City Guide for Jaipur

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Jaipur City information

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Nahargarh Fort Jaipur
Facts & Figures :
Population : 1, 458, 483 (1991)
Languages : Hindi and English
Best time to visit : October to March
STD Code : 0141

The city of Jaipur is capital to the northern Indian state of Rajasthan, famous for its colorful culture, forts, palaces, and lakes. The city extends from latitude 26.55° in the north to longitude 75.52° in the east. Jaipur would have been a part of the Thar Desert but for the protection afforded by the Aravali Hills that form a barrier on one side. Jaipur is around 258 km from Delhi, 232 km from Agra, 350 km from Gwalior, 405 km from Udaipur, and 1,202 km from Mumbai.

The royal city of Jaipur owes its name to the founder of the city. It was the great warrior king Sawai Jai Singh II (1693–1743) who laid the foundation of the city in 1627. He was one of the few kings of his time having a keen eye for details and a very good scientific temper. The city was well planned, structured, and had one of the best drinking water systems in the medieval world.

The truism that the old order changeth yielding place to the new is reflected in the modern-day city of Jaipur. Being capital to the northern Indian state of Rajasthan, the city is mirror to every thing that Rajasthan signifies, be its culture, tradition, society, and, most important, the people.

Like most other north Indian cities, Jaipur too has extreme climate. The summers can be very hot with mercury crossing 45°C, whereas winters are chilly and the temperature can fall below 5°C.

The old city of Jaipur has neat and broadly laid-out avenues, all painted pink, and that gives a magical glow to the city, especially in the evenings.

Hawa Mahal is the best-known landmark of Jaipur. As against the popular belief, it is not really a palace. It is a sandstone screen from behind which the ladies of the court could watch the proceedings on the road below without being seen.

In the heart of the city is situated the City Palace, a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. The place is now a museum except for one section where the erstwhile royal family still lives. The city palace has an exclusive part devoted to the arms and ammunitions used by the royal family in the past.

Jantar Mantar is only one of the five observatories constructed by Jai Singh. The observatories show the passion of Maharaja Jai Singh for astronomy.

Central Museum, situated in the Ram Niwas Gardens, has a large collection of costumes, woodwork, brassware, jewelry, and pottery.

Not all the history books in the world can recreate the past as vividly as a visit to the hilltop forts of Nahargarh, Jaigarh, and Amber. For each of them embodies royal traditions of splendor and military one-upmanship. Vast courtyards separate public halls of audience from living quarters, and labyrinthine corridors effectively seal off the women's apartments from public gaze.

Jai Singh II built Nahargarh Fort in 1734. Along the ridge-top road it provides magnificent views down to the Man Sagar Lake. In the midst of this lake is a palatial duck blind, which was used for shooting parties by the erstwhile royal family.

Named after Jai Singh II, the Jaigarh Fort is perched on a cliff and is surrounded by huge battlements with inside walkways offering stunning views on all sides.

Amber is the classic romantic Rajasthan fort-palace. Its construction was started by Man Singh I in 1592 and completed by his descendant Jai Singh I. Its rugged forbidding exterior belies an inner paradise where a beautiful fusion of Mughal and Hindu styles finds its ultimate refinement. Painted scenes of hunting and war adorn the walls with precious stones and mirrors set into the plaster. In the foreground is the Maota Lake with breathtaking reflections of the magnificent Amber Fort-Palace. For an experience that's truly royal, visitor's can reach the fort through snaking pathways on elephant back.

The other places of interest are Jaipur Museum, Albert Museum, Birla Mandir Planetarium, Sisodia Rani Park, Lakshmi Narain Temple, Kanak Vrindavan, The Rajmahal Palace, Rambagh Palace (now a Luxury hotel), and other parks.

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Polo club Jaipur
Situated 100 km from Jaipur, Tonk is an old town dating to the middle of the 17th century. The new town, which resurrects a forgotten era, is a colorful medley of painted mosques, mansions and colonial buildings. The Sunehri Kothi (or Golden Mansion) is of special mention because of its mirror work.

Located 15 km from Jaipur, is Gaitor. This is the place where chhatris of Jaipur's rulers stand amidst reverential silence. The cenotaph of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the founder of Jaipur, is the finest. A dazzling structure in white marble, its elegant dome is supported by twenty carved pillars. Other cenotaphs that are of note are those of Pratap Singh and Madho Singh II.

A 40-km drive from Jaipur, Sanganer is famed for textile block printing, papermaking and Jaipur blue pottery, a must for the avid shopper. For others, there are several temples and an old palace.

Samode is a small village famous for its beautiful Samode Palace and Garden. The highlight of the building is the exquisite Diwan-I-Khas, which is covered with original paintings and mirror work.

Other important tourist places around Jaipur are Ramgarh, Abhaneri, Balaji, and Karauli

Gangaur festival is held in honor of goddess Parvati. The festival is held a few days after Holi in February/March and is celebrated in Jaipur on a grand scale. Primarily a festival for women, married women pray for their husbands and unmarried girls pray for getting a good husband. Festive processions are taken out, women draw water from wells, pick flowers, and chant hymns to the goddess Parvati.

Teej is a major event in Jaipur. The festival is celebrated during the months of July/August and dedicated to goddess Parvati. The festival celebrates the beginning of the monsoon.

Jaipur is famous for semi-precious stones and the best place to buy them is off Jauhari Bazaar. Miniatures, handicrafts, clothes, jewelry of silver and lac are other items to be bought in Jaipur.

To stay in Jaipur is to experience the royalty, rich heritage, and culture of the most colorful of Indian states. The heritage hotels of this city are tourist destinations in themselves. If one really wants live in the past with their entire splendor, there can never be a better chance. Regular accommodation is also available in the city with most of the modern facilities in offering.

The city is directly connected to Delhi, Bombay, Jodhpur, Udaipur, and Ahmedabad through regular flights. All major domestic airlines have their services to Jaipur.

Jaipur is also well connected by trains. The Pink City Express leaves Delhi at 6 am and reaches Jaipur at 11 am. Chetak Express and few other Jaipur–Delhi trains leave from the Old Delhi Railway Station in Delhi. However, if one has money and leisure, there is no better option than the Palace-on-Wheels, which leaves Delhi every Wednesday.

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