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Jaipur :: City Information

Jaipur - weather

Best Travel Duration

In Summer: 45 C (Max) - 25 C (Min)
In winter: 22 C (Max) - 8 C (Min)
Rainy Season from July to Mid Sept, and very humid (upto 90%)

October to March

History of Jaipur

The historic city of Jaipur or "The City of Victory" was founded in 1727 A.D. by the great Kachhawah ruler Sawai Jai Singh II (1700 - 1747 A.D.), and named after him. The monarch was not only a great builder, but also a poet and an astronomer. Under his aegis, the city was designed by his talented architect Vidyadhar, who gave shape to the creative aspirations of Sawai Jai Singh in the form of the dream city of Jaipur.

The city is rectangular in shape and divided into nine blocks on the basis of principles laid down in the "Shilpa Shastra", the ancient Indian treatise on architecture. Built on the pattern of a grid, the city has wide straight avenues, roads, streets and lanes and uniform rows of shops on either side at the main bazar, all arranged in nine rectangular city sectors (Chokris).

The principal monuments of Jaipur are concentrated in the centrally situated Palace area (Chokri Sarhad ) in and around the city Palace. In course of time, the sunset-pink tinge of its walls, buildings and temples gave it the name Pinck City.

History of Jaipur

Jai Singh II was supremely talented - politically, intellectually and on the battlefield, he was known as the warrior-astronomer. In 1696 he had earned the title of 'Sawai' meaning 'One and a Quarter' (Intelligence) from emperor Aurangzeb after the emperor was impressed by his wit and pluck , a title which was proudly borne by all of Jai Singh's descendants.

The Kingdom of Kachhawahas spread a lot in all sphere, eventually encompassing a large area which abutted the kingdoms of Mewar (Udaipur region) and Marwar (Jodhpur region). The history of Kachhawahas can be traced back to Duleh Rai , son of Sodh Dev, the Kachhawaha ruler of Narwar (Near Gwalior), migrated to Dausa.

Duleh Rai was a Kachhawahas who could trace his lineage to Rama, hero of the sun-born dynasty immortalised in Ramayana. He was married to the daughter of Chauhans of Ajmer. Duleh Rai's also known as 'Tej Karan' , his son Kabil Dev is known to have established dynastic rule in Amber which was the most important stronghold of the Minas.

Amber is situated 11 kms out of Jaipur on the Delhi to Jaipur road. The Kachhawahas originally hailed from Narwar (Near Gwalior) where they reigned for over 800 years. A martial alliance between a Kachhawahas prince, Tej Karan, and a rajput princess of Chauhans of Ajmer resulted in the capturing of the region of Dausa. Tej Karan was able to defeat the Bargujras who ruled half of Dausa, the other half being under the dominance of the Chauhans.

Tej Karan's descendants converted the hill top on which Amber Fort was later built, recognizing its Virtue as a potential military stronghold. The Site was eventually princed from its original inhabitants, the susawat Minas, and the Minas were granted guardship of the Kachhawahas treasury in return.

The Kachhawahas , despite being devout Hindu belonging to the Kshatriya (warrior) caste, recognized the expediency of aligning themselves with the powerful Mughal Empire. They paid homage at the Mughal court, and cemented the relationship with marital alliances. They were handsomely rewarded for their bravery defending the mughals in their various skirmishes. With war loots they were able to finance construction of the fortress palace at Amber, which began in 1592 by Maharaja Man Singh, the Rajput commander of Akbar's Army. Man Singh was known to be a navratna (One of the Nine Jewels) in the court of Akbar.

Maharaja Man Singh who ruled from 1590-1619 had a multi-faceted personality with varied interests. He started ateliers and departments devoted to art , crafts, literature and the performing arts. Some of the Crafts Traditions for which Jaipur is famous for are like enameling (Minachari), paper mashing and carpet weaving, were introduced by him with artisans being brought in form Lahore, Sialkot, Multan and Gujrat. He patronized many poets, authors, and scholars at his court and was found of dance , music and drama.

