Jaipur – the Rajput (native Indian) capital
Jaipur is the third point of the Golden Triangle, lying some 200 miles south-west of Delhi. Originally I suspect, Lahore was the western point of the Golden Triangle, as Lahore is the other great Mogul city,. But Lahore is now in Pakistan, and so Jaipur has been promoted by the travel agents to being the third point of the Golden Triangle.
Jaipur is by Indian standards a fairly modern city, having been established only in 1727 by the Emperor Jai Singh II, the ruler of the Kachchwala dynasty. The previous capital was at Agra Fort, but this is in a hilly situation and so Jai Singh decided to move the capital down into the plains, a more suitable situation for trade, so this is really the first Indian city to be built within trading considerations in mind.
Unlike Delhi and Akra which are essentially Moghul cities, Jaipur was essentially a native Indian city, belonging to the Rajput native rulers. However in 1562 the Mogul emperor Akbar had married into the Rajput (Kachchwala) dynasty and they therefore became to some extent incorporated into the Mogul system.
There are three main tourist attractions in Jaipur, the City Palace, the fantastic but useless astronomical observatory next door, and then the old capital of Amber Fort some dozen miles to the north. We take a quick look at them and also at the somewhat ramshackle Palace of the Winds which was a sort of grandstand for the ladies of the court where they could discreetly watch the goings-on in the street.
On to the City Palace
19th April 2013