Courtyard of Palace street in Jaipur, India via Ran Chakrabarti

About a three hour drive east of New Delhi lays the “Pink City” known as Jaipur. Entering the city from the east an old fort wall arises reminding one of India’s ancient days. Hospitality comes as a major cultural component of any Indian metropolis, and Jaipur comes as no exception. No one knows for sure how the trend of terra cotta rose pink painted buildings started. Several theories have been put forth to date. Some say Lord Shiva’s favorite color was pink. Others mention in the 1800’s the Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh asked his subjects to make the city ready for a visit from British royalty. No matter what color the building Jaipur is a city with many unusual and interesting sites.

Tiger Fort in Jaipur, India via www.apcb2012.com/aboutjaipur.html

Tiger Fort or better known as Nahargarh lays on the edge of the hills just north of Jaipur. The palace apartments have survived over the years and the favorite concubines of Madho Singh II lived. Rumors of a royal treasure circulated that for a time even the government spent time digging and looking for it.

                                        Monkey Temple via flickr by  ciamabue

Galta is known as the monkey palace sets with several 250 year old temples placed in a narrow ravine. A spring seeps water into two tanks and at some point in time thousands of macaque monkeys discovered the water source. Monkeys splash and play all hours.

Jantar Mantar via flickr by  Sujal Parikh

Jantar Mantar comes as a World Heritage Site for observations of the night sky. Indians have a history of astronomy accomplishments. The ancient instruments housed here predicted eclipses, tracked stars, and followed planets.

Hawa Mahal via flickr by Jenny Mackness

Hawa Mahal known as Palace of the Winds comes built in the shape of the crown of Krishna. Looking like a grocery aisle tall stack of cans each can like structure has a latticed window each woman of the harem would look out of. She could see the street activity, but no one could see her.

Royalty, harems, art, and unusual architecture make Jaipur a city not to be missed when visiting India.


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