Jaipur City Travel Guide
Jaipur has the popular nick name as the ‘Pink City of India’. Jaipur is the capital city of Rajasthan and also the largest city of the state. This magnificent city came into existence from 18 November 1727 founded by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber. As on today the city has more than 3.1 million of population and is considered to be a very popular tourist destination across the nation and even across the globe.
Jaipur is part of the famous Golden Triangle Tourist circuit including Delhi and Agra. Apart from being the Capital city of the state, Jaipur is also a Municipal Corporation and district Head quarters. It is the centre of State, Division and District Level administration which also houses the state police headquarters.
Banas and Banganga are the major rivers that flow through Jaipur. A dam has been built over the Banganga River, to source drinking water to the residents of Jaipur. The total length of the Banganga is 380 kms. However the ground water is mismanaged to a great extent causing concern regarding the water resources during summer season. Though major part of the state of Rajasthan is covered by the great Thar Desert, the capital city Jaipur has not been linked the desert area geographically. The Aravalli Hills protect Jaipur city from the rough desert and also provide security. The city of Jaipur shares borders with the districts of Sikar and Alwar in the north and Ajmer, Tonk and Sawai in the south. And the western side is shared with Nagaur and Dausa district on the eastern side.
The ancient historical data confirms Jaipur region as a part of the Matsya Kingdom. Modern Jaipur was founded in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II and hence it is named after him as Jaipur.
Jaipur is the capital and largest city of the state of Rajasthan. The old part of Jaipur city is surrounded by a huge wall with seven gates. This part located within the walls is known as the 'Pink City', as all the buildings here are painted pink in color.
Hinduism is the major religion with Islam and Jainism following next. According to a lifestyle survey, Pink City of Jaipur is listed as one of the top ten affluent cities in the country and is also ranked as the 7th best place to visit in Asia. Jaipur offers Heritage, Adventure, Wildlife, Pilgrimage, Business and medical tourism meeting the needs of all types of tourists.
The city of Jaipur is a popular education hub with around 55 Management colleges, 80 engineering colleges, 20 Pharmacy colleges, 3 medical colleges and 6 dental colleges. The Rajasthan University located in Jaipur is ranked as A++ by the University Grants Commission.
Jaipur is sought after by the Multinationals as a high potential Global Outsourcing city and has been ranked at 31 out of the 50 Emerging cities across the world. Tourism generates a significant part of Jaipur's economy. Dental tourism has been an upcoming niche tourism sector of the city in the recent years with its high end, world class dental treatment and solutions provided for the most competitive pricing.
Puppet making is the predominant cottage industry here. Puppets making, performing shows and also selling the handmade items to tourists and local people are the way most of these people make their living from. The local craftsmen also engage in selling Rajasthani jewellery, embroidered leather shoes, blue pottery, tie and dye scarves and other exotic wares. The necessary development works are happening to enhance the living standards within the city.
The city is known to fascinate with its romantic charm which takes every visitors to an epoch of royalty and tradition. The city is laid out according to the conventional nine-grid pattern which has been recommended by astrologers in the ancient Indian treatise on architecture that is believed to bring fortune and prosperity to place and people staying here. Each grid comprises of a square, which is believed to be the heart of the city- the City Palace. Spread around it in rows are considered to be public buildings along with the houses of noblemen, accompanied with the living and trading quarters of local merchants and artisans. The straight, broad roads still run through the city, accompanied by a high crenellated wall that forms as a defense which is pierced with seven gateways serving as entry points for people coming inside. Today, some of these walls have been over powered by huge sky scrapers and structures which make it difficult to spot as the city has grown and undergone radical changes beyond its original plan.
As a popular tourist destination Jaipur has plenty to offer to its visitors, from pageants and traditional Rajasthani cultural events to extraordinarily clad people, a wealth of handicrafts and artifacts, a royal legacy of palaces and sightseeing that will transfer you to a whole new Rajasthani era. A walk through the streets of the old city is enough to get you a feel of true Rajasthani tradition which will remain with you for years to come. Any amount of exploration to this rare city of Jaipur can never do justice to any visitor who understands and values an architectural gem.
Architecture of Jaipur Pink City:
Jaipur is considered as one of the best planned cities in India. Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II - the founder of Jaipur had a good knowledge of Indian Vastu. He ensured that all the rules of Vastu Shastra (Vedic architectural norms followed to provide comfort and prosperity to the residents of a city or house) were followed while planning this city. Hence the architecture of Jaipur makes an excellent case study of the Indian architectural science. All the markets and streets were facing east to West and North to South.
Jaipur was built in the form of an eight-part "Mandala" called "Pithapada". The entire city was demarcated into nine blocks with two blocks housing all the stately buildings and Royal palaces. And the remaining seven allotted to the public. The city is outstanding for the precision of its streets laid out into six sectors separated by broad streets of 111 ft as the number is considered holy and lucky as per the Hindu astronomy. The commercial sectors were in multiples of nine (27), having one street for a planet. "Nine" signifies the nine planets and 27 signify the stars as per Hindu astrological zodiac. Jaipur attains a unique status for following all these architectural norms in planning and implementing all the same.
The city plan was a grid system with wide straight passages, roads, and streets lined with shops on either side of the main roads. All this was arranged in 9 rectangular sectors or ‘chokdis’ that represents the ancient Hindu map of Universe. Massive walls of 20 feet high and 9 feet thick with seven imposing gateways were made for the purpose of fortification. - Dhruvapol (Zorawar Singh Gate) on the north, Gangapol and Surajpol on the east, Rampol (Ghat Gate), Shivpol (Sanganeri Gate) and Kishanpol (Ajmeri Gate) on the south, and Chandpol on the west. The gates were to be closed at sunset and opened at sunrise.
