Hi friends, I am back with lot of pictures, memories and stories which I will try to share with you through this Blog and my Photo Blog. Today, lets go to Jaipur, the capital city of Indian state of Rajasthan, which I visited on 29 & 30Nov_2015. HAWA MAHAL (Palace of winds) was built in 1799 by the poet king Sawai Pratap Singh for his Royal ladies to enjoy the possession and day to day activities from the cool confinement of this majestic façade.Today Hawa Mahal has become the hallmark of the ‘Pink City’ and the most recognizable and photographed monument of Jaipur. It comprises of 953 niches and 152 windows. This fine structure is part of City Palace complex.
HISTORY OF JAIPUR : Jaipur the capital city of the Indian state Rajasthan was founded in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh-II, a Kachwaha Rajput who ruled Jaipur state from 1699 to 1744. Initially his Capital was Amer (Amber) which lies at a distance of 11 Km from Jaipur.
Hawa Mahal Backside
Inside Hawa Mahal
Hawa Mahal Backside
Inside Hawa Mahal
He felt the need of shifting his capital city with the increase in population and growing scarcity of water. Jaipur is the first planned city of India and the King took great interest while designing this city of victory.
After several battles with Marathas, Jai Singh was keen on the security aspect of the city. Due to this reason, he focused on his scientific and cultural interests to make a brilliant city. Being, a lover of mathematics and science, Jai Singh sought advice from Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, a Brahmin scholar of Bengal, to aid him design the city architecture. The construction of the city began in 1727 and took four years to complete. The city was divided into nine blocks, two of which contained the state buildings and palaces, with the remaining seven allotted to the public. In order to ensure the security, huge fortification walls were made along with seven strong gates.
According to that time, architecture of the town was very advanced and certainly the best in Indian subcontinent. In 1878, when Prince of Wales visited the city, the whole city was painted in Pink color to welcome him and after that Jaipur was titled as “Pink City”. Still, the neat and broadly laid-out avenues, painted in pink provide a magical charm to the city. This gated Pink City is also referred as old Jaipur city today.
When you are in Jaipur, you must visit the following attractions which can be covered by 2 days :
Hawa Mahal (Palace of winds)
Amber Fort & Palace
City Palace & Museum
Jantar Mantar &
AMER FORT & PALACE : The Amer Fort, situated in Amber, a town with an area of 4 square km on a high hill, 11 kilometers from Jaipur, is one of the most famous forts of Rajasthan. Amer, originally, was the capital of the state before Jaipur was built. It is an old fort, built in 1592 by Raja Man Singh. This fort is also very popularly known as the Amer Palace. Amer also spelled as Amber. The town of Amer (Or Amber) was originally built by Meenas and later it was ruled by Raja Man Singh. He was a trusted general of the Mughal emperor Akbar, who included him among the Navaratnas, or the nine gems of the royal court.
Amer Palace & facing Jaigarh Fort at distance
Amer Fort is known for its artistic Hindu style elements. With its large ramparts and series of gates and cobbled paths, the fort overlooks Maota Lake. It is the main source of water for the Amer Palace.
Keshar Garden in the Maota Lake and the Jaigarh Fort
Amber Palace Ganesh Pol
The palace is constructed with red Sand stone and Marble, and opulent palace is laid out on four levels, each with a courtyard. It consists of the Diwan-e-Aam, or “Hall of Public Audience”, the Diwan-e-Khas, or “Hall of Private Audience”, the Sheesh Mahal (mirror palace), or Jai Mandir, and the Sukh Niwas where a cool climate is artificially created by winds that blow over a water cascade within the palace. Hence, the Amer Fort is also popularly known as the AMER PALACE. The palace was the residence of the Rajput Maharajas and their families.
Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Palace)
Sheesh Mahal or Mirror Palace
At the entrance to the palace near the fort’s Ganesh Gate, there is a temple dedicated to Sila Devi (incarnation of Kali and Durga), a goddess of the Chaitanya cult, which was given to Raja Man Singh when he defeated the Raja of Jessore, Bengal in 1604. ( Jessore is now in Bangladesh).
This palace, along with Jaigarh Fort, is located immediately above on the Cheel ka Teela (Hill of Eagles) of the same Aravalli range of hills. The palace and Jaigarh Fort are considered one complex, as the two are connected by a subterranean passage. This passage was meant as an escape route in times of war to enable the royal family members and others in the Amer Fort to shift to the more redoubtable Jaigarh Fort.
CITY PALACE , JAIPUR :
It is located in the heart of Jaipur, occupying about one-seventh of old city area. The palace complex was built between 1729 and 1732, by Sawai Jai Singh and various structures were later added to it by his successors. It is popularly referred as the City Palace to differentiate it from the ancient Amber Palace. The complex is surrounded by a high wall and is divided into a series of courtyards, gardens and other buildings. The magnificent Chandra Mahal occupies the cetre stage and is still the residence of erstwhile ruling. and Mubarak Mahal palaces and other buildings, is a palace complex in Jaipur. It was the seat of the Maharaja of Jaipur. The Chandra Mahal palace now houses a museum but the greatest part of it is still a royal residence.
Royal Residence and Museum
City Palace Museum
City Palace Jaipur
The palace was built between 1729 and 1732, initially by Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber. He planned and built the outer walls, and later additions were made by successive rulers continuing up to the 20th century. The credit for the urban layout of the city and its structures is attributed to two architects namely, Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, the chief architect in the royal court and Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob, apart from the Sawai himself who was a keen architectural enthusiast. The architects achieved a fusion of the Shilpa shastra of Indian architecture with Rajput,Mughal and European styles of architecture.
JANTAR MANTAR :
Panoramic view of Jantar Mantar monument, Jaipur
JANTAR MANTAR : The Jantar Mantar (literally means ‘calculation instrument’) monument of Jaipur, Rajasthan is a collection of nineteen architectural astronomical instruments, was built by the astronomer king Sawai Jai Singh-II in 1728 and is one of the five open air astronomical observatories built by him. The original Brass instruments were replaced by masonry instruments for greater accuracy which still hold ggoodfor many astrological calculations. The instruments used for measuring local time, the altitude of stars and constellations, the Sun’s declination, meridian etc etc. It also features the world’s largest stone sundial. The monument was recognized as one of the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 2010.
JAL MAHAL (WATER PALACE) , JAIPUR
JAL MAHAL (Water Palace)
JAL MAHAL (“Water Palace”) was built by Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799, in the midst of picturesque Man Sagar Lake and is about 6 kms from Jaipur city on the way to Amber. It was the summer resort of the erstwhile Royal family.
JAL MAHAL in the evening
Jal Mahal in the evening