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Amer Fort / Amber Fort

Historical

Photo Credit: Flickr

Distance (From Jaipur Junction Railway Station): 13 Kms

Trip Duration (Including Travel): 2-3 Hours

Transportation Options: Bus / Cab / Auto

Travel Tips: Jaigarh Fort (1 km by walk), Srijagat Siromaniji Temple (500m), Panna Meena ka Kund (1 km) & Jama Masjid / Akbari Mosque - Amer (1 km) are sitauted near Amer Fort and can be visited together.

At a distance of 13 km from Jaipur Junction Railway Station, Amer Fort or Amber Fort is located in Amer near Jaipur. This heritage site is one of the most famous forts in Rajasthan and among the most visited Jaipur tourist places. It is also one of the best preserved historical places to visit in Rajasthan and among the prime place to visit on a Jaipur tour.

Amber was founded by the Meenas in 967 AD and they dedicated the town to Amba, the Mother Goddess. Around 1037 AD, Amber was conquered by Kachhawa Rajputs and ruled it from the 11th to the 18th century, until the capital was moved from Amer to Jaipur. The Amber Fort was built by Raja Man Singh in 1592 AD and it was further expanded by successive rulers. Man Singh was one of the trusted generals of Emperor Akbar and one among the Navaratnas of his court. This fort is also very popularly known as the Amer Palace. Later in 1727 AD, Sawai Jai Singh II moved the capital from Amber to Jaipur.

The architecture of Amer Fort is influenced by both Hindu and Muslim styles. The fort was built using red sandstone and overlooks Maota Lake which is the main water source to the Palace. The Palace is divided into four main sections each with separate entry gate and courtyard. Main entry is through the Suraj Pole (Sun Gate) which leads to Jaleb Chowk. This was the place where armies would hold victory parades with their war bounty on their return from battles. It faced east towards the rising sun, hence the name Sun Gate. An impressive stairway from Jaleb Chowk leads into the main palace grounds. Shila Devi Temple and Ganesh Pol are located here.

The second courtyard houses the Diwan-i-Am or the Public Audience Hall. Built with a double row of columns, the Diwan-i-Am is a raised platform with 27 colonnades, each of which is mounted with an elephant-shaped capital, with galleries above it. This was the place where the general public assembled to meet the King and address their grievances.

The third courtyard is where the private quarters of the Maharaja, his family and attendants were located. This courtyard is entered through the Ganesh Pol or Ganesh Gate, which is embellished with mosaics and sculptures. The courtyard has two buildings, one opposite to the other, separated by a garden laid in the fashion of the Mughal Gardens.

Sheesh Mahal or the Mirror Palace is one of the prime attractions of Amer Fort. The ceiling and the walls of Sheesh Mahal are engraved with innumerable pieces of mirrors with stunning floral paintings on them. When candles were lit in the room at night, the whole room appears like a sky filled with stars due to the reflection of the mirrors. The other building seen in the courtyard is the Sukh Mahal (Hall of Pleasure). The amazing huge doors of Sukh Mahal are made of ivory and sandal wood. There is a water channel running through the hall, which carried cool water that worked as an air cooler. Sukh Niwas was the place where the Kings used to spend time with their queens. South of this courtyard lies the Palace of Man Singh I, which is the oldest part of the fort.

The fourth courtyard is Zenana where the royal women lived. This courtyard has many living rooms where the queens used to reside. All the rooms open into a common corridor. Diwan-e-Khas or the Hall of Private Audience is also located in this courtyard. It has stunning mosaic work in glass on the walls. This hall was used by the king for the reception of important guests such as kings, ambassadors and nobles in private.

Jaigarh Fort is situated near Amber Fort with common fortification. Both the forts are connected by a narrow underground passage which meant as an escape route in times of war to enable the royal family members in the Amer Fort to shift to the more formidable Jaigarh Fort. This fort can be reached on elephants that are available near the Amber Fort. Watching the Light and Sound Show at the Amber Fort is also a great way to spend an evening in Jaipur.

Entry Fee: Rs.25 for Indians and Rs. 200 for Foreigners.
Elephant Ride: Rs. 550 one way
Sound and Light Show: English (7:30 pm daily): Rs. 200 for Adults and Hindi (8:30 pm daily): Rs. 100 for Adults.

Timings: 8 AM to 5.30 PM.

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