India’s first planned city, Jaipur has been popularised with the name of the Pink City. Just about every monument, palace, fort and building in general, features the same terracotta pink painted walls. The whole concept came about in 1876 when Prince Albert and Queen Victoria scheduled a visit to India.
To ensure Prince Albert visited Jaipur, Maharaja, Ram Singh constructed an opulent concert hall named in honour of the Prince. The exquisite Albert Hall stands amongst the carefully laid out grounds of the Ram Niwas Public gardens and can be visited by tourists today.
Wanting to further impress the royals and strengthen British ties, Ram Singh requested that the whole city be painted pink; a colour that symbolises welcoming and hospitality. Produced from a calcium oxide compound and the paint is extremely durable amongst Jaipur’s arid conditions. Ram Singh’s efforts didn’t go unnoticed, and legend has it that Prince Albert coined the name “the pink city”.
During his the time of his rule, the Maharaja Ram Singh was one of the richest and most powerful men in India. Apparently, his favourite wife loved the colour so much, she convinced him to pass a law to maintain the pink colour for any future buildings in the city. Initially passed in 1877, to this day, it still remains in effect.
The Pink City features some of India’s most exquisite palaces. The Hawa Mahal (Palace of Winds) for example – a five storey structure built to enable the royal women to observe the street scenes below while remaining unnoticed. Built with pink sandstone in 1799 the palace was painted the iconic terracotta pink in 1876.
We love Jaipur not only for its stunning architecture but also for its buzzing bazaars filling the streets with colour and hundreds of people selling their gorgeous clothes, jewellry and other trinkets.
Today the gorgeous Pink City is still just as inviting and welcoming as it was some 130 years ago; with stunning palaces and forts all exuding a long-standing history and culture.
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