'Rashivalayas', 'Jai Prakash', Small 'Ram', Large 'Ram Yantra', 'Diganta', Large 'Kranti'

Hawa Mahal
Built by the poet king Sawai Pratap Singh, the Hawa Mahal is the most strikingly designed monument in Jaipur. What is seen from the Sireh Deorhi Bazaar is the multiniched five storey high backside of the complex ( see it in photo gallery ). It was conceived to provide adequate vantage position behind delicate stone carved jali screens to the palace women for watching the royal processions passing through the bazaar below.

Albert Hall
It is situated in the beautiful garden of Jaipur city, Ram Niwas Bagh. It was constructed by Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh in the year 1886 under the drought relief work of Rs 4 Lacs.
The design of the building was done by Sir Swinton Jaicob. Presently the hall is used for museum purpose.

Jal Mahal
A tiny palace romantically located in the middle of a small lake, this was supposed to be a hunting lodge for the royal family. It can only be viewed from the banks of the lake.

Amer Fort
For seven long centuries before Jaipur was built, Amer served as the capital as Kachhwaha rulers of the old state of Dhundhar.Amer Fort is the complex of palaces, halls, pavilions, gardens and temples, which were built by Raja Man Singh, Mirza Raja Jai Singh and Sawai Jai Singh over a period of about two centuries.

The palace complex rising from the placid waters of the Mootha lake is approached through a steep path, now often traversed by tourists on elephant-back, to Singh palace and Jaleb Chowk. Two flights of stairs rise from one end to the chowk, one leading to the elegant temple of Shila Mata and other to the palace complex. The image of the Mother Goddess worshipped with reverence by thousands of devotees every day was brought from Jessore in East Bengal ( now in Bangladesh ) by raja Man Singh and installed here.



B M Birla Planetarium
Equipped with modern computerized projection system, the planetarium offers unique audio-visual educational entertainment. A Science Museum is also a part of this one of the most modern planetarium in India.

Galtaji
Beyond the gardens amidst the low hills guarding the city lies the old pilgrim centre of Galtaji. Temples, pavilions and holy kunds ( natural springs and reservoirs ) do the serene green landscape. 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.

SAMODE
Samode is an hour's drive from Jaipur , 45 km away. The 400-year-old palace has a Wealth of frescope , many of them depicting religious subjects. The highlight is Durbar hall.

AJMER
It is the holy city of Rajasthan is located 131kms. It is famous for the Tomb of the Sufi Saint, Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti, the Dargah Sharif. The city was founded by the Chauhan ruler, Ajaipal, during the 11th century and is dominated by the Taragarh Fort built by Prithviraj Chauhan. Some 800 years ago, a splendid embankment was built by Anaji by the lovely lake, Ana Sagar and some 500 years later. Shah Jahan erected 5 beautiful marble pavilions.

PUSHKAR
It is 11kms from Ajmer along the picturesque pushkar Lake lies the tranquil town with deep religions significance 'Nag Pahar' or snke Mountain forms a natural boundary between Ajmer and Pushkar The lake with 52 ghats and an array of temples along the banks is an important pilgrimage center of Hindus.


Festival of Jaipur

Festivals hold an unusual lure for the Rajasthanis, and they find any number of reason to celebrate. While some of these are traditional festivals. However, some of the larger and more and more important celebration are listed below.

RajasthanElephant Festival ( MARCH )
The unsuals event of celebrating with ellephants, while the rest of the country plays with colours at Holi.

Gangaur Festivals ( April )
Idols of Issar and Gangaur, manifestation of Shiva and Parvati are worshipped by women, and particularly those unmarried who pray for a consort of the like of Shiva.

Teej Festival ( August)
The celebration of the monsoons is also the time to renew the ties of fidelity for married couples in Rajasthan, and special sweetmeats, and swing rides are characteristic of it.