Raja Man Singh is known to have brought these three deities of "Sangamar ka Sanga Baba / Jaipur Ka Hanuman / Amber ki Shila Devi" as said in the above popular saying. The sect of Sangababa is in Sanganer, the image of Hanuman at the entrance of the gate of Chand pol bazar and the idol of Shila devi is at Amber.

Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh IIhad earned both the title of Maharaja in 1707 and Sawai in 1713. The Kachhawahas recognized the expediency of aligning themselves with the powerful Mughal emperor. However Jai Singh incurred the displeasure of Aurangzeb successor of Bahadur Shah, who came in 1707.

Bahadur shah's accession was controlled by his Younger brother, Azam Shah and Jai Singh unfortunately supported the younger brother's bid for power. Bahadur shah, was eventually given the Delhi throne, retaliated by invading Amber and ousting the Young Jai Singh and installing younger brother Vijay Singh In his place. He regained the capital in 1708, with the help of Udaipur and Jodhpur (marrying one princes each form the states) and eventually reconsolidate his rule.

The wealth of the kingdom increased exponentially, and this together with the need to accommodate the ever burgeoning population and a paucity of water at the old capital Amber, prompted the Maharaja in 1727 to commence work on a new city he named after himself -- Jaipur.

It was a collaborative endeavor, the synthesis of the union of the Maharaja and the impressive expertise of his chief architect, Vidyasagar. Jai Singh's Strong grounding in the sciences is reflected in the precise symmetry of the new city which, as appeared to the other unplanned and labyrinthine cities which predominated in North India at that time, was laid out according to the strict principles of town planning set down in the "Shilpa Shastra" an ancient Hindu creative architecture. In the year 1728 - 34 he built the Jantar Mantar (j(y)antra = instrument, device; mantra = magic formula) his open air Observatory of outside astronomical instruments. In mathematics and astronomy, as in war and town- planning , Jai Singh did nothing by halves -- his scientific inventiveness was supposed to have emerged when, aged 13, he devised an irrigation system to water the hanging gardens of Amber Fort.

The most central of the seven rectangles comprises the city palace complex, containing the palace itself, the administrative quarters, the Jantar Mantar (Jai Singh's remarkable observatory) and the janana mahals or the women's palaces, where the maharajas held dubious honor of maintaining more wives than any of his predecessors, although most of these alliances were motivated more by political expediency than by amorous compulsions.

As an ardent of Vaishvanite in 1714 he reinstated the image of Govind dev, removing it from the impressive red sandstone temple built by his ancestor Raja Man Singh, at Vrindavan and later installed it in 1719 within the city Palace complex.

The City was first not an aesthetic triumph; its stout walls served to protect its in habitants from would be invaders, encouraged merchants and trades people to flock here and further serving to enhance -- the city's growth and prosperity. Jai Singh's Interest in the Arts, Sciences and Religion fostered their development in Jaipur, and the royal court became a center of intellectual and artistic endeavor. As a scholar and patron of Arts, he attracted some of the most learned scholars, astronomers, teachers, writers, poets, architects, lawyers, painters and preachers to his court. An extraordinary amount of literary activities took place in his reign, surpassing in its range and volume any of his predecessors or successors.

Sawai Pratap Singhbecame the Maharaja at the Age of 14 after the death of his brother Prithivi Singh. He ruled from 1778 to 1803. His 25 year rule witnessed many spectacular achievements and strategic failures. Being constantly goaded by the marathas and the mughals he had to face repeated threats and a heavy drainage of funds.

He is known as the great ruler of Jaipur for his devotion to Lord Krishna. The fountains behind the Govind Dev temple are credited to him, his poetic talent and patronage of Arts and Crafts. The finest example of his connoisseur ship is the unique monument of Hava Mahal -- the palace of the Winds. Writing under the penname Brijnidhi , he composed many poems and songs in large variety of meters.

Sawai Ram Singh II reigned from 1835 till 1880, he was known as the colorful Maharaja, he was different from his ancestors in most respects, and he was an ardent Vaishaivite.

