Jaipur

  • Jaipur
  • Jaipur, known as Pink City of Rajasthan, is capital city of the Indian state of Rajasthan. Being close to Delhi and Agra, the three Indian cities of Delhi-Agra-Jaipur collectively form a triangle and in parlance of Indian tourism, this Indian tour circuit is known as 'Golden Triangle'. Jaipur serves as the centre for east Rajasthan, from which tours to various tourist destinations of Rajasthan can be made- southward to Ranthambore Wildlife Sanctuary, Kota and Bundi, westward to Ajmer and Pushkar, eastward to Alwar and Sariska Wildlife Sanctuary and northward to the Shekhawati region.

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In contrast to Delhi and Agra which are flat topographically, it w ill be pleasant to discover that Jaipur is surrounded by hills. Another pleasant difference between Jaipur and Delhi and Agra is also clearly visible. Jaipur is, though, one of India's large cities but most of the tourist attractions of Jaipur are within the eighteenth-century walled precinct. Only the prominent tourist places of Jaipur like Amber Fort, Jaigarh Fort, Albert Hall (which houses the Central Museum) are outlying the walled city.

Jaipur was the first planned city of medieval India and was constructed as per 'Vastu Shastra'. Although Jaipur bustles like any other Indian city, streets of Jaipur are wide and laid out in a simple-to-follow grid pattern. Its architect rigidly controlled all aspects of construction, personally inspecting building materials as they were delivered. Architect Vidyadhar Bhattacharya and King Jai Singh divided the city into six blocks, each of which was allocated to a specific trade. These blocks were separated from each other by wide avenues and narrower streets criss-crossed each block in straight lines. In the centre of the city was situated a separately walled palace for Jai Singh, who moved from Amber Fort to City Palace. Important buildings of medieval Jaipur were completed by 1733 and a water supply was connected to the new city by a canal from the river two years later.

The very entry into Jaipur will unfold several cultural aspects. Immediately noticeable are the men's brilliantly-coloured turbans and exuberant moustaches. The turban worn by the Rajput is not designed to protect uncut hair and it never seems to have had any religious significance for the Rajput. The turbans are symbolic of many aspects like social stature, community, caste and class. It is also in Jaipur that many will see working camels and elephants for the first time. The elephant' tasks take place in nearby Amber and consist of transporting tourists from the foothill of Amber Fort to the hilltop, where the main gateway of Amber Fort lies.

Jaipur is one of the five major cities of Rajasthan. Unique to Rajasthan, each of the five cities are basically different in colour: Bikaner red, Jaisalmer gold, Jodhpur blue and Udaipur white. Jaipur is pink and, as at Jodhpur and Udaipur, the colour is achieved by paintwork, not by a natural building material, most of which is rubble. To mark the visit to Jaipur of the Prince of Wales, later king Edward VII, in 1876, Ram Singh II decreed that the buildings of Jaipur within the walled area should be plastered and painted pink, to imitate the ubiquitous red sandstone of north India's Mughal monuments. Upkeep by the owners became, and still is, mandatory.

The 18th century city of Jaipur is surrounded by a castellated wall. The old city of Jaipur may be entered from ten gates, five of which punctuate the south wall.

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Tourist Attractions of Jaipur

Jaipur is home to various famous historical monuments, royal gardens, bustling market, nice restaurants and culturally colorful ambience all around. Amber Fort, Jaigarh Fort, Nahargarh Fort, Jal Mahal,Hawa Mahal, City Palace and Albert Hall offer a tourist a lot to watch and appreciate.

