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Photographer's Note

Jaipur's signature building, the Hawa Mahal, a multi layered palace, was built by Sawai Pratap Singh (grand son of Sawai Jai Singh and son of Sawai Madhoo Singh) in 1799 AD and Mr. Lal Chand Usta was the architect. Famous for it's beehive like structure, the Hawa Mahal is an interplay of red and pink sand stone, carefully and painstakingly outlined with white borders and motifs. The palaces and forts of yesteryears, which were witness to the royal processions and splendours are now living monuments, accepted quite naturally into the lifestyle of the people of the "Pink City" Jaipur.

About Jaipur:

Jaipur, the vibrant capital of Rajasthan, is popularly known as the 'pink city' because of the pink-coloured buildings in its old city. It sits on a dry lake bed in a somewhat arid landscape, surrounded by barren hills sur-mounted by forts and crenellated walls. This buzzing metropolis is certainly a place of wild contrasts and a veritable feast for the eyes. Vegetable laden camel carts thread their way through streets jam-packed with cars, rickshaws, bicycles, tempos, motorbikes, and pedestrians frantically dodging the chaotic traffic. Traditionally dressed Rajput men sporting bright turbans and swashbuckling moustaches discuss village politics outside restaurants serving spaghetti Bolognese and American ice cream sodas.

History:

The city owes its name,its foundation and its careful planning to the great warrior and astronomer Maharaja Jai Singh II (1693-1743). His predecessors had enjoyed good relations with the Mughals and Jai Singh was careful to preserve this alliance.

In 1727, with Mughal power on the wane, Jai Singh decided the time was ripe to move down from his somewhat cramped hillside fort at nearby Amber to a new site on the plains. He laid out the city, with its surrounding walls and six rectangular blocks, according to principles of town planning set down in the Shilpa-Shastra, an ancient Hindu treatise on architecture. In 1728, he built the remarkable observatory (Jantar Mantar) which is still one of Jaipur's main attractions.

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Additional Photos by Alp Capa (ArcapA) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 30 W: 7 N: 72] (297)
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