India Explored: Destination Guide: Jaipur: Posted By Arunchs

 

   

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Posted on: Friday , Oct 17, 2008 At 19:06 PM

Destination Guide: Jaipur

Winters is approaching, making it a good time to visit the desert state of Rajasthan. The easily accessible state capital of Jaipur has several forts and historical structures worth seeing.

Overview. The buildings of the walled Old City of Jaipur are all painted pink, giving it the name 'Pink City'. Jaipur is also said to be the only planned city in India when it was built. The city is best visited in the cooler days of November to March, when seeing places is not a sweaty affair.

Gates of Old City

Orientation. Most of the ancient structures of Jaipur are located around City Palace in Old City. The new city is the modern sprawl of Jaipur to the west of Old City. The two well known forts are both outside the city: Nahargarh fort is on a hill overlooking Old City while Amber Fort is a 20 minute drive from the city.


Sightseeing and Activities


City Palace. The City Palace was built by Sawai Jai Singh in early 18th Century. The Diwan-i-Am and Diwan-i-Khas are the most prominent structures inside the palace. The four-season gates have beautiful paintings of peacocks representing each of the season. The descendants of the kings still live in the palace in 7-storey tower of Chandramahal. The palace has a arms museum with a large collection of ancient firearms, and another museum with artifacts belonging to the royals. An art gallery has a vast collection of carpets, paintings and metal artifacts.


City Palace


Jantar Mantar. Right next to City Palace is Jantar Mantar, an astronomical observatory built by Maharaja Jai Singh. It looks like a clutter of odd shaped buildings at first sight, so take a guide to understand each one of them.



Hawa Mahal. Hawa Mahal is a building that epitomizes Jaipur's ancient structures. The tall pink building has always been a part of brochures telling about Jaipur. Overlooking a wide main road, this building was once used by women of royal families to watch festive processions of the city.


Hawa Mahal


Nahargarh Fort. Nahargarh Fort, built by Maharaja Jai Sawai Singh in early 18th century, also called Tiger Fort, is located on a hill overlooking the old city, and offers panoramic views of Jaipur.


Amber Fort. The large Amber Fort is located outside the city on the top of a hill, and is surrounded by hills, with beautiful views. A large tank in front of it adds to the beauty. The interiors, with spacious Diwans and living quarters are a must see.


Amber Fort


Gaitor. Just outside the Old City, this place hosts the cenotaphs of the rulers of Jaipur and their descendants. The structure is entirely built of Rajasthan Marbles and has some beautiful carvings. The marble Chhatris of Gaitor with Nahargarh fort in the background are a great sight.


Gaitor


Jal Mahal. On the way to Amber is this curious place built in the middle of a lake. It is interesting to see a few trees that have grown over the palace and have overshadowed the structure.


Jal Mahal


Food and Accommodation.


There are plenty of budget hotels, guesthouses and restaurants all around Jaipur. Rajasthan Tourism promotes home-stays, and you can inquire at their office for addresses of approved home-stays. Hotels of every budget are easy to find it the city, but most premium hotels are located outside the town. Not to miss is the resort at Chokhi Dhani which has Rajasthani cultural evenings every night and has excellent local food. Also visit the Om Hotel, where a revolving restaurant gives you panoramic views of the city.


How to Reach.


Jaipur's train station and airport have direct access from most of the major cities. You can also take a bus or drive down from Delhi(7 hours).

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By arunchs| Posted on:22 Oct 2008

Thank you Mukesh Miyan
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By Mukesh Miyan| Posted on:22 Oct 2008

Your pics have brought the place alive... thanks for sharing
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