Jaipur, Rajasthan

The Pink City

Founded by Jai Sing II in 1727, Jaipur is often referred to as the “Pink City” due to the distinctive color of the buildings. To welcome the Prince of Wales in 1853, the city was painted pink in his honor. Historically, pink has been a cultural symbol of kindness and geniality. In subsequent years, this color is used to continue to welcome tourists to partake in the rich culture and history presented in Jaipur. The City Royal Palace is positioned at the city center. While part of the palace is a museum, the other section remains the residence for members of the current royal family. Select areas of the residence are available for public viewing. City Palace also houses the “Armoury”, where an assortment of weapons are on display. Hawal Mahal  (the “Wind Palace”) is an exquisite edifice that once served as a viewing platform for royal wives. In accordance with local customs of the time, Hawal Palace provided a place where the women could observe festivals taking place on the street below while being obscured from view.

Local Festivals

Jaipur is home to Diwali, the five day Hindu celebration of light which takes place in the fall. This festival celebrates light’s victory over darkness. This victory is celebrated with fireworks, candles and food. In addition, every year Jaipur hosts the Elephant Festival. Elephants have historically played a revered and symbolic role in Indian culture. During the festival, they engage in games of polo, race, and participate in elegant parades of pageantry. While the elephants may be adorned with colorful designs in February or March, January tourists may see the sky speckled with vibrant kites as people from all over the globe participate in multiple competitions throughout the city.

Festivals, history, architecture, and culture are all part of the distinct blend that is the Jaipur experience. This city is an essential stop on your tour of northern India.