What's in the name, ‘pink city’?

Updated: Nov 30, 2021

The city of Jaipur has been defined by the shadowy pink tint since 1876. Initially introduced to welcome Prince Albert, the colour has become an integral part of the landscape today.


Image credit: Team Cityscope

It is common knowledge that first impressions last long. Many a times, we tend to dress and behave based on how we want others to see us. If we are expecting any guests at home, we spend time making the bed and decluttering all the spaces, so that they don’t have an unpleasant experience.

Sawai Ram Singh, who ascended the throne of Jaipur in 1835 seemed to have taken this very seriously - so much so that he decided to get the entire city pink-washed.

This was done just before the visit of Prince Albert with a view to awe him. Ram Singh even laid the foundation for the Albert Hall Museum to please him further.

Image credit: Sagar Soneji from Pexels

The colour of the paint was somewhere in between maroon and pink, since the shade was considered to stand for hospitality. The pigment was brought in bulk from the town of Kanota specifically to smear it on all the buildings. In the year 1877, Ram Singh made it illegal to paint buildings in other colours. There are still some speculations around whether it was actually the king who got the city painted pink.

Nevertheless, the heartwarming ‘pinkness’ of the place as well as the architectural beauty of its forts and palaces makes Jaipur a paradise for photographers, artists, history buffs, travel enthusiasts and culture trippers.

Looking at historical trends, it is not uncommon to name cities after colors. Pink Hill in North Carolina was called so after a field of pink flowers. Blue Ball in Pennsylvania was named after an old hotel by the same name. Jaisalmer was nicknamed as the yellow city for the wide expanse of yellow sand dunes. The cities of Chandigarh, Jodhpur and Amritsar are known as green city, blue city and golden city respectively, on the grounds of some specific architectural features.


Edited by Roshni Shroff and Hiba Beg


Some resources and links to help you learn more about Jaipur: