The last one of Smitha’s cards pictures some of the main sights in the city of Jaipur. Jaipur is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Rajasthan in Northern India. It was founded on 18 November 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber, after whom the city has been named. The city today has a population of 3.1 million. Jaipur is known as the Pink City of India.
Top left: Jal Mahal (meaning “Water Palace”) is a palace located in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake in Jaipur city. The Jal Mahal palace is considered an architectural beauty built in the Rajput and Mughal styles of architecture (common in Rajasthan) providing a picturesque view of the lake, and the surrounding Nahargarh hills. The palace, built in red sandstone, is a five storied building out of which four floors remain under water when the lake is full and the top floor is exposed.
Top right: City Palace, Jaipur, which includes the Chandra Mahal and Mubarak Mahal palaces and other buildings, is a palace complex in Jaipur. It was the seat of the Maharaja of Jaipur, the head of the Kachwaha Rajput clan. The Chandra Mahal palace now houses a museum but the greatest part of it is still a royal residence. The palace complex incorporates an impressive and vast array of courtyards, gardens and buildings. The palace was built between 1729 and 1732.
Bottom left: Hawa Mahal (“Palace of Winds” or “Palace of the Breeze”), is a palace in Jaipur. It was built in 1798 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh, and designed by Lal Chand Ustad in the form of the crown of Krishna, the Hindu god. Its unique five-storey exterior is also akin to the honeycomb of the beehive with its 953 small windows called jharokhas that are decorated with intricate latticework. The original intention of the lattice was to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life in the street below without being seen, since they had to observe strict “purdah” (face cover). Besides this, the lattice also provides cool air caused by the Venturi effect (doctor breeze) through the intricate pattern and thereby air conditioning the whole area during the high temperatures in summers.
Bottom, in the middle: Raj Palace is Jaipur’s formal royal residence and now functions as a hotel.
Bottom right: The Jantar Mantar is an astronomical observation site built in the early 18th century. It includes a set of some 20 main fixed instruments. This is the most significant, most comprehensive, and the best preserved of India’s historic observatories. It is an expression of the astronomical skills and cosmological concepts of the court of a scholarly prince at the end of the Mughal period. It has been inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.