I was researching about handwoven rugs from Jaipur and thought I would share some of the interesting facts I found out!
Jaipur is one of the two major weaving districts in India it is southwest of Delhi that produces an incredible assortment of quality wool rugs in a variety of sizes and in many Persian patterns. Jaipur often have a medium handle, and medium thick pile. Designs are often medium to large print, yet contain a fair amount of detail. Jaipur rugs are often found to have allover patterns, with few medallion and repeat patterns woven. Most of the small weavers have been incorporated to the business of Jaipur Rug Company. http://www.jaipurrugsco.com/rugs-history.aspx
The city of Jaipur was founded in 1727 by Jai Singh II, the Raja of Amer who ruled from 1688 to 1743. Initially, his capital was Dausa, which lies 51 km from Jaipur. He felt the need of shifting his capital city with the increase in population and growing scarcity of water. The King consulted several books on architecture and architects before making the layout of Jaipur. Finally, under the architectural guidance of Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, (initially an accounts-clerk in the Amber treasury, later promoted to the office of Chief Architect by the King) Jaipur came into existence on the classical principles of Vastu Shastra and similar classical treatises.After waging battles with the Marathas, Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II wanted to improve the security aspects of the city. Being a lover of astronomy, mathematics and astrophysics, Jai Singh sought advice from Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, a Brahmin scholar of Bengal, to aid him in designing many buildings, including the Royal Palace in the centre of the city.
The construction of the city began in 1727. It took around four years to complete the major palaces, roads and square. The city was built following the principles of Shilpa Shastra, the science of Indian Architecture. The city was divided into nine blocks, two of which contain the state buildings and palaces, with the remaining seven allotted to the public. Huge ramparts were built, pierced by seven fortified gates. For a time, during the rule of Sawai Ram Singh, the whole city was painted pink to welcome Edward, Prince of Wales. Today, avenues remain painted in pink, giving Jaipur a distinctive appearance. In the 19th century, the city grew rapidly; by 1900 it had a population of 160,000. The wide boulevards were paved and the city had several hospitals. Its chief industries were the working of metals and marble, fostered by a school of art (named Madarsa Hunree) founded in 1868. The city had three colleges, including a Sanskrit college (1865) and a girls’ school (1867) opened during the reign of the enigmatic Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II. There was a wealthy and enterprising community of native bankers, the Marwaris; and the administrators Rawana rajput.
The city is unusual among pre-modern Indian cities in the regularity of its streets, and the division of the city into six sectors by broad streets. 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 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 theWorld 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. http://travelasvolunteer.org/about-jaipur