Jaipur - Luxury Travel Destination of India
Jaipur is the capital of the state of Rajasthan a romantic realm of resplendent palaces, mighty fortresses and regal Maharajahs that lies in the western deserts and is an utterly unique part of India. Proudly belonging to the KSHATRIYA warrior caste and fiercely independent, the Rajput princes made fearsome foes. However, many of them realized that to maintain their wealth and authority locally, it was expedient to proclaim allegiance to the central power. Thus, many enjoyed a privileged position under the Mughal emperors and also the British Raj that followed.
Popularly known as the 'Pink City', Jaipur is located in the western state of Rajasthan in India and is a major tourist destination in India. The abode carries a exquisite charm that makes it different from any other destination in the world. The historical monument that it endorses narrates the stories of the gallantry of Rajput rulers during the ancient past. A visit here will enable you to have peep into the cultural heritage of India.
The bustling Rajasthan capital of Jaipur takes its name from its venerated founder Jai Singh II, who was given the title Sawai Maharaja by the Mughal. Literally translated this would mean ’one and a quarter’, suggesting that the Mughal thought this emperor to be more valuable than just ‘one’. Jaipur is known as the ’Pink City’ on account of the distinctive colour of its buildings. This did not, however, form part of the original plan, but dates back to 1856, when the city was given a wash of pink in honor of a State Visit from Prince Albert
Airways: Sangner airport, 30 minutes drive to major hotels
Railways: Well connected to all the major cities in India. Shatabi Express is the ideal train from Delhi.
Roadways: RTDC (Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation) buses connects Jaipur to major cities like Delhi, Agra and within Rajasthan.
Facts About Jaipur
Area : 64.75 sq. km. Jaipur City
Best time to visit : September-March
Languages: Rajasthani, Hindi, English
Major attractions : Amber Palace, City Palace, Jantar Mantar, Hawa Mahal
Amber Palace: The Amber Palace is located on the outskirts of the Jaipur city on a low hill. The palace can be reached on the back of an elephant which is an exhilarating experience in itself. The fort has various beautiful tourist attractions within the complex including Jai Mandir and the famous hall of mirrors or the Sheesh Mahal.
AMBER FORT PALACE:Amber is the classic romantic Rajasthani fort palace. Its construction was started by Man Singh I in 1592, and completed by his descendent Jai Singh I. Its forbidding exterior belies an inner paradise where a beautiful fusion of Mughal and Hindu styles finds its ultimate expression. At the foot of the hill you will mount your caparisoned elephant for the slow but steady climb up to the main gate, making your entrance in the time honoured fashion. The Fort, completed in the early 18th century, took over 100 years to build and now, although deserted, offers a fascinating insight into the lifestyle of the Moghul ruling families.
City Palace: City Palace showcases an impressive blend of traditional Rajasthani and Mughal architecture styles. Within the complex there are a series of courtyards, gardens and buildings. Other tourist attractions of the palace include Chandra Mahal, Sri Gobing Dev Temple and the Museum that adorns a variety of ancient artifacts.
A delightful blend of Mughal and traditional Rajasthani architecture, the City Palace sprawls over one-seventh of the area in the walled city. It houses the Chandra Mahal, Shri Govind Dev Temple and the City Palace Museum.
Jantar Mantar: One of the biggest observatory out of five that was built by Sawai Jai Singh in Northern India. It can be called ancient science laboratory as it is observatory and various 'Yantras' in it are designed by experts to observe the movements of sun, moon, planets and the stars. It has two Ram Yantra, used for gauging altitudes are phenomenal instruments.
This is the largest and the best preserved of the five observatories built by Jai Singh II in different parts of the country. This observatory consisting of outsized astronomical instruments is still in use.
Hawa Mahal: The impressive building of Hawa Mahal is a memorable sight. Hawa Mahal ornately carved windows that attract tourist attention. You will be just spellbound to view such beautiful multi layered palace, which offers an interplay of red and pink sand stone, carefully and painstakingly outlined with white borders and motifs.
The ornamental facade of this "Palace of Winds" is a prominent landmark in Jaipur. It is a five-storey structure of sandstone plastered pink encrusted with fine trelliswork and elaborate balconies. The palace has 953 niches and windows. Built in 1799 by Pratap Singh, the Mahal was a royal grandstand for the palace women.
