Jaipur is a city of many colours and contrasts. It is best explored at a leisurely pace, as there is so much to see and do that a usual taxi or bus tour can never do justice to Sawai Jai Singh II's planned city built in AD 1727.
Jai Singh visualised it as a flourishing centre of commerce and art with a special area designated for the different trades and crafts. Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, based the layout keeping in mind the principles of the Hindu treatise on architecture, the Vastu Shastra. The meticulous planning, the right combination of commerce and beauty, attracted visitors from all over the world.
Come and see for yourself what led Louis Rousselet, a well-known nineteenth century French traveller to comment, "The town is built in a style of unusual magnificence... I doubt whether at the time it was built there were many cities in Europe which could compare with it."
The photographs will introduce you to many of Jaipur's best-known monuments that are still located inside the old walled city. Enter any of the lanes leading from the main streets and each one will unfold several interesting facets of Jaipur's traditional lifestyle, architecture, arts, crafts, community living, havelies and temples.
As you explore all this and more, you realise that it is not just a city of forts, palaces and gardens. It is a culturally rich city that has happily accepted t-shirts, jeans and baseball caps along with traditional turbans, dhotis and ghagras (traditional skirts) - they're all a part of this live, throbbing, exuberant city.
A city like this is still hard to come by.