Tale of the 'Pink City'

Aug 28 2014, 16:44 IST
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Hawa Mahal Hawa Mahal
SummarySome three decades ago Bengaluru and Jaipur were projected as the two cities that were growing on a frenetic speed

Some three decades ago Bengaluru and Jaipur were projected as the two cities that were growing on a frenetic speed in terms of population, urbanisation and lifestyle. Thirty years later – though no dipstick survey has recently been done, the result perhaps still holds true. The city of gardens may have taken a quantum leap over the pink city in terms of infrastructure what with its IT-city status, the incontrovertible fact remains that Jaipur as a city can hold its own against the best.

Consider this: every third foreign tourist coming to India visits Jaipur. Fortunately for Jaipur, the existing government has been sensitive to the fact that the city needed to conserve its heritage for one; and that it needed to bolster its infrastructure, for another. Some earnest efforts have been made in this direction. It need not be forgotten that Jaipur is the first planned city of the country. Founded by the astronomer prince Sawai Jai Singh and constructed in 1727 – the city was planned by the great architect-designer Vidhyadhar Bhattacharya following the grid system. Surrounded by a fortified walled; guarded by seven gates, the city is an impeccable example of town-planning.

The city’s historical monuments have witnessed some high class restoration, upkeep and maintenance. The restoration of Amber is a case-in-point as is the declaration of the Jantar Mantar as a World Heritage Site – due to the efforts of the art and culture department. The City Palace Museum has also become an important cultural hub. The Palace continues to organise various cultural events throughout the year.

Jaipur being the hub of the entire state provides a multiple experience here in terms of the old city with its ochre-pink buildings and well planned streets; the modern city with its five star hotels and contemporary lifestyle. The city has as many as 10 heritage hotels which provide an out-of-this-world experience to a tourist coming here.

Jaipur is known as the Mecca of Polo and apart from the world famed Rambagh Polo ground; it has four other polo grounds being managed by the army’s only horse regiment, 61 Cavalry and some former polo players. The Rajasthan Polo Club can organise a polo match and equestrian activities for visitors as and when required. The main polo season is in January when the city witnesses some of the top high handicapped teams slugging it out on the

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