January 13, 2012 Leave a comment
Jaipur was the last city and the last place to be visited in our trip. Jaipur was one of the first planned cities in India which was built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh.
History of Jaipur from wikipedia
In ancient time Jaipur regioncomes under Matsya Kingdom . Modern Jaipur was founded in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II who ruled from 1699–1744 and initially his capital was Amber, which lies at a distance of 11 km from Jaipur. He felt the need of shifting his capital city with the increase in population and growing scarcity of water. The King consulted several books on architecture and architects before making the layout of Jaipur. Finally under the architectural guidance of Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, (initially an accounts-clerk in the Amber treasury and later promoted to the office of Chief Architect by the King) Jaipur came into existence on the classical basis of principles of Vastu Shastra and similar classical treatise.
In 1876, when the Prince of Wales visited Jaipur, the whole city was painted pink to welcome him during the regime of Sawai Ram Singh.
Our tour began by paying a visit to the hawa mahal. The palace complete with mirrors which was used by the queen’s to watch the processions and other activities during the time of festivities
A short stop for couple of snaps and we were of to Jantar Mantar an astronomical observatory built by Maharajah Jai Singh II.
The observatory consists of fourteen major geometric devices for measuring time, predicting eclipses, tracking stars’ location as the earth orbits around the sun, ascertaining the declinations of planets, and determining the celestial altitudes and related ephemerides.
A detailed explanation of each instrument was given by the guide along a sample demo of a few.
Instruments @Jantar Mantar
The guide also mentioned that since jaipur is famous for astronnomy and astrology, the astrology final exams are conducted here in jantar mantar. We spent some time exploring all the instruments and taking photos before leaving the place. The next place on the list was the city palace. The palace is still occupied by the current king of jaipur and there are two types of tickets. A normal ticket will let one see the museum which houses paintings of all the kings and the durbar hall etc. The grandeour tour which costs Rs 2000 allows one to go inside the royal palace. Tickets for cameras cost extra. We just got the tickets for the museum. The museum contains a huge collection of things used by the kings and queen’s of jaipur. From the clothes they used to wear to the other things they used daily everything is on display here. Apart from the clothes large size photos of the kings are also on display. Since we had’nt got the tickets for photography no snaps could be taken.
Amer fort was thenext to be be visited. The fort is located atop a hill and is outside the city. A short drive from jaipur saw us reach the fort. We passed Jal Mahal on the way, however we didnt stop there as we planning to spend some time while returning back.
One can either drive all the way to the top or choose to ride an elephant.
Passing through the long courtyard, we proceeded towards the main entrance.
Fort Courtyard as seen from top of the palaceThe palace has seperate chambers for each queen and there is a common area where the king used to meet his queens and spend time with them. The watch towers above the place was guarded, when the king was present. Since they were at an elevated place and quite far away, privacy was ensured.
A large man made lake is present at the back of the palace. This was built by Raja Man Singh who had built the palace. The lake was built for the purpose of entertainment. The lake present among mountains looks very pictuersque when seen from the top of the fort
I wanted to take the photo of the fort from the road, had asked the driver to stop the car after going out of the fort. After roaming the fort we headed out. A quick stop for a few shots of the fort from the road and we headed out to Jal Mahal
Jal Mahal is a palace built in the middle of the man singh lake. The palace used to be in use during the kings era however now its in ruins. he lake eco system is a favorite home of a number of migratory and resident birds. The Mansagar Dam is situated on the eastern side of the lake and provides a good vantage point for viewing the lake and the valley. There are plans to turn the palace into a resort.
Snaps can be found here