Area : 200.4 sq. km
Population : 2,324,319 (2001)
Altitude : 431 meters above sea level
Languages : Hindi, Rajasthani, English
Best Time to Visit : October to mid-March
STD Code : 0141
Raja Sawai Jai Singh had his capital in Amber, when he felt the need of shifting his capital to another place for the safety of the ever-increasing population and growing scarcity of water. In the eighteenth century, he finally built Jaipur. It was also the time when the glory of Mughal Empire was on its decline. Jaipur became the first planned city of India, which was designed by a brilliant Bengali architect who was well versed in his area of study and was known as Vidyadhar Bhattacharya. The city was planned on the edicts of the ancient Hindu treatise on Indian architecture, Shilpa Shastra. The city was planned in a grid system and boasts of wide and straight avenues and roads that are arranged dexterously in nine rectangular city sectors. As a safety measure against any possible invasions, the city was enveloped with the fortification walls with seven gates. Tourists find it astonishing that the whole city was painted in autumn pink by the then sovereign of the city to welcome his distinguished guest, the Prince of Wales in 1876.
There are different versions to the reason why the pink was chosen as the color for the city. If we believe the local fables, some people say that when the ambassadors of Prince of Wales visited the city prior to his visit, some simpleton insultingly called them the 'pink-faced monkey', as a result of the contempt for the British that had India under their clutches. To make up for his rashness and as a diplomatic tact, Raja and his ministers maintained that the person had called them so in reverence, as the 'monkey' was worshipped in the region as 'Hanuman' and pink was the sacred color of the region. To give conviction to their seemingly improbable reason they painted the city pink on the Prince's arrival. Others maintain that city was painted pink merely because the contractor was unable to supply any other color in such huge quantities that were needed to paint the whole city! Since then the pink color has been associated with hospitality in Jaipur and Rajput culture.
Climate of Jaipur is extreme with hot and humid summers and chilly winters. Maximum temperatureduring the summers (from April to July) reaches a high of around 45ºC. On the other hand winters have sunny and pleasant days and bitterly cold nights. Temperature can touch a low of around 5ºC, mostly during the nights. Major problems in the winter are fog that envelops the city in the evening. If you are planning to visit Jaipur in summers, bring with you light cotton clothes. Light woolen clothes during would do the needful in the winters. Monsoon starts in the third week of July, but the state does not experience much of rainy days.
How to get there
Air : Jaipur is connected by air to Delhi, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Aurangabad, Mumbai, Calcutta and Ahmedabad.
Rail : An excellent connection from Delhi is the Shatabdi Express which provides a fast, air-conditioned rail service. Other connections to Jaipur are from Bikaner, Jodhpur, Udaipur, Ahmedabad, Secunderabad, Agra, Lucknow, Chennai (Madras), Jammu Tawi, Mumbai and Calcutta.
Road : A convenient mode of travel to Jaipur is by road through a network of comfortable tourist buses. Rajasthan State Road Transport Corporation runs an excellent regular service of AC and Deluxe coaches from Delhi (from Bikaner House, Pandara Road and Sarai Kale Khan).