As capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur is a historical city and gateway to India’s most flamboyant state. Between the colorful chaotic streets, where the old and new India mesh, this unique city is growing fast and bringing in tourists from around the world.
Jaipur was built in the eighteenth century by Sawai Jai Singh as India’s “first planned city”. Jaipur became the capital city of the state of Rajasthan shortly after its independence. Although, the royal family still resides in the City Palace, the state is completely run by the civil authorities and democratically elected candidates.
Often called the Pink City, in reference to its distinctly colored buildings, much of the architecture in Jaipur was originally painted to imitate the red sandstone architecture of Mughal cities.
As you travel throughout the city, you’ll notice a presence of a variety of influences, including Mughal, Rajput and European. One notable landmark that represents each of these influences is the City Palace and SMS II Museum. The palace was the home of the king Sawai Maan Singh, and now serves as a museum and art gallery, and it occupies an interesting displays of royal costumes and old Indian weapons.
A few other “must-see” tourists spots are the Hawa Mahal, the Amber Fort and Palace, the Jaigarh Fort, the Galta Monkey Temple, and Jantar Mantar Observatory.
If you’re seeking a peaceful afternoon, walk the grounds of the Sisodia Rani Palaceand Gardens. The garden was built by king Sawai Jai Singh for his beloved wife, Queen Sisodia Jai Singh, and serves as an example of nature’s beauty and elegance.
The city is also provides many choices in entertainment. Shop for local handcrafts at the bazaar in the city centre, or watch a film at the Raj Mandir Theatre. Amber Fort also puts on a Sound and Light show, offering a glimpse inside the Rajasthani culture.
The city offers a variety of workshops, including cooking and Jaipur gem-making. There are also several food tours to choose from to grab a taste of the local Rajasthani flare.
The Rajasthani cuisine was influenced by both the war-like lifestyles of its inhabitants and the availability of ingredients in this arid region. Well-known for its spices, the food is primarily vegetarian and offers a fabulous variety of mouthwatering dishes. A few locally known dishes are the Bajre ki roti (millet bread) and the Lashun ki chutney (hot garlic paste).
Jaipur is a spectacular city, and it continues to be a major tourist destination for Indian and international travelers, alike.
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