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Jaipur is the capital and largest city of the Indian state of Rajasthan. It was founded on 18 November 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the ruler of Amber, after whom the city has been named. The city today has a population of 3.1 million. Jaipur is known as the Pink City of India.
The city is remarkable 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 urban quarters are further divided by networks of gridded streets. Five quarters wrap around the east, south, and west sides of a central palace quarter, with a sixth quarter immediately to the east. The Palace quarter encloses the sprawling Hawa Mahal palace complex, formal gardens, and a small lake. Nahargarh Fort, which was the residence of the King Sawai Jai Singh II, crowns the hill in the northwest corner of the old city. The observatory, Jantar Mantar, is one of the World Heritage Sites.Included on the Golden Triangle tourist circuit, along with Delhi and Agra, Jaipur is an extremely popular tourist destination in Rajasthan and India. The 2012 British comedy-drama film, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel was set and filmed in Jaipur.
The city was 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 built 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’.