Jaipur, or the ‘Pink City’ as it is often called, is the capital of the north-eastern Indian semi-desert state of Rajasthan. It became known as the ‘Pink City’ as the city walls and all of its buildings were painted a terracotta pink colour to welcome the Prince of Wales to Jaipur in 1876. It is now part of the famous ‘Golden Triangle’ tourist route which is comprised of Jaipur, Agra and Delhi and showcases some of the best sights and attractions that India has to offer.
Jaipur is a walled city, founded in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, who tasked a Bengali architect to design it using the principles of Shilpa Shastra, an ancient Hindu treatise on architecture. The same architect built the opulent City Palace and the Jaipur Observatory -the largest stone observatory in the world which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Like most Indian cities, Jaipur is chaotic and congested with both locals and tourists jostling for position in the bustling bazaars and dodging the rickshaws, street children and camel carts that race through streets. Tourists visit the city to marvel at its many palaces, forts and temples; it is said that there is a temple every 100 metres in Jaipur.
The most popular sites are the City Palace, the home of the royal family of Jaipur; “Hawa Mahal” (Palace of the Winds); Galta Monkey Temple, which as the name suggests is inhabited by thousands of (largely friendly) monkeys; Amber Fort and Palace, a fairy tale complex set high on a hill about half an hour’s drive from the city centre and Nahargarh Fort.View photos from Jaipur, the 'Pink City'