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Jaipur

Jaipur the vibrant capital of Rajasthan, is popularly known as the ' Pink city ' because of the pink colored buildings in its old city. It sits on dry lake bed in a somewhat arid landscape surrounded by barren hills surmounted by forts. The city is a visitor's delight. From the intricate, delicate looking Hawa Mahal to the graphic forms of the Jantar Mantar - an open air observatory of outsized astronomical instruments, the Badi Chaupar lined with shopsand business establishments on both sides to the majestic fort-palace at Amber; from the colorful fountains of life to the sublime Birla Temple; from the architectural delight of the City Palace to the serene Jal Mahal.

The royal city of Jaipur owes its name to the founder of the city. It was Great Warrior King Sawai Jai Singh II (1693-1743) who laid the foundation of the city in 1627. He was one of the few kings of his time having a keen eye for details and a very good scientific temper. Jaipur is the prime example of the culture and traditions of this region. In this land, towering forts were built as much for ostentation as for intimidating the enemy; and desperate battles were fought by rulers who were great patrons of the arts. Among all the states of erstwhile princely India, Rajputana is undoubtedly the one with the most martial record - warring factions locked in deadly warfare, thousands of royal ladies consigning themselves to flames preferring death to dishonor.  Being capital to the northern Indian state of Rajasthan, the city is mirror to every thing that Rajasthan signifies, be its culture, tradition, society, and most importantly people.

The walled old city is in the northeast of Jaipur, while the new parts are spread to the south and west. The main tourist attractions are in the old city. the principle shopping centre in the old city is the Johari Bazaar (Jewellers Market). There is a timeless appeal to Jaipur's colourful bazaars where one can shop for Rajasthani handlooms and trinkets. Beautifully laid out gardens and parks, attractive monuments and marvelous heritage hotels are worth admiration. Not to mention the ambling camels and cheerful people in multi-hued costumes who make a trip to the pink city a memorable one.

The Jaipur Vintage Car Rally held annually in the month of January has become a big draw for car lovers, sports lovers, vintage beauty lovers and tourists alike. A keenly contested event, this rally is an inimitable display of well-maintained cars of yesteryears.