The capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur is most natural place to begin a discovery of Rajasthans
The city actually takes its name from a princely state called Jaipur State that
existed sometime during the 12th century. This state was home to the Kachwaha Rajput
clan. The state was founded in the year 1097 AD by a man named Dulaha Raya, who
came from Gwalior. They drove out the local Meenas and the Bargujar Rajput chiefs
and settled over here.
Founder of Jaipur - Maharaja Jai Singh II
Jaipur, the pink city was founded in 1727 AD by Maharaja Jai Singh II who ruled
from 1699-1744. Initially his capital was Amber, which lies at a distance of 11kms
After several battles with Marathas, Jai Singh was keen on the security aspect of
the city. Due to this reason, he focused on his scientific and cultural interests
to make a brilliant city. Being, a lover of mathematics and science, Jai Singh sought
advice from Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, a Brahmin scholar of Bengal, to aid him design
the city architecture. Vidyadhar referred the ancient Indian literature on astronomy,
books of Ptolemy and Euclid, and discussed the plan with the King.
With a strategic plan, the construction of the city started in 1727. It took around
4 years to complete the major palaces, roads and square.
Architecture of Jaipur
Jaipur is rich in its cultural and architectural beauty, which can be traced in
the various historical and aesthetic places that reside in the city. This city of
victory really wins the hearts of the people with its splendid charisma.
The city was built following the principles of Shilpa Shastra, the Indian Architecture.
The directions of each street and market are east to West and North to South. The
Eastern gate is called Suraj (Sun) Pol, while the Western gate is called Chand (Moon)
Pol. There are only three gates facing East, West, and North including the Northern
gate (known as Zorawar Singh gate) which faces toward the ancestral capital of Amber,
while many gates face South.
Although the present city has expanded from outside of its walls, the original planning
was within the walls. The gates used to be closed at sunset and opened at sunrise.
Almost all Northern Indian towns of that period presented a chaotic picture of narrow
twisting lanes, a confusion of run-down forts, temples, palaces, and temporary shacks
that bore no resemblance at all to the principles set out in Hindu architectural
manuals which call for strict geometric planning.
According to that time, architecture of the town was very advanced and certainly
the best in Indian subcontinent. In 1853, when Prince of Wales visited Jaipur, the
whole city was painted in Pink color to welcome him. Still, the neat and broadly
laid-out avenues, painted in pink provide a magical charm to the city.
Various Rulers of Jaipur
The history of Jaipur is also enriched by the lineage of kings who have succeeded
Sawai Pratap Singh (1764 - 1803)
After Sawai Jai Singh, At a young age of fourteen years Sawai Pratap Singh became
the Maharaja of Jaipur.His year of reign was 1778 - 1803.
During his reign of twenty-five years Jaipur city had undergone both progress and
failures at the same time. Main threats were Maratha and Mughal rulers for whom
he had to face recurring fear and a grave drainage of funds.
Sawai Ram Singh II (1835 to 1880)
The name of Sawai Ram Singh II also has found its place in the history of Jaipur.
He was quite dissimilar from other rules in all respects. He dominated from 1835
to 1880. He ardently follows the rituals of Vaishaivism.
Ram Singh II was a benevolent king who had taken the initiative of reforming various
ill practices of the then kingdom. For example during his ruling, slavery, child
infanticide was abolished. Also during his reign Sati ritual was legally banned
from Jaipur. The year was 1839.
He also was a music lover and played Veena, a `multi-stringed instrument`. Close
association with the British rulers has enabled them to beautify the city with gaslights,
water works. Broad roads, Sanskrit collages, Maharaja School of Arts and Crafts,
the medical college also are built during this time.
Madao Singh II (1861 - 1922)
Ram Singh died heirless With the death of Ram Singh II his adopted son Madao Singh
II ascended the throne in the year 1880. However he took the onus of bringing progress
in the city of Jaipur. It is connected with commercial zones. Universities, Hospitals,
the Secretariat, residential colonies and colleges were constructed.
Sawai Man Singh II (1911 1970)
Madho Singh also adopted his nephew named Kanwar Mormukat Singh. He was the younger
son of `Thakur Sowai Singh of Isarda`. Kanwar Mormukat Singh became popular as Sawai
Man Singh II. Sawai Man Singh II established his domination from 1922 to 1949.
In the post independence era, initiatives were taken to transform the position of
princely states of India. Thus Jaipur was merged with other Rajput states like Jaisalmer,
Jodhpur, and Bikaner and thus Greater Rajasthan was formed.
In the year 1956, Jaipur got bestowed upon with the status of capital of Rajasthan
state. Till today Jaipur has retained its charm and spectacle by preserving the
remnants of its regal heritage.
Maharaja Bhawani Singh (1931 - Present)
Sawai Bhawani Singh Bahadur (born 1931) was the last titular Maharaja of Jaipur
and head of the Kachwaha clan of Rajputs. The title technically ended when royal
entitlements were abolished along with privy purses through a constitutional amendment
in 1971. However, the erstwhile maharaja is considered a political, cultural, and
religious icon in modern Rajasthan, and he is sometimes still referred to in the
media as His Highness, The Maharaja of Jaipur.
He married Princess Padmini Devi of Sirmur, with whom he has a daughter, Princess
In 1997, Princess Diya married Narendra Singh Rajawat, a commoner and distant cousin
who had been a member of the household staff of the Maharaja of Jaipur. He is a
son of Thakur Buddha Singh. They have a daughter, Gorvi Devi (born 1999) and a son,
Kumar Padmanabh Singh. The latter was adopted in 2002 by his maternal grandparents
and is now heir to the throne of Jaipur.