Jaipur: History, Geography, Places to see
Location, Area and Administration of Jaipur:
Planned by Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, Jaipur holds the distinction of being the first planned city of India. In 1876, when the Prince of Wales visited India on a tour, Maharaja Ram Singh of Jaipur painted the entire city pink (colour pink was symbolic of hospitality), the city has since been fondly called as Pink City.
Jaipur the capital & largest city of State of Rajasthan, located at 26.92°N Latitude and 75.82°E Longitude. It is bounded by Alwar and Dausa districts on the east, Sawai Madhopur District on the southeast, Tonk District on the south, Ajmer District on the west, and Nagaur District on the northwest, Sikar District on the north and Haryana state on the extreme northeast.
Jaipur district has an area of 11,152 square kms, which is divided into 16 tehsils including Amber, Bassi, Chaksu, Chomu, Dudu, Jamwa Ramgarh, Phagi, Sambhar, Jaipur,Kishangarh Renwal, Kotputli, Maujamabad, Shahpura, Sanganer, Viratnagar.
UNESCO has labelled Jaipur as City of Crafts.
History of Jaipur:
In ancient history Jaipur makes appearance through Bairath. Bairat’s history goes back to the time of the Mahabharata and Mahabhashya , when it was known as “Viratnagar”. Viratnagar was the capital of Matsya Mahajanapada. The kingdom came under the control of the neighboring Chedi Kingdom in the 5th century BCE and was later part of the Mauryan Empire.
During medieval times, Amber, currently a subdivision of Jaipur, was the predecessor to Jaipur.
Amer(Amber)Rulers: (1036 -1727)
- Raja Dulha Rao / Dhola Rao (1006-36)
- Amber is considered as originally a Meena kingdom, founded by the Chanda Meena king and ruled by Alan Singh (Ralun Singh) of Meena Clan.
- In 1006, Dhola Rai/Dulha Rao married the daughter of Raja Ralhan Singh Chauhan, Raja of Ajmer. Part of the dowry included the region of Dhundhar.
- Raja Dulha Rao expelled the Badd Gujjar Rajputs from Dhundhar and made alliances with the Minas (tribal people) by promising the continuance of their tribal customs, granting them jagirs, and appointing them as kiladars (fort wardens).
- Rao Dulha Rao laid the foundation of Amer in 1036/37.
- It is believed that Raja Dulha Rao was killed in this struggle.
- Raja Kankaldev / Kokil Dev (1036-38)
- Raja Hunadev / Hoondev (1038-53)
- Raja Janaddev(1053 – 1070)
- Raja Pujanadev (1070 – 1084)
- Raja Malesidev (1084 – 1146)
- Raja Beejaldev (1146 – 1179)
- The capital was shifted to Amber, and now rulers called as Raja of Amber.
- Raja Rajdev (1179 – 1216)
- Raja Khilandev (1216 – 1276)
- Raja Kantaldev(1276 – 1317)
- Raja Jansidev(1317 – 1366)
- Raja Udaikarna / Udaykarna (1366 – 1388)
- Raja Narsinhadev(1388 – 1413)
- Raja Banbirsinha(1413 – 1424)
- Raja Udharao (1424 – 1453)
- Raja Chandrasen(1453 – 1502)
- Raja Prithviraj Singh(1502 – 1527)
- Raja Puranmal (1527 – 1534)
- Raja Bhim Singh (1534 – 1537)
- Raja Ratan Singh (1537 – 1548)
- Raja Bharmal (1548 – 1574)
- Gave daughter to Akbar
- Raja Bhagwandas (1574 – 1589)
- Mirza Raja Man Singh I (1589 – 1614)
- Battle of Haldighati – against Maharana Pratap
- Mirza Raja Bhao Singh (1614 – 1621)
- Mirza Raja Jai Singh I (1621 – 1667)
- Aurangzeb deputed him against Maratha king Shivaji – forces treaty of Purander.
