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Jaipur, "The Pink City", is one of the few planned cities in India and its name comes from the deep pink, lime-plastered buildings. Set in the buff-coloured Rajasthani hills, it was founded in 1727 by the Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II. At the heart is the City Palace that is both a museum and home to the former ruling family. Jai Singh II was a renowned astronomer and built several Jantar Mantars (observatories) in India, the most spectacular is in Jaipur with structures up to 27 metres high, used for measuring the movements of the sun, stars and planets. The nearby Hawa Mahal, or "Palace of the Winds", is a five-storey latticework screen behind which the palace ladies could sit and watch the city go by without being seen. These days they would probably be shopping. Jaipur has a fantastic variety of precious stones, block-printed fabrics and jewellery. Outside the city, 17 kilometres to the north in the Aravalli Hills, is the Amber Fort, capital of the Kuchwaha region for 700 years before the population moved to Jaipur which offered more space.

>> Read our blog: Little Black Book: Discover the Pink City, Jaipur

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I dislike feeling at home when I am abroad.
George Bernard Shaw