We Jaipurites, very proudly brag about us being from Jaipur while talking to anyone from other states, but in reality, 70% of us don't know even the date when Jaipur was established or why the city is called the pink city.
So today, we are going to learn a little history about our Jaipur city so when anyone asks us anything about Jaipur we can prove to them that we are the true Jaipurite in every sense.
(Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, The founder of Jaipur)
Jaipur gets its name from its founder Maharaja Jai Singh II (1693-1744) the great warrior and astronomer. He came to power at the age of 11 after the death of his father Maharaja Bishan Singh. The Maharaja was told that his son would achieve greatness after which he set out to ensure that Jai Singh receive a good education. Jai Singh was trained by the best teachers and scholars in art, science, philosophy and military affairs. His scholastic background matched his innate wits. When Jai Singh was 15, emperor Aurangzeb summoned him to court. Jai Singh had contravened the agreement of not waging war against the Marathas in the Deccan. On meeting Jai Singh, Aurangazb, clasping his hand in greeting, demanded an explanation. Jai Singh, then 15, replied that since the emperor had extended his hand, it implied that he would protect Jai Singh and his kingdom. Impressed by his reply, Aurangzeb conferred him with the title of Sawai, meaning one and a quarter, a title, that all of Jai Singh’s descendants kept. Jai Singh’s lineage can be traced back to the Kucchwaha Rajput clan who came to power in the 12th century. They built the magnificent Amber Fort and their might spread beyond the present-day. Jaipur encompasses the kingdoms of Mewar (Udaipur) and Marwar (Jodhpur). At that time, the might of the Mughal empire was at its peak and recognizing it, the Kucchwahas aligned themselves with the Mughals. After Jai Singh came to power, there was a moment of disquiet when he supported Aurangzeb's son Azam shah’s bid for the throne. Azam Shah lost the battle of succession to his brother Bahadur Shah, who demanded Jai Singh’s removal and installation of Vijay Singh to the throne of Jaipur. Jai Singh, not one to take setbacks lying down, formed a formidable front against the Mughals by aligning himself with other Rajput states and reinstating himself. After the dust had settled, peace reigned and the kingdom prospered and its borders expanded.
However, expansion meant that the limited sources of water proved inadequate for the city. Which he named Jaipur, after himself. Much of the credit for Jaipur goes to Vidhyadhar Bhattacharya, the chief architect from Bengal who, with Jai Singh’s approval, founded the city on strong scientific principles laid out according to the Shilpa Shastra, an ancient architectural manual, it remains one of India’s best-planned cities. After Jai Singh’s death in 1744, the obvious happened. His sons squabbled for power and without a monarch, the kingdom became open to invasion and neighboring Rajput states and the Marathas usurped large areas of the kingdom. As with the Mughals, Jaipur maintained good relations with the British and during the war of independence in 1857 remained loyal to the raj. Yet, the British gradually began to undermine the independence of the state and exercised greater control over the administration. In 1876, Maharaja Ram Singh did something that earned Jaipur its sobriquet. He painted the entire city pink, traditionally a color associated with hospitality, to welcome the prince of Wales (later king Edward VII) to the city. The tradition has been maintained and today all residents in the old city are compelled by law to preserve the pink color. Maharaja Ram Singh also built Ramgarh lake to supply water to the burgeoning city. During the 19th and 20th centuries, the city’s population spread beyond its walls. In 1922 Man Singh II, Jaipur’s Maharaja ascended the throne and it was during his reign that civic buildings like the secretariat, schools, hospitals and other public buildings were built. After independence, Jaipur merged with the states of Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Bikaner to become the greater Rajasthan union. Man Singh II was bestowed with the title of Rajapramukh and was given charge of the new province. The title was later revoked and in 1956, when Jaipur became the capital of the state of Rajasthan.