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Location: 250 kms From Agra, 259 kms From Delhi
Significance: Capital City Of Rajasthan
Unique Feature: Jantar Mantar, Hawa Mahal, City Palace
Timings: September To March

1. Royal Capital
The capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur is not only the gateway to the state, it is also the most natural place to begin a discovery of Rajasthan's multifaceted attractions. For visitors unfamiliar with its history, a little explanation may be necessary, since it will aid their understanding of one of the most fascinating cities of India.

As a city, Jaipur is fairly young, less than three centuries old. It was laid out by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II of the Kachchawaha dynasty from Amber which, less than 10-km away, was the former capital of the state. Markets and residential areas have bridged this gap so that, for all practical purposes, Jaipur includes Amber within its sway.

2. A Planned City
Jaipur has been laid according to the conventional nine-grid pattern that astrologers believe to be lucky, and which has been recommended in the ancient Indian treatise on architecture. Each grid consists of a square, and these have been planned so that, at the heart of the city is the City Palace. Spread around it, in rows, are public buildings, the residences of noblemen, the living and trading quarters of merchants and artisans.

Jaipur was color washed pink to create an impression of red sandstone buildings of mughal cities. The current color which is more red than pink was painted in 1876, during the visit of Prince of Wales. The city is best explored on foot and only the adventurous visitor willing to go into the Rastaas and Galis (inner lanes) can feel the spirit of the city. There's an amazing appeal to Jaipur's colorful bazaars, beautifully laid out gardens, parks & the monuments.

Straight, wide roads run through the city, while a high, crenellated wall that forms its defense is pierced with seven gateways that serve as entry points. Today, these walls may be more difficult to spot since the city has grown far beyond its original plan, but they are still there, proof that though Jaipur saw no great siege, it was more than adequately prepared for it.

Places To See In Jaipur

Hawa Mahal
Hawa Mahal Located at one side, but very much a part of the City Palace Complex, Hawa Mahal is best viewed from the street outside. If it were not for the bustling bazaar all round, it would have been easy to mistake it for a film set, so exquisitely is it propotioned, and co incongruous is its delicacy.
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City Palace
As may be expected, the City Palace complex lies at the heart of the
Jaipur city. Getting in this palace is simpler noe then it once was. Though the erstwhile Maharaja and his family friends use the the triple-arched Tripola Gate to enter their section of the palace, most visitors are ushered through Atish Pol, which is located close to the royal stables.
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Jantar Mantar
A stone observatory, part of the City Palace complex, Jantar Mantar is one of the several other astronomical observatories created by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. Other observatories are situated in Delhi, Banaras an Ujjain. These concrete masonary instruments were used to measure everything from altitude to time, an map the movement of the planets and the stars.
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Forts And Palaces In Jaipur

Amber Fort
The Kachchawahas ruled drom Amber, 11-km from Jaipur, for seven centuries. With a history so old, it is not unexpected that there is a lot of the past that can be traced in its archaeological history. While many of the very early structures have either disappeared or been ruined, those dating from the 16th century on are in a remarkable state of preservation.
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Nahargarh Fort
Located on the rugged Aravali Hills, Nahargarh means "the Abode of the Tigers" was built by Jai Singh to bolster the defense of Amer. The fort has uniquely a cluster of 12 suits for queens and at the head is a suit for the Jai Singh himself.
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Excursions Of Jaipur

In the harsh terrain of the hills and ravines of Aravallis, flourishes the city of lakes, Udaipur. One of the most romantic places in India, Udaipur is situated around the shimmering clear blue water lakes, which whisper the mood of a bygone era.
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The westernmost citadel of the desert, Jaisalmer has and ancient history linked with its development as a trading centre. Parts of its "Golden" fort continue to be inhabited, and its cobbled streets head through a journey of medieval enchantment. Jaisalmer is celebrated for the exquisite stone-carved Havelis or mansions of the merchants who held the reins of its destiny.
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This Royal walled city is a part of the desert tourist triangle and lies on the northern tip of the triangle. The city was founded in 1486 AD by the Rathore prince, Rao Bikaji, hence the name Bikaner. Bikaji was son of Rao Jodhaji who had asked his son to establish a kingdom of his own. The challenge was accepted and Bikaji choose the wild country 'Jangaldesh' as his territory and thus the city of Bikaner came into existence.
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The 16th century capital of the Rathore Rajputs, Jodhpur's history is evident in the hilltop Eyrie, Mehrangarh, from where its destiny was written. Narrow paths wind up the steep path, leading to the innards of the Mehrangarh fort. Once within, the architecture is less formidable, with delicate windows and painted chambers. From its ramparts one has a view of the 20th century artdeco Umaid Bhawan Palace.
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Khajuraho's rather isolated location makes it an ideal retreat. The main attraction for tourists is the group of temples, the origin of these temples as well as the history of the Chandela dynasty, during whose era they were built are not fully documented. However it is generally agreed that they were built between 950 A.D. and 1050 A.D and that they numbered no fewer than 85.
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How To Get There

1. Road
A network of reasonably comfortable tourist buses, run by road corporations of Rajasthan, Haryana and others.
2. Rail
An excellent connection to Delhi by Shatabdi Express and the Pink City Express. Other connections to Jaipur are from Bikaner, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Ahemadabad, Secunderabad and Lucknow.
3. Air
Jaipur has its own airport, and is well connected to all other tourist and business centres.

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