Jaipur is the capital of India’s Rajasthan state. It evokes the royal family that once ruled the region and that, in 1727, founded what is now called the Old City, or “Pink City” for its trademark building color. At the center of its stately street grid (notable in India) stands the opulent, colonnaded City Palace complex. With gardens, courtyards and museums, part of it is still a royal residence.
Culture and history info
The city of Jaipur was founded in 1727 by Jai Singh II, the King of Amer who ruled from 1699 to 1743. He planned to shift his capital from Amer, 11 kilometres (7 mi) to Jaipur to accommodate the growing population and increasing scarcity of water. Jai Singh consulted several books on architecture and architects while planning the layout of Jaipur. Under the architectural guidance of Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, Jaipur was planned based on the principles of Vastu Shastra and Shilpa Shastra. The construction of the city began in 1726 and took four years to complete the major roads, offices, and palaces. The city was divided into nine blocks, two of which contained the state buildings and palaces, with the remaining seven allotted to the public. Huge ramparts were built, pierced by seven fortified gates.
During the rule of Sawai Ram Singh I, the city was painted pink to welcome HRH Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (who later became King Edward VII, Emperor of India), in 1876. Many of the avenues remained painted in pink, giving Jaipur a distinctive appearance and the epithet Pink city.
In the 19th century, the city grew rapidly and by 1900 it had a population of 160,000. The wide boulevards were paved and its chief industries were the working of metals and marble, fostered by a school of art founded in 1868. The city had three colleges, including a Sanskrit college (1865) and a girls' school (1867) opened during the reign of the Maharaja Ram Singh II.
Large areas of the city including the airport were flooded in August 1981, resulting in the death of eight people and much damage to the city's Dravyavati River. The floods were caused by three days of cloud burst that produced more rain than the annual average.
Jaipur has many cultural sites like Jawahar Kala Kendra formed by Architect Charles Correa and Ravindra Manch. Government Central Museum hosts several arts and antiquities. There is a government museum at Hawa Mahal and an art gallery at Viratnagar. There are statues depicting Rajasthani culture around the city. Jaipur has many traditional shops selling antiques and handicrafts, as well as contemporary brands reviving traditional techniques, such as Anokhi. The prior rulers of Jaipur patronised a number of arts and crafts. They invited skilled artisans, artists and craftsmen from India and abroad who settled in the city. Some of the crafts include bandhani, block printing, stone carving and sculpture, tarkashi, zari, gota-patti, kinari and zardozi, silver jewellery, gems, kundan, meenakari and jewellery, Lakh ki Chudiya, miniature paintings, blue pottery, ivory carving, shellac work and leather ware.
Jaipur has its own performing arts. The Jaipur Gharana for Kathak is one of the three gharanas of the major north Indian classical dance form of Kathak. The Jaipur Gharana of Kathak is known for its rapid intricate dance forms, vivacious body movements and subtle Abhinaya. The Ghoomar is a popular folk dance style. Tamasha is an art form where Kathputli puppet dance is shown in play form. Major festivals celebrated in Jaipur include Elephant Festival, Gangaur, Makar Sankranti, Holi, Diwali, Vijayadashami, Teej, Eid, Mahavir Jayanti and Christmas. Jaipur is also famous for the Jaipur Literature Festival, the world's largest free literature festival in which country-wide authors, writers and literature lovers participate.