Jaipur, also known as the ‘Pink City’, is famous for its majestic architectural wonders, bustling city life, exquisite handicraft items, intricately embroidered apparel, and rich culture and history. The entire city reverberates with the grandeur and richness of the heritage of Rajputana Maharajas of the bygone era. Jaipur is one of the most popular and fondly frequented tourist destinations and home to some very beautiful palace hotels in the country. The list of local attractions includes Hawa Mahal, Amber Fort, Museums, shopping arcades, and most importantly the City Palace among others. Thus, the visitors from far flung regions of India could visit Jaipur to enjoy the glimpses of amazing royalty in India.
Amber Fort, built by Raja Man Singh in the year 1592, is located around 11 km from Jaipur. Red Sandstone and marble were used as the material of construction. Thereafter, the Maotha Lake enhances the charm of the magnificent fort. In spite of the old look from the exteriors, the fort has beautiful interiors with attractive buildings like the ‘Sukh Mahal’, ‘Diwan-i-Aam’ and ‘Sheesh Mahal’. In the fort, you may clearly find the confluence of the both Hindu & Muslim styles of architecture.
Erstwhile, Amer was acknowledged as Dhundar during the ruling period of Kachhwahas from 11th century to 16th century. In 1952 AD, Raja Man Singh built the fort and later Raja Jai Sigh I, expanded and renovated the fort. Various old structures of the fort have been either replaced by an alternative or destroyed, the fort has withheld against the test of time, nature and invasions. The fort is divided into 4 segments with separate entrance each. The main entrance of the fort is through the Sun Gate ‘Suraj Pol’.
Jantar Mantar is one of the largest observatories ever built. The series of 5 magnificent structures exhibit a perfect blend of science, art and religion. These are located in the states of New Delhi, Varanasi, Jaipur, Mathura and Ujjan. With the world’s largest sundial, Jantar Mantar has been one of the major attractions for the tourist. The name ‘Jantar Mantar’ is derived from Sanskrit terms that where ‘Yantra’ means ‘instrument’ and ‘Mantra’ means ‘formula’. Later, the term ‘Yantra’ was changed to ‘Jantar’ which means ‘magical’. Thus, this attraction has abundant of instruments that catch the interests of architects, historians and astronomers from different regions of the world.
The founder of the Jaipur, ‘Pink City’, Maharaja Jai Singh II constructed observatory of renown in 1718 and today, the observatory is known as ‘Jantar Mantar’. Here, the astronomical observatory includes 14 major geometric devices that could be used for tracking constellations, measuring time, and also for watching the orbits around the sun. The structures like ‘Samrat Yantra’ (the world’s largest sundial), the ‘Jaiprakash Yantra’, ‘Hindu Chhatri’, etc., are very popular.
City Palace Complex
Nestled in the heart of ‘Pink City’ Jaipur, City Palace Complex includes ‘Mubarak Mahal’, ‘Chandra Mahal’, and various other structures that make the part of the beautiful palace complex. This palace complex was built by Sawai Jai Singh II, during 1729 to 1732 AD. The layout of the city was planned by the Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob and Vidyadhar Bhattacharya. Thus, in the structures, you may clearly find the glimpses of Mughal, European and Rajput styles of architecture.
The construction of the City Palace Complex is said to be started by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. For the designing of the city palace complex, he assigned the job to the chief architect Vidyadhar Bhattacharya. Thus, the designing of the city palace was made in accordance to the texts of Vaastushastra.
When it comes to architectural style, there are glimpses of Mughal, European and Rajput styles. Major gates of the City Palace are ‘Jaleb Chowk’, ‘Virendra Pol’, ‘Tripolia Gate’, and ‘Udai Pol’. All the gates of the palace city are beautifully decorated and the palace is in ‘grid style’ and includes structures like ‘Mubarak Mahal’, ‘Govind Dev Ji Temple’, ‘Diwan-I-Khas’, and ‘Chandra Mahal’. All these gates are designed with lattice, mirrors and murals, reflecting the Mughal style of architecture.
The name suggests that it is a ‘palace of winds’, called so because this 5 leveled building consists of about 953 windows made beautifully in a honeycomb pattern. This palace is an imposing landmark, overlooking the vibrant market street and is an exquisite example of the Rajput architecture. This magnificent structure was originally built for the women of the royal households to have a look at the outer streets and processions, without being seen. King Pratap Singh, built the Hawa Mahal in the year 1799, and now, it is the most visited site in the city. Hawa Mahal is open from 9.00 am – 4.30 pm.
One of the three hilltop forts, overlooking the capital city of Rajasthan, Jaipur, is the Jaigarh fort. It was built by Jai Singh the second in the 18th century and the palace compound is named after him. This imposing fort does not have the intricacy and delicate structure, but it gives you the insight of the rugged and military features. The name suggests ‘victory’, was originally built to secure the Amer fort, which is connected by a passage and other structures. Jaigarh Fort was made an artillery warehouse in the later years, interestingly, it still showcases some of the weapons and gunneries in the fort museum. It is home to the world’s biggest cannon on wheels and is believed to be a treasure site. This high fortification of thick red walls encircles beautiful gardens and several reservoirs.
The name Jal Mahal meaning water palace, literally suggests its striking feature. Situated in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake in the city of Jaipur, it provides an exquisite view for the visitors. Jal Mahal exhibits the Mughal – Rajputana style of architecture and the view is enhanced by the backdrop of the Nahargarh Hills. The original date of construction of the Jal Mahal is not known, but it was renovated, in the 18th century by Maharaja Jai Singh the second. It is a five leveled structure, made of red sandstone, but the 4 levels are submerged in the water, allowing only the topmost level to be visible. One of the most splendid sights one can receive from a trip to Jaipur, the palace, especially in the evening looks stunning.
Nahargarh means ‘abode of tigers’ and a legend claim that it is named so because a spirit of Mahar Singh Bhomia haunted the palace. The fort, along with the other two: Amer Fort and Jaigarh Fort were built in order to secure Jaipur along the Aravali hills. In the 18th century, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh the second built it and used it as a retreat center. One can have a spectacular view of the entire city from this fort. The interior is classy with a cluster of several identical suites made for the royal members, all the rooms are connected by corridors.
The former residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur, Rambagh Palace is an architectural masterpiece. The architecture of the palace is a synthesis of the Mughal and Rajput styles. In 1933 the Taj group took over and converted it into a luxury hotel, Tal Palace Hotel. The Rambagh Palace is globally known for its heritage feature and is considered as one of the best hotels around the world. Now, the interior is well maintained and holds a rich décor, it has 79 rooms and suites with a heritage theme. The palace provides a perfect leisure holiday, allowing you to experience the royal lifestyle of the former rulers.