Samode: Samode according to the Rajputana Gazetteer of 1879 was a large and flourishing town. The Zamidars (landlords) of Samode - the principal thakurs of the state of Amber were the Nathawat clan from Chomu, a branch of the house of Amber, tracing their relation to the Jaipur Maharaja the fabled Prithviraj Singhji the 17th prince of the house of Kacchwaha Rajputs. Gopal Singhji one of his 12 sons was awarded Samode, a noble feudatory of the Amber & Jaipur principality. It was among the wealthiest territories in the Amber kingdom. The Zamidari eventually passed within the clan to the hands of Behari Das, a Rajput warrior in Mughal Service. After 6 generations in the hands of his descendants Samode was relinquished to the Raj.
The 400-year-old SAMODE PALACE has a wealth of frescoes, many of them depicting religious subjects. The highlight is a vast DURBAR HALL.
Take a walk of the Rajasthani village or take a camel cart ride. Have lunch at SAMODE PALACE.
Sanganer:Sanganer is a little village just 16 kilometres from Jaipur. Here you will find the centre of the region’s block printing industry. Traditionally, only coarse cotton was printed for the ankle-length, flared skirts of Rajasthani women and today, you can see cotton cloth being printed by hand. It is said that the water of Sanganer makes the colors fast. Sanganer is the busiest crafts centre in the region and you should have time to visit artisans in their workshops and browse for gifts. You can also visit the Blue Pottery Factory, to see pottery created in Jaipur’s distinctive style; graceful floral designs in white or deep sea-green painted over a traditional inky-blue glaze.
CHOKI DHANI: If you wish to venture further, you may like to visit the Ram Niwas Garden, just outside the walled city. Here, you will find the Albert Hall Museum, opened in 1886, housing a superb collection of paintings, carpets, ivory, stone and metal sculpture.
This evening, you can enjoy an exuberant Rajasthani Folk Dance Performance and a puppetry show, performed by a local tribe, followed by dinner consisting of typical Indian cuisine. In the magical land of Rajasthan where the heat shimmers like phantom water, where the things you see are not really there and where the things that vanish behind veils of illussion, stands Chokhi Dhani, an ethnic village resort with a blend of rustic environment and modern amenities making it an important destination in Pink City.
Ganesh Temple: The Magical allure of Chokhi Dhani embraced in Rajasthani architecture welcomes you with beautifully carved Ganesh Temple.
Sargahsulli Shopping Arcade The architecture depicts historical clock tower and the ancient craft of shopping arcade at its best.
In the afternoon you can enjoy shopping. Jaipur is renowned for textile block printing, blue pottery, carpet weaving, semi-precious stones and local crafts which still thrive from the day of Maharaja Jai Singh's patronage when he designed special areas in the city for the 'bandhanas', the 'cheepas' and the 'meenakari' workers.
Jaigarh Fort: The Jaigarh fort is the most spectacular of the three-hilltop forts that overlook Jaipur. In Mughal times, the Jaipur region was a major weapon-producing centre for the Mughal and Rajput rulers, several of which are on display in the fort's museum. It is one of the few military structures of medieval India preserved almost intact, containing palaces, a granary, a well-planned cannon foundry, several temples, a tall tower and giant mounted cannon-the Jai Ban (Jaivan) which is the largest cannon in the world. Jaigarh Fort is also known as the fort of victory. The display includes a collection of canons, many of which are exquisitely decorated and were used in the Mughal campaigns led by the Rajput King, Raja Man Singh.
Of the Jaipur's three forts, Jaigarh is perhaps the most motivating. It does not have those delicate structures or palaces like that of Amber but if you want a quick look at a hard-core fortress, this is it. Jaigarh means `Victory Fort' and was built between the 15th and the 18th century, and stands 15 km from Jaipur, amidst rock-strewn, thorn-scrub covered hills, its forbidding stone ramparts are visible from the Jaipur town. A steep road goes up to the main gate, the Dungar Darwaza, from where the view is stupendous
Nahargarh Fort: Nahargarh Fort is located on the sheer rugged ridge of Aravali Hills and it forms an impressive northern backdrop of Jaipur. It looks most classy when floodlit at night. The fort overlooks the city and presents a glittering view of the city lights. It was built in 1734 and extended in 1868. Nahargarh meaning abode of the tigers was built by Jai Singh to bolster the defence of Amber. The legend also has it that it was named Nahargarh after Nahar Singh a prince whose spirit would destroy the construction and not allow its progress further. So after a tantrik prayer to the spirit it agreed to leave on condition that the fort is named after him. The Madhavendra Bhawan, built by Sawai Ram Singh II has uniquely a cluster of 12 identical suits for queens and at the head is a suit for the king himself. The rooms are linked by corridors and retain some delicate frescos as well as toilets and kitchen hearths. It was used by members of the royal family for excursion in summers and is now even a favoured picnic spot.
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