Friday, September 9, 2011

Places for tourism near Jaipur, Rajasthan


Jaipur is the largest city in Rajasthan and was built in the eighteenth century by Sawai Jai Singh as India's first planned city. Although Jaipur serves mainly as a stepping stone for travelers heading to the desert cities of Jodhpur and Jaisalmer, it is not without its own attractions, such as several massive Rajput forts. So, despite the chaos and dust, it is definitely worth pausing here for several days. Now Jaipur is growing fast and various development projects are being done by the government & private enterprises.



History


Jaipur, the pink city was founded in 1727 by Maharaja Jai Singh II, a Kachhwaha Rajput, who ruled from 1699-1744. Initially his capital was Amber, which lies at a distance of 11kms from Jaipur. He felt the need of shifting his capital city with the increase in population and growing scarcity of water. Jaipur is the first planned city of India and the King took great interest while designing this city of victory. He consulted several books on architecture and architects before making the lay out of Jaipur.

After several battles with Marathas, Jai Singh was keen on the security aspect of the city. Due to this reason, he focused on his scientific and cultural interests to make a brilliant city. Being, a lover of mathematics and science, Jai Singh sought advice from Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, a Brahmin scholar of Bengal, to aid him design the city architecture. Vidyadhar referred the ancient Indian literature on astronomy, books of Ptolemy and Euclid, and discussed the plan with the King.

With a strategic plan, the construction of the city started in 1727. It took around 4 years to complete the major palaces, roads and square. The city was built following the principles of Shilpa Shastra, the Indian Architecture. The city was divided into nine blocks, out of which two consist the state buildings and palaces, whereas the remaining seven blocks were allotted to the public. In order to ensure the security, huge fortification walls were made along with seven strong gates.

According to that time, architecture of the town was very advanced and certainly the best in Indian subcontinent. In 1853, when Prince of Wales visited Jaipur, the whole city was painted in Pink color to welcome him. Still, the neat and broadly laid-out avenues, painted in pink provide a magical charm to the city. Jaipur is rich in its cultural and architectural beauty, which can be traced in the various historical and aesthetic places that reside in the city. This city of victory really wins the hearts of the people with its splendid charisma.

 
Best Time to Visit Jaipur

Essentially, Jaipur is a hot place dominated by three main seasons. The summer season persists from Mid-March till June, Monsoons continues from July to September and Winters from October to March. During summers, the temperature rises to 45°C with the minimum of 25.8°C. With such high temperature, it is not preferable to visit the place during summers.

One cannot plan to go for sight-seeing in the scorching sun of summers. Being located in a desert area, the climate of Jaipur is dry and hot. Monsoons too doesn't relief the dry city as Jaipur receives very low rainfall. Winter season is the best time to visit Jaipur. The temperature touches maximum to 22°C and gets down to the extent of 5°C.

In winters, one can enjoy the regal city of Jaipur to its full. The spectacular views offered by the ancient monuments of the city fascinate the visitors. The city looks awesome in the winter evenings when it gets covered with fog. Jaipur offers rich food with lots of butter and ghee, which is best enjoyable in the winter season. To put succinctly, the best time to visit the incredible Jaipur is between the months of October to March


See Forts

Amber Fort (11 km from central Jaipur)

This massive fort-palace complex built in hybrid Hindu-Muslim style dates back to Raja Man Singh and was the royal palace of the Kachwahas from c. 1600 to 1727. The name has nothing to do with the rather pretty pastel yellow colour; instead, the fort is named after the town of Amber, in turn named after the goddess Amba. The main sights within the fort include the Sheesh Mahal, adorned with thousands on thousands of mirror tiles on the walls and ceiling. The fort/palace grounds are sprawling and have no signage whatsoever in any language, so it's worth getting an audio guide or a real guide. It's a bit of a hike up from the town, and the touristy thing to do is to hitch an elephant ride to the top.


Jaigarh Fort
Never conquered in battle, this was considered the strongest of the three forts in the area. It is best known as the site of the world's largest cannon, the Jaivana, which was test-fired only once — according to legend, despite using only the half the design amount of gunpowder, the cannonball flew 35 km! A better reason to visit the fort, though, are the scenic gardens at the other end and the spectacular views over the Amber Fort and the hills around. The remains of the foundry where the Jaivana (and many more) were cast are also in the fort grounds.




