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Amber Fort – a fortified palace, which was built in 1592 by Maharaja Singh I. Amber, pronounced as Amer, was the ancient capital of Jaipur.
Amber Fort is one of the best fortified facilities in India. Fort stands on the side of a hill, 11 km from the city, and its walls are reflected in the lake Moati. Tourists can get to the fort by their own feet or rent a jeep. If you want something special, you can go to the fort riding on an elephant.
First courtyard inside the fort is called Dzhaleb Chowk, there are numerous souvenir shops. Next is the Shila Devi, temple dedicated to the goddess of war – Kali. To the right of the Kali temple is a hall for public audiences, huge opened terraces which are often full of wild monkeys. Further into the temple is Pleasure hall, it is next to the third courtyard of the fort, in which there is a channel, once used as a water reservoir. Jai Mandir temple is located next to the rests of the Maharaja’ chambers, this temple offers a beautiful view of the entire fort and fascinating lake.
The towers and domes of the palace call to mind the image of the children’s fairy tales. The architecture of the palace bears traces of the Hindu and Muslim influence. There also remains the largest in Asia gun that fired only once during the test.
Dzhaygarh Fort – one of the best preserved forts in Rajasthan, guarding the ancient capital of Amber from enemies. It was built in 1726 to strengthen the protection of the city. Technically, Amber Fort and Dzhaygarh are two parts of a single system of fortification. Amber fort was a residence of Rajas, where receptions, parades and celebrations were held. Fort Dzhaygarh was associated with it by means of a system of underground tunnels and a refuge, where Raja was hiding in case of danger.
Placed on a rock, Fort Dzhaygarh provides incredible visibility, and at the same time he looks incredibly beautiful against the blue sky. It remained gunsmith, which produced artillery and is a local legend – the world’s largest cannon on wheels Dzhayvan, cast in 1726.
Nahagarh Fort (Tiger Fort) is one of the attractions of the pink city, which lies about 6 km from the City Palace. Fort is located on a mountain top in a thick forest and is a brilliant example of classical architecture of fortification. It is famous for araisha – moldings, polished by agate marble surface to the state. It offers a magnificent view of the city, the lake Man Sagar and the suburb.
Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) is one of the visiting cards of Jaipur – five-tiered harem part of the Palace of winds, built in 1799 of pink sandstone in the shape of the crown of Krishna. Palace was built in classic Indian style so that wives could watch the whole city, so now it offers an amazing view of Jaipur. Another feature of the Hawa Mahal is the constant maintaining of cool temperatures made possible by the 953 special pink windows. Hence the nickname – “Palace of Winds”. This is one of the most famous monuments of Rajput architecture.
Near the palace is a garden – Jai Niva. Its lawns and fountains are pulled in the direction of the famous temple Govindjee. Garden looks great against the massive hill, from one sideof which is visible Naharhark fortress, and with another – Ganesha temple. Antique carpets in the halls of the palace are strewn with leaves, replacing naphthalene. The walls inside are decorated with portraits of the Jaipur multiple princes.
Jal Mahal Palace (Palace on the water) is right in the middle of a small lake in a few kilometers away from the city of Jaipur. But is it always been so? Legend says that in ancient times the Jal Mahal was the country residence of the governor of the state of Rajasthan. Located in a beautiful valley near the city of Jaipur, the palace was striking with its beauty and grandeur. Its exquisite carved balconies and arched roofs are a shining example of Indo-Islamic architecture style. Once in the country was a severe drought, which caused a famine. Thousands of people died from lack of food. The governor has ordered to block the valley, the site where was his palace, by the dam. Gradually deepening filled with water, which in dry years was used for irrigation of fields. So, Jal Mahal, which turned out in the middle of an artificial lake, got its present name “Palace on the water.”
Its walls look great against the shimmering green waters of the lake Man Sagar. Palace seems a giant iceberg, still frozen in the middle of the lake. Its first four floors are hidden under the water. During migration of birds the Palace attracts not only lovers of antiquities, but ornithologists. Prior to Jal Mahal Palace is only accessible by boat, but the tourists there do not carry. Usually the travelers are limited by walk around the lakes on the back of elephants.
At the entrance to the City Palace is the Jantar Mantar observatory, built by Sawai Jai Singh II, the last great astronomer-king in India. Modernistic structures known as ‘yantras’ are the unique creations of this astronomer-king, designed by him and built to monitor the movement of the sun, moon, planets and stars.
Jantar Mantar is the largest of the five observatories, founded in 1716 AD. Its massive masonry tools can be used to measure the local time, the declination of the sun, azimuth and height, slope of the fixed stars and planets, as well as identify the eclipse of the sun.
This unique observatory is still one of the most accuracy in Asia, and certainly one of the most interesting: columns, spheres, bronze discs – you need to be imaginative, to present all this astronomical instruments, many of which are exact replicas of Samarkand. They allow, with a high accuracy for that time, to determine the position of the stars on the celestial sphere. This information was necessary first of all astrologers, to make a forecast for the Maharaja and his entourage. Sundials are inscribed in the Guinness Book of Records as the most accurate sundial of the planet. They show time with accuracy in 2 seconds.
Birla Mandir, also known as the Lakshmi Narayan Temple, is located in the south of Jaipur. The temple was built by Birla family, famous industrial family in India. This Hindu temple is very bright and beautiful.
As the name implies, the main deity of the temple – Vishnu and his consort Lakshmi, but in the temple are also other gods – Shiva, Durga, Ganesha and Hanuman. Near Birla Mandir is a small landscaped park, where there is a small temple of Lord Shiva in the form of a cave with shivalingam inside. During the celebration of Maha Shivaratri is where the main festivities take place.
To get to this temple, foreign visitors are urged to remove their shoes and coats in a small side room. And only then the are allowed to climb the stairs up to the shrine of Lakshmi.
On the left side of the Birla Mandir (when facing the temple) is a small Buddhist temple in the Sri Lankan tradition.
Jaipur, known as the “Pink City”, because of the unusual color of the stone used in construction, was built in 1727, by the Maharaja Jai Singh II. The project of a young Bengali architect Vidhiadhara Bhattacharya has been developed in accordance with the ancient Indian treatise on architecture. It was the only time in the Indian history when the city was with a rectangular layout. The entire Jaipur, surrounded by walls, which protected from enemy troops and wild animals, is divided into nine rectangular sectors.
Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II for his intelligence and talent has been called “Sawai” which means “miracle” and had a remarkable knowledge of mathematics, history and architecture. Jai Singh and renowned urban planner Vidhiadhar planned the city on the ancient building Shastri (canons). One of the secret plans of Jai Singh, a city planner, was to create a city, occupying the rest of its ideal layout. The entire city with a whole view of the large rectangle, divided into quarters. The three major thoroughfares are intersected by many other streets, but always at the right angle and at regular distances, forming a large open area. The main means of achieving integrity of development of Jaipur are the use of the same forms of cornice, arches, domes, bay window. The width of the main highways – 33 m, secondary – 16 m. The city is surrounded by a stone 6 m high wall, 3 meters thick. Eight fortress gates once served as the entrance to the city.
Many city’s Avenue are brightly colored, it’s a tradition that dates back to the 19th century, when the government adorned the town square to welcome royal guests. Over the 19th century the city expanded, and has become a regional center of education, technology, finance and banking. Today, modern universities and technical centers contribute to Jaipur to be the center of national commerce. Jaipur also includes many natural features, including mountain ranges, a Jain pilgrimage sites, temples and prominent Hindi National Parks.