Same Day Tours
SAME DAY JAIPUIR TOUR
the city-capital in the tone of an autumnal sunset, literally lush pink when
prince Albert, the consort of Queen Victoria, stepped on its soil in 1883.
Interspersing the play of red and pink were white borders and motifs,
painstakingly outlining the architectural highlights of Jaipur's buildings.
Jaipur had been like that since 1727 when Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II had it
built that year.
Interestingly, the royal family's earlier residence at Amber, was only 11
km away and had been since the 10th century. Seven hundred years later, the
Maharaja chose to raise a 'City of Victory, and aptly baptised it Jaipur.
Coincidentally, the name also incorporated the first name of the Maharaja
thus immortalising the builder : both through his nomenclature of dynasty
and concept of ideals.
Jaipur was and remains the only city in the world symbolizing the nine
divisions of the Universe through nine rectangular sectors subdividing it. A
young Bengali architect Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, formalised the city's plans
on the 'Shipa Shastra', the epochal Hindu treatise on architecture,
tempering it with sublimity of Mughal and Jain influences of the times. The
Palaces and forts of the yesteryears that were witness to royal processions
and splendour are now living monuments. There is a timeless quality to
Jaipur's bazaars and of eternity to its people. Could the woman drying
chillies under the sun, in the shadow of the fort, have been there a hundred
years ago? Could not the Jeweller, so carefully crafting the gold and
precious stones of his trade, be equally its vision of the future.
Jaipur is a great city and this is its most noticeable aspect. Buildings
testify to it. Its Palaces, luxury hotels, ancient beautifully carved and
painted Havelies pay homage to the grand capital of princes and kings, a
city of the past that belongs to India's future.
PLACES TO SEE
at Sierh Deori bazar, Hawa Mahal, literally the Palace of Winds, built in
1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, displays fanciful architecture and is a
remarkable landmark of Jaipur. So named because the palace has specially
latticed screens and arches for an unbridled flow of the air currents but is
a set pattern with the passage of the sun. Till the recent past, ladies of
the court from within the palace positioned themselves by the balconies to
watch processions passing through in the streets below without themselves
being observed by the people.
Emperor Sawai Jai Singh II, the builder of the city
has to his credit five observatories in different parts of the country. The
one he raised at Jaipur is the largest and best preserved. Huge instruments
in intricate masonry offer an accurate measurement of the time, the
declination of the sun, the altitude and the azimuth, the position of
constellations in the sky for the day, the eclipses and the allied
former royal residence is an imposing blend of traditional Rajasthani and
Mughal architecture and the craftmanship. Surrounded by crenellated walls
this piece-de-resistance of Jaipur's palaces occupies one seventh of the
walled city, comprising a string of minor palaces and imposing halls, Of
special significance is the 'Chandra Mahal' which overlooks the breathtaking
Jai Niwas Gardens and the highly revered Shri Gobind Dev Temple. The Museum
within the palace has an array of galleries of rare paintings, exquisite
miniatures, scholarly manuscripts, artefacts and traditional treatises on
architecture. The fine collection of guns and swords on display dates back
to the 15th century and is one of the best in India.
As its name denotes, this is a palace built amidst a
lake and intended as the summer resort for the royal family. The palace is
noted for its intricate architecture.
earlier times, the entire complex was owned by the Minas and dedicated to
'Amba Mata', the incarnation of earth and fertility. Amber overlooks the
Moata Lake and is rated as a marvel of bastion excelling in architectural
and building skills. Amber had the distinction of being the capital for six
long centuries before Jaipur came into being. A fascinating blend of Hindu
and Muslim influences is distinctly discernible in its architecture. Amongst
the most majestic of apartments is Jai Mandir or the Hall of Victory. The
palace complex also boats of a Hall of Mirrors, the like of which is not
seen in the country elsewhere. Sukh Niwas, the Hall of Pleasure, is a marvel
of 17th century engineering, its best feat being a unique system of
'air-conditioning'. The model operandi was based on a cool breeze blowing
through a fall of cascading waters. To ascend the fort, jeeps and elephants
can be hired near the entrance gate.
13 km, a picturesque road winds its way up the hills.
At one time, the fort was a retreat for the royal family. Nahargarh Fort
commands a panoramic view from the top of the hill.