About Jaipur City
The extent of the Jaipur City property is the historic walled city, which was founded in 1727 A.D. by the Rajput ruler Sawai Jai Singh of Kachwaha dynasty. The city wall encloses the historic urban region, divided into nine sectors, with main roads intersecting at right angles. One of the first planned cities in India at the time, Jaipur was conceived and developed in a single phase with a grid-iron plan, where most of the city infrastructure, public buildings and royal spaces were completed within a span of four years.
It was planned as an inviting trade and commerce city within a valley, as opposed to hilly terrain and military cities of the past. Its urban morphology reflected an interchange of ancient Hindu concepts with contemporary Mughal and Western ideas. The structures on the main bazars and craft-based settlements were planned by the State, to maintain the grid-iron structure, ensuring continuity of the architecture, urban form and cultural character of the medieval city.
The eighteenth-century city still functions as a flourishing urban centre, and although it was originally planned at this site to facilitate judicious use of the existing resources, modern infrastructure and increasing urbanization have significantly impacted the natural features, integral for the functioning as per the original plan. While the royal buildings and public spaces are now open to tourists and the public, the commercial streets and temples largely retain their original use.
Amber had served the capital of Dhoondhar and the city had expanded and by the beginning of the 18th century, it had become very congested. There was not much scope for expansion due to the existing hilly terrain and it was important that the new capital should be directly linked with Amber, the earlier seat of the Kachchawas. The physical constraints of the proposed site for the new capital included the hills on the north with Jaigarh Fort and the Amber Palace beyond, and the hills on the east with the sacred Galtaji. Beyond the depression formed by the low-lying marshy lands on the north- east, there was a slight rise in terrain and a ridge running from the west to east inclined at 15 degrees towards the south. On the western edge were the hills of Nahargarh and southern end was marked by a low hillock called Shankar Garh. The only existing landmark on this terrain was the Talkatora, a small water body and the hunting lodge used by the Kachchwas.
The basic plan of Jaipur was derived by marking the loci using the surrounding topography of the site. The centre of the nucleus of the city had already been established at the Jai Niwas with the installation of the idol of Govinda Deva. The main axes of the city was defined by the sacred site of Galtaji, an important pilgrimage centre since the 16th century, located on the eastern hillock. This axis was aligned 15 degrees to the north- east running along the natural ridge. Stretching in line with the Nahargarh Hill on the west, the ridge marked the main east- west axis with Surajpol at the eastern end and Chandpol at the western end. The north- south axis was marked in alignment with the Jaigarh Fort, the highest point in the north and hillock of Shankar Garh (Moti Dungri Fort) in the south.
The east-west axis of the town was divided by three perpendicular roads. The crossing of the two cardinal axis defined the main public squares of the city called the Badi Chaupar or Manak Chowk. On the west, a road parallel to the north-south axis created the second town square called the Choti Chaupar or Amber Chowk and effectively placed the Palace Complex in the centre of the city. Another parallel road on the eastern side created the third public square called the Ram Ganj Chaupar or Ram Chowk. The intersecting axis divided the city into eight portions, with the central ones of equal size and the outer ones as per the remaining dimensions till the Chandpol in the west and Surajpol in the east.