Jaipur is 260 km from Delhi and 240 km from Agra and forms the most chosen tourism golden triangle of Delhi, Agra and Jaipur. 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. The old Jaipur painted in Pink can grip any visitor with admiration. 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.
Jaipur is named after its founder the warrior and astronomer sovereign Sawai Jai Singh II (ruled 1688 to 1744). The decision to move out of his hilltop capital Amer was also compelled by reasons of growing population and paucity of water. Moreover in the early seventh century the power of the great Mughals was dwindling with its aging Monarch Aurangzeb and after several centuries of invasions the north was now quite and the wealth of the kingdom had become greater than before. Seizing upon this opportune time Jai Singh planned his new capital in the planes. Jaipur is a corroborative effort of Sawai Jai Singh's strong grounding in sciences and astrology and a Bengali architect Vidyadhar with a strong instinct for planning.
At a short distance of 11 kms . from Jaipur, the Amer Fort complex stands amidst wooded hills overlooking the Delhi-Jaipur highway, with its forbidding ramparts reflected in the still waters of the Maota Lake below.
It is one of the few military structures of medieval India preserved almost intact, containing palaces, agrdens open and covered reservoirs, a granary, an armoury, a well-planned cannon foundry, several temples, a tall tower and a giant mounted acnnon-the Jain Ban, the largest cannon in the world.
Perched atop a pricturesque hill, the Nahargarh Fort offers a breathtaking view of the city below. Initially built by Sawai Jain Singh in 1734 A.D. It was enlarged and given its present shape by Sawai Madho Singh in1885 A.D. Decorative motifs in some of the rooms are delightful.
The City Palce is an imposing blend of traditional Rajasthani and Mughal art and architecture. The City Palace complex houses several palatial structures. The first building in it is Mubarak Mahal, built by Kaharaja Madho Singh. It has a beautifully carved marble gate with heavy brass doors on either side of this gate. Beyond this gate lies the Diwan -e-Khas, or the "Hall of Private Audience".
Jantar Mantar is the most famous and elaborate observatory of its time. It was constructed in the year 1724 A.D. by Sawai Jai Singh II, even before the city of Jaipur was built, and has been described as the most surrealistic and logical landscape instone.
It was built to measure the local time, the sun's declination, altitude, the declination of stars, planets and to determine eclipses.
The Hawa Mahal, or the "Palace of Wind" built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in 1799 A.D. is characterised by elaborate and fanciful architecture. The broad pyramidical facade comprises five storeys of semi octagonal overhanging windows with perforated screens, domes and spires.
Govind Dev Ji Temple
A vital part of the city Palace complex, this Krishna temple has been highly preserved by the erstwhile royal family. Sawai Jai Singh installed the image of GOVIND DEV JI(an incarnation of lord Krishna) after it was brought from Vrindavan. Housed within the sanctum of this spire less temple, the patron deity of the royal family is very religiously worshipped by most of the Hindus in the city and near by areas. The image is unveiled seven times daily for 'AARTIES' and BHOGS offered in the silver wares, consisting of sweets mostly. The idols of RADHA KRISHNA are dressed in different styles each time for the 'AARTI' procession where thousands of followers or 'Bhakt' gather around the courtyard for the Darshan (a look connecting them with the divine).
Birla Lakshmi-Narayan Temple
Birla Mandir or the Lakshmi - Narayan Temple, situated just below the Moti Dungari. This is a modern temple built of white marble on top of a hill, dominating the skyline of south Jaipur. The Birlas (industrialists who have also built several temples in India) built this temple. The temple has been constructed in white marble and has three domes, each portraying the different approaches to religion. The presiding deities here are Vishnu (One of the Hindu Trilogy Gods) called Narayan and his consort Lakshmi Goddess of wealth and good fortune. The temple is built is white in marble and exterior has carved sculptures of various mythological themes and images of saints. The interior has large panel in marble of mythological proceedings. The images of the deities are placed in the sanctum sanctorum. Built on raised ground, it is surrounded by large lush green gardens.
Moti Dungri (Ganesh Temple)
In the middle of Jaipur rises a small hill Moti Dungri meaning pearl hill, because it looks hill a drop of pearl. An exotic palace is parched which is a replica of Scottish castle once occupied by Maharaja Madho Singh's son. From There on remained as a private property of the ruling family. In the recent past it served as a home for Rajmata Gaytri Devi and her estranged son Jagat Singh. The mere view of this castle is exotic enough. The highlight of this place is the famous and auspicious temple of Lord Ganesh, which is frequently visited by almost whole of Jaipur and people from outside.
Jagat Shiromani Temple
The beautifully carved Jagat Shiromani Temple houses the idol of Lord Krishna and is popularly associated with the celebrated saint-poetess Mira Bai. The old temple of Narsinghji and a step well Panna Main-ki-Baodi, which still bears witness to its past glory are also located in the vicinity.