- Mirza Raja Ram Singh I (1667 – 1688)
- Mirza Raja Bishan Singh(1688 – 1699)
Rulers of Jaipur: (1727- 1947)
- Mirza Raja Sawai Jai Singh II (1699 – 1743)
- In 1699, given title of Sawai by Aurangzeb.
- Formed marriage alliance with marwar & mewar to expel Mughal out of rajputana.
- However, patch up again, and appointed as governor of Malwa & Agra.
- A 1721, t Mughal emperor Muhammad Shah bestowed upon him the title of Saramad-i-Rajaha-i-Hind
- In 1723, added the titles of Raj Rajeshvar, Shri Rajadhiraj and Maharaja Sawai
- Performed Ashwmedha Yajya & Vajapeya (after centuries)
- Built five astronomical observatories (jantar Mantar) at Delhi, Mathura, Benares, Ujjain & Jaipur.
- In 1727: Laid foundation of Jaipur – designed by Vidhydhar Bhattacharya
- Translated works by people like John Napier.
- Mirza Raja Sawai Ishwari Singh (1743 – 1750)
- Mirza Raja Sawai Madho Singh I (1750 – 1768)
- Was rewarded the fort of Ranthambhore by the Mughal Emperor
- Founder of City Sawai Madhopur
- Got Shaikh Sadi’s Gulistan translated to Sanskrit.
- Freed the Kachhawaha Kingdom from the Maratha
- Mirza Raja Sawai Prithvi Singh II (1768 – 1778)
- Mirza Raja Sawai Pratap Singh (1778 -1803)
- Mirza Raja Sawai Jagat Singh II (1803 – 1818)
- Mohan Singh (regent) (1818 –1819)
- Installed on throne by nobles, but was soon deposed.
- Mirza Raja Sawai Jai Singh III (1819 -1835)
- Mirza Raja Sawai Ram Singh II (1835 -1880)
- Mirza Raja Sawai Madho Singh II (1880 – 1922)
- Mirza Raja Sawai Man Singh II (1922 –1947)
- Adopted Son
- Married Maharani Gayatri Devi
- Rajpramukh of Rajasthan between 1949-1956
Historical Places of Jaipur:
Bairath (Viratnagar) was the capital of the ancient Matsya Mahajanapada. The ruins of the Bijak-ki-pahadi, a Buddhist Chaitya (chapel) from the 3rd century BCE located in Bairat, are the oldest free-standing Buddhist structures in India. The town is also home to ruins of a Buddhist monastery, a wood and timber shrine, and rock-cut edict from Emperor Ashoka; dating from the Mauryan period.
Akabar constructed a mint here and his son Jahangir built a beautiful Mughal garden and a remarkable monument with painted chatris and walls.
Amer Fort is the complex of palaces, halls, pavilions, gardens and temples, which were built by Raja Man Singh, Mirza Raja Jai Singh and Sawai Jai Singh over a period of about two centuries. It is made of red sandstone and white marble and incorporates both Rajput and Mughal architecture.
The palace complex rises from the placid waters of the Mootha lake, which contains Mohan Bari or Kesar Kyari in the center.
Jaipur City Palace:
jaipur City Palace was built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the founder of Jaipur. he palace is a beautiful blend of Mughal and Rajput styles of architecture. The previous royal family continues to reside in one section of the palace. Located within the walls of the City Palace, Chandra Mahal is a seven-storeyed tower. However, the ground and first floors have now been given over for the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum.
In the early 18th century, Maharaja Jai Singh II of Jaipur constructed five Jantar Mantars in total, in New Delhi, Jaipur, Ujjain, Mathura and Varanasi. Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is considered to be the largest of the five astronomical observatories. It contains fourteen geometric devices, designed to measure time, track celestial bodies and observe the orbits of the planets around the sun. The Vrihat Samrat yantra is a sundial that can give the local time to an accuracy of 2 seconds.
