Jaipur, located 262km from Delhi, is the Pink City of the state of Rajasthan. The sights here are spectacular as they embrace Rajput architecture in its finest glories and in the colours of red and pink sandstones. This marvel is also called the Paris of India.
Jaipur (Hindi: जयपुर), also popularly known as the Pink City, is the capital of Rajasthan state, India and the former capital of the princely state of Jaipur. Founded on 18 November 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber, the city today has a population of more than 2 million residents. It is also known as Paris of India.The very structure of Jaipur resembles the taste of the Rajputs and the Royal families.
Location: North eastern parts of Rajasthan
Languages: Rajasthani, Hindi and English
Climate: Summer (Max - 45 ºC) & Winter (Max - 25 ºC)
Best Time: October to February when it is cooler and drier; But if you can bear the heat and rains, economical to travel during Summer (March to May) and during Monsoon (July to September)
- Delhi (277 kms), ~ 4 hours by road, 1 hour by air, 4.5 hours by train
- Agra (235 kms), ~3.5 hours by road, ~1 hour by air, ~4 hours by train
- Ajmer (131 kms), ~2.5 hours by road, 3.5 hours by train
Nearest Airport: Jaipur Airport (JAI), 13 kms from the city of Jaipur
After several battles with Marathas, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II was keen on the security aspect of the city. Being a lover of Astronomy, mathematics and Astro-Physics, Jai Singh also sought advice from Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, a Brahmin scholar of Bengal, to aid him to design many other buildings including Royal Palace in the center of the city.
The construction of the city started in 1727. It took around 4 years to complete the major palaces, roads and square. The city was built following the principles of Shilpa Shastra, the Indian Architecture. The city was divided into nine blocks, of which two consist the state buildings and palaces, with the remaining seven allotted to the public. Huge fortification walls were made along with seven strong gates.
For the time, architecture of the town was very advanced and certainly the best in Indian subcontinent. In 1853, when the Prince of Wales visited Jaipur, the whole city was painted pink to welcome him during the regime of Sawai Ram Singh. Today, avenues remain painted in pink, provide a distinctive appearance to the city. In the 19th century the city grew rapidly; by 1900 it had a population of 160,000. The city's wide boulevards were paved and lit with gas.
The city had several hospitals. Its chief industries were in metals and marble, fostered by a school of art founded in 1868. The city also had three colleges, including a Sanskrit college (1865) and a girls' school (1867) initiated under the reign of the enigmatic Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II. There was also a wealthy and enterprising community of native bankers, particularly the Jain, Marwaris and the administrators Kayastha.
Depending on your time and budget, there are many options to get to Jaipur – by car, bus, train or airlines.
Jaipur Airport (JAI) is situated in the town of Sanganer about 13 miles from Jaipur city. Although it is an international airport, the best way to get here from outside India is fly to Delhi (DEL) and take a domestic flight to Jaipur. Flight time from Delhi is about 1 hour. If you are travelling within India, Jaipur has frequent domestic flights from Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Goa, Hyderabad, Indore, Jodhpur, Kolkata, Mumbai and Udaipur.
Train is one of the most economical means to travel in India. From Delhi, it takes about ~41/2 hours by Shatabdi express. A number of daily and overnight trains connect Jaipur from all over India. There are three major railway stations Jaipur Junction (main station),Durgapura and Gandhinagar (Jaipur). All trains stop at Jaipur Junction and a few trains stop at Durgapura and Gandhinagar stations also. Check the http://www.irctc.co.in for schedules and rates.
There is an excellent bus service between Jaipur to Delhi by Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation with buses approximately every half an hour both sides. There are several types of buses including Deluxe, AC and the superior AC Volvo buses. From Delhi you can board the bus from Bikaner House on Pandara Road next to India Gate. From Jaipur you can board the bus from Narayan Singh Circle or the main Sindhi Camp bus stand. You can also book tickets up to 6 days in advance from both these places. These buses typically take 6 hours (by Volvo) or 6-7 hours by other deluxe buses.
Car is the most popular way to get to Jaipur. The journey by car from Delhi to Jaipur takes less than 4hrs. National Highway no. 8 connects Delhi to Jaipur via the industrial township of Gurgaon. The road is excellent. You can rent a car with a driver.
By and large, autorickshaw is the cheapest way around the city. In order to hire an autorickshaw for a whole day (with a trip to Amber Fort) costs 350 INR (August 2009). Prepaid autos are available at the Jaipur railway station and the Sindhi Camp bus stand. Cycle-rickshaws are cheaper, but the amount of time it takes quickly makes the extra few rupees worth it. Walking in the bazaar is a treat, although side streets are a bit less welcoming and offer a sharper glimpse of poverty.
The taxis in Jaipur are very convenient and comfortable. Most of the vehicles are Maruti Omni Vans or Tata Indica cars, which are much safer than Auto rickshaws, and the drivers are polite. If you are alone or going to an unknown destination, you are strongly advised to choose this option, even though the rates will be double that of an autorickshaw. You must call for a taxi, as it is nearly impossible to hail one unless you are at a major point like the airport. Taxis generally have yellow license plates with black letters. Some taxis are painted with yellow & black color scheme on their body which helps to uniquely identify.
Most travel agencies will provide cars for local hire. There are many tour operators available which are approved by Tourism department that one can hire for a leisure tours.