Jaipur was India's first architecturally planned city and was built during the 18th century -- it's the largest city in Rajasthan. Sawai Jai Singh masterminded the project with the help of architect Vidhyadhar Bhattacharya, who based it on strong scientific principles following an ancient architectural book called the Shilpa Shastra. Today, the city is a major tourist destination for both national and international travellers and is part of Delhi's Golden Triangle. Visitors are drawn by attractions like the Govind Dev ji and Birla Temples, the City Palace and Vidhan Sabha. The city is fast growing and features colourful streets where old meets new with camels, rickshaws, motorbikes, cars and trucks all competing for space. Surprisingly, Jaipur's has places of calm where life takes a different pace, for example, in the hilly country surrounding the city where Amber Fort lies. The centrally-located City Palace is home to the former royal family and nearby, the Jantar Mantar royal observatory gazes up to the skies. Some of the city's wonderful festivals include the Elephant Festival, the Gangaur Fair and the Kite Festival, but there's a full calendar of events throughout the year.
Things to Do
Some call Jaipur the Paris of India due to its multitude of amazing things to see and do as well as the colours and energy the city gives off. With sumptuous palaces, historic forts and impressive museums, it's is a visitor's delight.
An impressive fort
Amber Fort is one of the city's legendary attractions, blending Hindu and Mughal architecture. The fort takes its name from a town called Amber, which was named after Amber the goddess. The fort is home to the Sheesh Mahal, where thousands of mirrored tiles line the walls and ceiling.
Palaces within a palace
As the former home of the Maharaja, the City Palace is now a museum and contains other palaces within, including the Diwan-I-Khas, Diwan-I-Aam, Mubarak Mahal, Chandra Mahal and Maharani Palaces. All are splendid to behold.
The city of temples
Jaipur has earned this nickname due to its many temples and one of the oldest is Govind Dev Jee, a shrine to Lord Krishna. It's part of the City Palace site and visitors flock to marvel at its superb architecture.
Calendar of Events
Jaipur celebrates many renowned festivals, fairs and events every year, giving visitors the opportunity to get closer to the city.
The Elephant Festival. On the eve of Holi, usually in March, the city puts on a magnificent elephant festival with a procession and interesting events like elephant polo. The decorations are spectacular!
Gangaur Fair. The Gangaur Fair (at the end of March and beginning of April) is especially colourful, and here, women worship Issar and Gangaur, Shiva and Parvati, especially those who haven't yet married and are looking for a match.
Kite Festival. Every year on 14th January, kites take to the sky over the city, flying with lights in the evening while fireworks explode, lighting up the skies all around.