Each color in the state of Rajasthan has a story. While wandering in Jaipur, my travel soul started wandering about the colors present vibrantly within the city. And its not just pink, but more than that.
As one roams around the main old city, one can experience an astonishing flock of building designed similarly and colored exactly similar. From the entry gate to the shops, the old building to the newbie cafes – all are painted in some pink or lavender or saffron color.
History of this ‘terracotta pink’ goes to the time when Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II was to ensure Prince Albert would visit Jaipur to strengthen ties to the British aristocracy and gain personal acquaintances with the Royal family. The color chosen was a terracotta pink as this color historically represents welcoming and hospitality. The paint was produced from a calcium oxide compound and is extremely durable in the arid conditions of Jaipur.
The queen of the maharaja adored this colour and convinced him to pass a law making it illegal for buildings to be painted any other colour than Jaipur Pink. This law passed in 1877 still remains in effect today.
Hawa Mahal: The world through the Tinted Glasses
The colourful glasses are such that people from inside the palace can look outside but nothing is visible from the outside about what went on in the palace.
Various shapes of glasses have been used in the windows and the doors of the palace.
Did you know? Hawa Mahal is the tallest building in the world with no foundation. The palace leaning at an angle of 87
degree. Stillthe palace stands upright because of the pyramidal shape.
City Palace: Colourful Doors
The Ganesh Pol – the entry to the private palaces of the Maharajas is covered with elaborate frescoes and a side prifle of Ganesh painted above the gate, symbolizing good luck. The colours have been created with vegetable dyes.
Pritam Niwas Chowk – the inner courtyard of the Palace has four smaller gates, each themed around the four seasons.
Nahargarh Fort: Intricate Paintings
The rooms are decorated with the characteristic intrinsic paintings, similar to other forts and palaces of Rajasthan. The windows and doors of this fort are decorated with colored class, in multiple colours. This goes hand in hand with the paintings on the roofs and doors of the fort. Most of the intricate paintings framing the doors and windows of this palace have maintained their rich color and detail well over the years.
Color of the Evening:
I discovered Jaipur newly after roaming through the old city streets in the evening. With yellow lights painting the roads and adding vibrance to the ‘terracotta pink’ of the architectures, I suggest not to miss this small stroll after the dusk.
Colors are throughout the state of Rajasthan, with its culture, dresses, human and architectures. Jaipur, being the capital city, and the most populated among them still holds the form of these colors, although transforming slowly to a grimy shade through the pollution of the city.