Travel Guide to Jaipur the Pink-City of Rajasthan, India
Jaipur, the Pink city of Rajasthan, India is one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world. Jaipur is ranked 7th place in Asia for tourism. Are you looking for complete information about Jaipur, its tourist & historical locations? Know all about the city, its festival & events, the popular places to dine & shop, etc from this article.
History of Jaipur Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan, was founded on 18th November 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. During his ruling of the Jaipur State from 1699 to 1743, he decided to shift his capital from Amber to Jaipur due to the growth of population and scarcity of water there. He planned this city with the help of several books on architecture and designed the layout of Jaipur with the help of a Bengal Scholar Vidyadhar Bhattacharya. It became the first planned city in India.
The city was fully planned according to Vaastu Shastra and it took around 4 years to complete the main roads, junctions, and buildings. The city was divided into nine blocks; two for the kings and seven for the local people, with high-security walls surrounding it. The city was fully set up on 18th November 1727.
In 1878, when the Prince of Wales visited Jaipur, all the buildings were painted in pink color for his greeting; the system sustains till now, due to which Jaipur is also called as 'Pink City of India'.
Geographical and Physical Features of Jaipur
Population: 66, 26, 178 (as per 2011 census); 10th most populous district in India. However, it is about 80 lakh as per non-official records that includes migration for employment and tourists. Commonly spoken languages in Jaipur are Hindi, Punjabi and English.
Area of Jaipur District: 11, 146 Sq. Km
Climate and temperature: Jaipur is humid subtropical climatic area with 650 millimeters rainfall every year mostly from June to September. The highest temperature in summer is 45 degrees and the lowest in winter is 5 degrees. The best season for traveling is in between November to February of every year.
Fairs and Festivals in Jaipur
Jaipur is not only a place for tourists; but also a beautiful place of beautiful people with some religious fairs and festivals for decades. Some of the most popular and most celebrated festivals in Jaipur are:
Celebrated in the month of Chaitra as per the Hindu calendar i.e. in between March and April. It is a Hindu festival for women, where they worship to Lord Shiva and Parvati. The name Gangaur itself means 'gan' as Lord Shiva and 'gaur' as Goddess Parvati. Both married and unmarried women do puja in this festival. Unmarried girls worship for a good husband; whereas married women pray for the health and wealth of their husband. It is a traditional festival during which a procession starts from Zanani Deodhi of the city palace and ends at Talkatora, with various performances by folk artists, palanquins, chariots, carts, music and dances.
It is one of the most famous festivals in India and people in Jaipur are waiting for this to participate and enjoy with their family and friends every year. Not only local, people outside from Jaipur also came and participate in Teej festival of traditional songs, dances and music. On this day, women and young girls do wear new clothes like leharia, ghaghra and perform puja to Goddess Parvati. Some of the famous sweets in this occasion are Ghevar, Feeni, etc.
3. Elephant Festival:
One day before Holi (i.e. during February-March on a full-moon day) or Phalguni Purnima, Elephant Festival is celebrated in Jaipur City. The elephant is significant to Lord Ganesha, and it is believed that worshiping to Lord Ganesh anything before doing is very auspicious; due to this Ganesha is worshipped first in any puja in India. The mahouts give complete bath to their elephants, put colourful cloth and ornaments and flowers on the body of elephants and take them on the procession. The look gives a royal impression and it is an interesting festival to attend and watch.
4. Kite Festival:
The most popular kite festival occurs on Makar Sankranti on the month of January; particularly on 14th January of every year. Many political leaders, tourists also participate in this kite festival by flying their kites in competitions.
Historic and Tourist Places of Jaipur
Jaipur is one of the most historic places in India and it was ranked the 7th tourist place in Asia. Jaipur was a place for kings and maharajas for centuries. There are many royal houses, and historical places in and around Jaipur. If you're new to Jaipur and want to know some of the historical and tourist places that you want to visit know them here.
1. Hawa Mahal:
The five-storeyed pink building was constructed for royal women to watch the open market and enjoy the festivals in the streets through the big latticed windows. The royal building was built in red and pink sandstone by poet king Sawai Pratap Singh and designed by Lal Chand Ustad; it was completed in 1799.
2. City Palace:
The old royal palace, now a museum is a historic landmark of Jaipur City. The building is built with grey-white marble and colored stones. It is now a museum with various collections of Rajasthani Saris, dresses, royal costumes, weapons of Mughals and Rajputs, a huge collection of royal paintings, carpets, and some astronomical scriptures of Sawai jai Singh II in Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian, and Latin.
