Jaipur the first planned city of north India is designed in accordance with Shilpa Shastra, an ancient Hindu treatise on architecture. Jaipur follows a grid system and its largely pink Palaces and monuments have earned it the sobriquet of 'Pink City' Today, the city has spread beyond these walls of the old city and continues to grow. A government decree ensures that the wall city maintains it pink look. Beautiful gardens and parks and attractive monuments, once the haunts of the royalty, are still to be found everywhere. Traditional crafts like jewellery, metal work, enamelling, tie and dye, pottery, leather work, stone carving and miniature painting, patronised by the rulers in the 18th century, continue to thrive to this day. The city is today a unique synthesis of the traditional and modern. Besides being the capital of the state of Rajasthan, Jaipur is also a bustling trading centre. The new city has spacious roads dotted with upmarket luxury showrooms and the old city abounds with congested streets, bazaars and artisanÕs quarters. Providing a stunning backdrop to the city are the ancient forts and palaces which create a dramatic picture of a bygone era.
A multi-storey imposing red wall of over 150 latticed windows and balconies was built in 1799 by the poet-king Sawai Pratap Singh to enable his queens to view the city processions and revelries in privacy from this airy viewing gallery. Only the facade of the building is attractive, interiors are plain
City Palace & Sawai Madho Singh II Museum
Covering about one-seventh of the old city, this exemplary blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture houses the seven-storey Chandra Mahal (Moon Palace) still occupied by the former ruling family of Jaipur. The rest of the complex consists of the SMS II museum which displays jewellery, costumes, arms, chariots, howdahs, palanquins, shawls, carpets, rare manuscripts, miniature paintings and several other items from the royal collection. A very special exhibit worth seeing is the stately outfit of Sawai Madho Singh I, who was 2 metres tall, 1.2 metres wide, and weighed 250 kg!
This is the largest of the five observatories built by Jai Singh II in northern India in the 18th century.
Amer Fort Complex
The original capital of Jaipur state, then called Amer. The famous Sheesh Mahal or the scintillating 'Mansion of Mirrors', Sukh Niwas or 'Palace of Pleasure', frescoed facades of Ganesh Pol, the 'Auspicious Entrance', carved marble columns and arcaded corridors of the halls of public and private audience. These were the stuff that royal dreams were made of and inspired generations of Mughal emperors to send their artisans to imitate.