Of all the princely states of
yore in India, Rajputana (the region around Jaipur) is
undoubtedly the one with the most martial record. Jaipur was the
first city in India that was planned according to the grid
pattern. Its founder Sawai Jai Singh (1699 - 1744) was a lover of
mathematics and science and he consulted a Brahmin scholar,
Vidyadhar Bhattacharya of Bengal to help him design the city
architecture. Construction of the city started in 1727 and the
major palaces, roads, and square took 4 years to complete.
Architecture of the town was much advanced to its time and it was
no doubt the best in Indian subcontinent. Pink, the sign of
welcome was used to paint the buildings in Jaipur in 1853 to
honor of the visiting Prince of Wells and is still used.
Interestingly, the royal family's earlier residence at Amber, was
only 11km away, and had been since the 10th century. Seven
hundred years later, the Maharaja chose to raise a "City of
Victory", and aptly christened it Jaipur. Co-incidentally, the
name also incorporated the first name of the Maharaja thus
immortalizing the builder both through his nomenclature of
dynasty and concept of ideals. Jaipur was and remains the only
city in the world symbolizing the nine divisions of the universe
through nine rectangular sectors dividing it.
It a bustling capital city and a business centre with all the trapping of modern metropolis but yet flavoured strongly with an age-old charm that never fails to surprise a traveller. Jaipur's past is never too far from hand. Stunning backdrop of ancient forts Nahargarh, Amer, Jagarh and Moti Dungri are dramatic testimonials of the bygone era and a reminder of their lingering romance. The palaces and forts of the yesteryears that were witness to royal processions and splendor are now living monuments, accepted quite naturally into the lifestyles of the people of the pink city. Except for the busy traffic of bicycles, cars and buses, little seems to have changed. There is a timeless quality to Jaipur's bazzar's with it's colorful people and moderate climatic conditions. Jaipur is a royal city, and this is its most noticeable aspect. Buildings testify to it. Festivals testify to it. Its palace hotels testify to it. The life style of its society testifies to it. And very, obviously, tourists testify to it as they pay homage to the grand capital of princes and kings, a city of the past that belongs to India's future.