The perfect fusion of history and modernity, visionary town planning, colorful lifestyle, excellent hospitality, unique arts and crafts, splendid architecture and a shopper's heaven is what defines Jaipur, the city of intact forts and delicate palaces. Surrounded by rugged hills on three sides with impregnable forts on each, amidst the Aravalli ranges, Jaipur is today a modern metropolis and is renowned as a tourist-friendly city. Jaipur is the capital of the state of Rajasthan in Northwestern India.
Most of the credit of this wonderful city goes to Jai Singh, or rather Sawai Jai Singh II, a great Kachhawaha ruler of supreme genius. His military prowess as well as his penchant for art and astronomy played an important role in his reign, the remains of which can still be witnessed in the exhilarating city of Jaipur today. With a view to find a new capital in place of the existing one at the cramped hilly area of Amber, Jai Singh drew up plans for the new city of Jaipur, in accordance with the ancient Hindu treatise on architecture Vastu Sashtra or Shilpa Shastra in 1727 AD. He was aided by the famous Bengali architect Vidyadhar Chakravati in his endeavor.
Popularly known as the Pink City, Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan is a place of vivid contrasts, bombarding the senses at every turn. It is a place where cycle rickshaws move alongside posh automobiles, where palatial hotels share ground with slums, and life continuously moves on. The pink color was used at the time of constructing the place to create an impression of red sandstone buildings of Mughal cities. The whole town was however repainted in 1876, during the visit of the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII.
Jaipur was planned in a grid system with wide straight avenues, roads, streets and lanes and uniform rows of shops on either side of the main roads, all arranged in nine rectangular city sectors (chokdis), representing the ancient Hindu map of the universe. The city was surrounded by a crenellated masonry wall, measuring 20 feet in height and 9 feet in thickness with seven imposing gateways - Dhruvapol (Zorawar Singh Gate) on the north, Gangapol and Surajpol on the east, Rampol (Ghat Gate), Shivpol (Sanganeri Gate) and Kishanpol (Ajmeri Gate) on the south, and Chandpol on the west. The walls were built for protection from invading armies and wild animals that lurked just outside in the jungles that surrounded the city. But Jai Singh's planned city has withstood all the pressures and the changes.
Last Updated On: 2011/07/08