City Palace of Jaipur, a must-see tourist attraction of Jaipur, is situated at the very centre of the city. Major portions of the City Palace of Jaipur was constructed in merely seven years, although there have been many additions since. Though the pink colour scheme for the buildings of Jaipur was decreed by the ruling dynasty but the same shade was not applied in case of the City Palace. Most of the City Palace has been built of cream or white stone. City Palace of Jaipur is a synchronous constellation of courtyards, pavilions, palaces, gardens and museums. Prominent among them are Mubarak Mahal, Chandra Mahal, Museum of Textiles and Costumes, Diwan-i-Khas, Diwan-i-Aam, Peacock Chowk and Sileh Khana. Mubarak Mahal (Palace of Welcome) stands in the centre of the courtyard. It was built by Madho Singh II in 1900 AD to accommodate guests. Later on it turned into royal secretariat. In 1959 the Museum of Textiles and Costumes was opened on the upper floor of the building. The Museum of Textiles & Costumes contains garments of Madho Singh I (ruled 1750-68) who stood 7 feet (2 metres) high and weighed 225 kg. His enormous atmasukh (soul's pleasure) garment of pure silk and gold thread is the most impressive item on display. Having seen the wedding robes of Pratap Singh, one can easily imagine the royal splendour of the ruling class of Jaipur. But the collection doesn't end here. Exquisitely made musical instruments, blue Jaipur pottery and royal toys are incorporated in the collection. City Palace of Jaipur houses a Sileh Khana (Armoury) which is an armour and weapons collection. It showcases several exotic armours like curved swords, Mughal daggers and a helmet designed as a turban for Jai Singh I. But the collection of armoury strangely misses elephant armour. Immediately south of the building is exhibited the collection of early photographs taken and developed by Ram Singh II (ruled 1835-80). He was encouraged and aided in his work by T. Murray, a pioneer British photographer. On the north side of the square, marble elephants flank the splendid Singh Pol (Sarhad ki Deorhi) gateway. The statues of elephants were added in 1931 to mark the birth of Bhawani Singh, the first son to be born to a Maharaja of Jaipur for two generations. Out of his ecstasy, Man Singh II supplied so much champagne to celebrate the event that the infant's nanny gave him the nickname Bubbles which has stuck. Although all hereditary titles have been abolished in India, Bhawani Singh is still regarded by many as the de facto Maharaja of Jaipur and he resided in the Chandra Mahal section of the palace. Diwan-i-Khas is another masterpiece of Rajput architecture. Private Audience Hall (Diwan-i-Khas) is typically Rajput in design but its existence is reminiscent of the Mughal impact. Unlike Mughal architectural characteristic, the Hindu palaces didn't have isolated areas set aside for special functions. But the Maharajas of Jaipur had a long tradition of close contact with the Mogul emperors and were obviously influenced by their taste. The unusually large dimensions of the Diwan-i-Khas indicate that it had formerly served as the Diwan-i-Aam (Public Audience Hall) before the present building was erected specifically for that purpose. Although partly built of marble, economies appear to have been made on this building, as architectural features are trompe 1'oeil rather than carved. A part from the architecture of Diwan-i-Khas, two urns made of silver and of gigantic size (1800 gallons/ 8181 litres) draw attention of every visitor. These urns were made in 1901 for Madho Singh II to transport Ganga water from India to London while he was attending the coronation ceremony of King Edward VII. The transportation of Ganga water was having twin reasons- religious and health. The spectacular Pritam Niwas Chowk (Peacock Courtyard) of Pratap Singh lies west of the Diwan-i-Khas. Each of its doorways depicts Kartikkaya, the son of Shiva, riding on the back of a peacock. Diwan-i-Aam was added and constructed by Sawai Pratap Singh in the late eighteenth century. The enormous size of Diwan-i-Aam of City Palace is indicative of hosting and accommodating durbars and great banquets. But it has a significant departure from the Mughal pattern. Unlike a Mughal Diwan-i-Aam, City Palace's Diwan-i-Aam is enclosed. Since 1959, the building has accommodated the Sawai Man Singh II Museum. Exhibits within the columned hall include four enormous 17th century carpets, miniature paintings, manuscripts and, at the far end, on a central dais, a set of exotic furniture. Jali (screens) at upper level permitted the royal ladies to watch proceedings unobserved. Chandra Mahal (Moon Palace) is the tallest building in the City Palace of Jaipur. Chandra Mahal is a seven storyed building and most lavishly built. Chandra Mahal is still the residence of the former Maharaja of Jaipur and his family. Therefore its upkeep is fantastic and grandeur intact. As the royal family of Jaipur still resides here, for this reason, it is only possible to view the ground-level hall. Part of its floor is painted, as an alternative to carpeting. This feature/ technique has apparently been repeated elsewhere in the Chandra Mahal. The measure of pat carpeting and part painting was not due to any economic factor, as the Jaipur Maharajas were among the wealthiest royal families of Rajasthan. This measure was to keep down temperatures in the hot summer months.

