Jaipur is the Pink City of India and the largest city in the state of Rajasthan. It is also the capital of Rajasthan. Almost 300 years old, the city is famous for many things, for instance, its massive forts, pretty palaces, planned streets and for Hawa Mahal, one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. So, whether you are planning a trip or just curious to learn more, here are some of the most interesting facts about Jaipur in India.
7 Interesting Facts about Jaipur
1. Jaipur is one of the first planned cities in India
In 1727, when Sawai Jai Singh II ruled the region, Bengali architect Purohit Vidhyadhar Bhattacharya planned the city of Jaipur. His blueprint followed the rules according to Indian Vastu Shastra. The directions of each street and market are East to West and North to South and are also laid out in a 3×3 grid system making it very easy to navigate Jaipur – it’s hard to get lost.
2. Jaipur is a walled city
A wall, some 6 meters high and three meters wide, with eight gates in all four directions, surrounded Jaipur city. The gates are Jorawar Singh Gate, Surajpole Gate, Sanganeri Gate, New Gate, Ajmeri Gate, Chandpole Gate, Ghat Gate and Samrat Gate. Locals believe that these gates protect Jaipur from invaders and natural calamities. Even today, to enter or exit the old city of Jaipur you must pass through one of the gates. The historic walled city of Jaipur within the walls and gates is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. UNESCO describes Jaipur as “an expression of the astronomical skills, living traditions, unique urban form and exemplary innovative city planning of an 18th-century city from India.”
3. The Jantar Mantar is an astronomical observation UNESCO site
The Jantar Mantar is an astronomical observation site constructed in the early 18th century. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site described as constituting: “the most significant and best preserved set of fixed monumental instruments built in India in the first half of the 18th century; some of them are the largest ever built in their categories.”
4. Hawa Mahal is a Jaipur landmark
One of the most famous landmarks in Jaipur is Hawa Mahal. It is also one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. Hawa Mahal translates as ‘The Palace of the Winds’. The five-storey building features 953 tiny windows that allow winds to blow inside to keep it cool. Intricate latticework decorates the windows which give the effect of a beehive. Maharaja Sawai Singh built the red and pink sandstone palace in 1799 as a way of letting the royal women observe everyday life, for instance, weddings, processions and street life, without people seeing them.
5. Jaipur is the Pink City
In 1876, Sawai Ram Singh painted the city of Jaipur pink. Pink is the colour of hospitality. He did this to give a warm welcome to Edward, Prince of Wales and Queen Victoria who visited Jaipur. However, there is another reason why Jaipur is the Pink City, and that’s because most of the buildings and monuments in the city use pink terracotta stone.
6. Jaipur hosts the world’s largest literary festival
First held in 2006, the Jaipur Literature Festival is the largest free literary festival in the world as it attracts tens of thousands of visitors. Held in January each year, it attracts novelists, poets, literary giants and artists from all over the world, not to mention book lovers and curious tourists. The festival has around 300 speakers and over 30,000 attendees.
7. Jaipur is part of the Golden Triangle
Jaipur is part of India’s famous Golden Triangle along with Delhi and Agra. The Golden Triangle is a tourist route that gives visitors a good spectrum of the country’s different landscapes. The circuit is about 720km by road with each leg taking about 4 to 6 hours by car. For those who don’t want to drive, the Shatabdi express train also connects Delhi with Agra and Jaipur.