Travel Diary by Akanksha.
Jaipur is the capital of Indian state, Rajasthan. It evokes the royal family that once ruled the region and that, in 1727, founded what is now called the Old City, or “Pink City” for its trademark building color.
At the center of its stately street grid (rare in India) pattern layout stands the opulent, colonnaded City Palace complex. With gardens, courtyards and museums, part of it is still a royal residence.
The city of Jaipur was founded in 1726 by Jai Singh II, the Raja of Amer who ruled from 1699 to 1743. He planned to shift his capital from Amer, 11 kilometres (7 mi) from Jaipur to accommodate the growing population and increasing scarcity of water.
Jai Singh consulted several books on architecture and architects while planning the layout of Jaipur. Under the architectural guidance of Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, Jaipur was planned based on the principles of Vastu Shastra and Shilpa Shastra.
The construction of the city began in 1726 and took four years to complete the major roads, offices and palaces. The city was divided into nine blocks, two of which contained the state buildings and palaces, with the remaining seven allotted to the public. Huge ramparts were built, pierced by seven fortified gates.
The city was planned according to Indian Vastu Shastra by Vidyadhar Bhattacharya in 1727. There are three gates facing east, west, and north. The eastern gate is called Suraj pol (sun gate), the western gate is called Chand pol (moon gate) and the northern gate faces the ancestral capital of Amer.
The city is unusual among pre-modern Indian cities in the regularity of its streets, and the division of the city into six sectors by broad streets 34 m (111 ft) wide. The urban quarters are further divided by networks of gridded streets. Five quarters wrap around the east, south, and west sides of a central palace quarter, with a sixth quarter immediately to the east.
The Palace quarter encloses the Hawa Mahal palace complex, formal gardens, and a small lake. Nahargarh Fort, which was the residence of the King Sawai Jai Singh II, crowns the hill in the northwest corner of the old city.
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