Jaipur, also known as the Pink City of India, was founded by Maharaja Jai Singh II (1693-1743) and is the capital of Rajasthan. Jaipur is surrounded by hills and dotted with forts, and is one of the links to the famed Golden Triangle of North India along with Delhi and Agra. Jaipur also serves as the most convenient entry point to Rajasthan, India's most colorful and vibrant state.
An extremely well planned city, Jaipur was designed by an engineer and scholar Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, in accordance with ancient Hindu treatise on architecture, the Shilpa Shasta (Vastu). It 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. Jaipur remains the only place where the nine sectors that sub-divide the city symbolize the nine divisions of the universe.
The Old City, also known as the Pink City, is a wonderful place to wander around. The whole city was painted pink by Maharaja Man Singh II when Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, visited Jaipur in 1876. Today, every home within the city is obliged by law to maintain this facade. Houses with pink latticed windows line the streets, and look almost magical at sunset.
Jaipur's regal heritage is evident in its architecture and culture. Beautifully laid out gardens and parks, attractive monuments and marvellous heritage hotels, once the residence of Maharajas are testaments to the Rajasthan of yesteryears.
The arts and crafts of the state are amazing. You'll find elaborately fashioned jewellery, the multi-coloured 'bandhini' fabrics, richly decorated handlooms, and other trinkets at the colourful bazaars of Jaipur.