Nahargarh Fort

The smallest of the three forts, notable primarily for excellent views over Man Sagar lake and the vast sprawl of Jaipur. The fort also houses the (relatively) compact Madhavendra Bhawan palace, although its former splendour is fading fast under a new layer of graffiti and pigeon droppings. Portions of the movie Rang De Basanti were shot at this fort. To go the area where the "Pathshala" song was shot, take a left turn as soon as you enter the fort.



Palaces

City Palace
The City Palace is an imposing blend of traditional Rajput and Mughal architecture. It is a vast palace complex occupying nearly one-seventh of the Pink City. It was originally built by Maharaja Jai Singh II. The complex is divided into a series of courtyards, sprawling gardens and buildings. It is home to several palatial structures like the Chandra Mahal (home to present Maharajah of Jaipur), Mubarak Mahal (housing a textile museum), Diwan-e-Khas (or Hall of Private audience housing the two largest silver vessels in the world, which are duly mentioned in the Guinness book), the Diwan-e-Aam ( or Hall of Public Audience) and the gateway Ridhi Sidhi Pol (with four small doorways decorated with motifs depicting the four seasons). Another integral part of the palace complex is the Hawa Mahal, standing away from the main complex.

Jal Mahal



Jal Mahal (or the Water Palace) is on the way to Sisodia Rani Garden. A Rajput style architectured palace sits in the center of the Maan-sarovar lake. The lake is often dry in the summer but winter monsoons frequently turn it into a beautiful lake filled with water hyacinths.





Temples
Govind Devji Temple
Moti Doongari
Lakshmi Narayan Temple
Akshardham Temple (at Vaishali Nagar)
Jain Mandir (Shivdas Pura) 15-16 Km from Jaipur


Galtaji 

Galtaji is an ancient Hindu pilgrimage site situated 10 km from Jaipur on Jaipur-Agra highway near Sisodia Rani Garden. The main temple here is temple of Galtaji in constructed in pink stone. The temple has a number of pavilions with rounded roofs, exquisitely carved pillars and painted walls. The temple is surrounded by natural springs and reservoirs that are considered holy .There are also seven tanks or kunds here.

Monuments

Jantar Mantar 

Jantar Mantar is the biggest of five astronomical observatory build by Maharaja Jai Singh during the period 1727-1734 in north India. It is located very close to the City Palace. The observatory consists of fourteen major geometric devices (or yantra in Hindi) for measuring time, predicting eclipses, tracking stars in their orbits, ascertaining the declinations of planets, and determining the celestial altitudes etc. Unfortunately no text is made available to tourists regarding the various yantras nor are there any plaques/boards in front of them. In most of the cases local guides are not of any help either.


Hawa Mahal 
Hawa Mahal (or Palace of breeze) was built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Singh as part of City Palace. It was an extension of the Zenana (women) chamber. It's purpose was to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life in the street below without being seen. It is a five storey high red sandstone structure complete with over 950 windows. The breeze (or hawa in Hindi) circulates through these windows giving the palace its name. Tourists are not allowed to go inside the palace.




Gardens
Ram Niwas Garden
Central Museum (or Albert Hall Museum)
Zoological Garden
Sisodia Rani Palace and Garden
Vidyadhar Garden
Central Park (Entrance near Statue Circle) 

Museums

Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing, Kheri Gate, Amber +91-141-2530226/2531267 [3] A beautiful clean museum dedicated to the traditional art of hand block printing textiles, this museum is housed in a recently restored heritage haveli tucked into the back streets of old Amber. Small cafe, clean toilets, small shop, friendly staff & a printer & block carver demonstrating their crafts every day.

11 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. It is an ideal holiday location. Tourists from all over the planet check out this elegant condition of region to spend their interesting visit to India.

    Places to visit in Rajasthan

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  3. Rajasthan is a very beautiful place. thanks for provide us a nice collection of tour and travels.
    Thanks,

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  4. India is a place where so many stories of kings who ruled all over the India and fought with bravery to save it from external attacks resides. And Rajasthan comes first to my mind when it all about kings and their palaces. Its a lovely place to go for. I will surly plan for Rajasthan rural destinations tour so that I can also live the royal life.

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