Who wouldn’t have heard of Jaipur or The Pink City of India? This city has a unique blend of rich culture, history, modernity, and infrastructure. The capital of Indian state Rajasthan is also a UNESCO world heritage site, mesmerizing the people all around the globe with its beauty.
However, once, Jaipur wasn’t the kind of beautiful city we see today. One person was behind the creation of this paradise. Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh, the King of Amer, ruled parts of modern-day Rajasthan for almost half a century. His far-sightedness led to the creation of Jaipur in 1727. Let’s get to know more about the founder of Jaipur.
Who was this Rajput ruler?
Jaipur (or Jainagara initially) got named after the one who made it, i.e. Jai Singh II. He comes from the Kachhwaha clan in Rajasthan, known for ruling several kingdoms and princely states such as Alwar, Talcher, Jaipur, and Maihar. Jai Singh II was born in the capital of Kachwaha in 1688. He became a ruler at the tender age of 11 years.
Initially, he served under various Mughal Emperors such as Aurangzeb and Muhammad Shah, and as a result, he was rewarded often with different titles. But later, he broke away from Mughal hegemony and asserted sovereignty. He was also keenly interested in astronomy, architecture, and mathematics.
His far-sightedness and interest in architecture led to the development of Jaipur. Science and geometry blossomed during his tenure. He was also the man behind the creation of several Jantar Mantar observatories in India.
Why was Jaipur established?
The terrain of Amer, where Jai Singh II lived, was not fit for expansion due to the rocky terrain. Also, from a defense point of view, Jaipur provided more distance from Delhi than Amer, making space between Mughal and Rajput administration.
Also, the establishment of Jaipur was a result of the need to make space for people to settle. Growing population and increasing scarcity of water was the reason why a new city was founded. Jai Singh II, after he established Jaipur, shifted his capital to this newly built city.
How was Jaipur Built?
Jaipur was built with considerable supervision and planning. Jai Singh II personally consulted several books on architects and their architecture to plan the infrastructure. Using traditional Vastu and Shilpa Shastra, Vidyadhar Bhattacharya implemented his architectural knowledge.
The construction of Jaipur was completed in 4 years, starting from 1726. The road network follows a hierarchy with three different measurements for the road to Rajmarg (city routes), internal areas, and mohallas. The more one reads about the architectural and road planning of Jaipur, the more fascinating it will become.
Why and when Jaipur became pink?
It remains a debated topic, but many agree that the buildings were painted pink to welcome Edward VII, who visited Jaipur in 1876. Pink is considered a color of hospitality.
However, there are many other beliefs. Some say it was done to cut down the glare of the sun. Some suggest that Jai Singh II was devoted to Lord Shiva (whose favorite color is assumed terracotta pink). Some even believe that Jai Singh II imitated the sandstone color used in Mughal palaces and forts.
Be it any reason the Pink color surely makes the city more soothing to the eyes.
The places to visit once in a lifetime in Jaipur
Jaipur is home to various architectural and royal wonders, and roaming this beauty must be on every traveler’s bucket list. These are the places in Jaipur one must visit.
City Palace, Hawa Mahal, Amer Fort, Nahargarh Fort, Jal Mahal are top monuments and royal places to must-see.
Albert Hall Museum, Jantar Mantar, Amrapali Museum, Museum of Legacies are some other attractions that will educate you about the history and royalty of Jaipur.
Birla Mandir and Galta Ji are pious places to visit. The beauty of these places will mesmerize you.
Don’t forget to take a look at markets in Jaipur. Johri Bazaar, Bapu Bazaar, and Handicrafts emporium are famous areas to visit.