Jaipur, also known as The Pink City, is the capital of Rajasthan state of India. Jaipur means The city of victory (‘jai’ means Victory and ‘pur’ means City). A land of natural beauty and history, Jaipur is one of the best planned cities of India. Jaipur was founded by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II on 18 November 1727. The Jaipur city was planned by Vidyadhar Bhattacharya on the principles of Indian Architecture, Shilpa Shastra. The city was divided into nine blocks. The first two blocks consisted the palaces and state buildings and the other seven blocks were allotted for public use. A strong wall having seven gates encircling the city was constructed for security.
Due to its proximity to the desert, weather in Jaipur is generally warm during summers and cold during winters. During peak summer between April to July, the temperature can reach 45°C during day time and comes down to 25.8°C at night. The monsoon season is from mid July till September with heavy and frequent showers and thunderstorms bringing relief from heat. During winters between October to March, the temperature is about 22°C, coming down to 5°C at night.
Jaipur is famous for forts and palaces which remain favourite of tourists from all over the world. Jaipur is also famous for Hand-woven sarees, block printing on fabrics, Zari embroidery (gold thread work) and tie and dye clothing called Bandhini. Some other popular items of Jaipur are Miniature paintings, Stone carving and sculptures, Ivory carvings, Blue pottery and Silver jewellery.
Jaipur is well known for jewellery set with precious and semi-precious stones. ‘Kundan’ and ‘Meenakari’ are the most popular form of techniques used by jewellers in Jaipur. In Kundan jewellery, the stones are set in gold and silver and Meenakari is all about the enamelling; beautiful coloured enamels are filled in the jewellery. Beautifully cut and polished stones like diamonds, sapphire, jade, garnet, ruby, topaz, etc. are the speciality of Jaipur jewellers.
The most prominent sector in promoting tourism in Jaipur is the service industry. Conversion of a lot of old palaces and forts into heritage hotels has added feather in the Jaipur tourism cap. It is a very popular wedding destination. The city attracts couples from all over the world to get married here and experience the richness of Indian culture and royalty.
For tourists looking for relaxation and rejuvenation, Jaipur offers a variety of Spa and Ayurvedic treatments. Spa and Ayurvedic centres have a vast range of treatments ranging from various kinds of massages using medicinal and herbal oils to packages for relaxation and rejuvenation including medicated baths, stress management, weight management, pain management, beauty treatments, anti-ageing treatments, etc.
How to reach Jaipur
Jaipur city is very well connected by Air, Rail and Road. The city has its own international airport, located at a distance of approx. 13 km from the main city. Flights from all major cities of India like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Chennai as also flights from London, Dublin, Dubai, Sharjah, etc. arrive and depart here at regular intervals. Some international flights reach Jaipur via Delhi.
Jaipur city has three railway stations, the main being Jaipur Junction. Most of the trains depart and arrive at this station only. Jaipur is connected to a lot of major and small cities of India like Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Ajmer, Ludhiana, Gwalior, Indore, Udaipur, Bikaner, Roorkee, etc. There are frequent and regular trains connecting Jaipur to these cities.
Jaipur railway station also receives special trains meant for tourists like Palace on wheels, Heritage on wheels and Royal Orient train. These trains connect various tourist destinations both from outside and inside the Jaipur and must be experienced.
Jaipur is also well connected by road to the neighbouring cities and states. There are regular buses from Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Gujarat and many more cities. The Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation and many private operators run regular, Deluxe, semi-deluxe and Volvo buses from various cities connecting Jaipur.
Tourist places of Jaipur
City Palace is one of the most wonderful palaces of Jaipur. Situated in the heart of the old city, the City Palace complex is a blend of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. The palace complex has many buildings, gardens and courtyards. In the centre of the complex is the seven storeyed Chandra Mahal presenting a magnificent view of the Jaipur city. Mubarak Mahal (Welcome Palace) worked as a reception centre for visiting dignitaries. It is now a part of the museum housing costumes, jewellery, musical instruments, etc. of the royal family.
Jantar Mantar (Observatory)
Jantar Mantar was built in the 18th century by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. Reflecting Indian astronomy, it was built to study the movement of constellations and stars. Gigantic masonry instruments were installed for the precise results. A huge sun-dial still provides time.
Hawa Mahal (The palace of winds)
Built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, it is one of the most popular landmarks of Jaipur. The palace was aesthetically designed for the ladies of royal family to watch the processions and other activities being held in the city. The palace has five stories and 152 windows. It has now been turned into a museum depicting history of Jaipur.
Jal Mahal (Water Palace)
Built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799 AD in the midst of Man Sagar lake, Jal Mahal was constructed as a pleasure spot for the royal family. Jal Mahal is famous for its magnificent architecture. The reflection of the palace in the calm water looks magnificent. Four floors of the palace are under water and the top floor is above the water level. A large number of migratory birds throng at the lake during winter season.
Barely at a distance of 18 km from Jaipur, is the Chowki-dhani village spread over an area of 10 acres. Chowki-dhani village was built to showcase traditions and culture of Rajasthan. A village fair is created here every evening to show the ongoing celebrations. Live dance and music performances are held by local folk dancers and singers. Boat rides, Camel rides and elephant rides are enjoyed both by children and adults. The accommodations offered differ from cottages, royal cottages to Haveli suites depicting deep rooted rajasthani artistic creations. Various restaurants offer mouth-watering Rajasthani dishes as also Chinese and Continental cuisine.
Other tourist attractions of Jaipur
Jaigarh Fort, Nahargarh Fort and Amber Palace Fort complex are some of the most famous places around Jaipur. Situated within a radius of approx. 15 km, these forts are spread over a large area. They are an epitome of Indian architecture and grandeur. Some of the forts houses museums displaying items ranging from royal heritage, antique utensils and clothing, depicting rajasthani culture, to weapons used during wars.
Ram Niwas Bagh, Albert Hall, Dolls Museum, Sisodia Rani Garden, Vidyadhar Garden, Statue Circle, Gaitore, Galta, Birla Planetarium, Birla Auditorium & Convention centre, Moti Doongari and Lakshmi Narayan Temple are also some of the places popular among tourists.
Jaipur makes shopping almost irresistible. The markets offer a large variety of clothing. Available in different bright colours, the clothes offered range from block printing, tie and dye, mirror work, colourful embroidery to intricate zari work. Although a variety of fabrics are available, the most widely used fabric is cotton. A huge variety of decorative items are available in the market, which include wall hangings made from clothes to different kinds of beads, table covers, show pieces, etc. A vast variety of beautiful bangles in different designs and colours decorated with glass and beads are available in the market. Wood work, blue pottery and brass work goods are worth buying.
Have a relaxing, rejuvenating and colourful visit to Jaipur!