The Palace of Wind or Hawa Mahal was constructed in 1799 by the poet-king Sawai Pratap Singh. The five-storied structure is made of pink sandstone and has 356 intricately carved jharokhas (windows). It was designed for the women of the royal family to sit in privacy while observing life on the street.
The northern frontier of Jaipur is fortified by Nahargarh Fort. Situated on a rough crest of the Aravalli range, the fort, which literally means ‘abode of the tigers’, was built in 1734 by Jai Singh to further defend Amber. Later, in 1868, the fort was extended to its present size.Much of the original structures are now in ruins, but the lovely building added by sawai Ram Singh II and Sawai Madho Singh II still survive.
Albert Hall Museum:
The building gets its name from The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the inspiration for its design. The exquisitely built Albert Hall is housed in the centre of Ram Niwas Garden. Sir Swinton Jacob conceptualised and designed it using styles from the Indo-Sarcenic architecture and the Prince of Wales laid the foundation stone of the building in 1876.
It is one of the few military structures of the medieval India preserved almost intact containing palaces, gardens, open and covered reservoirs, a granary, an armoury, a well-planned cannon foundry, several temples, a tall tower and a giant mounted cannon-the Jai Ban – the largest in the country. Jaigarh Fort was built by Sawai Jai Singh II sometime in the early 18th century amidst the arid, rocky and thorn-scrub covered hills.
Jal Mahal is a tiny palace located in the middle of small Man Sagar lake.
Abhaneri is a village about 95 kms from Jaipur, that has stepwell or ‘baoris’ and Harshat Mata Temple.The ruins of the temple also speak of the 10th century architectural and sculptural styles. There is a huge tank named “Chand Baori”, opposite to the temple fortified on all four sides with bastions for defence.
Bagru is located 35 kms away from Jaipur on the Ajmer road leading to Ajmer and is well known for hand block printing on cloth known as Bagru prints. This technique employs a wooden block on which the required design is first carved, and then the carved block is used for transferring the motif in the desired colour onto the fabric. This process is most effective for ethnic floral patterns and for printing in vegetable dyes in traditional Bagru Prints.
Fairs & Festivals of Jaipur:
Gangaur is one of the most important local festivals in Rajasthan. It is celebrated all over Rajasthan in some form or the other. “gan” is a synonym for Lord Shiva and “gauri” or “gaur” stands for Goddess Parvati, the heavenly consort of Lord Shiva. Gangaur celebrates the union of the two and is ol of conjugal and marital happiness. Gangaur is celebrated in the month of chaitra (March-April), the first month of the Hindu calendar. This month marks the end of winter and the onset of spring.
Teej is one of the most widely celebrated festivals of Rajasthan. Swings, traditional songs and dancing are the unique features of Teej celebrations in Rajasthan. On the occasion of Teej, markets in Jaipur are stocked with trendiest women accessories and clothes. Most of the fabric clothes display ‘laheria’ (tie and dye) prints. Sweetshops keep different Teej sweets but ‘Ghevar and Feeni’ is the main sweet of the season. The festivals are dedicated to Parvati, also known as Teej Mata.
Sitala Mata Fair
A large fair is held at Sheel Ki Doongri, Chaksu to propitiate the goddess whose wrath, it is believed, can lead to terrible scourge of smallpox.
Elephant festival is unique to Jaipur and is on the full moon day of Phalgun Purnima which falls in the month of February/March. For this festival, elephants are nicely groomed and clothed with colourful and embroidered velvets rugs and parasols and other heavy ornaments like huge elephant jewellery and anklets decked with bells. Intricate traditional Indian motifs are then painted on their bodies. The festival features Elephant polo and Elephant Dance. However, for first time in many years, the elephant festival was cancelled for two consecutive years, 2012 and 2014, due to protest from the Animal Welfare Board.
Kite festival is celebrated on 14 January as Makar Sankranti – heralding the transition of the sun into the Northern hemisphere.