He was a Shaivite, an ardent devotee of Shiva and he had some very modern stretches, he enjoyed photography and is the first great prime who martyred ball room dancing.

Ran Singh II was a great connoisseur of Music and was adept at playing the Veena - a multi stringed instrument. He was also a reformist and it was in his reign that slavery, child infanticide and the cruel custom of Sati were officially abolished in Jaipur in 1839

The City of Jaipur benefited largely from his close rapport with the British which constructively manifested itself in the water works, the gas lights, roads, sanskrit collages as well as the Maharaja School of Arts and Crafts and the medical college. The Ram Nivas garden was laid out in his time with the Albert hall museum at its heart.

Madao Singh II was the next ruler after Ram Singh II expired in 1880 and he died heirless, as per the tradition if any King of Jaipur died heirless the adoption of the first family would be from the Thakur of Thilai. But this tradition was forsaken by Ram Singh II when he chose the second son of the Thakur of Isarda. At the time of his adoption, Kayam Singh (Later Madho Singh II) was employed in the Tonk cavalry as a sepoy. He was about 18 years old.

Madao Singh II was devoutly religious. Despite his five marriages and his 18 official mistress, he was heirless. We can see the clothes and other items of Madho Singh II at the Maharaja Sawai ManSingh II museum , one remarkable exhibit in set of voluminous clothes of Madho Singh II who was over two meters tall, 1.3m wide and weighed 225 kg.

He had made a lot of Progress to the State of Jaipur and was rewarded by the British for his loyalty, he was made and was rewarded by the British for his Loyalty, he was made Honorary Colonel of the 13th Rajputs. There was a lot of development in the state, he had built a meter gauge live from Sangama to Sawai Madhopur and which helped Jaipur to get connected to Various commercial centers. Hospitals , universities, The Secretariat, residential colonies and colleges were built as well.

Madho Singh like his adoptive father had repeated history by adopting his Nephew from Isarda, Kanwar Mormukat Singh, the younger of the two sons of Thakur Sowai Singh of Isarda. Kanwar Mormukat Singh was later known as Sawai Man Singh II.


Sawai Man Singh II reigned from 1922 till 1949 when India gained Independence. He was born on 21st August 1911 as Mor Mukut Singh son of Sawai Singh the Thakur of Isarda and was chosen by Maharaja Madho Singh II to be the adopted heir to the throne of Jaipur on 24th March 1921. The Viceroy of India later accepted the adoption and he was named Sawai Man Singh II.

Man Singh II was educated at home in Jaipur, at the Mayo College for Indian chiefs, at Ajmer and in England where he gained an up-to-date knowledge of Modern militiary science at the Royal Militiary Academy, Woodwich. He improved the water supply by building Ram Garh that supplied water to Jaipur. and lightening, opened the state janana hospital the Lady Wellingdon at Sanganer which was outside the capital. during his reign, civic buildings such as schools, hospitals and secretariats were built outside the original walls.

Following the independence in 1947, the status of the princely states was to change forever. In March 1949 ,Jaipur merged the Rajput states of Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Bikaner, Becoming Greater Rajasthan. Jaipur was honoured above the other states when the title Raj Pramukh was conferred on Man Singh II who was inverted with administrative supervisor of the new province. The title was later revoked, and Man Singh II was posted as Indian ambassador to Spain. In 1956 , Jaipur became the capital of The state of Rajasthan.

Horse Polo was very popular amongst the Maharajas, especially during the British Raj. Man Singh II was the finest and most dashing polo player in the world, whose polo team was champion in the European Polo circuit in the 1930s. The Polo victory cinema in Jaipur, built by his polo stick maker commemorated a world record in the Sport. The "Big Four' consisting of Maharaja Man Singh, Maharaja Prithvi Singh, Rao Raja Hanut Singh and Rao Raja Abhey Singh had won all the open tournaments a record which has never been equaled. Man Singh actually died playing the sport he loved , at a polo match in England in 1970.

