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Jaipur The Pink City

In most of the books or sites on Tourism in India, “Golden Triangle” finds special mention. The “triangle” includes Jaipur, Agra and Delhi. We will discuss more on Agra, the seat of the beautiful marble structure Taj Mahal, in the coming session while discussing on Delhi, the national capital. Well connected by air, road and railway, Jaipur is an easily reachable distance from both the 2 metros – Delhi and Kolkatta. Now, let’s take a quick look at the possible sites that can be included in our list of places to visit when we land in Jaipur.

Known as “Pink City”, Jaipur is the capital of the state of Rajasthan in North India. Centuries back, the city had several forts and other buildings with a pink hue and hence the name. But now, on visiting the place, we can notice “red” as being more prominent than “pink”. Many consider Jaipur as the best place to begin a discovery of Rajasthan's multifaceted attractions. For visitors unfamiliar with its history, a little explanation may be necessary, since it will make the trip all the more fruitful. It will be more fascinating if one is ready to traverse the narrow lanes and tracks running through the heart of the city. The best time to visit the place is during mild summer October to December when we can see the places without getting tired by the acts of the hot sun.

Let us first visit the City Palace. The palace complex has several sections that command a fine view of the city of Jaipur. The complex contains an excellent museum, an armoury and several fine halls. There is also an extensive collection of royal garments, art works, carpets, enamelware and old weapons. Also, on display are the two largest silver vessels in the world figured in the Guinness Book of World Records. These were used for carrying water from the holy Ganges for personal use by king Madho Singh II on his journey to England.

Hawa Mahal, "Palace of the Wind", is one of the major landmarks of Jaipur. This five-storey building of unusual architecture is a part of the City Palace Complex. It is a stunning example of Rajput artistry on red and pink sand stone, beautifully outlined with white borders and motifs painted with quick lime.

From outside, Hawa Mahal’s facade looks more like a delicate screen than a palace. This five-storied, pyramid-shaped structure has tier after tier of 953 small casements, each with tiny pink windows, small balconies, arched roofs with hanging cornices, exquisitely modeled and carved. These windows are known to be circulating cool air even in hot months.

Amber Fort is a classic fusion of Mughal and Hindu architecture. Built in red sandstone and white marble, the Amber fort complex remains unique with its gateways, gardens, halls, stairways, pillared pavilions, temples and palaces. Some sections of the palace complex have thousands of mirror pieces adorning the walls and the ceiling that any streak of light makes them sparkle and illuminate the entire room. It is a sight to see. One can also try Camel or Elephant ride at Amber Fort.

Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is the most famous and elaborate observatory of its time. It was constructed in the year 1724 A.D. and was used extensively to calculate the local time, the Sun's declination, altitude the declination of stars, planets and to determine eclipses. The King at the time was extremely interested in science and astronomy and Jantar Mantar is a pure evidence for this.

Jaipur’s colorful bazaars where one can shop for Rajasthani handlooms and trinkets is a shopping-street with a difference. So also, are the heritage hotels like Naharganh Fort which was in bygone years the residence of Kings of Jaipur - that sure loot admiration from any visitor. One can shop handicrafts, jewelry, carpets, textile, home furnishing and lot more. Raj Mandhir in Rajasthan is considered as Asia’s best movie theater. Rajasthani food is rather spicy, but it is worth trying.

Jaipur is one place where it is not rare to see camels roaming around and people dressed up in bright and multi-hued costumes. The place is, no doubt, different and colourful.