Jantar Mantar of Jaipur is a solar observatory. It is one of the most coveted tourist attractions of Jaipur. Jantar Mantar lies adjacent to famed City Palace of Jaipur. Jai Singh II built five observatories in Delhi, Jaipur, Udaipur, Varanasi and Ujjain. The first solar observatory was built in Delhi as a prototype in 1727. The solar observatory of Jaipur (Jantar Mantar) is the largest among the five solar observatories. Its construction got started in 1728. The solar observatory (Jantar Mantar) of Jaipur is a must-see as it is still functional. Great scientific instruments are built of stone and, even today, the Raj Yantra is used to establish the following year's Hindu calendar. An enormous sundial, the Samrat Yantra (Supreme Device), is consulted to predict the date of the arrival of the forthcoming monsoon.

Govind Devji Temple of Jaipur is one of the most revered temples of Jaipur and is example of Rajput rulers' religious commitments. Aurangzeb, intolerant Mughal ruler, was governed by hatred towards non-Muslims and was hell-bent to demolish religious places of all non-Islamic faiths. In 1735, Jai Singh rescued a statue of Lord Krishna from a temple in Mathura before it could be demolished by Aurangzeb. Jai Singh brought it to Jaipur to be worshipped as the patron deity off his dynasty. Govinda is the most revered of Krishna's six forms, in which he became a cowherd. As Govinda, he is always shown, with a blue-painted face and plays a flute. The idol, hidden from view by a curtain, is revealed at each worship ceremony (puja), seven times daily. The 5 pm 'puja' is always the best-attended. Jai Singh aligned the temple so that he could have good direct views of the idol from the Chandra Mahal.

Hawa Mahal is a symbol of Jaipur. Tourists consider it a must-see monument of jaipur. Just before the Badi Chaupar junction stands Jaipur's most famous building, the Hawa Mahal (Palace of the Winds). Maharaja Pratap Singh commissioned the five-storey building in 1799, specifically for the royal ladies in veil (purdah) to watch state processions from behind delicately screened windows. Hawa Mahal, a facade built of red sandstone, is estimated to have at least 900 apertures in the facade. In addition to hiding the women from view, the architectural gem of Hawa Mahal addresses twin objectives: to let the cooling breezes pass through (hence the palace's name) and, at the same time, to filter the sunlight. Although the appearance of the facade is exotic, it is in fact, extremely functional. It is also symmetrical, vertical rows of domed jarokhas alternating with curved - roofed bays. So delighted was Pratap Singh with Hawa Mahal that its architect Lalchand Usta and his descendants were given tax exemption in perpetuity. One can enter Hawa Mahal only from the rear. The Palace of the Winds (Hawa Mahal), built around two amusing to ascend the ramp, floor by floor to the top, in the footsteps of the royal ladies. Surprisingly, the famous elevation is just one room deep throughout and the street-facing wall is only 10 inches (25cm) thick. This is quite a structural achievement. There are good views from the upper floor of the hills around Jaipur.

Albert Hall is the Central Museum of Jaipur, is located at the south end of Ram Niwas Garden. Albert Hall is a prime tourist attraction of Jaipur and is visited by most of the tourists as a must-see destination. The foundation stone of the Albert Hall was laid in 1876 by the Prince of Wales. The Prince of Wales christened the building after his deceased father, Prince Albert. The building Albert Hall, since 1887, has housed the museum and, in a separate wing, the Durbar Hall. The building, designed by Sir Swinton Jacob, indicates that architectural niceties were inclined more towards functionality rather than appearance. Externally, the decorative features of the Albert Hall are primarily Indo-Saracenic but, internally, the European Gothic Revival dominates. Albert Hall is home to a splendid collection of Jaipur glazed pottery. As per the historical evidences, the art & craft of Jaipur glazed pottery was introduced in the eighteenth century and died out. But the craft has now been revived and Jaipur glazed pottery are being manufactured once again. A phad (folding screen), 30 feet (9 metre) long and 5 feet (2 metre) high, has been described as a portable novel. It relates the tale of Pabuji Ramadeo and his 'magic man' Kesa Kali. While in Rajasthan, most visitors staying at the larger hotels will see stylized marionette (kathputli) performances (puppet shows) based on ancient legends. There is a splendid collection of puppets in Rajput costumes displayed in this museum; each specimen has a face of wood, while the body, always legless, may be made either of wood or cloth. A carving and a terracotta depicting, respectively, a lady and a gentleman wearing turbans,, date from the second century BC, indicative of the long period during which this headwear has been worn by Rajput. On the upper floor, miniature paintings from Jaipur, Bikaner, Jodhpur and Kota are displayed. More surprising is a model of an ancient Egyptian camp and an Egyptian mummy. Another tableau depicts the execution of a Rajput by the British. Carpet manufacturing has been ages old craft in India. But silk carpets used to be imported by the royal families in India. The Durbar Hall, reached by leaving the Central Museum and in accompaniment of an attendant, accommodated a Carpet Museum. Outstanding is an enormous carpet, one of India's most spectacular but made in Persia in 1632. Entirely woven from silk, scenes from a Persian garden are depicted; fish can be seen in the irrigation canals, which are flanked, as was usual, by fruit trees, not the cypresses which have gradually replaced them in India's surviving Mogul gardens. Ram Singh II laid out the Ram Niwas Garden, in which the Central Museum stands. He employed Dr de Fabeek to landscape 36 acres of Ram Niwas garden. For those with a desire to see yet more animals, there is a small zoo on the west side of the garden.

