Rajasthan is one of India’s most beautiful states. Located in the northwestern part of the subcontinent, it offers many first-time travelers a glimpse into the desert cities of India. Founded in the 16th century by Jai Singh, Jaipur, Rajasthan’s capital city, is one of the stops on the Golden Triangle (which includes Delhi and Agra). It’s also known as the pink city because of its sandstone buildings and because it was painted pink to welcome the Prince of Wales in 1876. Here are 13 photos that will make you want to visit Jaipur right now.
Amer Fort, also known as Amber Fort, is located on a hill near the city center. Amer is famous for its Hindu-styled architecture. It was the residence of Rajput maharajas or kings. In 2013, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
View of the fortified hills from one of the public courtyards of Amer Fort.
This is one of the public courtyards of Amer Palace. On the right is Ganesh Pol. On the left is Diwan-i-Aam or the Public Audience Hall.
This detailed structure is part of the Ganesh Pol or Ganesh Gate. It marks the entry into the private palaces of the maharajas.
The third courtyard has two buildings separated by a garden that resembles the Chaharbagh or Mughal gardens.
The third courtyard of the palace features the Sheesh Mahal or Mirror Palace. Also called the Jai Mandir, its walls, columns, and ceilings are covered with glass, colored foil, and mirrors. It was said to shine like a jewel under candlelight used in previous eras.
Hawa Mahal is also known as the Palace of the Winds. It was built in 1799 for the City Palace women to observe the street life below through its honeycombed windows. Built from red/pink sandstone, it is one of Jaipur’s most ornate and recognizable architectural landmarks. The facade is made up of 953 windows, also known as jharokhas.
This is what the other side of Hawa Mahal looks like. The intricate details reflect a combination of Rajput and Mughal influences.
Here’s a close up of one of the building’s jharokhas or windows. It is built in a way so that air can circulate throughout the building during summer. Each window has a small chamber where the women would sit and view the street life below unseen.
Jantar Mantar, also a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a huge astronomical observatory built by the founder of Jaipur. It holds sixteen devices designed to measure and track time, stars, and planets. This instrument is called the Jai Prakash Yantra and it is used to determine the positions of celestial bodies.
Jantar Mantar is a clean and quiet respite from the craziness of the city. Here’s another surreal instrument that looks like a stairway to heaven. Unfortunately, you can’t climb the stairs!
The City Palace is located in the heart of Jaipur. It includes impressive museum collections and exquisite architecture. Only the ground floor of Chandra Mahal is accessible to visitors since many parts are still used by the royal family. Featured here is Chandra Mahal’s marble-floored Diwani-I-Aam or Public Audience Hall.
Pritam Niwas Chowk is an inner courtyard to Chandra Mahal. There are four small gates, each representing the four seasons and dedicated to different Hindu gods and goddesses. This green gate is called Leheriya and represents spring.
Photos: © Live Lyfe Photography
Did you like this post? Pin it!