To much delight, the mesmerizing walled city of Jaipur has been inducted as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) had proposed the grant of such status to UNESCO in 2015 and since then the proposal had been under consideration.
The organization presented the World Heritage certificate to the representatives of the Rajasthan Government at Albert Hall in Jaipur itself. Azoulay the Director-General of UNESCO claimed: “Jaipur is already an iconic city because of its heritage and has a special place in the world. This inscription goes even further and is a joint commitment to protect and preserve this cultural heritage for the future”.
THE CITY OF WALLS:
The city of Jaipur was founded by Sawai Jai Singh in the year 1727 and is the second Indian city to feature in this prestigious list (the first one being Ahmedabad). The royal capital of the state of Rajasthan has been luring visitors from across the globe for decades with its great cultural riches. The magnificent architecture and the aura of royalty this city boasts of is worth sightseeing.
The most astonishing fact of the city is that it’s a planned city and in fact the first planned city of India. The blueprint for Jaipur was made after extensive studying urban planning of European cities. The vision Maharaja Jai Singh II held was brought to life by Vidyadhar Bhattacharya the architecture of the city.
The design was made keeping in mind the Shilpa Shashtra and Vastu Shashtra to make sure that the residential, as well as commercial buildings, receive breeze and natural light. Jaipur is also frequently referred to as the ‘Pink City’ because in 1876 when Prince of Wales was visiting, the entire city was ordered to be painted in the color pink by Maharaja Ram Singh in Prince’s honor.
MUST VISIT PLACES:
Jaipur is filled with sightseeing options often leaving a tourist with an extensive list of places to visit and enjoy. You temples that co-exist with mosques, the Doll Museum, the Indo-Saracenic architecture of Albert Hall Museum (1876), the Jawahar Kala Kendra that hosts art and crafts exhibitions, and also the Gems and Jewellery Museum to stop by at.
It’s not feasible to cover each and every sightseeing spot in the city considering a large number of places but one could surely visit certain must-visit places that will make the trip worthwhile. The first go-to place is the City Palace of Jaipur that has been home to the royalty of the city since the first half of the 18th century. The palace’s architecture showcases a brilliant amalgamation of Rajput and Mughal styles of architecture.
Second place on the list is the famous Jantar Manar – an observatory that was built between the 1728-1734 and currently houses 19 astronomical instruments. The iconic Hawa Mahal built by Pratap Singh in 1799 is also a must-visit site. The pink facade of Hawa Mahal makes it a lovely backdrop for your vacation album.
You can have to make a visit to the Jal Mahal which a seven-storied palace that remains partly immersed in water often giving an impression of a floating palace to one’s eyes. The palace was built in the mid-18th century and was used by royalty primarily for duck shooting games. At present, one can find 84 species of bids which is inclusive of 72 species migratory birds making it a paradise for any birdwatcher and nature lover.
Apart from being a home to numerous forts and temples, Jaipur’s markets and streets leave with the unrivaled shopping experience. Firstly, the market is highly organized with each lane or street being dedicated to only one craft or business. Since the lanes are named after the economic activity that is prevalent there it becomes extremely easy to locate the lanes making the experience hassle-free. Another good news for shoppers is that the markets and shops have been numbered according to city planning.
Secondly, the varied items you get its priceless, from traditional textiles and embroidery to gems and jewelry one can find everything in these colorful markets. The products even range to blue pottery, blankets, crafts, and eatables. If one loves to take back souvenirs from their trips or gifts for your close ones, Jaipur’s markets are just the right place. From traditional handicrafts, traditional fabric like tie and die to Rajasthani puppets you can find everything thing.
Being a shoppers paradise, the markets are always bustling with buyers from around the globe in any given season. Considering the range of things one can buy here, it’s very easy to get carried away and shop till you actually drop. However, if such a case does arise the stores even arrange for delivering the bags to your homes. What more can we ask for?
READ MORE: ITALY’S 16 BEAUTIFUL UNESCO SITES
STAY AND FOOD:
Accommodation in Jaipur is quite varied, one can find an option for all categories and budgets. However to have a lavish experience, heritage hotels like the Oberoi Rajvilas, the Taj Rambagh Palace, etc. are recommended as the most popular options. Though one thing should be kept mind while looking for the perfect accommodation other than your budget and that is how close it is to the itinerary one has prepped. It’s wouldn’t be a pleasant trip if most of the part of the day is spent on commuting from and to your hotel.
Food is the closest representation of any culture and Rajasthani is a great example of this. A heaven for foodies, the Pink City offers you an entire spectrum starting from a set of traditional royal recipes if one happens to visit the Suvarna Mahal Restaurant at Taj Rambagh Palace or 1135 AD in Amber Fort. One also gets savor the varied street foods available and those with a sweet tooth can delight themselves with the famous ghevar.
Mouthwatering, dalbaati-choorma the quintessential traditional Rajasthani dish is easily available in most of the eateries and is a must-try dish. Also, the city hosts cozy cafes and trendy bars with rooftop restaurants to spoil one for choices. Being the capital city of the state, you can also find a little tweak in the traditional recipes to make them suit the international palette in some eateries.
BEYOND THE PINK CITY:
Nearby the city if one happens to have the time to travel a little, you may visit the three elegant and beautiful forts of Amber, Jaigarh, and Nahargarh. The fort of Amber happens to be another UNESCO site and was built by Man Singh 1 in 1592. The fort houses a beautiful Sheesh Mahal within its complex. Built on a high hillock the hike to the fort gives you mesmerizing views, however elephant ride to the fort is also an option.
The nearby Jaigarh fort is supposedly connected to the fort of Amber through a secret passage and the fortress in Jaigarh currently houses the world’s largest cannon on wheels that is the 50-tonne Jaivana. The cannon has only been used once to date. The name Jaigarh comes from the king Jai Singh II who commissioned the fort in 1726, also the name of the fortress stands to be a perfect fit because the fort of Jaigarh has never been conquered.
Nahargarh – the abode of tigers, fort along with the forts of Amber and Jaigarh form the defense ring of Jaipur. Standing on the edge of Aravali range, this fort originally was named Sudarshangarh. The fort was later renamed presumably after Nahar Singh Bhomia, whose spirit as per the prevalent tale haunted the region and obstructed the construction. Only after a temple devoted to him was built within the fort’s premises the construction could resume.
In all, the walled city of Jaipur is full of wonderments, tales, tradition, culture, and color. If planning a trip nearby the city, Jaipur is a must-visit place that will surely never disappoint you. However, it is recommended to visit in any season other than summers considering the sun is a little harsh here.
Hope you enjoy the article “THE WALLED CITY OF JAIPUR A NEW UNESCO SITE” stay tuned for more updates.