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PICS: Birthday gift; a look into Jaipur's 285-year history

Dailybhaskar.com   |  Nov 17, 2012, 16:38PM IST
Jaipur: A week after the city celebrated the festival of lights, Jaipur will be decked up again for yet another celebration. The city will celebrate its 285th birthday on November 18.
 
The city has been named after Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber on 18 November 1727. Known as the Pink City and Paris of India, Jaipur has always stood out among pre-modern Indian cities for the width and regularity of its streets which are laid out into six sectors separated by broad streets 34 m (111 ft) wide.
 
The city has been planned according to Indian Vastu Shastra (Vedic Planning for the comfort and prosperity of the citizens). 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 three gates facing East, West, and North and a Northern gate (known as Zorawar Singh gate) which faces toward the ancestral capital of Amber, while many gates face South. For Jai Singh II and his advisor Vidyadhar, the founding of Jaipur was a ritual and opportunity to plan a whole town according to the principles of Hindu architectural theory.
The city was originally within walls, though it has expanded outside of the original walls over time. The gates used to be closed at sunset and opened at sunrise. The town of Jaipur is built in the form of an eight-part Mandala known as the 'Pithapada'.
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