Gaitor: For those who want to explore Rajasthani culture a bit in depth, Gaitor may be a different place to visit. Gaitor is about 7 kms away in north-west of Jaipur. Gaitor is the place where chhatris (cenotaphs) of Jaipur's royal family are grouped romantically together within an enclosure. The chhatris are the monuments, mostly in the form of 'empty tombs', to re-commemorate heroic or distinguished personalities whose remains are elsewhere. Most impressive is the white marble cenotaph of Jaipur's founder, Jai Singh II (1699-1744), supported on twenty columns and decorated with scenes from Hindu mythology. Nearby the cenotaph of Jai singh II lies the chhatari of his second son Madho Singh I (died 1779). Madho Singh's chhatari is carved with peacocks. Other maharajas commemorated are Ram Singh, Pratap Singh and Man Singh II.

Nahargarh Fort: The Kachchwaha Rajput built 50 forts to consolidate and protect their kingdom. Nahargarh Fort is one of the fifty forts constructed by the Kachchwaha chieftains. Nahar means 'tiger'. Nahar, after whom the fort was named, is reputed to have been a hermit who lived on the hilltop and took umbrage at not being consulted about the new fort proposed by Jai Singh. He cursed the project, causing work during the day to be 'miraculously' demolished at night until a due apology was made-it was. The Nahargarh Fort, though had tremendous strategic importance, later on diminished in importance with construction of Amber Fort. From here are gained the finest overall views of Jaipur. Jai Singh II added this fort to the series in 1734, specifically to protect his new city. An upper floor was constructed a century later and extensions were made in 1903. Nahargarh Fort housed the royal treasury until 1942.

Rambagh Palace: Jaipur is said to be a tourist's paradise. It offers a large number of monuments and bustling market to watch but also an opportunity to enjoy Maharaja like stay with all modern luxuries in heritage hotels. The heritage hotels are old palaces and mansions converted into hotels. Jaipur is particularly well-endowed with hotels that have been converted from former palaces. Pre-eminent among the heritage hotels is the Rambagh Palace hotel. Rambagh palace hotel is one the most luxurious hotels of India and is being managed by Taj Group of Hotels. Maharaja of Jaipur Ram Sing II converted existing pavilions into a hunting lodge in the mid 19th century and, soon after succeeding as maharaja, the athletic Madho Singh II commissioned Sir Swinton Jacob to adapt the lodge into a sports complex .This later became the principal residence of Madho Singh's adopted son, Man Singh II, who ruled Jaipur State from Rambagh Palace. When the rank of maharaja was abolished in India in 1949, Man Singh, known to his intimates as Jai and his wife Gayatri Devi moved to the smaller Raj Mahal, a palace where they resided until Man Singh was appointed India's ambassador to Spain. He was an enthusiastic polo player and regularly practised on his father's ground. This polo ground still survives adjacent to the Rambagh Palace Hotel and where matches take place every March. In a match at Cirencester, England, in 1970, Jai, aged 54, fell from his horse and was killed. The hotel's Polo Bar commemorates his great passion for the sport. From the polo ground can be seen the Moti Doongri castle to which the royal treasury was transferred from Nahargarh Fort. If possible, try to have a peek at the Rambagh Palace Hotel's Princess Suite, one of the loveliest hotel rooms in India.

