November 18 is marked as the Jaipur Foundation Day which is celebrated with great zeal every year. Jaipur, the capital of India’s largest state Rajasthan, is actually the first planned city of the country. It was founded by Maharaja Jai Singh II in the year 1727.
On the auspicious occasion of Jaipur Foundation Day, here’s an interesting bundle of facts that narrates the story as to how the city was built. Let’s check out the History of our very own Jaipur as it turns 290 years old today.
Maharaja Jai Singh II served as the ruler of Amber from 1699 to 1744. He was just 11 years old when he took over the throne after the demise of his father Bishan Singh. The kingdom flourished in his reign and he built his capital around the Amber Fort.
Later, as the population of the city grew and water scarcity emerged as an issue, he decided to shift his capital. Moreover, due to the frequent battles against Maratha Empire, the king decided that a more secure and well-planned city needed to be built. For this, Maharaja Jai Singh sought advice from Vidyadhar Bhattacharya who helped in designing the city architecture.
The king was fond of the 100-acre forest land beneath Nahargarh where he used to hunt animals. Due to his admiration for the land, he built a pond on the hunting ground named Talkatora. Beside this pond, he built a palace called Jai Niwas which was dedicated to Lord Govind Devji Maharaj.
After this, the construction of the city began which took 4 years to complete. It’s said that the foundation of the city was laid at Gangapol by Pandit Jagannath and Rajguru Ratnakar. This was followed by Surajpol on the east entrance of the city and Chandpol on the west entrance.
As per the principles of Vaastu Shastra, the city was divided into 9 blocks out of which 2 consisted of the state buildings and palaces while the remaining 7 were allotted to the public. For ensuring security, a huge fortification was built along with 7 strong gates. Further, Jaigarh and Nahargarh Fort supported the military objectives of the kingdom.
At the time when the city was built, its architecture was considered as the most advanced in the entire Indian subcontinent. In the year 1876, the city was painted in Pink as a gesture of hospitality to welcome Prince of Wales. Since then, it got the name Pink City.
The modern city plan of Jaipur was revised in 1935 and the first modern colony of the city was established in 1939. Many areas like Raja Park, Adarsh Nagar, Ram Niwas Garden, etc were formed after 1947.
Although today most of the parts of the city are being reconstructed to make way for metro and other commercial infrastructure, the essence of the Pin City remains intact through its art and culture and we hope it stays the same in future.
Every year, the rich culture and heritage of the state are celebrated on Jaipur Foundation Day with great zeal. There are various cultural programs in the form of dance, music, and various other ceremonies.
For people residing in Jaipur, it’s an occasion of celebrating the city’s birthday much like they celebrate their own birthdays, especially those who have seen the city’s growth over a long period of time. Evidently, some Jaipurites are quite happy with the fact that they share their birthdays with Jaipur Foundation Day. Such is the bond between Jaipur and its residents.