Poet king Sawai Pratap Singh built this palace of winds. This is the most easily recalled landmarks of Jaipur and is also its icon. Located in the city Palace it is best viewed from the outside for the palace is really a facade. This five-storey building overlooking the busy bazaar street is a stunning example of Rajput architecture and artistry with its pink delicately honeycombed 953 sandstone windows known as ‘jharokhas’. It was originally built for the ladies of the royal household to watch everyday life and processions in the city from their veiled comfort.
Most people come here to get a view of the facade but they can also climb to the top for a wonderful view from the latticed windows. There is also a small archaeological museum there. Entry to foreigners/citizen is Rs 30/10.
The Jaigarh fort is the most spectacular of the three-hilltop forts that overlook Jaipur. In Mughal times, the Jaipur region was a major weapon-producing centre for the Mughal and Rajput rulers, several of which are on display in the fort’s museum. 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 Jai Ban (Jaivan) which is the largest cannon in the world. Jaigarh Fort is also known as the fort of victory. The display includes a collection of canons, many of which are exquisitely decorated and were used in the Mughal campaigns led by the Rajput King, Raja Man Singh.
Of the Jaipur’s three forts, Jaigarh is perhaps the most motivating. It does not have those delicate structures or palaces like that of Amber but if you want a quick look at a hard-core fortress, this is it. Jaigarh means `Victory Fort’ and was built between the 15th and the 18th century, and stands 15 km from Jaipur, amidst rock-strewn, thorn-scrub covered hills, its forbidding stone ramparts are visible from the Jaipur town. A steep road goes up to the main gate, the Dungar Darwaza, from where the view is stupendous.
It was the royal treasury for several years. It was one of the few ancient Indian military structures to be kept intact through the ages. There are passageways among the palaces and you can see a collection of coins and puppets. This fort is open to public since a few years only. It was sealed for seven years, due to a rumour, that an enormous treasure in gold was buried, in the fort area. The government ransacked the fort, emptied the reservoirs of water but found nothing.
Jaigarh was once responsible for the security of both Jaipur and Amber, is a huge moated fort and contains all the accoutrements of a full-fledged citadel. 1 � or 2 hours are usually enough to explore it- don’t bother taking a guide; there isn’t much use for one, and sections like the armoury and the museum have adequate signs.
Entrance fee to Jaigarh is Rs. 20 for foreign tourists and Rs 10 for Indian tourists.
Nahargarh Fort is located on the sheer rugged ridge of Aravali Hills and it forms an impressive northern backdrop of Jaipur. It looks most classy when floodlit at night. The fort overlooks the city and presents a glittering view of the city lights. It was built in 1734 and extended in 1868. Nahargarh meaning abode of the tigers was built by Jai Singh to bolster the defence of Amber. The legend also have it that it was named Nahargarh after Nahar Singh a prince whose spirit would destroy the construction and not allow its progress further. So after a tantrik prayer to the spirit it agreed to leave on condition that the fort is named after him. The Madhavendra Bhawan, built by Sawai Ram Singh II has uniquely a cluster of 12 identical suits for queens and at the head is a suit for the king himself. The rooms are linked by corridors and retain some delicate frescos as well as toilets and kitchen hearths. It was used by members of the royal family for excursion in summers and is now even a favoured picnic spot. Durg Cafeteria just above the entrance sells meals and refreshments, while Padao Restaurant on the west sells drinks around sunset.
NAmber (pronounced Amer) is situated about 11 kilometres from Jaipur and was the ancient citadel of the ruling Kachhawa clan of Amber, before the capital was shifted in the plains to present day Jaipur.
The Amber Fort set in picturesque and rugged hills is a fascinating blend of Hindu and Mughal architecture. Constructed by Raja Man Singh I in 1592 and completed by Sawai Jai Singh I the fort is made in red sand stone and white marble. The rugged forbidding exterior belies an inner paradise with a beautiful fusion of art and architecture. Amber is the classic and romantic fort- palace with a magnificent aura. The interior wall of the palace depicts expressive painting scenes with carvings, precious stones and mirror settings. In the foreground is the Maota Lake providing a breathtaking look. Built mainly for the warring enemies as a safe place, the heavily structured walls could defend the residents within the ramparts of the fort.
All the means of survival & luxuries for the royal families and the people who were concerned with the functioning of this small kingdom of the Kachhawas were well provided. The Rajputs who had apparently won a small structure passed on by Meena tribes, later on renovated it into the grand Amber Fort. Holding a history so old as 7 centuries, this place vibrates with its legendry past, in the archaeological history. Although many of the early structures have been literally ruined but at the same time, those dating from the 16th century on are remarkably preserved by sincere efforts.
Located just outside the walled city is the sprawling Ram Niwas garden, which has always been a place for recreational activities since the reign of Sawai Ram Singh ji . This exquisitely designed garden with forcentry doors and a huge complex with small pools and fountains, flourishing lawns and beautiful flower beds all around was basically a famine relief project. It mostly attracted the British families where they entertained their guest and families quite often with the lavish gowns of the Men and formal colourful attires of the nobels and the high society club members, this park would come alive with the setting sun. Their individual ‘BAGGIS’ were parked outside in a line and the attendants served around as helpers. The children basically had a gala timely playing around in ‘JHULAS’(swing) etc. During day time it was opened for the common public and by the evening it was opened for common public and by the evening it was available for exclusive lots.
Situated in the middle of the garden as a centre attraction was the exquisitely built structure of Albert Hall, which was designed by sir Swinton Jacob, a British architect who designed many palaces in Rajasthan. Combining the elements of English and north Indian architecture known as the pride of the New Jaipur opened in 1887 AD, it is a very well maintained and impressive building displaying a rich collection of Art- de- fact like paintings, carpet, ivory, stone and metal sculptures and colourful crystal works etc. Just opposite the Albert Hall is one of the oldest ZOO in the country, harbouring different species of birds and animals. Another piece of attraction near the Albert Hall, is the Ravindra Rang Manch (theatre) with a modern art gallery and an performing art theatre both indoor and open air. Recently added joints of interest are streets dotted with food stalls which promises a delicious variety of Indian fast food certainly relished by the tourists.
This is a traffic roundabout In Jaipur. The Statue Circle is not only the most famed circle but the most swarmly situated too. Almost half the Jaipur passes by it. It is the favourite lounge of Jaipur and a place for evening out, with’Meals on Wheels’ standing by. Strangely it acquires its name of statue circle after its figurine rather than the grand Sawai Jai Singh the founder of modern day Jaipur. His statue stands in full imperial symbols of staff and Jai Singh is made out to be holding out astrological diagrams to exemplify his proclivity for astrology. The memorial is be fitting to the great sovereign, builder and futurist. The lighting and the colourful fountains cheer up the roundabout and its surrounds.