Sunday, March 17, 2013

Jaipur, the Pink City - Rajasthan State

Event date: 2nd July 2009

Jaipur is the capital and largest modern city of the Rajasthan State in India, founded on 18 November 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber, after whom the city has been named. The city today has a population of 3.1 million. Jaipur is famously known as the Pink City of India. I was overly excited to come and explore the pink city, of I thought could be as clean as Kuala Lumpur City if not the Singapore city. To my dissapointment (being the 1st timer visiting India), it was rather similar to other parts of any other city in India.

However, it is true that everything was 60% in pink color, of which I enjoyed very much, especially to see the Hawa Mahal in person. The city is remarkable developed into a pre-modern Indian cities with it's infrastructure suited any other cities standards. However, the city itself overpopulated with local traders beside foreignor touring the city's famous attraction. 

The 3rd Maharani of Jaipur, the late Gayatri Devi has written beautifully about the city and of great length about Rambargh Palace in her book "The Memoirs of the Maharani". But, looking at below photo you might agree with me if I were to say that the infrastructure of the road lanes, drains and parking system must be improvise extremely.

Historically, the construction of the modern city started in 1727. It took around 4 years to complete the major palaces, roads and square. The city was built following the principles of Shilpa Shastra, the science of Indian architecture. The city was divided into 9 blocks, 2 of which contain the state buildings and palaces, with the remaining 7 allotted to the public. Huge fortification walls were built, along with seven strong gates. For the time, architecture feature was improvise in 1876, during the regime of Sawai Ram Singh, the whole city was painted pink to welcome Edward, the Prince of Wales. Today, the city avenues remain painted in pink, giving Jaipur a distinctive appearance as a pink city.

1 of the 9 city gates that I captured with my camera on my visit.

The cinema painted in shade pastel pink attracted my attention on my way to Amber Fort. It was beautiful. I've been to this kind of cinema which the locals usually went with Phani my driver when I was in Vijayawada last year. It was an airconditioned cinema, quite decent, but throughout the show I had to hold my breath as my nose is a sensitive type :)

Below and upper gates are the gate to city palace, painted in a similar color with the Amber Palace.

The royal family of Jaipur was one of the richest in India. Hence, coming to the city would not be complete if not visiting the Palace City to see the palace huge complex of courtyards, gardens, and buildings blend both Rajasthani and Mughal architecture. The Peacock Gate is exquisite, and contains an alluring display of detailed workmanship featuring bright peacocks. Today, the royal family lives in the graceful Chandra Mahal (Moon Palace) bordering the courtyard. Also inside the City Palace complex is a museum, art gallery, and interesting displays of royal costumes and old Indian weapons.

The palace seated accross the Jantar Mahal, Chokri Shahad of teh old city. Tourist has to pay an entrance fee of Rs300/foreignor and Rs75/locals and extra charge of rs75 for the camera. It was open from 9.30am to 5pm daily.

Jantar Mantar, built by King Jai Singh II between 1727 and 1734, literally means "calculation instrument". More than just a curious collection of sculptures, each structure at the intriguing Jantar Mantar observatory has a specialized astronomical function. There are 14 structures in total, which measure time, predict eclipses, and track stars. The most impressive one is the huge Samrat Yantra sundial in below photo. At a height of 90 feet, it has a shadow that moves roughly the width of a person's hand every minute. 

Located adjacent to the City palace, a nominal entrance fee of Rs20 for all is charged and the additional Rs50 for camera. It is open from 9am till 4.30pm daily.

The city view and Amber Fort/Palace seen from Jaigarh Fort

You may include a must visit list (like mine) to Japur forts and minuments such as, Hawa Mahal, Amber Fort, Jaigarh Fort beside the City Palace, Jantar Mantar, Rambagh Palace it is an option to explore Nahargarh Fort, Jal Mahal (the floating summer palace) and the stunning Albert Hall Museum. There are temples and places of worships for those on holy mission and it is recommended to visit gardens and beautiful parks should you have an extra days to spent.

Jal Mahal, a "Water Palace" is located in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake in Jaipur City. The palace and the lake around were renovated and enlarged in the 18th century by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Amber. The above blurry photo was snapped from far distance of Jaigarh Fort.

The Jal Mahal palace is assesable by traditional boat, called the Rajput style wooden boats. Across the lake, a view of the Aravalli hills, dotted with temples and ancient forts, and on the other side, bustling Jaipur is very pleasant. The most remarkable change is in the lake itself. The drains were diverted, two million tonnes of toxic silt were dredged from the bottom, increasing its depth by over a metre, a water treatment system was developed, local vegetation and fish reintroduced, the surrounding wetlands regenerated and five nesting islands created to attract migratory birds too.

Please stay foot to read my next entry of my visit to beautiful city of Jaipur. Thanks for reading and I hope you truly enjoying my selections of photo in my blog.

Post a Comment