Fairs & Festivals

Kite Festival (14th Jan of every year)

14 January is celebrated in India as Makar Sankranti - heralding the transition of the sun into the Northern hemisphere. It is also a big kite day in most parts of India when children from 6 to 60 can be seen with their heads turned to the sky. In Jaipur kites virtually blot out the sky. Everyone joins in this riotous celebration and shouts of " Woh Kata Hai !" reverberate from rooftops to the accompaniment of drums as adversaries’ kites are cut down. And everyone’s an adversary! Any kite in the sky is fair game.

Activities

The three-day festival starts with an inauguration at the Polo Ground, which is the venue for some serious kite flying and fighting for the three days of the festival. The festival includes two kinds of celebrations. A massive extravaganza follows, with Air Force helicopters releasing kites from the sky, and hundreds of schoolchildren releasing balloons. Kites that look like wasps, exquisite stained glass windows, graceful mythical birds soar in the sky and the sky shimmers with magic.

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Kite Shopping

Kite Counters

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Fighting kites beautifully choreographed by the wind look like poetry in the skies, written by kite flyers from many nations. The three days of the festival are divided into two sections. One is the Fighter Kite Competition and the other is the more sober Display Flying and there are prestigious trophies to be won in both categories. Every evening participants are provided with dinner at an exotic location.

On the final day the venue of the festival shifts to the exquisite lawns of the Umaid Bhawan Palace, the royal residence of the Maharaja of Jodhpur. The finals of the Fighter Kite Competition and the final judging of the Display Kites are followed by the prize distribution ceremony, the valedictory function, and a farewell dinner with the Maharaja. As the festival draws to an end, traditional Indian kite craftsmen prepare to return to their humdrum lives, selling handcrafted aerial art for mere pennies.

Elephant Festival (25th March )

About the Fair

The Elephant Festival is a unique event held annually in Jaipur, the capital of Rajasthan. Groomed to perfection, glittering in gold, row upon row of elephants catwalk before an enthralled audience. The elephants move gracefully in procession, run races, play the regal game of polo, and finally participate in the spring festival of Holi. It is festival time for the elephants.

Activities

A festival where elephants are the centre of attraction. The festival begins with a procession of elephants, camels and horses, followed by lively folk dancers. Elephant races, elephant-polo matches and a most interesting tug of war between elephants and men, are all part of this spectacular event.

Picture Gallary

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Elephant Parade

Elephant Ride

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Gangaur Fair (11th - 12th April)

About the Fair

Gangaur Festivals holds a special significance for the Rajasthanis. It is celebrated in honour of Gauri, the goddess of abundance. Young girls adorned in their best clothes pray for a spouse of their choice. The married ladies pray for the welfare of their husbands. This spring festival is celebrated with great enthusiasm and zeal all over Rajasthan. The celebrations at Bikaner, Jodhpur, Nathdwara and Jaisalmer are full of pomp and are a must-see.

Activities

At an auspicious hour in the afternoon, a procession is taken out to a garden, tank or a well with the images of Isar and Gauri, placed on the heads of married women. Songs are sung about the departure of Gauri to her husband's house. The procession comes back after offering water to the image of Gauri, which faces backwards on the first two days. On the final day, she faces in the same direction as Isar and the procession concludes with the consignment of all the images in the waters of a tank or a well. The women bid farewell to Gauri and turn their steps homewards with tears in their eyes and the Festival comes to an end.

Picture Gallary

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The Gangaur

Gangaur Procession

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Teej Festival (8th - 9th August)

About the Fair

Held during the monsoons, July-August Teej is also dedicated to Lord Shiva and Parvati and this time it is married women who pray for a happy and long married life. Though celebrations are held all over the state, it is particularly colorful in Jaipur where a procession winds its way for two days through the Old City. It is the festival of swings which are decorated with flowers and hung from trees. Young girls and women dressed in green clothes sing songs in celebration of the advent of the monsoon. The Teej idol is covered with a canopy whereas the Gangaur idol is open.

