Friday, February 20, 2009

Day 7- Fantastic Jaipur

Hawa Mahal

Hawa Mahal or palace of wind built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh and designed by Lal Chand Usta in the form of the crown of Krishna, the Hindu god. It forms part of the City Palace and extends the Zenana or women’s chambers, the chambers of the harem. Its original intention was to allow royal ladies to observe everyday life in the street below without being seen.

Hawa Mahal is an adorable architecture design. From the fa├žade of the palace, I can say I love it so much. Jaipur is my favorite city so far. Cultural elements+ Fort+ Colorful city= Jaipur. From the street of Jaipur, the fort is so stunning on the top of the hill; you can truly intoxicate with this city. Here, the peoples are suffering with their life, looking at the affluence history- such a sad environment.

Besides that, in front of this palace, I was gazed on the street performance which is the famous scene that always describes the Indian guy. The performance called snake charming..

Jantar Mantar

A Jantar Mantar is a collection of the architecture astronomical instruments, built by Maharaja Jai Singh at his then new capital of Jaipur between 1727 and 1734. It is modeled after the one that he had built for him at the then Mughal capital of Delhi. He had constructed a total of five such labs at different locations, including the ones at Delhi and Jaipur. The Jaipur observatory is the largest.

The observatory consists of fourteen major geometric devices for measuring time, predicting eclipses, tracking stars in their orbits, ascertaining the declination the celestial altitudes and related ephemerides.

City Palace

Built by Sawai Jai Singh, the City Palace of Jaipur still houses the royal family. The royal family of Jaipur lives in the Chandra Mahal Palace, inside the City Palace complex. However, the ground floor of this palace is open to the public. Here, you can see some rare exhibits that are on display. You can also have a look at the exquisite peacock in the courtyard outside the palace. A blend of Mughal and Rajasthani architecture, the Jaipur City Palace is situated in the center of the walled city.

The first sight you see on entering the palace complex is Mubarak Mahal (palace), constructed by Sawai Madho Singh. The palace dated back to 19th Century. The main purpose behind the palace was to serve as a reception center for the persons visiting the nobles. This palace now houses the museum of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II. The museum has a rich collection of royal costumes, folk embroidery, rare and invaluable Pashmina (Kashmiri) Shawls, Sanganeri prints and Benaras silk saris.

Also inside the complex of the City Palace of Rajasthan is the Maharani's Palace, the palace of the Queen. Quite unusually, this palace has on a display of the Rajput weaponry dating back to as far as the 15th century. All the weaponry is exquisite and very well preserved.

Water Palace

The Jal Mahal or water palace in Jaipur is an intrinsic example of Indo-Mughal architecture, stands like a vigilante of peace in the serene and quiescent waters of Man Sagar Lake. With first four floors inside water, the majestic palace stands tall with its top floor outside the water arena. One can enjoy the tranquil waters of the lake while sitting under the elaborately modeled and exquisitely carved balconies and arched roofs, thinking about the royal menus of the duck shooting parties. The maharajah Sawai Madho Singh used to invite royal dignitaries to this leisure palace, who usually rocked the ambiance with their adventure autobiographies. Words flied amidst the misty air carrying the aroma satiated with the chivalry of the Rajput kings. To the south of the lake, there are some alluring gardens and splendid examples of Rajput architectural style, waiting eagerly for the virgin footsteps of enthusiastic travelers.

In water palace, we are not able to go inside the palace, thus we just capture some pictures from the deck near to the lake.

Amber fort

Amber Fort is known for its unique artistic style, blending both Hindu and Muslim (Mughal) elements, and its ornate and breathtaking artistic mastery. The fort borders the Maota Lake, and is a major tourist attraction in Rajasthan.

Amber was originally built by the Meenas in the town they consecrated to Amba, the Mother Goddess, whom they knew as `Gatta Rani' or `Queen of the Pass”. Built over the remnants of an earlier structure, the palace complex which stands today was commenced under the reign of Raja Man Singh, Commander in Chief of Akbar’s army and a member of the Emperor's inner circle of nine courtiers, in 1592. The initial structure of the fort was entirely completed by his descendant; Jai Singh I. Amber was modified by successive rulers over the next 150 years, until the Kachwahas shifted their capital to Jaipur during the time ofSawai Jai Singh II.

A garden for the royal family

Amber Fort is also constructed of white and red sandstone. The Fort is unique in that its outside, an imposing and rugged defensive structure, is markedly different from its inside, an ornate, lavish interior influenced by both Hindu and Muslim (Mughal) styles of ornamentation. The walls of the interior of the fort are covered with murals, frescoes, and paintings depicting various scenes from daily life. Other walls are covered with intricate carvings, mosaic, and minute mirror work.

The entrance of the Amber Fort

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