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iXiGOers Dec 09 2012

What is the history of Jaipur?

Aloke Bajpai DEC 10 2012
0 people found this answer useful Useful ?Yes

The history of the pink city opens the same number of windows as the Hawa Mahal. Jaipur, the Pink City was built in the eighteenth century by Sawai Jai Singh as India's first planned city. Isn’t that amazing?

The city is often called the Pink City in reference to its distinctly coloured buildings, which were originally painted this color to imitate the red sandstone architecture of Mughal cities while the present earthy red color originates from repainting of the buildings undertaken for a visit by the Prince of Wales in 1876.

Jaipur received its name from its founder Maharaja Jai Singh II (1693-1744) who came to power at the age of 11 on the death of his father Maharaja Bishan Singh. Jai Singh’s lineage can be traced back to the Kucchwaha Rajput who built the magnificent Amber Fort and their might spread to beyond the present day Jaipur, encompassing the kingdoms of Mewar (Udaipur) and Marwar (Jodhpur). At that time, the might of the Mughal empire was at its peak and recognizing it, the Kucchwahas aligned themselves with the Mughals.

After Jai Singh’s death in 1744, his sons squabbled for power and the kingdom became open to invasion and neighboring Rajput states and the Marathas usurped large areas of kingdom. As with the Mughals, Jaipur maintained good relations with the British and during the war of independence in 1857 remained loyal to the Raj. In 1876, Maharaja Ram Singh did something that earned Jaipur its sobriquet. He painted the entire city pink, traditionally a color associated with hospitality, to welcome the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) to the city.


The construction of the city started in 1727 taking around 4 years to complete the major palaces, roads and square. The city was built following the principles of Shilpa Shastra, the science of Indian Architecture. The city was divided into nine blocks, of which two consist the state buildings and palaces, with the remaining seven allotted to the public. Huge fortification walls were built along with seven strong gates.


The tradition of the city’s color has been maintained and today all residents in the old city are compelled by law to preserve the pink color. Maharaja Ram Singh also built the Ramgarh Lake to supply water to the burgeoning city. After independence, Jaipur merged with the states of Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Bikaner to become the greater Rajasthan union. Man Singh II was bestowed with the title of Rajpramukh and given charge of the new province .The title was later revoked and in 1956, Jaipur became the capital of the state of Rajasthan.


The history has deep roots not only in every wall of the city but also in every heart that resides in this beautiful pink splendor. The royal culture of the city is well understood through the rich heritage that the city boasts of. The traditional fairs and festivals such as Pushkar are not only international today but also showcase the culture of the city in its most extravagant way.


Looking at all this, you might conclude that the history of the city well imbibed in everybody’s heart still lives in all its glory. When we talk of Jaipur, it is not incorrect to say that the Past is the Present!


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