The pink city in the state of Rajasthan was founded in 1727 by Jai Singh II. To this day tourists flock here to explore the royal abode of the Maharajas. Backpackers are smitten by the opulence of the royal families, and the exquisite architecture in Jaipur. In 2019 Jaipur received its rightful place in the world of tourism. Jaipur city is listed as a UNESCO heritage site.
Several tourists visit Jaipur for myriad reasons. It could be art, handicrafts, museums, or the royal Rajasthani sumptuous thali. The town is embedded in rich traditions such as folk musicians, dancers, and puppeteers. But one thing that stands apart from all the general musings is the imposing architecture. It is a delight for sightseers, and many of them wonder about the immense planning to build such grandeur palaces.
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A Glimpse into the History of the Pink City
Before we delve into the nitty-gritty of Jaipur architecture let’s first understand the historical context. The previous capital was Amber, and in the 18th century the capital was shifted to Jaipur. The new capital was formed keeping in mind the intricate diplomatic ties with the Mughals, British, Sikh, and Jats. Sawai Jai Singh II of the Kuchhwaha Dynasty.
Apart from the diplomacy with the neighbouring rulers Maharaja Jai Singh II envisioned the idea keeping in mind the problem of overpopulation that would overburden the resources of the previous capital Amber. In fact, the population in Amber had to face incessant droughts. Jaipur was built to solve the problems related to water scarcity, defence, and other issues related to basic amenities.
Sawai Jai Singh II – The Visionary Behind Jantar Mantar
One should applaud the sagacity of Sawai Jai Singh II and his remarkable ingenuity. This young ruler of the kingdom of Amber had a deep inclination towards Astronomy and Mathematics.
He succeeded to the throne after his father’s death in 1699. This Kucchwaha Rajput was trained by the best faculty in art, science, philosophy and military affairs. Sawai Jai Singh II believed that scientific temperament & astronomy would hugely benefit his subjects. Thereby, he undertook an amazing project called Jantar Mantar (astronomical observatories).
“Jantar Mantar” creates an illusion because of the buildings and their unique architecture. The mesmerizing geometric styles have indeed captivated scientists, artists, historians, and architects around the world.
Apart from the architectural gem the observatories are equipped with fascinating instruments that Jai Singh created to gaze into the celestial world. One of the most unique features of this observatory is that it makes sky gazing possible without a telescope.
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Best Architecture in Jaipur
The exotic building resembles a honeycomb. Interestingly, it is shaped like Lord Krishna’s crown. Sawai Pratap Singh who built the crown was a great devotee of lord Krishna. Hawa means wind in Hindi and the 953 windows provide great ventilation. The wind blows all the time. It was a summer retreat for the royal Rajput families.
Apart from being an important tourist destination, Nahargarh Fort is shown in Bollywood movies. Important scenes from Rang De Basanti & Jodha Akbar were shot in this fort. Maharaj Jaisingh’s II primary purpose behind building this fort was to fortify its defence against invading armies.
Out of the five stories four are submerged underwater. Only one floor is above the water level. The structure was built during the famine, and all five floors were above water level when constructed. It is the most picturesque sight amidst Man Sagar Lake. A beautiful blend of Mughal & Rajput architecture.
Another magnificent blend of Rajput and Mughal architecture, perhaps the most romantic palace because of the magical exteriors and interiors. The iconic Bollywood song “Jab Pyar Kiya to Darna Kya” was shot at Amber Fort.
Amber Fort boasts of several palaces, the best one is the Sheesh Mahal or the Palace of Mirrors. The mirrors inside the palace reflect sunlight in every direction illuminating the entire palace. Also, the majestic gardens surrounding the palace show the exuberant lifestyle of the Royal Maharajas.
A great example of a top-notch ancient Indian engineering marvel is located on Eagles Hill (Cheel Ka Teela). It used to be a major military post and the high altitude would ensure security and keep a tab on any unwanted activities in the surrounding region. There are two temples Ram Harihar and Kal Bhairav Temple built around the 10th & 12th centuries.
Book international flight tickets and discover top architectural monuments in Jaipur. October is the best time to visit some of the architectural wonders in this magnificent city of Maharajas. Plan your itinerary and make use of Indian Eagle deals to save more during your trip.
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