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Jaipur Travel Guide:

Overview
Jaipur also popularly known as the Pink City, is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Rajasthan. During the British rule in India, Jodhpur was the capital of the princely state of Marwar. Founded on 18 November 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber, the city today has a population of more than 3.5 million.
Jaipur is the first planned city of India, located in the semi-desert lands of Rajasthan. The city which once had been the capital of the royalty now is the capital city of Rajasthan. The very structure of Jaipur resembles the taste of the Rajputs and the Royal families. At present, Jaipur is a major business centre with all requisites of a metropolitan city.
The city is remarkable among pre-modern Indian cities for the width and regularity of its streets which are laid out into six sectors separated by broad streets 111 ft (34 m) wide. The urban quarters are further divided by networks of gridded streets. Five quarters wrap around the east, south, and west sides of a central palace quarter, with a sixth quarter immediately to the east. The Palace quarter encloses a sprawling palace complex, (Hawa Mahal), formal gardens, and a small lake. Nahargarh Fort, which was the residence of the King Sawai Jai Singh II, crowns the hill in the northwest corner of the old city. The observatory, Jantar Mantar, is one of the World Heritage Sites. Jaipur is a popular tourist destination in Rajasthan and India.

History
Jaipur was founded in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II who ruled from 1699–1744 and initially his capital was Amber, which lies at a distance of 11 km from Jaipur. He felt the need of shifting his capital city with the increase in population and growing scarcity of water. The King consulted several books on architecture and architects before making the layout of Jaipur. Finally under the architectural guidance of Vidyadar Bhattacharya, (initially an accounts-clerk in the Amber treasury and later promoted to the office of Chief Architect by the King) Jaipur came into existence on the classical basis of principles of Vastu Shastra and similar classical treatise.
After waging several battles with the Marathas, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II was keen on the security aspect of the city. Being a lover of Astronomy, Mathematics and Astrophysics, Jai Singh sought advice from Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, a Brahmin scholar of Bengal, to aid him to design many other buildings including the Royal Palace in the center of the city.

Forts & Monuments
Jaipur has a number of forts and monuments like Hawa Mahal, Amber Fort, Jaigarh Fort, Nahargarh Fort, City Palace, Jantar Mantar, Jal Mahal, Rambagh Palace, Central Museum, (Albert Hall Museum)

Temples
The landscape of Jaipur is doted with numerous temples. One can find temples in almost every street. It is because of the numerous temples, and religiosity among people that it is sometimes also known as Chhoti Kashi. Some of the famous temples in Jaipur include Govind Dev Ji Temple, Galtaji, Birla Temple (also known as Lakshmi Narayan Mandir), Garh Ganesh Temple, Shila Devi Temple in Amber, Chamtkareshwer Mahadev, Panchayati Hall,Radha Govind Ji Temple.

Culture
Jaipur is a hotspot for culture. Cultural Centres like Jawahar Kala Kendra and Ravindra Manch have helped promote the unique culture of the state of Rajasthan. Albert Hall Museum (Government Central Museum) hosts several arts and antiquities. There is a Government Museum at Hawa Mahal, an art gallery at Viratnagar. Jaipur also hosts the Numismatic Section, Directorate. The Town Hall (Old Vidhan Sabha Bhawan) is slated to be converted into a museum. There are figurines depicting various forms of Rajasthani culture along various parts of the city. The city also decorated its flyovers with different interesting themes.

Festivals
A number of festivals are organized in the city at various time of the year. Some of them include Gangaur Festival, Jaipur Literature Festival, Kite festival, Teej festival, Shitla Mata Fair, Chaksu Fair, Elephant Fair.

Air
Jaipur International Airport is situated in its satellite town of Sanganer, at a distance of 10 km from city center and offers sporadic service to major domestic and international locations. The Terminal 1 is used for both international and domestic flights, while Terminal 2 is reserved for domestic carriers. The airport handled 255704 international and 1267876 passengers in 2009-2010. Jaipur Airport also provides air cargo services. The up-gradation of airport has offered improved connectivity and wider choice of services to air travellers, boosting both international tourism and economic development of the region. Frequently, during winter, many flights for Indira Gandhi International Airport are diverted to Jaipur airport due to heavy fog in Delhi.

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