In the year 1727, a beautiful city rose to existence, thanks to the ruler of Amer, Jai Singh II, also after whom, the city was named as Jaipur. Located around 280km from the national capital, New Delhi, this was a perfect place to visit for us, as we had 2days time between two auto expos we were attending. With the leisure of renting a car, we headed towards our destination.
As we traversed through the long straight highways and crossed Haryana, we were welcomed to Rajasthan by playful langurs by the highway, camel carts and earth coloured buildings, bright red, yellow and orange colour rich clothing of people and few sand dunes.
Places of Visit:
Amber Fort: Located atop a hill in the town of Amer, 11km away from Jaipur, this fort is one of the most famous and visited forts in Rajasthan. The fort built with red sandstone and marble houses Diwan-i-aam (Hall of public audience), Diwan-i-khas (Hall of private audience), Jai Mandir or Sheesh Mahal (Mirror palace) and Sukh Niwas (cool climate created artificially through the blowing wind which is made to pass through water cascades). Suraj Pol marks the entrance of the fort into the first courtyard (thingy magiy), which also houses the Shila Devi Temple (the idol was gifted by Raja of Jessore when he was defeated). Jaleb Chowk is the next courtyard where Royal bodyguards held parades under the command of Fauj Bhakshi, which were also supervised by the king. Ganesh Pol marks the entry of private palace, a 3 tier palace with many frescoes and above this was the Suhag Mandir, from where the royal family used to watch the functions and other celebrations held in Diwan-i-aam. Third courtyard houses the private area of the Maharaja and his family, the garden (similar to Mughal garden) and the palace of Raja Man Singh I. The courtyard has Tripolia Gate (opening towards 3 directions – Amer town, Palace of Raja Man Singh I and Zenana Deorhi on south) and Lion Gate (leading to the main palace, which was named signifying the strength of a lion). Fourth courtyard is the private spaces of the Zenana (queens, mistresses and concubines) and the corridors were built in such a way that, Raja’s movement into one queen’s room wasn’t seen by others, thus maintaining privacy.
Mira Krishna Temple: Also known as the Jagat Shiromani Temple, it is situated in the town of Amer (outside the Amer Fort). Built by Rani Kanakwati, wife of Raja Man Singh I, this temple is dedicated to Lord Krishna, Vishnu and Mira Bhai. Various religious documents have suggested that the Krishna idol of this temple was the same as worshiped by Mira Bhai in Mewar.
Nahargarh Fort: Built on the edge of the Aravalli hills, this fort mainly faces the city of Jaipur. The city was well protected by the defense line formed by Nahargarh fort, Amer fort and Jaigarh fort. The view from this fort is just beautiful and is most recommended to visit during the sunset, as the city and sunset make the frame mesmerizing! The place was built as a place for joyous events. Nahargarh means “Abode of Tigers”.
Jal Mahal: Rajput architecture built in the middle of Man Sagar Lake in Jaipur, is a masterpiece. 5 storied red sandstone “Water Palace” facing the Nahargarh Fort is a seclusion from the land. When the lake is full, 4 of the 5 floors remain underwater and the top floor, housing the Bengal style Chhatris and garden remains above the water.
Chokhi Dhani: A Rajasthani village themed heritage resort. The resort’s main attraction is wide spread Rajasthani thali and rich Rajasthani culture on display (which include various folk performances, street magic, camel, elephant and horse rides, artifacts museum and various themed architectural structures).
With a lot of travel and gyaan for the day, good Rajasthani meal ended the day on a perfect note! Next day, we planned to give Hawa Mahal a flying visit and head back to New Delhi.
Hawa Mahal: Situated in the centre of old Jaipur is this “Palace of Breeze/Wind”. Designed by Lal Chand Ustad, this was built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799. The unique 5 story structure built with red and pink sandstone resembles the honeycomb of a beehive with its 953 windows. The Jharokhas (windows) have the decoration of fine latticework on them so as to enable the royal women to see the everyday life, festivals and other celebrations on the streets below, without being watched as they had strict Purdah rules in place. The architecture enabled the palace to be cool even during the hottest days as the wind passing through the windows, kept the structure away from heat by providing good ventilation.
True to its title, Jaipur has rich Hindu Rajput style and Mughal style architecture built with red and pink sandstones, which resemble the colour of earth and look so pleasant to the eyes! Signing off from the Pink City until next time.
Below are few of the captures from our trip.