Jaipur is the capital of Rajasthan and one of India’s most popular tourist destinations.
Forming part of India’s ‘Golden Triangle’ along with Agra and New Delhi, the city was established in 1727 and named after its founder, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh.
A bustling provincial capital with a population of more than three million, it is a modern metropolis that still retains much of its historic charm.
Jaipur is nicknamed the Pink City – a moniker referring to the decision in 1876 to paint every home, business and public building pink to welcome the visit of Edward, Prince of Wales.
Although not every building is pink anymore, several avenues are still painted in this colour, giving Jaipur a bright and unique look.
As with many Indian cities, its historic buildings are its biggest attractions. Of these, none is more impressive than the Hawa Mahal (or Palace of Winds), a five-storey facade made out of pink-plastered sandstone that was built in 1799 as a grandstand for the royal women.
However, this is far from being Jaipur’s only major tourist hotspot. Among its many other sights of interest are the City Palace, which blends traditional Mughal and Rajasthani architecture, and the Jal Mahal (Water Palace), a royal getaway built in the mid-18th century in the middle of the Man Sagar Lake.
Tourists with a love of the natural world should also visit Jaipur Zoo, one of the oldest attractions of its kind in India. Opened in 1877 within the Ram Niwas Garden, the zoo is home to dozens of species of birds and other animals, including lions, tigers and panthers.