In 1876, the Prince of Wales arrived in Jaipur to royal treatment. Not only did his royal host, Maharaja Man Singh II lay out the red carpet but he painted the entire city in pink, the ceremonial colour of welcome. Jaipur, named after its founder Maharaja Jai Singh II, remains pretty in pink to this day. (Every home in the city is obliged by law to maintain this facade.) This is a city whose past co-exists with the present. Here camels and cars stand side by side on the streets and showrooms are busy with artisans making gold glitter with kundan and meena (typical Rajasthani jewellery) work.

Maharaja Jai Singh II (1693 - 1743), who came to power at the age of 12 founded and ruled Jaipur form 1727. Even though 28 kings ruled for 6 centuries at Amber, today Jaipur (only 10 Maharajas have sat on the throne in the past 250) is much better known. The city, laid out in a grid pattern, was designed by a young Bengali artist, Vidyadhar Bhattacharya.