Saturday, April 16, 2011

Maharajas & Me - Jaipur

Welcome to our Maharajas & Me series!

The history of India is long and complicated, and far, far beyond the scope of a simple blog post.  Suffice it to say that the state of Rajasthan is bursting with forts, palaces and monuments built (or expanded) by the Islamic Mughal and Maratha emperors who ruled parts of India for much of the 16th-19th centuries.  These historic buildings are now in the hands of the Maharajas (or kings) whose ancestors ruled individual "princely states" under the British Raj and before.  Changes to the Indian constitution in the late 1970's eliminated many of the special privileges, such as tax exemptions, that the Maharajas had continued to enjoy even after Independence.  As a result, today many of the sites are supported through tourism.

During our two weeks in Rajasthan, we visited forts and palaces in Agra (which is actually in Uttar Pradesh, not Rajasthan), Jaipur, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Jodphur, Pushkar and Udaipur. Our Maharaja & Me posts (which are mostly photos) will be interspersed with stories about some of our other Rajasthan-ian experiences.  We've already covered our time in Agra in our posts, A Lot of Lovin' and If You Guide Them They Will Pay (Maybe), so we'll start with Jaipur.

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The city of Jaipur was founded in 1727 and in 1853 the entire city was painted pink to welcome the Prince of Wales.  While most of what we saw of Jaipur was from the inside of a textile factory (oops) we did manage to visit some of the sights.

The city of Jaipur.  It doesn't really look that pink to me.
Amber Fort
Built in 1592 and modified over the next 150 years, Amber Fort was the capital city before it was moved to Jaipur, 13k away.  It's a huge palace complex that blends Hindu and Mughal architecture.  There is an atrocious audio tour that we suggest you skip, although it's not like the signage is any better.
(Read more about it in wikipedia) 










Jal Mahal (Water Palace)
(Read more about it in wikipedia)




Rambagh Palace
The former palace of the Maharaja of Jaipur, the Rambagh Palace is now the spectacular Taj Palace Hotel.  We were lucky enough to enjoy a delicious dinner there with the Blasers.
(Read more about it in wikipedia)
 

Photo credit: Dan Blaser
Photo credit: Dan Blaser


All of our Jaipur photos are available here.

1 comment:

  1. Hey! Could you tell me at what time of day you shot Jal Mahal? I'm assuming it was at dusk? Is this a typical view of the property?

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