JAYPUR, the capital of the Rajput state of the same name, is about 144 miles west from Agra, and was founded by Raja Siwai Jay Singh in 1728. This prince, who ruled from 1698 to 1742, was equally remarkable for his intellectual capacity, his patronage of science and art, and his architectural skill. The great Observatory—constructed according to his own plans, and still tolerably entire—and those erected at Dehli, Banaras and Ujjain, are proofs of his devotion to astronomy and of his advanced skill and knowledge. With these he was enabled to base upon the tables of De la Hire, and to leave as a lasting monument of his industry and acquirements, the tables known as the Zij Muhammad shahi.

The city of Jayapur was founded as his new capital, in place of Amber, a few miles to the north of it, and was laid out by him on a regular plan of six great blocks in two rows of three each, divided by main streets 110 feet wide, intersecting at right angles. One block in the centre of the second row is given up to the palace, and behind this again are the lakes. The blocks are intersected by secondary streets 55 feet wide, and from these minor streets, 27½ feet broad, diverge at right angles,. “At the end of each of the main streets are the gates—six in number—handsome, lofty masonry structures, exactly similar to one another. The walls round the city are lofty, of masonry and crenellated, but without ramparts, and not intended for guns, or to resist artillery, the real defence against an invading force being the detached forts and the hills forts which surround the place.” The main streets are each of one colour, red, green, blue, yellow, &c., and the shops are all similar, being of masonry with colonnaded verandas, and “the whole city bears the impress of the genius of the sovereign who founded it.”

The population, exclusive of the suburbs, which may contain 40,000, is estimated at 160,000.

The gates—as is usual in Indian cities—are named after the chief towns to which the road from each leads. Eight miles to the south is Sânganer, and hence the gate leading to it goes by that name. The panoramic views of the city from over this gate are very fine; seldom can an Indian city be so well seen from a single point, and few cities are more beautiful, or more regularly built, than Jaypur. It is situated in a small plain,—which Heber describes as resembling a “large estuary, but studded with rocky islands, whose sands were left here by the receding tide,”—and has, on all sides except the south, barren, rocky hills, crowned in many cases by forts. The citadel is built on a hill to the north that rises several hundred feet above the town, and “ has a very bold appearance when viewed from the town, the south face of the rocks being very precipitous, and totally inaccessible.”1

  • 1. See Tod, Annals, vol. ii. pp. 356—368 {Mad. ed. pp. 328—339); Heber's Journal, vol. ii. pp. 31 seqq.; Selections from the Records of Govt. of India, No. Ixv. pp. 8, 9 ; Sutherland, Sketches, pp. 74—77; Jacquemont, Voyages, vol. vi. pp. 364—373 ; Boileau, Tour in Rajwara, pp. 157—159; Asiat. Res. vol. v. p. 185 seqq.; Orient. Mag. vol. viii. p, 18; Malcolm, Cent. India, vol. ii. p. 126; Briggs' Ferishta, vol. i. p. 343, vol. ii. p. 260; Erskine Perry's Bird's Eye View of India, p. 142.