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The Pink City
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The City

Jaipur, popularly known as Pinkcity, was built in 1727 AD by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II and designed by the brilliant young Bengali architect Vidhyadhar Bhattacharya. Designed in accordance with Shilp Shastra - an ancient Hindu treatise on architecture - Jaipur follows a grid system. The wide straight bazaars, raastaas (streets), galis (lanes), mohallas and uniform rows of shops on either side of main bazaars are arranged in nine rectangular city sectors called chaukris. Encircled by a formidable wall, Jaipur was the only planned city of its time.

The palace lies in the heart of the city and occupies the whole central grid. The fortified wall has seven gates and was built for protection from invading armies and animals that lived in jungles which surrounded the wall that time. Today, ofcourse, the city has spread beyond the walls and there is hardly any jungle left even in the vicinity of the walled city.

Jaipur was color washed pink to create an impression of red sandstone buildings of mughal cities. The current color which is more red than pink was painted in 1876, during the visit of Prince of Wales. The city is best explored on foot and only the adventurous visitor willing to go into the rastaas and galis (inner lanes) can feel the spirit of the city. There's an amazing appeal to Jaipur's colorful bazaars, beautifully laid out gardens, parks & the monuments.

Places of interest are located mainly in the walled city. There are famous mohallas, rectangular blocks, each designed in conformity with a particular trade or craft. Johari Bazar, Tripoliya Bazar, Chandpole Bazar, Kishanpole Bazar, Ramganj Bazar, Bari Chaupar, Chhoti Chaupar, Ajmeri Gate, New Gate, Sanganeri Gate, Ghat Gate, Bapu Bazar, Nehru Bazar, Indira Bazar and their lanes like Khazane Walon Ka Rasta, Maniharon Ka Rasta, Gopal ji Ka Rasta, Ghee Walon Ka Rasta, Haldiyon Ka Rasta are some of the main areas in the walled city. Each of these lanes is like an open museum, a treasure house of traditional crafts and arts. Markets outside the walled city include M.I. Road, Jayanti Market, Sansar Chandra Road, Station Road, Raja Park and a number of colony markets.

Jaipur cannot be explained. It is a city with a timeless quality to it, a city where the ancient and the modern coexist in complete harmony.

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State Rajasthan
Country India
STD Code 0141
Latitude 26.053 N
Longitude 75.050 E
Altitude 431 meters
Population 1.9 million
Area (Jaipur City - Municipal limits) 64.75 Sq. Km.
Area (Pink City) 9.8 Sq. Km.
Mean Max. Temperature (Summer) 45 degrees C
Mean Min. Temperature (Summer) 22 degrees C
Mean Max. Temperature (Winter) 22 degrees C
Mean Min. Temperature (Winter) 8.3 degrees C
Rainfall per annum 64 cms
Best Season September to March
Languages Hindi, Rajasthani, English
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The People

Jaipurites love outing. Whenever they find some time, they go to the surrounding hills and valleys that provide innumerable picnic spots. In the rainy season it becomes a kind of phenomenon. Goths, as the picnics are called in local language, seem to leave nobody in the city on the holidays. People go in groups to the spots scattered all around the city and enjoys throughout the day with local cuisine (Mainly Dal-Baati-Churmaa) prepared at the very spot.

Cinema, as anywhere in India, remains another major form of entertainment for the people of Jaipur. There are not many cinema halls in the city and a few have closed in the past 3 years or so, but some among remaining are good for viewing pleasure. One of them, RajMandir, has even become a tourist attraction and is ranked amongst the very best cinema theatres in the country. The other Movie theatres are Prem Prakash, Gem, Moti Mahal, Ankur, Man Prakash, Samrat, Saroj, Mayank, Minerva, Polo Victory, Paras, Laxmi Mandir & Lata.

Jaipurites are also very fond of eating. Especially chaats, samosaas, kachoris, mirchi bada (all spicy stuff) etc. You can find stalls and mini-shops making these items and serving them with a hot cup of tea, scattered all around the city. Some of the makers have got tremendous popularity and their stalls are always crowded, especially in winter and rainy seasons. Even a mention of a samosa or a kachori can water the mouths of most Jaipurians. Other popular choices are Lassi, Sharbat, Golgappas etc. As the fast food culture is also spreading, it is not diffcult to find Fast Food joints in and around the city.

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The city celebrates..

Jaipur is a city of fairs & festivals. There is a saying that it celebrates 9 festivals in any 7 days. May be a bit on the higher side this, but sure there is a lot of festivity going on in the city through out the year. The light bulbs, garlands, special welcome gates, Shobhayaatras are everexistent in the bazaars & streets of the city. Most of the festivals are religion-specific and being a city of people with various religions and cultures, there is no surprise that gaeity always prevails in the atmosphere. The festivals listed below are the favourites of the citizens and also unique to the city.

Makar Sakranti (January 14)
This is the day of kites at Jaipur. Jaipurites are known for their expertise in kite flying. The activity has become a craze amongst the citizens. You will hardly find a school kid over 10 or 12 in the walled city who does not know flying kites. The phenomenon starts well before the Makar Sakranti day. And continues even after the festival. But on this day, it is a treat to watch the skyline of the Pink City. An Unforgettable experience.

Gangaur (March-April)
The festival of women, dedicated to Goddess Gauri.

Teej (July-August)
Another festival exclusively for women and dedicated to Goddess Parvati. Welcomes the mansoon rains to the parched land. The women dress in bright costumes and flock to swing hung from the branches of trees. There is a procession of Goddess Parvati signifying her departure from the parental home to take up the residence with her husband Lord Shiva. There are elephants, camels and dancers joining in the processions.

Deepawali (October-November)
The festival of light. Though Diwali (or Deepawali) is celebrated all over India, Jaipur's Diwali is something special. The complete Pink City is ornamented and dressed like a new bride. Every corner of the city sparkles. With every building glowing, skyline filled with colourful light crackers and the Nahargarh fort over the hill seeming like a glittering palace in the sky, one cannot help remembering childhood fairytales.


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Page last modified on February 9, 1999

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