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Jaipur is popularly known as the Pink City, thanks to the colour of the buildings in the city. The city, built in 1727 A.D by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, followed a grid system, which made it the only planned city of its time. A young Bengali architect Vidhyadhar Bhattacharya designed the city in accordance with Shilp Shastra - an ancient Hindu treatise on architecture.
Area: 64.75 sq.km.
Pink City: 9.8 sq. km.
Altitude: 431 meters
Languages: English, Hindi, Rajasthani
Summer: (Apr - May) Max: 40 Min: 25.8 Monsoons: (Jun-Sep) Max: 40 Min: 23
Rainfall 64 cm: Max Min: 3 Winter: (Oct - Mar) Max: 22 Min: 8.
The City Palace
In the heart of the old city lies the royal residence of the erstwhile King of Jaipur. Built using a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal styles, the palace has carved arches, supported by grey-white marble columns, decorated with floral motifs created with gold and coloured stones. Two carved marble elephants guard the entrance. The palace houses a Museum with a superb collection of Rajasthani costumes. The museum also houses an armoury of Mughal and Rajput weaponry, with swords of different shapes and sizes with ornamental handles - some of them inlaid with enamel and embellished with jewels and encased in magnificent scabbards. The palace also has an art gallery with an excellent collection of miniature paintings, carpets, royal paraphernalia and rare astronomical works in Arabic, Persian, Latin and Sanskrit, which were acquired by Sawai Jai Singh II in order to, fulfil his passion for astronomy.
This is the largest of Jai Singh’s five remarkable open-air stone observatories. Its complex instruments, whose setting and shapes are scientifically designed, represent the high point of medieval Indian astronomy. The most striking of these are the Ram Yantras used for gauging altitudes.
Built in 1799 A.D., the Hawa Mahal or Palace of Winds is a major Rajput landmark. This five-storied building along the main street of the old city is a pink sandstone masterpiece with semi-octagonal and delicately honeycombed windows. The monument was originally conceived with the aim of enabling ladies of the royal household to watch the everyday life and royal processions in the city – in absolute privacy.
Govind Devji Temple
This popular spire less temple, dedicated to Lord Krishna is located in the central pavilion of the Jai Niwas Garden. The image of the patron deity-Govind Devji, originally installed in a temple in Vrindavan, was reinstalled here by Sawai Jai Singh II and was worshipped as his family deity.
Swargasuli (Isar Lat)
Located on the western side of the Tripolia Bazaar, the highest tower in the city. Swargasuli dominates the city’s skyline. Sawai Ishwari Singh built it in 1749 A.D. to commemorate a grand victory.
Ram Niwas Bagh
Built by Sawai Ram Singh II in the 1868 A.D, Ram Nivas Bagh is a lush sprawling garden with a zoo, an aviary, a greenhouse, a herbarium, and a museum and sports ground in the premises.
Sir Swinton Jacob designed this fine example of example of Indo Saracenic style of architecture, in the Ram Nivas Bagh. The Hall is home to an exquisite collection of sculptures, paintings, objects d’art, natural history specimens, an Egyptian mummy and a beautiful Persian carpet. Recently, the Rabindra Manch with an auditorium, a modern art gallery and an open-air theatre, has been added to promote cultural events.
Pretty dolls from around the world are on display in the compound of the school for deaf and dumb children, near the Police Memorial.
BM Birla Planetarium
The Planetarium has a modern computerized projection system that brings the heavens to life, providing a unique blend of education and entertainment. The museum is closed on the last Wednesday of every month.
Far beyond the gardens, amidst low hills lies the ancient pilgrimage centre, Galtaji. A world of temples, pavilions and holy kunds (natural spring and reservoirs) coupled with lush landscape make it a delightful spot. The small temple on the top of the highest peak, dedicated to the Sun God, is visible from all parts of the city.
The exquisite Jain temple on the Agra road is renowned for the beautiful 19th century, Jaipur style paintings in on its walls.
Moti Doongari and Lakshmi Narayan Temple
Moti Doongari is a privately owned hilltop fort built like a Scottish castle. The Ganesh Temple at the foot of the hill and the marvellous Lakshmi Narayan Temple built in marbles a few years back, are worth visiting.
This full-length, exquisitely carved white marble statue of Sawai Jai Singh in was erected in the centre of the circle to pay homage to the founder of Jaipur.
Overlooking the Delhi-Jaipur highway, the image of the Amber Fort is beautifully reflected in the lake below. Within the Fort lies the famous Jai Mandir ( Temple) with its world-renowned hall of mirrors, Sheesh Mahal. The walls and the ceiling of the Mahal are covered with a beautiful array of mirrors, which reflects any streak of light, so as to illuminate the entire room. Located at 9 Km northwest of Jaipur, the Amber Fort was once the Capital of the Minas.
Nahargarh fort, beyond the hills of Jaigarh, stands like a watchful sentinel guarding Sawai Jai Singh's beautiful capital. Much of the original structure is in ruins, but the lovely buildings added by Sawai Ram Singh II and Sawai Madho Singh II in the 19th century are preserved in a good condition. Some of the rooms provide the most spectacular view of the city below.
The western skyline is dominated by the extensive parkotas (walls), watchtowers and gateways of Jaigarh. It is one of the few military structures of mediaeval India that’s still almost intact. The fort contains palaces, gardens, open and covered reservoirs, a granary, an armoury, a well-planned cannon foundry, several temples, a tall tower and a - the Jai Ban - one of the largest cannons in the country.
Jal Mahal (Water Palace)
Situated in the middle of Man Sagar and reached by a causeway. The palace, was built by Madho Singh in the 18th century.