Raj Mahal Palace: Raj Mahal Palace has been the favourite abode of the Royal Couple- Jai and Gayatri Devi. Watching this palace from inside is truly a fabulous treat to the eyes. The Raj Mahal Palace, built in 1729, went through many additions and modifications when the last Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II decided to shift his residence from Rambagh Palace to Raj Mahal Palace. It has been known in the past by several names like Ma Ji Ka Bagh, Prince's House, Residency etc. In 1980, Ram Bagh Palace had been converted into a luxurious heritage hotel after the royal family moved out to live in other palaces. To experience exotic India and royal Rajasthan, have a stay in Ram Bagh palace and be sure to feel the original flavor and relive the magical days of the Maharaja in full modern comfort, and admire the grand public spaces featuring crystal chandeliers and double-height ceilings.

Jaigarh Fort: Jaigarh Fort is another prime monument of Jaipur. Historically it has more significance compared to Amber Fort or Nahargarh Fort but from touristic point of view it is not as frequented as Amber Fort. Looking down on Amber Fort is the much smaller and much longer-established Jaigarh Fort, rebuilt and expanded by Jai Singh II in 1726. The Jaigarh Fort, opened to visitors in 1983, is the only part of Amber still in the private ownership of the former royal family. Obviously, the views are the chief attraction, but at the south end many will be enthralled by what is claimed to be the world's largest cannon, Jaivan, constructed in 1720, with a 20 feet (6 meter) long barrel. It was only fired once, on test, and the cannon ball was propelled a distance of 24 miles (39 km). The armoury collection includes the great five-key lock to the royal treasury, originally located at Jaigarh. At the end of Jaigarh's Jaleb Chowk courtyard, miniature cannon will be fired on payment of a fee. The Jaigarh Fort's gun foundry of 1584 still exists. When the gun foundry was built, the Mughal believed that only they knew how to make gunpowder in India, and were not particularly pleased to discover that Man Singh I had obtained the secret direct from Kabul. The palace section of the fort is sited at the north end of the spur.

