ISAR LAT – THE EIFFEL TOWER OF JAIPUR
The city of Jaipur has the honour of being the first planned city of India and is often described as the Paris of India because of the similarities which are found among the two cities. Jaipur is planned as per the arrorondisement of Paris and like Paris it has got it’s own Eiffel Tower which is called the Isar Lat or the Sarga Suli.
It is a curious structure attracting the attention of the visitors coming to visit Jaipur. There is hardly any person visiting to Jaipur who does not ask to himself as to what this structure is. This seven storied minaret was constructed by the Maharaja Sawai Ishwari Singh in 1749 to commemorate his victory over the Marathas.
It is situated in the heart of the city in Tripoliya Bazaar and very close to the royal residence – the City Palace of Jaipur and the world famous astronomical UNESCO World Heritage Site- Jantar Mantar. To reach up to the top there is a spiral ramp constructed which is easy to move on and fun to climb.
The top of the minaret gives an eagle’s eye view and a panoramic view to the entire city. It is listed among the protected monuments by the Department of Archaeology and Museum. Octagonal in shape it has a big number of windows on each side giving proper ventilation and sunlight inside the building.
The archives of the state of Jaipur mention that the Maharajas used to climb up to the top of the city several times even the young prince and princesses were taken at the top to give them an idea of the city which was to be governed by them. The intelligent ancient masonry principles have enabled this building to stand straight and has survived several seismic disturbances.
This is sheer fun to be at the top of the Isar Lat particularly on the 14th of January when the kites are flown in entire Jaipur. This is beyond the imagination and the feeling is somewhat very internally satisfying. The local name given to this structure is –Sarga Suli which is a distorted form of the Hindi word ‘Swarga’ which means Paradise and the word ‘Suli’ means staircase.
In those days this used to be the tallest building in the town and seemed as if it was touching the sky. Those who are not scared of heights and love a breath taking view should include the visit to this place in their tour itinerary while discovering the Pink City.