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Teej Festival

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Activities

Teej is celebrated mainly by the women folk of Rajasthan. Married women who idolize Parvati for her devotion to her husband Shiva celebrate Teej. The festivity revolves around singing and dancing in praise of Parvati. The rituals allow the women to pamper and enjoy themselves, to feast, to dress in the best of cloths, finery and jewellery, in fact to look the stunning best.

All over Rajasthan, even in remote villages, Jhoolas (swings) are hung from trees and decorated with leaves and flowers. Ladies and girls can be seen enjoying on these swings, playing games, singing folk songs and applying Mehandi (henna) on their palms. In Jaipur an idol of Goddess Parvati (Teej Mata) is taken out in a royal procession from the city palace so that the general public can have a chance to pay homage to the Goddess. Antique gilt palanquins, bullock carts pulling cannons, chariots, gaily decorated elephants with silver haodas, horses, camels, brass bands, and group of dances all form a part of this grand spectacle.

The Palanquin of Goddess Paravati is carried by 8 men dressed in red color. This kilometer long procession winds its way through the lanes of the old city. Local people come in huge numbers, dress in their best traditional clothes. Space is at a premium as people perch on top of building, windows even trees to catch a glimpse of Goddess. A huge band of urchins follows the Palanquin to grab these offerings.

A lot of merriment prevails during the Teej procession. Groups of men and women can be seen singing dancing and playing musical instruments. Men and women dressed as gods and Goddess also join in the procession.

Places to Visit at Jaipur

Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds)

Description: Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds)

Also known as the Palace of Winds was built in 1799 . It is a part of the City Palace and was commissioned by Sawai Pratap Singh. The Hawa Mahal was designed for the ladies of the royal household to watch the goings-on on the street while themselves remaining hidden from public view.

Amber Fort and Shitla Mata Temple

Description: Amber Fort and Shitla Mata Temple

About 11km north of Jaipur stands the spectacular Amber Fort built by Maharaja Man Singh. A wonderful example of Rajput architecture, it overlooks a lake which reflects its many terraces and pavilions. Amber is also known for the spectacular Sheesh Mahal, Jai Mandir, Diwan-i-Am, Sikh Niwas and the small Kali Temple.

City Palace

Description: City Palace

In the heart of the old city is former royal residence built in a blend of the Rajasthani and Mughal styles. A part of this palace is now a museum. The rest of the palace serves as the living quarters of the royal family of Jaipur. The palace also has an art gallery with an excellent collection of miniature paintings, carpets, royal paraphernalia and rare astronomical works.

Jantar Mantar

Description: Jantar Mantar

A stone observatory, known as Jantar Mantar, was built by Jai Singh II, a great astronomer. It is located near the City Palace. It is the largest and the best-preserved observatory of the lot. By means of the instruments here, astronomers could measure the positions of the stars and calculate eclipses.

Jaigarh Fort

Description: Jaigarh Fort

Sawai Jai Singh built the invincible fort of Jaigarh in 1726. Jaigarh was never captured and is therefore in a pretty good shape. A giant mounted cannon-the Jai Ban, one of the largest in the country are preserved here. The extensive parkotas (wallls), watch tower and gateways of Jaigarh dominate the western skyline.

How To Get To Jaipur

By Air:

 

Indian Airlines, Jet Airways and domestic carriers operate regular flights to and from Jaipur. Jaipur is connected to Delhi, Mumbai, Udaipur, Jodhpur, Aurangabad, Calcutta and Varanasi by domestic flights.

By Rail:

 

The train service to Jaipur is available from all the major parts of the country. Other direct connections to Jaipur are from Bikaner, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Ahmedabad, Secunderabad, Agra, Lucknow, Mumbai, Chennai and Calcutta.

By Road:

 

Jaipur can be accessed from all the major places in Rajasthan, Gujarat, Delhi and Mumbai by bus. Rajasthan roadways runs excellent regular service of AC and Deluxe Coaches from Delhi.