Amber Fort for Jaipur is what Taj Mahal for Agra and Qutub Minar for Delhi. Amber Fort is the most visited Fort-Palace complex of Rajasthan. Amber Fort, 11kms north of Jaipur, is generally regarded as the finest in Rajasthan. It is not certain how Amber acquired its name. One theory suggests that Amber is derived from Ambarisha, a famous king of Ayodha, one of India's seven sacred cities. Another theory suggests that Amber is derived from Amba, goddess of fertility. Equally uncertain is the early history of the region before 1037, when the Kachchwahas defeated the Minas who then occupied the fort. For some reason, the Minas were permitted to stay on in a subsidiary role, evidently serving their conquerors with great fidelity. However, it was their ability to form amicable relationships with India's the then Muslim rulers that was mainly responsible for the Kachchwahas' undisturbed rule of 600 years. A particularly strong liaison with the Mughal began in 1562, when the youthful Akbar, on returning from his first Ajmer pilgrimage, met and married a daughter of Amber's Raja Bhar Mar, Mariam-uz-Zamani, who would give birth to the future Emperor Jahangir. Man Singh I acquired so much booty in the service of both Akbar and Jahangir that he could afford to replace his old fort with a new complex, which followed the Mughal layouts; work began around 1600 and was continued by Jai Singh I. The bravery of Jai Singh II in combat on behalf of the Moguls even met with the enthusiastic approval of Aurangzeb, who awarded his dynasty with the title sawai maharaja (one and a quarter maharaja). Jai Singh immediately increased the size of his banner by a quarter, to assert Jaipur's superiority over the other maharajas. Following the death of Aurangzeb in 1707, Jai Singh II refused to support his successor, Bahadur Shah I and eventually forced the now divided and weakened Moguls to end their suzerainty of Amber. In 1729, the Amber Fort was abandoned for Jaipur. The main entrance to the palace is called Jai Pol (Victory Gate) or Surya Pol (Sun Gate), the latter probably referring to the fact that it faces east and hence the rising sun. From a balcony, reached via the caf?, there are good views down to the earlier Kadmi Palace. Lowering down from a crag above is Jaigarh Fort. Steps, right of the main entrance to the palaces, on the south side, ascend to the Shila Devi Temple, which is best visited immediately, as it shuts between 12noon and 4pm. Shila Devi Temple was built in 1604 by Man Singh I for private use by the royal family to honour Kali, the fiercest manifestation of Shiva's consort, Parvathi, who is known at Amber as Shila Mata, goddess of war. Although this is a Hindu, not a Jain temple, socks as well as shoes must be removed and no leather-ware is permitted within. In 1939, Man Singh II survived an aircrash, and his wife, in thanks, presented the silver entrance doors as a votive offering to the goddess. It had long been traditional for every new maharaja on inheriting the title, to worship at the temple and sacrifice a live goat, and Man Singh II, in spite of being cultured, charming and worldly-wise similarly propitiated Kali in this way. Within the temple, the columns are apparently expensive Carrara marble, imported from Italy and renowned for their whiteness. However, it was decided to cut them in imitation of palm trees and paint them green. The idol of black marble was brought from East Bengal in 1604. After visiting Shila Devi Temple, one gas to return to Jaleb Chowk to enter the palace properly through Singh Pol (Lion Gate), the double archway adjacent. To the left, in the courtyard ahead, stands the Diwan-i-Am (Public Audience Hall), added by Jai Singh. Diwan-i-Aam is Amber Fort's most successful Rajput imitation of middle-period Mughal architecture. Apparently, Emperor Jahangir was not entirely pleased when told of its high quality, and Jai Singh, not wishing to make him unduly jealous, plastered over the structure to reduce its splendour. The vibrant Ganesh Pol was built by Jai Singh in 1639. This gateway depicts the elephant-headed god Ganesh above the arch and therefore has been termed so. Its decoration combines paintwork with glass mosaics. The structure marks the division between the public and private areas of the palace. Ahead, the central courtyard of the palace takes the form of a sunken formal garden with, on its west side, Sukh Niwas and facing it, the Jai Mandir. Sukh Niwas (Pleasure Hall) is renowned for its ingenious air conditioning systems, open walls being placed at different heights and angles to create drafts; the air then passes over water which cascades from an upper cistern through marble screens. Pastel-colour decoration throughout is influenced by Mughal work and flower vases are a recurring theme. Doors of sandalwood and ivory inlay are noteworthy. A water channel runs through the centre of the hall as an additional cooling device. The Taj Mandir (Hall of Victory), reached by a ramp, was built to accommodate his private apartments by Jai Singh and is the loveliest section of the palace. Floral, hunting and battle scene murals, painted throughout, are still in remarkable condition, due to the quality of the top coat of plaster, in which was incorporated ground particles of eggshells, marble and pearls. The colours are delicate and are bereft of gaudiness. On the ground floor is the arcaded Diwan-i-Khas (Private Audience Hall). Much of the interior is lined with examples of the mirror work for which Jaipur is famous. An attendant will unlock the Sheesh Mahal (Mirror Hall), shut the door so that all light is excluded and light a candle. The effect is magical, each section of mirror mosaic twinkling in turn. The Sheesh Mahal is believed to have been the royal bedroom .Off this is a small dressing room, a face will be reflected 1,000 times in small pieces of mirror glass-quite an unnerving experience. Occupying the upper floor is the Jas Mandir (Hall of Glory), its opening screened by full-length jalis of alabaster, and more examples of mirror-glass decoration within. Its huge roof terrace possesses superb views. The oldest part of Amber Fort, at its south end, was built by Man Singh; this eventually formed the female quarters (zenana), but is now dilapidated.

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Shopping in Jaipur

Jaipur is the largest commercial centre of Rajasthan and best regarded as 'shoppers' paradise'. Jewellery, handicraft articles, marble products, carpets and printed cotton clothes are hallmarks of bustling market of Jaipur.

Jaipur is regarded as the jewellery centre of India, and prices are at their keenest here. The reason for this is the abundance of local craftsmen (around 30,000 stone cutters are permanently employed) and the low wages which they receive. Gold itself is not a particular bargain in India. Bargaining is expected in most shops but purchasers should ensure that the supplier is reliable. Haldion Ka Rasta is a famous street of jewellers. In Lal Katra one can find the showrooms of the renowned Bhuramal Rajmal Surana which has supplied the present Prince of Wales. Prices are fixed and the establishment is renowned for its diamonds and enamel-backed pieces in Mughal style, for which nothing less than twenty-two carat gold is used.