Post Independence and modernization Jaipur is clearly divided in two parts, an old "Four Wall City" and a new city; with 5 stars hotels, air port, railway junction, MNCs, internationally recognized colleges, shopping malls and hospitals etc. The new city Architecture is based on modern architectural concepts. A walk across the old city of Jaipur in the early hours of the day is mesmerizing and displays the contrast in both the parts of Jaipur city.
Gemstone and Jewellery Industry of Jaipur:
Jaipur is the largest exporter of gold, diamond and stone jewelry in Asia. It is also the only city offering the services of finishing blue diamond, or tanzanite, in the world. And Jaipur is also the hub of color stone around the world. Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh invited renowned Jewelers from various parts of the country to ensure growth of Gems and Jewelry business in Jaipur. Jargad, Surana, Choraria, Tank, Tholia, Mookim and Malpani families are few of the families that migrated to Jaipur on the invitation of Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh. Since then Jaipur has become the center of excellence in cutting and polishing precious and semi-precious gemstones.
Emerald, ruby, sapphire, coral, cat's eye, tanzanite, tsavorite, tourmaline, rhodolite, garnet, hessonite, aquamarine, blue topaz, citrine and amethyst, pink quartz, rock crystal, onyx and many other gemstones are cut & polished in Jaipur. These are cut in oval, octagon (Emerald cut), square, round, marquise, pear, heart, and fancy or irregular shapes.
The artisans of Jaipur are masters of this art. Though very few gemstones are mined in India, most of globally mined stones are imported to Jaipur to cut and polish. Jaipur gem manufacturers and dealers make business worth thousands of millions of rupees annually. Gemstones from Jaipur have a worldwide demand.
Sports of Jaipur:
Tourists can enjoy plenty of adventure sports in Jaipur. From yachting and river rafting to the sport of indulging in mountain biking and trekking through the lush green forests, a trip to Jaipur will become memorable to adventure sport lovers.
Polo, the royal game of the Maharajas, can be considered as the most favorite sport enjoyed in this city. Camel polo and horse polo are both equally popular. Many popular international polo tournaments are hosted at Jaipur and are attended by global celebrities. Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana had visited Jaipur during the annual polo matches. The last Maharaja of Jaipur, Sawai Man Singh II was a great lover of this sport; incidentally he breathed his last while playing polo in England during the Ascot week tournaments in June 1970.
In addition, Jaipur also has an 18-hole golf course, where golfers can play within the picturesque surroundings.
Keeping to the colorful spirit of Jaipur, kite flying is another famous sport enjoyed by the locals and tourists. Kite flying is the most passionate sport of the city started by the Rajput rulers. An international kite flying competition is held in the city annually.
Short and simple treks of Jaipur are very popular that allow the participants to explore the varied and rich flora of the region. Trekking in the Aravalli hills is considered as the best of all. Elephant rides up the hill to Amber palace, organized by the elephant keepers known as Mahouts are very popular among tourists.
Jaipur hosted many cricket matches of international level in its pride Sawai Mansingh Stadium. With a capacity of over 30,000 audiences, floodlight facility of International Standard and world class dressing rooms for players, Sawai Mansingh Stadium in Jaipur hosted many ICC champions trophy matches apart from the much hyped semi-final of World cup between India – Pakistan.
Chaugan Stadium, M.B. Stadium, Pratap Stadium, Chitrakoot, Rajasthan Polo Ground and Sawai Mansingh Stadium are the popular stadia of Jaipur city.
The Famous Jaipur-foot:
The Jaipur Foot is a rubber-based prosthetic leg for people with below-knee amputations. This idea was conceived by Dr. P. K. Sethi and developed by Masterji Ram Chander in 1969 for the victims of accidents, landmine explosions and many others who lost their limbs This model is designed at and named after Jaipur, India, is the prosthetic leg which is inexpensive, quick to fit and manufacture, and is also water-resistant. The Jaipur Foot is provided free of cost to every needy person by Bhagwan Mahavir Viklang Sahyata Samiti, founded by Devendra Raj Mehta in 1975. Dow India supports this cause with polyurethane which is the new material used in the production of the prostheses. BMVSS also receives the financial assistance to carry on the work from Dow India and many other sources in this magnanimous deed.
At BMVSS patients visiting for the artificial limb are registered immediately. The patient and a caretaker are hosted till the limb is custom fitted along with boarding and lodging facilities. Each Jaipur foot costs about Rs.1, 300 or US $30 to BMVSS. However no fee of any kind is collected for the services provided at BMVSS. The Jaipur limb is considered as a God’s gift by the amputees as wearing it; one can work in the fields, run, pedal a bicycle, squat on the floor or even climb a tree. BMVSS is popular globally for the genuine, quality and benevolent services it is providing for the physically challenged people. This organization is an NGO and those interested can donate for the cause of helping the needy.
Anyone requiring further information or willing to contribute can contact or mail to:
Bhagwan Mahaveer Viklang Sahyata Samiti
13a, Gurunanak Path,
Main Malviya Nagar,
Tel no.: 91-0141-2520485 / 2522406 / 2523103 / 4001519
Fax no.: 91-0141-2522401