Jaipur, the capital city of Rajasthan State, India, is also referred to as the "Pink City." The city is one of the architectural wonders of India, hosting some of the most ornate royal palaces in the country. The palaces and structures which were built hundreds of years ago are of elaborate designs that still capture and captivate visitors to date. On arrival to Jaipur, one will quickly understand why the city is referred to as the “Pink City” as the walls of these buildings are characteristically painted pink. The pink color on the buildings is distinct and easily noticeable. Only a few buildings around the historic area are not painted pink. The pink color is historically significant to Jaipur residents that they are obligated by law to paint and maintain their walls in that color.
History of the Pink Jaipur Color
Prince Albert’s Visit
The history of Jaipur is never complete without mentioning the city’s pink color. The city was literally turned pink by Maharaja Ram Singh II who reigned over Jaipur. It was during his reign that he initiated the painting of the city. Maharaja Ram Singh II was determined to please Prince Albert who was to make a trip to India in 1876. Prince Albert had spent 17 weeks traveling around the Indian Subcontinent as part of his royal duties. However, he became fatigued and lonely and decided to take a time off his official duty as his wife, Victoria, was not with him. Indian authorities saw this as a perfect time for them to please the royal family and reinforce their relationship ties with the British aristocracy.
Preparations and Painting of the City
Being one of the wealthiest people in India at the time, Maharaja Ram Singh II decided to go a step further in pleasing the prince. His actions have been considered outrageous and extravagant. He built a luxurious show corridor and named it Albert Hall. The corridor remains a popular attraction to date. Besides the corridor, Maharaja Ram Singh II began painting the city pink and beautifying it. The color chosen was terracotta pink because, historically, the color was welcoming and represented hospitality. It was from these paintings that the city obtained its signature pink paintings.
Why Jaipur Has Stayed Pink
Interestingly, even after the prince’s visit over 130 years ago, the city walls are dominated by the pink color. The favorite wife of Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh II was in love with the pink color that can be seen around the city. She went ahead and convinced the Maharaja to forbid other colors from being painted on the city’ walls except for pink. A law to have all the buildings painted pink was passed in 1877. From then, the buildings in Jaipur have been painted pink, a shade of pink which later came to be known as Jaipur pink. The pink color has been instrumental in transforming the dirty and polluted city into a serene pink city.