Many shops in Gopalji Ka Bazar sell sweetmeats of the usual very sweet type. Ramganj Bazar is known for concentrated shoe shops, many of which specialize in black, embroidered Jaipur slippers. Tripolia Bazar is the centre for costume jewellery and also a strange combination of cooking utensils. Sire Deorhi Bazar is famous for shops of fire-works.

Anyone searching for lac jewellery should visit Maniharon ka Rasta where lac jewellery is made and sold and Johari Bazaar where jewellery is certified and sold. The variety is tremendous. Among the buys are table tops, mirror frames, betel nut boxes and sindoor holders. On the export list are statuettes. Photo frames and pill boxes are available in abundance on M.I. Road and the silver shops on the Badi Chaupar crossing. Two lanes joining the main road, Gopalji Ka Rasta and Haldiyon ka Rasta have a number of shops selling jewellery and on the main road one can see silversmiths. It is closed for some time on Sunday and Tuesdays. The cutting polishing and selling of precious semi-precious stones is centered round the Muslims dominating area of Pahal Ganj in the Surajpol Bazaar area. Silver jewellery is also made there. There are numerous factories and showrooms along the length of Amber Road between Zorawa gate and Holiday Inn. Here one will find hand block prints, blue pottery, carpets and antiques. Apart from jewellery, handicrafts like papier mache and carved furnitures, are also extremely popular as also is the glazed blue pottery, an art that was imported from Persia. Blue pottery is made from ground quartz stone. On sale are surahis, pots, ear-rings, shop dishes, door knobs, mugs and jugs. Brass is another important metal and statues of various sizes are available beside brass animals used by children as toys. Items made of white metal are also great buys as are the carving in stone especially white marble used for making statues of gods and goddess, animal and human figure. Curved marbles bowls, vases and other decorative items also figure high on the list of shopper.

In the leatherware sections are Mojari Juttis, bag, saddles, purses and toys and dolls made of clay and cloth. The city has a large number of carpet centers and commands a good export market. They are inspired by Afghan carpets with the designs mostly being Persian and Caucasian. Namdas (soft woolen druggets) decorated and embroidered as also hand-woven cotton durries are a speciality of the city's artisans and the main productions centre is Tonk. Bapa bazaar and Nehru Bazar are market where one can purchased textiles, local perfumes, sarees, pashmina shawls and shoes made of camel skin. Bapu Bazar is closed on Sunday.

Textiles range from hand-block prints, tie and dye and embroidered fabrics for which Rajasthan is known worldwide. Sanganer, a small town out of the city, is the prime centre for block-makers and printers with the chief colour being orange and red with floral prints in yellow and blue-black. They all combine together to give an excellent look.

Mirza Ismail Road (MI Road) is a wide and long road where a large number of emporia are situated and is the right place for buying a variety of goods ranging from jewellery and brass work to textiles. The shops here are brass work to textile. The shops here are a tourist's delight since one can buy souvenirs, curios, handicrafts and gift items. During or after shopping it would be well worth while to sample the unusually thick ice-cold lassi. The emporia and shops accept all credit cards and travelers cheques. (Closed on Sunday)

Tripolia Bazar and Chaura Rsata have textile and utensil shops, trinkets and all kinds of goods made of iron. If you are looking for some specific product and want to know where it is available, refer to the shopping section in the classified information columns.

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How to reach Jaipur:

Jaipur by Air: Jaipur is the most visited tourist destination of Rajasthan, India. Every Golden Triangle Tour and most of North India Tours essentially cover Jaipur as representative of Rajasthani culture. Jaipur has a full-fledged airport near Sanganer, about 16 kms from Jaipur. Jaipur, hence, is well connected to several major cities of India by daily flights of state owned Indian Airlines and several private air taxi operators.

Jaipur by Rail: The exotic Rajasthan destination of Jaipur is well connected to Delhi, Agra, Jodhpur, Ranthambhore, Bikaner, Udaipur and other parts of India.

Jaipur by Road: Being a prominent tourist destination of Rajasthan, India; Jaipur is well connected with Delhi, Agra, Jodhpur, Ranthambhore, Bikaner, Udaipur and other parts of India.

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