Jaipur is Rajasthan's state capital city. Set against the eastern fringes of the Thar Desert, this eternal city is a pivotal tourist attraction. The capital city was built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II in 1727 AD. Also known as the Pink City ? due to the pink wash given to the city's buildings in the nineteenth century - Jaipur is the place for sampling and experiencing the quintessence of Rajasthan. Since earlier times, the medieval, antiquated part of Jaipur has merged into the modern part of the city with seamless ease.
Rambagh Palace - Jaipur
Located in Jaipur, the Rambagh Palace is one of the most stunning palaces in India . Initially built in the early 19th century as a guesthouse and hunting lodge, it was later refurbished into a majestic palace by a British engineer in 1925. Not long after its remarkable transformation, this plush palace became the residence of the Maharaja of Jaipur. The immediate additions and alterations that ensued were extravagant and spectacular, to say the least; these included: halls, covered corridors, fore courts, and courtyards with extensive use of marble - all of which were kept true to authentic traditional Rajput architecture style.
The Rambagh Palace remained the home of the Jaipur royal family until 1957, when it was first converted into a luxury hotel by Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II. In the past the palace has played host to several royal guests from India and abroad - including Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip. Several lavish banquets and celebrations have also been held here. Today this stately palace is open to all who seek to bask in a royal ambience, or wish to be transported back in time to a noble past. The palace boasts several deluxe suites, namely: the Princess suite, Maharani suite and the Maharaja suite, to name a few.
The Raj Palace
The Raj Palace, a beautiful blend of Mughal and Periodic is the oldest mansion of Jaipur. In 1995, Princess Jayendra Kumari Ji decided to restore this luxurious palace into a fine hotel. The Royal family renovated the arched corridors, the residential quarters and its courtyards with small amplifications. Each suite has a collection of royal antiques, giving the property the honour of being different from other heritage hotels. The specially designed frescoes deciphered with the finest mirror and hand painted work, rare palace furniture, large crystal chandeliers leave you adorned with an astonishing fantasy. The Raj Palace is known for its personalised hospitality.
The Jaipur City Palace
The magnificent Jaipur City Palace Museum is an excellent introduction to orient yourself with the 1,000 year old reign of the Kachhawaha rulers. Additionally, the museum offers an aesthetic banquet of: traditional crafts, art works, rare manuscripts, textiles, jewellery, costumes, and other regal treasures.
Make sure to visit the iconic Jantar Mantar; it's certainly a treat not to be missed, as its one of the largest and best preserved astronomical observatories in India. In fact, Jantar Mantar is the most famous and elaborate observatory of its time. It was constructed in the year 1724 A.D. by Sawai Jai Singh II, even before the city of Jaipur was built.
Central to Jaipur's architectural legacy is the splendid and renowned Hawa Mahal. Built in 1799 AD - also known as The Palace of Winds - this peachy, multi-layered edifice is an architectural icon. The palace was built by Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799 AD. Famous for its beehive like structure, the Hawa Mahal is an interplay of red and pink sand stone - carefully and painstakingly outlined with white borders and motifs.
Amber Fort is another must-see if you are visiting Jaipur. Located in Amber - the former capital city of Rajasthan - this fort was home to the ancient Kachhwaha clan. Visitors to this fort can either approach the fort by road, or if feeling adventurous, take an elephant ride, which although quite slow, is nonetheless a lot of fun.
Shopping is indeed a delightful and greatly encouraged pastime in Jaipur; many tourists flock to the city for this reason alone. The Pink City is renowned for its attractive jewellery, semi precious stones, gems, kundan and minakri (enamel) work. The city also boasts a rich array of garments and textiles, which include: beautiful cotton fabric, including sanganeri prints, tie-dye, and fine kota doria saries. The exotic blue pottery, enamel ware, and brass ware, also make excellent souvenirs - as does the city's much-admired boutique carpets, jooties, and cotton rugs.