Geography of Jaipur:
Jaipur is located at an altiude of 1417 ft from sea-level, surrounded by Aravalli hills on 3 sides which safeguards it from the rough desert.
Rivers of Jaipur:
Multiple rivers are found passing through Jaipur including Dhund, Bandi, Banganga, Moral, Sabi, Sakha, Dai, and Masi.
- Sabi (Sahibi) River originates from the eastern slopes of the Saiwar Protected Forest hills in Aravallis and flows through Mansu, Mandawar, Bahrod, Kishangarh and Tihara to drain into Najafgarh lake in Pataudi, Haryana.
- Banganga River originates from the Bairath hills in Jaipur. It passes through Modhapur, Bharatpur and Fatehabad and drains into Yamuna. Jamwa Ramgarh dam has been constructed across the river in Jaipur. The river Banganga has its multiple tributary rivers like Gumti Nala, and Suri rivers on the right side banks and Palasan and Sanwan rivers are on the left bank.
Jaipur has a semi-arid type of climate. Temperatures vary in different seasons. May and June are the hottest months in Jaipur. Temperature reaches up to 40-45oC in these months. Annual rainfall is concentrated in the monsoon months between June (Last of June) and September.
The winter months of November to February are mild and pleasant, with average temperatures in the 15-18oC range and little or no humidity. December and January are the coldest months in Jaipur. Temperature varies between 5-10oC in these months but there are however occasional cold waves.
Natural Places in Jaipur:
Ramgarh Lake & Wildlife Sanctuary:
It is famous for its huge artificial lake created by constructing a high bund amidst tree covered hills. The temple of Jamwa Mata and the ruins of the old fort still reminds of its antiquity. On 31 May, 1982, area surrounding lake has been declared as Jamwa Ramgarh Wildlife Sanctuary. The sanctuary has peacock, langoor, chinkara, nilgai and other fauna.
Nahargarh Biological Sanctuary:
This sanctuary was established in 1980 in area of 50 square kms located between Amer, Nahargarh & Jaigarh fort.
Sambhar is the largest inland salt lake in India. It is also known for holy Devayani tank, beautiful Shakambhari Devi temple, the palace and the nearby ancient town Naliasar. Sambhar lake is also famous for the illusion of water ( mirage ) during noon times. Sambhar lake is now managed by Sambhar Salts Limited, a joint venture of Hindustan Salts and the Government of Rajasthan.
Natural Resources (Minerals) found in Jaipur District:
A variety of minerals are present in the district, namely, Feldspar, quartz, limestone, Mica, Silica sand, China clay, Pyroplite and other minerals such as Cheja Patthar, marble and some minor minerals. A variety of mineral deposits are found in the district of Jaipur district contributing a good amount to the state revenue each year.
Some of these are:
- Copper: promising areas exist near Gol and Badshahpur, Dhanla and Ghati Godyana.
- China clay: One of the finest varieties of china clay occurs at Buchara and Torda.
- Dolomite: 50% production of dolomite for the state comes from Jaipur and Dausa.
- Iron: The iron ore deposits are located mainly at Morija, Rampura, Nayla, Nimla, Raipur, Maonda, Dabla, Bagwas, Tateri and Bania-ka-bas, Lalsot, Ravsola, Bimani.
- Lime stone: Cement grade limestone occurs near Kotputli and Maonda. Impure limestone deposits are widespread and occur near Raori, Nayla, Harori, Nimla and Dabla.
- Soap stone: The best variety occurs at Dogetha-Jharana.
- Silica Sand: Banskhoh and Jhir hills are the main source.
- While, the current population of Jaipur is estimated to be around 80 Lacs, its population, according to census of 2011, was 66,26,178.
- Its population growth rate over the decade 2001-2011 was 26.91%.
- Jaipur has a sex ratio of 909 females for every 1000 males and a literacy rate of 76.44%.
- The district has a population density of 598 inhabitants per square kilometer.