The Old City
- Old City
Lonely Planet review for The Old City
The Pink City is partially encircled by a crenellated, battle-scarred wall, and the major gates of Chandpol, Ajmer and Sanganeri have been carefully restored. The entire city is a feat of town planning; the Old City is still loosely divided into traditional artisans' quarters. Avenues divide it into neat rectangles, each one specialising in different crafts: the main bazaars are Johari Bazaar, Tripolia Bazaar, Bapu Bazaar and Chandpol Bazaar.
At sunset, the buildings bask in a magical pink and gold glow.
Jaipur owes its name, foundation and planning to the great warrior-astronomer Maharaja Jai Singh II (1693-1743). In 1727, with Mughal power on the wane, Jai Singh decided the time was right to move from his cramped hillside fort at nearby Amber. He laid out the city, with its surrounding walls and rectangular blocks, according to principles set down in the Shilpa-Shastra, an ancient Hindu architectural treatise. In 1728 he built Jantar Mantar, Jaipur's remarkable observatory.
In 1876, Maharaja Ram Singh had the entire old city painted pink, a colour associated with hospitality, to welcome the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), and the tradition has been maintained - the current maharaja is a great polo chum of Britain's Prince Charles.