Jaipur, popularly known as the Pink City, was founded in 1727 AD by one of the greatest rulers of the Kachhawaha clan, the astronomer king Sawai Jai Singh. The pink color was used at the time of making to create an impression of red sandstone buildings of Mughal cities - and repainted in 1876, during the visit of the Prince of Wales. The city is best explored on foot and the adventurous visitor willing to go into the inner lanes can discover a whole new world not visible to the tourist-in-a-hurry.
The tourist who's discovered that urban India is one maze of cluttered cities will be pleasantly surprised with Jaipur. With its broad avenues, its well laid out gardens and specifically designed areas for markets and residential centres, Jaipur is a success story of 18th century city planning. Jaipur is famously referred to as the 'Pink City' because Maharaja Man Singh II ordered his city painted a pretty pink in honour of the visiting Prince of Wales, Edward VII in 1876.As with many other places in India, the ancient and the modern co-exist in harmony. In Jaipur, veiled peasant women in swirling ghagras (traditional Rajasthani Skirt) and dazzling odhnis (Stole or Muffler) rub shoulders with youngsters in designer jeans and tie and dye turbans while solemn camels lope alongside shiny cars.
Travel to Jaipur for its many sights and the plethora of shopping opportunities it offers. The old walled area has the City Palace museum, the Jantar Mantar observatory built by Sawai Jai Singh II, temples, gardens and bazaars chock a block with all kinds of goods from exquisite jewellery to dainty jootis (traditional leather slip-on shoes, decorated with colourful embroidery). The Hawa Mahal, with its myriad windows is a major landmark. The city is best explored on foot. Jaipur is an excellent base from which to explore any popular tourist destination in eastern and central Rajasthan.
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