Jaipur or pink City, is the capital of Indian state of Rajasthan, and its largest city. The city was built in the 18th century by Sawai Jai Singh as India’s first planned city, and today it’s a major tourist attraction for Indians and for international visitors. It is a very picturesque city with splendid palaces, forts and historical monuments. Some of the tourists places are —
1 – City Palace in Jaipur
City Palace has stood at the heart of the Old City of Jaipur for nearly three centuries, shortly after Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II decided to relocate his court from the city of Amber. Protected by huge guard walls, the fairy-tale-like structure is still the home of Jaipur’s modern-day royal family, and is more extravagant and enchanting than you might imagine.
City Palace is more than a sand-colored regal abode—it’s a sprawling complex of buildings built around a series of landscaped garden courtyards overlooking Jaipur and Lake Palace. The entire property is a stunning display of Rajasthani and Mughal architecture.
The current occupants reside in the most eye-catching building, the Chandra Mahal, an elegant structure with curved eaves and domed rooftops. Each of its seven stories features an entirely different style. The ground floor is included in the price of admission, but you’ll need to book a private tour to go upstairs.
2 – Jantar Mantar
At first glance, Jantar Mantar may look to be nothing more than a bunch of larger-than-life abstract sculptures. But this is not an art gallery—it’s a special collection of astronomical tools started by Rajput ruler Jai Singh II to measure the heavens nearly 300 years ago.
Each of the 20 or so structures at the UNESCO World Heritage Site serves a distinctive purpose. The observatory’s massive sun dial, known as Samrat Yantra, is particularly striking. At 27 meters tall, it casts a huge shadow that accurately measures time down to two seconds.
3 – Hawa Mahal
If you had any preconceived notions about how the buildings in Jaipur look, they probably came from Hawa Mahal (Palace of Breeze). It has all of the distinctive architectural features that appear in postcards of the city, from the salmon-pink, honeycombed facade, built to resemble the crown of Hindu god Krishna, to the geometric accents and rows of tiny windows.
The landmark was built in 1799 to allow royal ladies to watch festivals on the street without being seen by the public. Its 953 windows allow plenty of breeze to pass through, making it an ideal summer palace.
4 – Amber Fort
Jaipur is home to one of India’s most-visited forts: Amber Fort. Built in the year 1592, the sandstone and marble monolith stands atop a small hill roughly 20 minute’s driving distance northeast of the center of Jaipur. It’s best known for being a pristine example of Rajasthani architecture.
Getting to Amber Fort typically involves a short uphill hike that’s well worth the effort. It’s decked out with intricate patterns of inlaid marble in nearly every color of the rainbow. The fort is laid out into four separate sections, each of which has a spectacular garden courtyard outside. While you’d never know it from above, you can actually explore the fort’s underground tunnels, some of which have been restored.
5 – Albert Hall Museum
When English writer Rudyard Kipling visited the Albert Hall Museum in Jaipur, he wrote that it was a “rebuke to all other museums in India from Calcutta downwards.” That’s high praise coming from the son of a curator, and fitting for this renowned institution.
The oldest museum in Rajasthan, the Albert Hall Museum boasts an extensive collection of art and historically significant artifacts. Come for the Egyptian mummy, stay to see antique coins from different periods in India’s history, charming permanent exhibits of miniature paintings, 18th-century costumes worn by members of different castes, and a peculiar collection of 19th-century clay figures demonstrating all the yoga poses.
6 – Birla Mandir
In a city that seems to be dipped from top to bottom in pink, the stark white marble Birla Mandir stands out—big time. The Hindu temple pays tribute to Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and purity, and Vishnu, one of the religion’s main deities.
7 – Nahargarh Fort
When it comes to sightseeing around Jaipur, the views don’t get better than what you’ll find at Nahargarh Fort. Also known as Tiger Fort, the nearly 300-year-old fort overlooks the entire city from atop the Aravalli Hills—a prime location for the structure to defend Jaipur against enemies many years ago.
More than just a formidable barrier though, this fort also contains Madhavendra Bhawan, a summer destination for royalty. The sumptuous Rajasthani building features a dozen identical boudoirs for the queens, which all connect to the king’s suite through mural-filled corridors.
8 – Jal Mahal on Man Sagar Lake
One look at the Jal Mahal, and you might think you’re seeing a mirage. The graceful palace seems to float atop the twinkling Man Sagar Lake , a calm sight compared to the rest of the frenzied city.
While it appears to have just one story, the Water Palace has four other levels submerged beneath a reservoir. Tourists can’t access the site, however, that may change in the future.
Categories: Culture and History, Education, World
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