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Jaipur
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Jaipur,

Urdu: جے پور, also known as the Pink City, is one of the most important heritage cities in India. Founded in 1727 by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, Jaipur was the first planned city in India. In 1948, shortly after India's independence, Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II acceded the state of Jaipur to the Government of India, and Jaipur became the capital of Rajasthan.

Located at 26.92°N 75.82°E at an average elevation of 432 metres, the city enjoys is dry and healthy climate. Due to the nearby Thar Desert, the city area may show extremities of cold and heat with minimum and maximum temperatures recorded varying from 3°C to 49°C. Average annual rainfall is 556 mm.

Numerous palaces are telling of a distinctly royal past. Built of pink stucco in imitation of sandstone, the city is remarkable for the width and regularity of its streets which are laid out into six quarters separated by broad streets. The urban quarters are further divided by rectangular networks of streets.

"In 1876 Maharaja Ram Singh had the entire old city painted pink, a colour associated with hospitality, to welcome the Price of Wales (later King Edward VII), and the tradition has been maintained." - Sarina Singh e.a., India. lonely planet. London 2005

Many urbanists consider Jaipur to be one of the best planned cities of India. To Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II and the Bengali Guru Vidyadhar who was a 'Shaspati' (Hindu Priest Architect), the founding of Jaipur was an opportunity to plan a whole town according to the principles of Hindu architectural theory. Sawai Jai Singh II was also a great astronomer of his time. So the town was built in the form of a nine-part Mandala, signifying the nine planets of the ancient astrological zodiac.

Jaipur district is a centre for both traditional industries and modern industries. Major export items are brass and lacquer work, enamel work, gems and jewelery, granite tiles, printed cloth and textiles, readymade garments, woolen and silk carpets.The city houses major educational institutions such as the University of Rajasthan (Maharaja College and Maharani College), 45 Colleges, the LNM Institute of Information Technology.

Since the 19th century, the city has been rapidly growing to 160,000 in 1900. Today, population has reached approximately 2.7 million, contributing to the densely jammed city's tumultuous charme.