Historical, Heritage, City
Hindi, Rajasthani and English
Jaipur, the pink city is simply royal. Named after Maharaja Jai Singh 2 of Amber, this city is a paradise for people who want a glance at Rajasthan’s past. Although Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan, it is not an old city. It was built in 1727 by King Jai Singh. The city was designed according to the planning principles of Vastu Shastra. Jaipur has been known as ‘the pink city’ since it was painted pink in 1857 to welcome the Prince of Wales.
If you love history, we warn you traveler, your head might take some time to stop reeling after you’re through with Jaipur but then again, when did anybody ever get through with Jaipur? So get ready to take on the Palace quarter that comprises the Hawa Mahal palace complex, gorgeous gardens and a little lake. Made for the women to treat their eyes to whatever vicarious enjoyment they could indulge in from within the quarters of this mahal, its intricate architecture with jharokhas and lattice-work is bound to steal your heart.
Elephant safaris are popular among tourists to Jaipur. Viewing the forts is a must. Alternatively, visitors can relax with a massage or take a course in Ayurveda or Indian music.
There’s also the Nahargarh Fort of Raja Sawai Jai Singh uphill in the north-west of old city. The view from the roof top is breath-taking. A world heritage site, built by Sawai Singh, the ancient observatory at Jantar Mantar gives us a glimpse of science. The city palace, a fusion of Rajput and Mughal architecture. With the seven storied Chandra Mahal, the diwan-i-aam with all its manuscripts, the Diwan-i-Khas done up in marble and the Mubarak Mahal in luxurious fabric, this place is simply awesome.
You might also want to see the lovely Jal Mahal at the centre of the Man Sagar Lake or the world’s largest canon housed at the Jaigarh Fort and did I just forget Amer. Thanks to the romanticized legend of Akbar and his first Hindu wife, we all know how interesting Amer is. You might also want to pay your respects at the Laxmi Narayan Temple located right below Moti Doongri. It has magnificent marble carvings. Lastly, you must visit the Kanak Vrindavan temple which has been restored some time back. It is located near the Jai Mahal and has wonderful gardens where you could go to let the ambiance seep in and cool your mind. Jaipur is a dreamland. It breaths of a bygone era and affords the modern pleasures of living. It is pink and it is fabulous.
Those tired of rice and lentils can try dal bati churma. This is lentils, but served with baked wheat balls and sweetened cereal. Ghewar is a Rajastani sweet made with the flavor of ghee and almonds. You are even more likely to see this sweet at festival time. To get away from the tourists in Jaipur, take a rickshaw to the old city and walk away from the main roads. In the narrow alleys, you’ll see locals going about their daily routines.
Jaipur has been known as ‘the pink city’ since it was painted pink in 1857 to welcome the Prince of Wales. The amber red hues of the buildings and forts are also very close to pink. Whatever you do, don’t buy gems in Jaipur. Gem scams are common and tricksters can be convincing. Be careful with taxi drivers who wish to take you to their friend’s jewelry store.