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About Jaipur, India

Jaipur serves as the capital of Rajasthan, Land of the Kings, ancestral home of the Rajputs, warrior-princes who built many forts, palaces and temples throughout this land. Their presence and influence is visible in the many constructions that remain today, as well as in the colorful and stylish turbans and long, fanciful moustaches worn by many of the men. Jaipur is known as the "Pink City," a reference to the old walled town in the northeast section of the city. Maharaja Jai Singh II, a great warrior and astronomer, decided in 1727 to move from his hillside fort to a new location on the nearby plains. He had the city built according to ancient Hindu writings on architecture, with wide streets and neat rectangular blocks that persist today. The walls and buildings have remained pink since they were painted in the mid-1800s to signify hospitality to a visiting British royal. Jai Singh was also responsible for Jantar Mantar, an observatory begun in 1728 that remains one of the city's principal attractions. Another is the Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds), built in 1799 with nearly 600 finely screened windows and balconies that allowed the ladies of the court to be unobserved while watching the people and processions of the city. The City Palace is still home to the royal family, but parts of the complex house the Sawai Man Singh Museum, which boasts large collections of textiles, royal costumes, musical instruments and weapons. South of the Pink City are the Ram Niwas Public Gardens and Albert Hall Museum, known for its collection of folk arts and models illustrating many yoga postures. Several bazaars are found in the old city, including the Johari Bazaar for silver and gems. Jaipur bazaars are known for handcrafts, jewelry, gemstones and embroidered textiles. Many restaurants are found in the newer part of town, along Mirza Ismail (MI) and Station Roads.
Jaipur, India Factoid
The Hawa Mahal is a unique, honeycomb-like structure situated in the heart of Jaipur's Old City. What makes this building distinctive, other than its facade, is that its purpose was to allow ladies to observe processions on the streets below without being seen. This large, colorful palace complex was never intended to be a residential building, as evidenced by the many windows and screened in balconies and the lack of ornamentation on its opposite side.

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