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History of Jaipur
Jaipur is one of the most culturally rich heritage cities in India. Founded in the year 1727, the city is named after Maharaja Jai Singh II who was the main founder of this city. He was a Kachhwaha Rajput and ruled the area between 1699 and 1744.
Post Sawai Jai Singh era, the city was ruled by several Rajput rulers. Sawai Pratap Singh (1764 – 1803), Sawai Ram Singh II (1835 to 1880), Madho Singh II (1861 – 1922) and Sawai Man Singh II (1911 – 1970) were among the main rulers who kept the heritage of the city alive.
The city was attacked many times by neighbouring warriors, Marathas. But for most of its history, Jaipur stayed under the rule of Rajputs. It was one of the few parts of the country which never came under the rule of the British, who left India in 1947.
Jai Singh’s former capital was in Amber, which is 11 kilometres outside Jaipur. He later shifted it to Jaipur, due to an increase in population and scarcity of water in Amber. Jaipur has the privilege of being the first completely planned city in India. It has meticulously planned market areas, canal system, parks and residential areas.
Maharaja Jai Singh oversaw the construction of buildings in the city and made sure that they follow the traditional Rajput architectural design. Various ancient books and repositories were consulted while designing this city. Almost all buildings in Jaipur were built with special sandstone, which is found in abundance in Rajasthan.
Apart from the architecture, the city is also known for its rich scientific heritage. Maharaja Jai Singh also had a strong inclination towards science and mathematics. This is why; he consulted Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, who was a scholar from Bengal while designing the city. The scholar consulted books on ancient Ptolemy, astronomy and Euclid to provide his expert advice.
The city was built on the principle of Indian Architectural science called Shilpa Shastra and took 4 years to build. The city has a world-famous planetarium, a beautiful city palace, a number of temples and cultural venues.
The Pink City
Jaipur got the name ‘Pink City’ in 1853, when the reigning King Sawai Ram Singh painted all royal and official buildings in sandstone colour to commemorate the visit of Prince of Wales to the city. The city is world-famous for its extraordinary buildings and its vibrancy is adequately depicted by the colour.
After India’s independence, Jaipur became the capital city of the state of Rajasthan. Even though the royal family still resides in the City Palace, the state is completely run by the civil authorities and democratically elected candidates.
Today, Jaipur is one of the most popular tourist destinations in India. Millions of domestic and international tourists throng its beautiful hotels and palaces to relive its royal past. Many of the ancient palaces have been transformed into heritage hotels.