Jaipur, popularly known as the Pink City, was founded in 1727 AD by one of the greatest rulers of the Kachhawaha clan, the astronomer king Sawai Jai Singh. The pink color was used at the time of making to create an impression of red sandstone buildings of Mughal cities - and repainted in 1876, during the visit of the Prince of Wales. The city is best explored on foot and the adventurous visitor willing to go into the inner lanes can discover a whole new world not visible to the tourist-in-a-hurry.
The city of Jaipur is the logical starting point for anyone traveling in Rajasthan because of its central location and good air, road, and rail connections. To the west lies the desert region of Marwar (Bikaner, Jaisalmer and Jodhpur), to the north and south run the craggy Aravali hills. From Jaipur it is an easy drive to Alwar and the Sariska Tiger Reserve in the northeast, or to Ajmer, Pushkar and Kishnagarh in the South east. Also within reach is the Shekawati region in the northwest and Ranthambor National Park in the east.
Amer Fort One of the most magnificent destinations in Jaipur, on the rugged hills outside of town sits Amer Fort. (Amber Fort). It is an example of fascinating blend of Hindu and Muslim architecture built in red sandstone and white marble. The highlight of the fort is the Seesh Mahal (mirror Palace), a palace known for its craftsmanship in mirrors. Bairath Lying between Jaipur & Alwar this is a location, which has significance from the Mahabaratha times and it is said that the Pandavas spent one year of their exile here. Excavations reveal that Bairath formed a part of the Mauryan Empire and flourished as a Buddhist establishment. City Palace In the heart of the city is situated the City Palace, which is now a museum except for one section where the erstwhile royal family still lives. Grey-white marble columns studded with floral motifs in gold and coloured stones support the carved arches. The museum houses a fascinating armory of Mughal and Rajput weapons and swords of all shapes and sizes. There is also an art gallery.
Gaitor is about 15 kms. from Jaipur and is famous for the cenotaphs or chhatris of Jaipur rulers, with the exception of Sawai Ishwari Singh’s. The cenotaph of Sawai jai Singh ii stands out for its delicate carvings and beautiful shape. Galta is about 20 kms. from Jaipur is Galta, famous for the old pilgrim centre of Galtaji and 'kunds' (natural springs and reservoirs) said to have curative powers. The small temple of the Sun god, built by Diwan Kriparam on top of the highest peak, is visible form all parts of the city.
Hawa Mahal The most famous landmark of Jaipur, the palace of winds built in 1799 by Sawai Pratap Singh was actually planned for the royal household to have a look at every day life of the city. The palace has tier upon tier of curved arch surmounting fairy casements with "jali" - latticework screens.
Jaigarh Fort Named after Jai Singh II, the Jaigarh fort is perched on a cliff surrounded by huge battlements with inside walkways. It is one of the few military structures of medieval India preserved almost intact, containing palaces, a granary, a well-planned cannon foundry, several temples, a tall tower and a giant mounted cannon-the Jain Ban (Jaivan) the largest cannon in the world.
Jal Mahal The Jal Mahal on a picturesque palace amidst the Man Sagar Lake is Jaipur's lake palace surrounded with water. It was built for royal duck shooting parties.
Jantar Mantar Largest of the five remarkable observatories made by Jai Singh in five different cities, this is the best-preserved one. It shows the Maharaja’s passion for astronomy.
Nahar Garh Perched atop a picturesque hill, the Nahargarh Fort offers a breathtaking view of the city below. Initially it was built by Sawai Jain Singh in 1734 A.D. and was enlarged and given its present shape by Sawai Madho Singh in 1885 A.D. There is a road to Nahargarh from Amer, which passes through the hills .
Ramgarh Lake This is a huge artificial lake created by constructing a high bund amidst tree-covered hills. Much of the original structures are now in ruins but its beautiful landscape makes it an idyllic picnic spot.