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Pink City, Jaipur Overview

Pink City in Jaipur refers to the old walled city that was built in the year 1727 by Maharaja Jai Singh II. This was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site as of June 6th 2019. The wall that marks the boundary of the Pink City is about six metres high and three metres thick and encompasses a number of structures within its confines. In keeping with the magnificence of the structure, there are seven different gates that provide access to the Old City, namely Chand Pol, Suraj Pol, Ajmeri Gate, New Gate, Sanganeri Gate, Ghat Gate, Samrat Gate and Zorawar Singh Gate. Built about 275 years ago, today it presents the glorious past of our country through its culture and architecture. The city is known as 'Pink City' as it is built out of Sandstone and reflects the colour pink in the daytime.

Steeped with rich past and heritage, the Pink City of Jaipur is a place of royal heritage, culture and architecture. The city is covered in the tint of pink colour oozing charm and attracting tourists from all over the world. The place offers a feast to its visitors in the form of its historical saga with magnificent palaces and forts and stunning Havelis. A number of important structures such as Badi Chaupar, Jantar Mantar and City Palace are situated in this part of the city. The vibrant bazaars of Jaipur like Bapu Bazaar and Johri Bazaar are paradise for shopping lovers offering beautiful Rajasthani jewellery, fabric, shoes and handicrafts. Bustling with colours, a walk around this old city gives you a glance into is the wealth of handicrafts, the royal legacy of the palace, and a shadow of their rich past.

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History of Pink City

Initially, the capital city of Maharaja Jai Singh's empire was Amber, which is situated about 11 km from Jaipur. Owing to the safety reasons, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II felt the need to shift his capital city as Mughal king Bahadur Shah was likely to attack after the death of Aurangzeb. The Pink City was built as a result of Maharaja Jai Singh's keen interest in securing his capital city against the invasion of foreign powers. For the purpose of designing the city, he sought the advice of Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, who was a Brahmin scholar of Bengal. In keeping with Maharaja Jai Singh's requirements, Vidyadhar studied ancient Indian literature on astronomy, books of Ptolemy and Euclid, and came up with the design for the Pink City. 

The construction of the city began in full swing in the year 1727, and after intensive work spread over a time of 4 years, a majority of the structures within the Pink City complex were completed. These included major palaces, roads and square. Following the principles of Vastu Shastra, the city was divided into nine blocks, out of which two contained the state buildings and palaces, whereas the remaining seven blocks were for public use. The city was made impregnable by building an imposing wall and seven different access doors. In 1876, the city was painted pink in order to welcome the Prince of Wales on his visit. From then onwards, the name "Pink City" became synonymous with Jaipur.

Important Structures in the Pink City

The architecture of Pink City is its major attraction owing to its technical details and beauty. Maharaja Sawai Jai Sing II, who founded the city of Jaipur, was himself a great architect and an astronomer. Hence, most of the architectures in the city are constructed with the concept of Indian Vastu and have deep mathematical and astrological influences on them. A number of important structures are situated here as well:-

