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Jaipur Holidays Overview
Jaipur is the capital of the state of Rajasthan and the city is also known as the ‘Pink City’ due to the color of its pink stucco buildings which have been built to imitate the red sandstone which was used for construction during the Mughal times.
Jaipur was built in the 18th century by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II and it was one of India’s first planned cities which was laid out in a grid system.
Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II ruled from the city of Amber which is located at a distance of 11 km from Jaipur. He then decided to create the city of Jaipur in 1727 because he felt that Amber could not contain the growing population of his kingdom and the city was also experiencing scarcity of water. While planning the king consulted many architectural tomes in order to plan the layout of the new city of Jaipur. The King also had a great love for science and mathematics and accordingly even consulted the eminent scholar Vidyadhar Bhattacharya of Bengal to aid him in the design of his new city.
The construction of the new city of Jaipur commenced in 1727 and it took four years to complete. The city was constructed in a grid system which was made up of 9 blocks out of which 7 blocks were allocated to the public while two blocks were reserved for the state buildings and palaces. The entire city was laid out according to the principles of Indian architecture which is known as Vastu Shilpa Shastra.
Jaipur was considered to be an architectural gem from the time it was constructed and the city continues to draw admirers until today. The landscape of Jaipur which is today a bustling metropolis is still dotted with ancient forts and palaces and the city is a popular starting point for the many touristic tours ofthe princely state of Rajasthan.
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holidays - Top Events
The royal city of Jaipur celebrates many festivals and fairs all year round, some of its most important events include:-
The Elephant Festival
This festival is usually celebrated for about ten days during the last week of March every year . The Elephant festival features elaborately decorated elephants who assemble for a royal procession at Jaipur’s Chaugan stadium. Prizes are usually awarded for the best dressed elephant and the festival also features Elephant polo matches, races and performances of Rajasthani folk music and dance.
This festival is celebrated by the women of Jaipur every year in the last week of March or the first week of April as determined by the Hindu calendar. The festival is dedicated to a goddess named Gauri who is an incarnation of the Goddess Parvati, who was the consort of Lord Shiva another Hindu god. The women of Jaipur during Gangaur carry decorated clay idols of the goddess Gauri in a colorful procession that sets out from the City Palace and passes through various bazaars and landmarks of the city until it terminates at a spot known as Talkatora. The women of Jaipur wear new clothes and adorn their hands and feet with henna in celebration of this festival
The festival Teej which is celebrated in the months of July and August marks the advent of the monsoon and the city celebrates by taking out a colorful procession which sets off from the City Palace. This procession is held over two consecutive days. Teej also celebrates the union of Lord Shiva and Parvati and married women usually use the occasion to pray for a long and happy married life. During the Teej festival swings adorned with flowers are hung from trees and young women of the city climb on these swings to sing traditional songs in honor of the monsoon.
This festival is usually celebrated on the 14th of January and features a kite flying festival. The citizens of Jaipur first take a dip in the holy tank of the city which is located at Galtaji and then head out onto terraces and fields to fly their elaborately designed and adorned kites for the occasion.
This fair which is also known as Khalkani Mata Mela is celebrated during the month of October at Looniyawas near Sanganer. During this fair numerous donkeys which are brought from all over North India are bought and sold. The fair also features donkey races and sports
which are conducted for the entertainment of the people.
The Jaipur Literature Festival
The event is a new event on Jaipur's event calendar and it is held in the month of January at the Diggi Palace Hotel in Jaipur. The Jaipur Literature Festival is the biggest literary festival in Asia which has featured various leading lights of the literary world like Salman Rushdie, Kiran Desai, Suketu Mehta, Shashi Despande, and William Dalrymple, Ian McEwan, Donna Tartt, John Berendt, Paul Zacharia, Indra Sinha, Uday Prakash, Christopher Hampton, Manil Suri, Miranda Seymour, Sonia Faleiro, Kunal Basu, Kamila Shamsie, Nayantara Saghal, Sarnath Banerjee, Jeet Thayil, Robin Roberston, Tishani Doshi amongst others. The festival features workshops, seminars, readings and several entertainment events.
holidays - How to Get There
Airlines like Cathay Pacific , Sri Lankan, British Airways, Singapore Airlines, Qantas, Thai, airways and Emirates offer connections to Jaipur from Australian cities like Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne. However the flight time of these journeys largely depends on the route that you choose to fly and the stops that you are compelled to make.
Australia does not have a diplomatic mission in Jaipur and the city is covered by the Australian High Commission which is located in New Delhi.