Jaipur today is one of the most popular tourism destinations in India after Agra. In fact, together with Delhi, Jaipur and Agra form the famed Golden Triangle -- the three places all foreign tourists like to visit when they come to India. Domestically, Jaipur is very significant as a craft market -- craftsmen from all over Rajasthan come here to market their creations. Block Printing and Blue Pottery are some of its most famous crafts, as is decorative work using Lac. The Pink City is also a centre for Hand Knotted Carpets and dhurries. It is known as a big exporter of precious and semi precious gems and fine jewelery.
Jaipur, the capital city of the northern Indian state of Rajasthan, extends from latitude 26.55° in the north to longitude 75.52° in the east. Jaipur would have been a part of the Thar Desert but for the protection afforded by the Aravalli Hills that form a barrier on one side.
India’s first planned city
Built as a result of the vision of Sawai Jai Singh II and his chief architect Vidyasagar, Jaipur was planned in a grid system with wide straight avenues, roads, streets and lanes and uniform rows of shops on either side of the main roads, all arranged in nine rectangular city sectors, inspired by the nine planets in Hindu astrology), of which two comprise the palaces and the state buildings and seven were for the public. The city is surrounded by a wall having seven gates and was built for protection from invading armies and wild animals that lurked just outside in the jungles that surrounded the city. But Jai Singh's planned city has withstood all the pressures and the changes.
Gateway to the crafts of Rajasthan
Rajasthan has one of the largest varieties of visible handicrafts in India and one can get a taste of all of those in lanes and by-lanes of Rajasthan. Natural dyes on organic cotton, block printing, tie & dye, blue pottery, handmade paper making and lac bangles making are some of the crafts you will see in Jaipur.
A Heritage City
Washed in pink, a colour traditionally symbolising hospitality, a walk through the city of Jaipur will have monuments blending the Mughal and the Rajput styles of architecture, and sometimes the British, too.The three forts of Amber (the erstwhile capital), Jaigarh and Nahargarh, the City Palace with its museum, the Hawa Mahal or the ‘Palace of Winds’ and the Jantar Mantar, the largest stone observatory in the world, all are exquisite examples of the workmanship of that era.