3. Jantar Mantar:
It is a UNESCO world heritage site mostly popular for medieval Indian astronomy. It is one of the five observatories of Jai Singh in Jaipur. The instruments here are made up of and set with stones, brass and marbles; with the largest stone sundial (Vrihat Samrat Yantra) in the world.
(Meaning of Jantar Mantar: Jantra means machine and Mantra means consult/calculation; therefore it means 'calculating machines')
4. Amer Fort:
Also called as Amber Fort was a city Amer on hill top just 11km from Jaipur. The city was actually built by Meenas (a tribe group) and later ruled by Raja Man Singh from 1550 to 1614. The area is about 4 Sq. Km with fort and a beautiful palace with gardens, temples, and pavilions made up of with red sandstone and marble. Amber is named after the local god Ambikashwara, which refers to Ambika (Durga) and Eshwara (Shiva). It is one of the most prominent tourist destinations in Jaipur.
5. Jal Mahal:
The Water Palace is located in the middle of Man Sagar Lake in Jaipur City. It was built in 18th Century by Maharaja Jai Singh II of Amber. It is a romantic place in Jaipur. One can watch it on other side of the lake also.
6. Nahargarh Fort:
It is one like Amber Fort and Jaigarh Fort of Jaipur. It is ruining but popular for tourist due to its beautiful crafting and structures. Some of the famous movies like Rang de Basanti and Sudh Desi Romance were shot here. Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II built this fort as a place of retreat on the edge of Aravalli Hills.
The temples, beautiful water tanks, pavilions and monkeys are the attraction of Galtaji; which is a Hindu pilgrimage. It is situated at Khania-Balaji, just 10 km ahead Jaipur. The sun temple here was built in 18th century. The monkey temple/ Ramgopalji temple is famous due to presence of large number of monkeys, those who're deserted from there.
8. Jaigarh Fort:
It was built in 1726 to protect the Amber Fort at hill of eagles (locally said as Cheel ka teela). The palace is one of the few military structures of India with several temples like Laxmi vilas, Lalit mandir, Vilas mandir, Aram mandir etc., palaces, reservoirs, gardens, a cannon foundry and an armoury museum (of some swords, guns, muskets, cannonball, collection of stamps, royal photographs, paintings, and other artefacts' etc). The giant cannon on wheel 'Jaivana' is largest in the world, which can throw 50 kilo cannonball to 22 miles.
9. Sri Govind Dev Ji Temple:
The temple of Lord Krishna was built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh and the idols were imported directly from Vrindavan that actually belonged to Srila Rupa Goswami, a disciple of Lord Chaitanya Mahaprabhu. It is one of the seven temples of Thakur of Vrindavan, Sri Radha Vallabh ji, Sri Bankey Bihari ji, Sri Madan Mohan ji, Sri Ranga ji, Sri Nidhivan ji and Sri Pagal Baba ji.
10. Birla Mandir:
It is one among several Birla Temples in India built by Birla group of industries. The large temple was built in 1988 where Lord Vishnu Narayan and Laxmi is being worshipped. It is one of the famous tourist destinations for Hindus in Jaipur. However, other community people can also visit there and watch the illustrations of other religious and historical persons like Christ, Buddha, Confucius, Socrates, Zarathustra.
Other tourist destinations in Rajasthan: Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Udaipur
Transport services in Jaipur2>
Jaipur is headquartered to North Western Indian Railway Zone (260km from New Delhi, 240km from Agra), which is well connected to all major cities towns and places in India. Special trains from Jaipur are, Pink City Express, Shatabdi Express, Jaipur-Delhi Double Decker, etc. Jaipur Metro is expected to inaugurate by 2018.
Jaipur International Airport at Sanganer, 13km from the city. National flights to New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Udaipur, Jodhpur and Aurangabad etc. and International flights to Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Muscat, Sharjah etc.
Jaipur BRTS operated by JCSTL, which has more than 400 regular and low-floor buses in Jaipur. NH8 from Jaipur is connecting to Delhi-Mumbai, NH12 connects Kota and NH11 to Agra-Bikaner.
Emergency Contact Numbers:
Famous Hotels and Resorts in Rajasthan
Famous Eating Joints in Jaipur
Famous market places in Jaipur
Just almost adjacent to the Birla Mandir, there is a very famous Moti Doongri Ganesh temple at Jaipur. God Ganesh is considered as the God of auspiciousness in Hinduism as well as God of wisdom, knowledge and wealth. Thousands of Jaipurites start their day with the Darshan of God Ganesh of Moti Doongri temple in addition to the many tourists who visit the temple daily to have darshan.
Regarding shopping, Jaipur is famous for its 'rajais' (a type of light quilt stuffed with cotton) and Sanganeri print textiles.