The Pink City of India

275 The Pink City of IndiaThe Pink City of India: This is the town of Jai Singh XII and it was named after him. As far as I know, the name itself means “the Town of Victory”. (If I am mistaken, accept my sincere apologies.)  Maybe you’re asking yourselves why it is called the pink city. It’s because the buildings were painted pink in 1876 before the visit of the Welsh Prince to India. Pink was the colour of hospitality under the reign of the Rajputs.

The town was built according to astrological signs and its construction started on a certain date in 1727 following the astrological estimation of the most suitable period for a new beginning. The city plan was based on mandala (it is a symbol, both a spiritual and ritual, in the religion in India) and the royal residence lies in the centre. It was placed at an angle of 12° to the “Lion” constellation which is the astrologic sign of the dynasty. The city streets are wide and they intersect at a right angle and thus nine rectangular residential complexes are formed and they represent the nine sections if the Universe.

The most popular and the most photographed tourist site is Hawa Mahal (the Palace of Winds). The 5-storey building is like a site from “1001 Nights”. Another notable place is the that of the last Mahārāja. It’s his home and a museum at the same time. If you happen to visit it you will have a tour during which you will see his chariots and guns, pictures and sets of plates and glasses, etc., and other artifacts and belongings gathered from all over the world by him and his forefathers. His bedroom could be visited against a “small” sum of money while you could have dinner with the Mahārāja himself against even a ”smaller” sum.  Another attraction at the Palace is the number of fortunetellers who will tell you about your future. As to the guards there, they give in their post to their children, i.e. the posts are hereditary and ancestral. No matter what, the guards of the Mahārāja are dressed in white uniforms with gold buttons, with red turbans and with artistically arranged black moustaches.

Another site worth visiting in Jaipur is Jantar Mantar. It is an observatory built by Jai Singh XII who wanted to have such a building constructed in his town. His aim was to have a place from which we could observe the position of stars and planets. Her you can see Laghu Samrat Yantra (or the Small Sun) which is an instrument for calculating the time, the height and diameter of the Sun as well as Ram Yantra which calculates and defines the position of the stars. The zodiacal  signs are depicted in blue and green in small niches.

Last but not least, you can become a main character in the movie “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” if you visit the “Fort Amber”.

After all this joy we could leave for the National Capital Territory of India.

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