Jaipur is the capital city of Rajasthan and is popularly known as the 'pink city' because of the pink paint applied to the buildings in its old walled city. Old City :It is partially encircled by a crenellated wall with seven gates. Broad avenues, over 30 metres wide, divide the pink city into neat rectangles. It is an extremely colourful city and, in the evening light, the pink and orange buildings have a magical glow which is complemented by the brightly clothed Rajasthanis. Camel-drawn carts are a characteristic of Jaipur's passing street scene. The major landmark in this part of town is the Iswari Minar Swarga Sul, the Minaret Piercing Heaven, near the Tripolia Gate,which was built to overlook the city. The main bazaars in the old city are Johari Bazaar, Tripolia Bazaar, Bapu Bazaar and Chandpol Bazaar. Hawa Mahal : This is also known as Palace of the Winds and is one of Jaipur's major landmarks. This five-storey building, which looks out over the main street of the old city, is a stunning example of Rajput artistry with its pink, semioctagonal and delicately honeycombed sandstone windows. You can climb to the top of the Hawa Mahal for an excellent view over the city. There is a small archaeological museum. Central Museum : The museum is housed in the architecturally impressive Albert Hall in the Ram Niwas Gardens, south of the old city. The upper floor contains portraits of the Jaipur maharajas and many other miniatures and artworks. The ground floor has a collection of costumes and woodwork from different parts of Rajasthan.



City Palace : In the heart of the old city,the City Palace occupies a large area divided into a series of courtyards, gardens and buildings. The seven-storey Chandra Mahal is the centre of the palace and commands fine views over the gardens and the city. The ground and 1st floor of the Chandra Mahal form the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh 2 Museum.The apartments are maintained in luxurious order and the museum has an extensive collection of arts, carpets, enamelware and old weapons. The paintings include miniatures of the Rajasthani, Moghul and Persian schools.The armoury has a collection of guns and swords. The textiles section contains dresses and costumes of the former maharajas and maharanis of Jaipur. Other points of interest in the palace include the Diwan-i-Am, or Hall of Public Audiences and the Diwan-i-Khas, or Hall of Private Audiences, with a marble-paved gallery. There is also a clock tower and the Mubarak Mahal. Outside the buildings is a large silver vessel. Jantar Mantar : It is adjacent to the entrance to the City Palace and is also known as the observatory. The Jaipur observatory is one of the largest observatories. At first glance, Jantar Mantar appears to be just a curious collection of sculptures but, in fact, each construction has a specific purpose, such as measuring the positions of stars, altitudes or calculating eclipses. The most striking instrument is the sundial with its 30-metre high gnomon. The shadow this casts moves upto 4 metres an hour.



Other Attractions : The Ram Niwas Gardens also has a zoo with birds, animals and a crocodile breeding farm. Jaipur has a modern art gallery in the 'theatre' near the zoo. The Museum of Indology is an amazing private collection of folk art objects. There are many interesting things, for e.g. a map of India painted on a rice grain. Raj Mandir is an opulent, grandiose and extremely well-kept cinema in Jaipur. Kripal Kumbh is famous for blue pottery.



Jaipur is well known for precious stones, which seem cheaper here than elsewhere in India, and is even better known for semi-precious stones. For precious stones find a narrow alley called Haldion ka Rasta of Johari Bazaar ( near the Hawa Mahal ). Semi-precious stones are sold in another alley, called the Gopalji ka Rasta, on the opposite side of the street. Shops around the City Palace and Hawa Mahal have many interesting items including miniatures and clothes. Marble statues, jewellery and textile prints are other Jaipur specialities. The Rajasthali government emporium in M I Road is reasonably priced. For khadi, the Khadi Gramodyog shops are the best. These government-run shops have a wide range and everything is hand-made. There is one just inside Sanganeri Gate in Bapu Bazaar, and another at the Panchbatti intersection. For cotton there is the Rajasthan Handloom House on M I Road, next to the Rajasthali Emporium.



AIR : The Indian Airlines office in Jaipur is on Ajmer Road. The Air India office is in Rattan Mansion on M. I. Road. Indian Airlines flies Delhi/Jaipur twice daily, and all flights continue on to Bombay, via any one or all of Jodhpur, Udaipur and Aurangabad. There is also a daily direct flight to and from Bombay and a three times weekly connection to Calcutta via Varanasi. East Airlines has daily flights to Bombay. BUS : Buses to all Rajasthan's main population centres and to Delhi and Agra are operated by the Rajasthan State Transport Corporation from the bus station. The deluxe buses all leave from platform 3, which is in the right- hand rear corner of the bus station yard. These buses should be booked in advance. Deluxe state transport buses leave for Agra five times daily. Deluxe buses run nine times a day to Ajmer. Five deluxe buses per day take 7 hours to reach Jodhpur. To Udaipur, there are 4 deluxe buses daily. There are also deluxe buses to Kota and Jaisalmer. A number of private companies cover the same routes and also offer services to Ahmedabad, other cities in Gujarat and Bombay. TRAIN : The Pink City Express leaves Old Delhi station at 6 am and reaches Jaipur at 11 am. The Jaipur to Delhi service leaves at 5 pm and arrives at 10.10 pm. The Ahmedabad Mail runs overnight, leving Delhi at 10 pm and arriving in Jaipur at 4.30 am, while the Chetak Express leaves Delhi at 1 pm and arrives in Jaipur at 8.30 pm. All Jaipur trains leave from the Old Delhi station, The daily superfast express between Jaipur and Agra takes only 5 hours.



There are plenty of express trains to Ajmer, Abu Road and Ahmedabad. To Udaipur, the most convenient train is the Chetak Express. There are also daily connections with Sawai Madhopur and Bikaner.



FESTIVAL Jaipur's elephant festival is held in early to mid-March (depending on the lunar calendar) and is actually part of the Holi Festival.

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