Settled in the rugged hills of the Aravalis, Jaipur is the pristine jewel in the desert sands of Rajasthan. Jaipur is as remarkable for its marvellous architecture and town planning as it is for the lively spirit of the people who inhabit it. The city presents a unique synthesis of culture that has to be experienced in order to be appreciated.
With its origin buried deep into the pages of history, the city still exudes a magical old world charm; an aroma of chivalry and romance is evident, despite having evolved into a city that is the hub of modern commercial activity in the region. Tell-tale signs of the glorious past and regal splendour of the city lie strewn across with gay abandon.
Widely known as the "Pink City", Jaipur is colour washed pink to welcome Prince Albert, the consort of Queen Victoria of England who visited India in 1883 A.D. The city was founded in 1727 A.D by one of the greatest ruler Jai Singh II. Jaipur is surrounded by hills on three sides, crowned by formidable forts and majestic palaces, mansions and gardens. Jaipur is the only city in the world, which is sub-divided in to nine rectangular sectors symbolizing nine divisions of universe. Jaipur is the first planned city designed in accordance with "Shilpa Shastra"- epochal treatise of Hindu architecture.
The lively spirit of fanfare, festivity and celebration of the people adequately match the colourful and intricately carved monuments. Even today, one can find weather beaten faces with huge colourful turbans, fierce moustaches and lips that spontaneously crease into a heart-warming smile. A city like Jaipur, where modernity and tradition live hand-in-hand, is truly rare. Perhaps this is what makes it an attractive destination for tourists who flock to Jaipur, year after year.
Altitude: 236.53 meters
Rainfall: 31.87 cm
Clothing: Summer light tropical or cotton Winter Woollens
Best Season: October to March.
TRANSPORT AND COMMUNICATION
Air: Well linked with major cities of India.
Rail: Well connected with major towns.
Delhi- 258 kmUdaipur- 405 km Bharatpur- 176 km
Agra- 236 km Ajmer- 131 kmJaisalmer- 638 km
Bikaner- 321 km Jodhpur- 316 kmBombay- 1202 km.
FAIRS & FESTIVALS
ELEPHANT FESTIVAL (MAR) -- The Elephant Festival is an inimitable event held annually in Jaipur. Groomed flawlessly, rows of elephants do a catwalk before an enthralled audience liked best fashion models to make this festival an amazing one.
GANGAUR FESTIVAL (MAR-APR) -- The Gangaur Festival is the colourful and most important local festival of Rajasthan and is observed throughout the State with great fervour and devotion by womenfolk who worship Gauri, the consort of Lord Shiva during July-Aug. It is the celebration of monsoon, harvest and marital fidelity in Jaipur. Gan is a synonym for Shiva and Gaur, which stands for Gauri or Parvati who symbolises saubhagya (marital bliss). Gauri is the embodiment of perfection and conjugal love which is why the unmarried women worship her for being blessed with good husbands, while married women do so for the welfare, health and long life of their spouses and a happy married life.
TEEJ FESTIVAL (AUG) -- Teej is the festival of swings. It marks the advent of the monsoon month of Shravan (August). The monsoon rains fall on the parched land and the pleasing scent of the wet soil rises into the air. Swings are hung from trees and decorated with flowers. Young girls and women dressed in green clothes sing songs in celebration of the advent of the monsoon. This festival is dedicated to the Goddess Parvati, commemorating her union with Lord Shiva.
KITE FESTIVAL, JAIPUR -- From royal splendour to riotous egalitarianism , 14 January is celebrated in India as Makar Sankranti - heralding the transition of the sun into the Northern hemisphere. In Jaipur Kites virtually blot out the sky. Everyone joins in this riotous celebration and shouts of "Woh Kata Hai!" reverberate from rooftops to the accompaniment of drums as adversary"s kites are cut down.
Amber Fort -- Amber (pronounced Amer) is situated about 11 kilometres from Jaipur and was the ancient citadel of the ruling Kachhawa clan of Amber, before the capital was shifted in the plains to present day Jaipur. Amber is the classic and romantic fort- palace with a magnificent aura. The interior wall of the palace depicts expressive painting scenes with carvings, precious stones and mirror settings. In the foreground is the Maota Lake providing a breathtaking look.
Jaigarh Fort -- The Jaigarh fort is the most spectacular of the three-hilltop forts that overlook Jaipur. In Mughal times, the Jaipur region was a major weapon-producing centre for the Mughal and Rajput rulers, several of which are on display in the fort"s museum.
Nahargarh Fort -- Nahargarh Fort is located on the sheer rugged ridge of Aravali Hills and it forms an impressive northern backdrop of Jaipur. It looks most classy when floodlit at night. The fort overlooks the city and presents a glittering view of the city lights. It was built in 1734 and extended in 1868. Nahargarh meaning abode of the tigers was built by Jai Singh to bolster the defence of Amber.
Sanganer- 16 km -- Sanganer is located 16 Kms from Jaipur. It is also known for exquisite Jain temples. Moreover, it is an important centre for crafts and hand-printed textiles that is internationally famous.The most beautiful temple in Sanganer is the ancient Shri Digamber Jain temple.
Tonk -- It is located, 96 kms away from Jaipur. This is a quiet town which was ruled by tribes of "Pathans" from Afghanistan. The focal point of Tonk is the Suneri Kothi, the Golden Bungalow. A fairly ordinary monument from outside, it has stunningly rich ornamental interiors.
Bagru -- It is located 30 kms away from Jaipur on the Ajmer Road and is well known for its Bagru prints. This technique simulates a wooden block on which the required design is first carved, then the carved block is used for transferring the motif in the desired colour on the fabric.
Samod -- The fort is an old fortified residence of the Nathawat family (hailing from chomu) that served as the Prime Ministers of the Jaipur Royal Court is located some 40km from Jaipur and 264 km from Delhi in the range of Aravali.
Abhaneri -- Abhaneri is a village about 95 kms from Jaipur on the Jaipur-Agra Road. A detour is well merited for its amazing step wells or "baoris" and Harshat Mata Temple. According to a legend, the village is so called because the Goddess Harshat Mata who is shown portrayed in a joyous mood is believed to spread brightness or "abha" all around. The village"s original name was Abha Nagri, and its name today is Abhaneri.
Kaurali -- Located at 182 kms southwest of Jaipur, it was founded in 1348 and is best known for its Krishna Temples. The Fort, which was constructed over different period, is about 600 years old.The Bhawar Vilas Palace, which is owned by the descendents of the royal family and resembles a large manor, is a hotel now.
Ranthambore National Park-- Ranthambhor National Park, before a princely game conserve is the scene where the celebrated Indian Tiger is best seen. Ranthambhor Tiger Reserve lies on the junction of Aravali and Vindhyas just 14 Kms from Sawai Madhopur in Eastern Rajasthan. A significant geological feature within the park is the "Great Boundary Fault" where the Vindhaya plateau meets the Aravali range. The Rivers Chambal in the South and the Banas in the North bound the National Park.
Sariska Tiger reserve-- This park is situated only 200 km from Delhi and 107 kms from Jaipur. Although larger than Ranthambor, it is less commercialised and has less tigers but a similar topography.In morning and evening, wildlife in Sariska heads towards the many water holes, which litter the park, thus providing the guests with their best chance of viewing game.
Shekhawati- 168 km