1. City Palace: The magnificent City Palace is one of the most famous tourist attractions in the city of Jaipur, Rajasthan. Built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh during the years 1729 to 1732, the vast complex occupied one seventh of the walled city. The imposing complex of the palace used to be the seat of the Maharaja of Jaipur. Planned with precise intricacies, the City Palace was divided into a series of courtyards, buildings and gardens including the Chandra Mahal and the Mubarak Mahal along with various other palaces. 
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2. Hawa Mahal: The massive edifice of Hawa Mahal stands at the intersection of the main road in Jaipur, Badi Chaupad. It is regarded as the signature building of the city and was built by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh in the year 1799. Hawa Mahal derives its name from its unique structure, which is a mesh of small windows that allowed cool wind to enter the palace and hence kept the palace comfortable during the hot summer months. The main reason behind the palace's construction was to allow the women of the royal house to observe the festivities on the streets whilst being unseen from the outside. 
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3. Jantar Mantar: Jantar Mantar is the largest stone astronomical observatory in the world. This ancient study boasts of nineteen instruments built out of stone and brass and was built by Raja Sawai Jai Singh in 1727-33. The intelligent construction and placement of these instruments allowed the observer to note the position of heavenly bodies with their naked eye alone.
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4. Albert Hall Museum: Albert Hall Museum is the oldest museum of the state and functions as the State museum of Rajasthan. The building is situated in Ram Niwas Garden outside the city wall opposite New gate and is an excellent example of Indo-Saracenic architecture. The building was designed by Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob, assisted by Mir Tujumool Hoosein, and was opened as a public museum in 1887.
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5. Amber Fort: Cradled on the top of the Aravali Hill and forming a beautiful reflection across the Maotha Lake, lies the Amber Fort. An architectural masterpiece and with significant reference in the Indian history, it is visited by over five thousand tourists daily. Only eleven kilometres away from the capital city of Jaipur, Amber Fort is clad in pink and yellow sandstone and is a part of an extensive complex. The Fort gives a mesmerizing view from the bottom of the hill when it is illuminated every evening.
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6. Jaigarh Fort: 
Jaigarh Fort is a grand structure perched on the top of the 'Cheel ka Teela' hills designed by a talented architect called Vidhyadhar. The fort reflects the city's prosperous past and is named after the ruler who got it built, Sawai Jai Singh II. Jaigarh Fort cradled on the top of the cliff is a palatial structure bounded by verdant greenery and massive battlements. It is connected to Amer Fort through subterranean passages. 
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7. Nahargarh Fort: Nahargarh Fort, situated on the outer skirts of Jaipur, is an epitome of great architecture and planning. Drenched with rich past, the fort allows you a picturesque view of the entire city. Built in 1734, this grand architecture is a perfect way to begin the excursion of this Pink City.
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Gates of Pink City

The magnificent structure of Pink City can be accessed only by the means of the seven gates, each of which a significance of their own. The gates are named Chand Pol, Suraj Pol, Ajmeri Gate, New Gate, Sanganeri Gate, Ghat Gate and Zorawar Singh Gate. A detailed account of the same is provided as follows:-

1. Chand Pol: Literally translating to 'Moon Gate', this gate is situated along the east - west axis of the Pink City. The most distinctive feature of this gate is the 25 feet spire that rises from the structure. This attraction is famous for Chand Pol Hanuman temple.
2. Suraj Pol: Located diagonally opposite to the Chand Pol or the 'Sun Gate'. It is situated towards the eastern side of the Pink City and also forms the gateway of the Sun Temple built Sawai Jai Singh. An illustration of two suns adorns the Suraj Pol.
3. Ajmeri Gate: Also known as Kishan Pol, this gate opens towards the city of Ajmer and also leads the way to the famous Kishan Market. 
4. New Gate: The southern edge of the Chaura Rasta lies the 'New Gate' or Naya Pol. This gate was earlier a secretive gateway but was later increased in size by the Sawai Ram Singh II. 
5. Sanganeri Gate: This is the southern gate and is also called Shiv Pol because of the royal Shiv Mandir is situated nearby. 
6. Ghat Gate: Also known as the Ram Pol, named after the easterly road towards the Ghat ki Ghuni.
7. Zorawar Singh Gate: This is also called the Dhruv Pol owing to the fact that it is located towards the north of the city. 

Other smaller gates in the Pink City include Samrat Pol, Char Darwaza, Ganga Pol, Chanpori Pol, Ganesh Pol, Tripolia and Naqqarwala, which are situated inside the city.

Best Time To Visit Pink City

You can best enjoy the pink city between October and March. The weather is quite pleasant during these months, allowing the visitors to explore the place without the scorching heat of the sun.

Shopping At Pink City

Needless to say, a number of wonderful shopping options are available within the walls of the Pink City. Starting with Bapu Bazaar where you can buy exquisite textiles, handicrafts, perfumes, products made from camel skin and 'mojaris' which is a traditional Rajasthani footwear, you can move onto Johari Bazaar, which is popular for its gliterring jewellery pieces. Another popular market area is the Kishan Pol Bazaar, which is famous for its expansive textile market specalizing in textiles and tie dye cloth bandhani and loharia. Tripolia Bazaar is the perfect destination for  some good old domestic shopping where you can buy household items like domestic kitchen utensils, trinkets, textiles and goods made of iron. Treat yourself to some colourful lac bangles at the Maniharon ka Rasta where you canget great deals for affordable prices.

Tips For Visiting Pink City

Make sure to carry sunscreen lotion, sunglasses and lots of water if visiting the city during summers.

How To Reach Pink City

The city of Jaipur has an ample number of transportation options. You can easily travel using buses, taxi or auto-rickshaws available easily almost everywhere.

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